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Inbound Marketing For Manufacturing Companies

Inbound marketing for manufacturers: Benefits, strategy & tips!

Key Takeaways
  • Inbound marketing for manufacturers utilizes the best digital marketing practices to attract, engage, and convert leads into customers.
  • The top three inbound marketing channels for manufacturers are content marketing, social media, and search engine optimization.
  • 94% of B2B buyers research your product online before purchasing, indicating the need for an online presence for manufacturing businesses.
  • You need to create content for each buyer's journey to maximize your engagement, boosting conversions.

The 2022 manufacturing marketing report by Brandpoint stated that most sales-worthy leads come from inbound channels. 

As per the survey, the top three were content marketing (70%), social media (64%), and search engine optimization (62%). 

As 94% of B2B customers research online before purchasing, you must build a solid online presence and implement effective inbound marketing strategies.

Powerful inbound marketing strategies for manufacturers can: 

  • Increase brand visibility and awareness 
  • Generate sales-ready leads  
  • Enhance customer engagement and relationship building 

All of this unlimitedly results in boosting conversion rates and revenue growth. 

So, ready to ignite your success? 

This blog is your ultimate guide to boosting your business with an inbound approach.  

Let’s get started!¬†

What is inbound marketing for manufacturers? 

Inbound marketing for manufacturers is a strategic approach aiming to drive potential customers via various marketing practices like content, social media, paid advertising, etc.

Inbound marketing is a powerful strategy for manufacturers. Here are some stats to prove the same:

Inbound marketing for manufacturing stats

  • Manufacturer website usage has risen by 12% since the beginning of COVID-19. 
  • B2B buying behavior is changing as 94% of customers decide based on comparing and reviewing the products online. 
  • Iron Paper stated that about 85% of manufacturing marketers are currently leveraging content marketing. Of that 15% of nonusers, 53% said they plan to initiate a content marketing effort within 12 months.  
  • 62% of surveyed marketers stated that SEO/search algorithms are essential content marketing-related areas.
  • Upon surveying 150 manufacturers, 59% of them stated boosting their social media marketing actions.

How is inbound marketing beneficial for manufacturing companies?

Inbound marketing is what manufacturers need now to drive potential web traffic and boost lead generation. Let’s see how. 

1. Favors the evolving manufacturer buyer behavior 

As per the Deloitte report, the B2B sales is changing.

Here’s the visual journey to better understand.   

Evolving manufacturer buyer behavior

The manufacturing buying process is evolving. As mentioned, 94% of B2B buyers research online before purchasing.

However, your marketing initiatives can majorly influence it. So, you must try top inbound marketing strategies and witness the ROI yourself. 

Inbound manufacturer marketing strategies adapt to the evolving preferences of modern buyers. Plus, it aligns with their research-driven and digitally connected purchasing behavior. 

By providing educational content tailored to manufacturing challenges, an inbound marketing strategy can help you attract and nurture buyers throughout their decision-making process.

2. A cost-effective strategy to bring better ROI 

Leveraging digital channels to reach a targeted audience at a fraction of the cost eliminates costly traditional marketing methods like print media.

You can efficiently deliver long-term results without excessive expenditures by focusing on organic inbound marketing practices like content creation, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media.

3. Enhances your online visibility

Inbound marketing utilizes SEO that improves online visibility and ensures your website shows up to potential searchers.

Also, by implementing a website and content optimization, manufacturers attract organic traffic from potential buyers actively searching for their products or services.

4. Drives more MQLs with the targeted content

Content aligning with your prospect’s goals and challenges helps you drive relevant traffic and increase lead generation.

5. Data-driven marketing approach resulting in informed decisions

Inbound marketing is a data-driven approach and thus uses analytics tools to identify target audience preferences and pain points, track customer behavior, etc.

By leveraging these data-driven insights, you can optimize your manufacturer’s marketing strategies and deliver more personalized experiences.

6. Boost your brand experiences and conversions

Inbound marketing focuses on aligning marketing, sales, and service efforts to boost conversion opportunities.

For example, when a lead engages with content, their information is automatically shared with the sales team for personalized follow-up.

This seamless alignment improves coordination, enabling teams to deliver a unified customer experience.  

Inbound marketing methodology for manufacturers

Inbound marketing methodology comprises four steps enabling you to turn your target prospects into paying customers. Look at the below to better understand:

Inbound marketing methodology

1. Attract 

You need to create high-value and relevant content to capture the attention and engagement of your target audience. 

Thus, this will help you turn your web visitors into leads using lead generation tools like Web Forms or Live Chat. 

For instance, you can offer an industry-specific insightful report as a downloadable resource to generate leads. 

Implement SEO tactics to improve your website visibility on search engines to attract prospects actively searching for solutions you might find a good fit.  

2. Engage 

You must nurture those leads through personalized content, email campaigns, and social media interactions.  

Also, sharing high-value content can establish you as a trusted brand in your domain. 

3. Close 

You need to make efforts to convert these leads into paying customers. 

It can be achieved with a combined effort of the marketing and sales team, such as knowledge delivered through landing pages, product-specific landing pages, videos, and sales communication. 

4. Delight 

Once you get the deal, you should continue providing a great customer experience with content and customer support that aligns with their business growth. 

Moreover, such efforts also foster customer loyalty, build relationships, and encourage referrals. 

Inbound marketing strategy for manufacturing businesses: 7 Simple steps

Inbound marketing strategy for manufacturers

Step 1: Define your target audience 

I’d say, “If you don’t know who you are selling to, who will you sell it to?” 

So, it’s essential to know who your target audience is. 

Begin answering the following question to identify:

  • What industry or sector might find your product helpful?
  • Who can benefit from your manufactured product?
  • What challenges can your product be a good solution to?
  • What can be the possible pain points of your target audience?

Asking these questions will help you to focus clearly on whom your company will serve and why your product is needed. 

Some other easy ways to identify your target audience are:

  1. Leverage social media tools to get insights to understand the demographics and interests.
  2. Analyze your website visitor behavior to understand your audience better.
  3. Study your ideal competitors’ marketing actions to identify overlapping target audiences.

Moreover, if you’ve initiated some sales, you can conduct simple surveys to gather direct feedback from your existing customers. This will help you understand what problems your product has solved.

Once you’ve identified your potential target audience to serve, you define your buyer persona.

Step 2: Develop your buyer personas   

A buyer persona is a fictional description of your ideal buyers. It is quite a practical approach to understanding your prospects’ buying intent.

Moreover, it helps tailor your marketing to meet their needs and preferences.

To define your buyer persona, you must consider including information like:

  • Demographic details (Age, gender, location, occupation, and income) 
  • Psychographic information (Personality, values, lifestyle, etc.)
  • Goals and values (Define their aspirations and what matters to them)
  • Pain points (Define their possible challenges and problems)
  • Behavior and preferences (Define their buying behavior and online habits based on analysis)

Here is an example that can give you a clear picture of the buyer persona:

Buyer persona

Moreover, to make your buyer persona more effective, you can create a narrative by giving a name and a brief story. Plus, include what can drive or persuade them to become your customers.

Now, based on persona, you can build in-depth content resources to attract and engage them and help them move down the marketing funnel.

Step 3: Map your buyers‚Äô journeys 

You can enhance your marketing efforts by mapping your buyers’ journey. In general, when speaking the inbound marketing, the journey includes three stages:

  • Awareness stage: Prospects are experiencing some kind of business challenges and looking for possible solutions.

For instance, suppose your potential customers face the issue of high energy costs and inefficient processes in their metal fabrication operations and are searching for solutions.

So, you can watch an explainer video titled “Reduce Energy Costs and Improve Efficiency in Metal Fabrication.” Here, you can highlight the eminent challenges and how to solve them.

Leverage the video by sharing it on social media to attract more traffic.

  • Consideration stage: Based on their exploring all the possible solutions to their problems. 

Here, you can create an insightful video titled “Top 5 Energy-Saving Technologies for Metal Fabrication” and include your product to let your prospects consider you a solution.

Segment a list of such prospects and target them with a personalized email campaign carrying your video link.

  • Decision stage: Finalizing the ideal solution based on the value and price offered.

To showcase your prospects to persuade them to buy from you, conduct a live webinar titled “Maximizing ROI with [Your Company Name] Advanced Equipment.”

Demonstrate your product value with creative videos, establish trust with testimonials from satisfied customers, and show case studies to explain how you’ve solved problems.

The inbound marketing role here is to build relevant content for each stage of the buying journey that can bring better engagement, more conversions, and customer loyalty.

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Step 4: Develop a buyer-centric content strategy 

If you’re just stepping into content creation, skip the part and go straight to strategy discussion.

However, if you’ve implemented any content marketing, begin by analyzing your existing content or auditing your content.

This will give you better insights into identifying the content that can be repurposed and improved.  

A content audit includes an analysis of all the content on your website.

An effective content audit helps to:  

  • Identify top-performing/under-performing content 
  • Identify content gaps 
  • Identify overlapping or duplicate content 
  • Identify content requirements  
  • Identify keywords for content 

Almost 41% of manufacturers claim to have a content strategy.  

Having a content strategy means focusing on using content (audio, visual, written) to build a long-term relationship with clients by attracting, engaging, and delighting them.  

Inbound marketing puts the content in a centralized position. But, if you don’t know how to categorize or place your content in a hierarchy, you will be delivering your content heedlessly.

You can categorize your content into three levels based on the buyer’s journey.

  • Top of the funnel: This type of content is created to bring awareness of your product and touch customers’ pain points.¬†¬†
  • Middle of the funnel: This type of content provides the information or solution to the prospects searching for it.¬†¬†
  • Bottom of the funnel: This type of content aims to turn the client in to buy from you.¬†¬†

The below image will give you top manufacturing marketing content ideas for each stage of your buyer journey: 

Content for the buyer's journey

You must keep these points in your mind while creating the content:

  • What is your prospect searching?
  • How can your content be the answer to their searches?
  • What is the persona of the reader for a particular content?
  • How can you pitch your product naturally?

Also, in inbound marketing, you should prioritize your customer over the product. Understanding your customers will provide customer satisfaction, turning them in to buy from you.

Read the full blogContent marketing for manufacturers: Strategy, ideas, & tips!

Step 5: Optimize your website  

With 94% of B2B buyers searching online for products, updating your website from time to time becomes necessary.

Optimization will help you rank high; the higher your website’s rank, the more traffic you will get.

The aim of website optimization in inbound marketing is to: 

  • Drive more traffic to your website 
  • Increase conversion rate  
  • Increase revenue  

Here is an example of how an up-to-date manufacturing website must look like: 

Industrial Manufacturing Platform

If you know what it will bring, you must know how to optimize your website. 

Here are a few pointers to do so:

  • Discover and include targeted keywords in your content that you want your website to rank on. 
  • Create friendly URLs using simple words, and they must include your keyword. 
  • Create high-quality, SEO-optimized content that carries value for readers and can quickly get a ranking on SERPs.
  • Invest in various link-building activities to boost your website visibility on Google or Bing.
  • Optimize your website loading times for a faster user experience. 
  • Use catchy and relevant CTAs to guide prospects to take necessary actions. 
  • Optimize your manufacturing website for mobile devices.
  • Implement HTTPS encryption for data security that contributes to building website credibility. 
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Step 6: Define your potential channels and build an engaging online presence  

There are mainly three categories that include all your marketing channels:

Owned media channels: These are owned by you to engage your prospects. 

Paid media channels: These included paid forms of marketing to drive potential customers for conversions.

Earned media channels: Third parties promote your brand based on your good work.

Get the example of each in the below image:

Content distribution channels

Let’s discuss some of the potential inbound marketing channels for manufacturing businesses:

  • Email marketing¬†¬†

Over 81% of businesses rely on email marketing to grow their business.

You must invest in email marketing for a manufacturing business as it offers the best return on investment, boosts engagement, and generates sales-worthy leads.

It is an efficient and affordable marketing channel to nurture leads and drive conversions.

  • Social media¬†platforms

Social media can be a great hook for your manufacturing business to establish yourself in the inbound market.

Social media marketing is beneficial for manufacturers as it boosts brand awareness, drives more website traffic, and help in building a long-term relationship with customers.

The top 3 social media channels for B2B manufacturing business are:

  1. LinkedIn
  2. YouTube
  3. Twitter

Also, you can leverage social media by repurposing your valuable content to drive more engagement and traffic.

  • Paid advertising¬†¬†

Paid advertising in inbound marketing for manufacturers is an advertising approach. You can run various types of ads, such as:

  • Pay per click advertising
  • Display ads
  • Video ads
  • Social media ads

Click here to read Lead Generation Ads: What, Why, and How with examples.

Step 7: Measure your results  

Well, if you are working for something and don’t know whether it is working for you, how will you identify your success?

So, you must focus on measuring the results of your inbound marketing strategy.

Analytics help you to identify where you can step in and ace well. Also, inbound marketing analytics can identify what works for you and does not.

Here are the top metrics to consider for measuring your inbound marketing efforts:

Website traffic: Measure the total number of website visitors to your manufacturing website. This metric expresses your online presence and brand visibility.

Organic search traffic: Measure the number of visitors who find your website through search engines. A healthy organic search traffic signifies effective SEO and content optimization.

Content performance: To improve, assess your content performance based on views, shares, and engagement.

Leads generated: Track the number of leads acquired through forms, downloads, web chat integration, newsletter, or webinar sign-ups.

The quality of the generated leads shows the effectiveness of your content and lead-generation efforts.

Conversion rate: Calculate the percentage of your web visitors turning into leads or customers. A higher conversion rate signifies effective engagement and persuasive content.

Customer acquisition cost (CAC): Determine the cost of acquiring a new customer. This metric helps evaluate the efficiency of your marketing spending.

Customer lifetime value (CLV): Assess the total revenue generated from a customer over their lifetime. A higher CLV indicates strong customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Email open and click rates: Track your email metrics like open rates CTRs to measure email campaign effectiveness.

Return on investment (ROI): This reveals the relation between marketing efforts and the cost invested. Go for inbound channels that require minimal investment and drive the best outcomes.

Social media engagement: Evaluate likes, shares, comments, and click-throughs on your social media posts. Strong social media engagement indicates brand awareness and audience interaction.

There are dedicated tools that can help you analyze these metrics, such as Google Analytics, CRM, social media, and email marketing platforms.

Also, regularly analyzing these metrics can get various insights to achieve your inbound marketing success.

7 Best inbound marketing tips for manufacturers that you must execute!

Inbound marketing tips for manufacturers

1. Implement lead generation strategies 

Offer valuable content or resources in exchange for contact information. This could include e-books, industry reports, case studies, or webinars.

Create high-converting landing pages and web forms to capture leads. Nurture them through targeted campaigns. Invest in account-based marketing to target high value accounts.

2. Leverage SEO for lead generation

Optimize your website and content for your search engines. Focus on relevant keywords, meta tags, and meta descriptions.

Build high-quality backlinks from reputable websites. Regularly monitor and analyze your website and content to optimize for better.

Read more: How to use SEO for lead generation? [ 8 Winning strategies]

3. Leverage social media to the fullest

Build a good social media presence on platforms where your target prospects are active.

Share valuable content like industry insights, customer success stories, etc. to build trust and increase brand awareness.

Be consistent and engage with your audience by promptly responding to comments, questions, and messages.

The secret to a winning social media strategy is consistent with your posting and engagement.

4. Utilize video marketing to demonstrate your product value

Video content gets high engagement and drives potential customers by explaining the product value effectively.

So, create videos showcasing your products, demonstrating their functionality, or providing tutorials.

Leverage your educational videos on other social channels to drive more customers.

5. Foster customer reviews and testimonials 

Encourage your delighted customers to leave reviews and testimonials about your products and services.

Positive reviews can build trust and credibility, influencing potential customers’ decision-making.

Display these reviews prominently on your website and share them on social media.

6. Implement marketing automation 

Your marketing team must leverage the power of marketing automation to speed up engagement and conversions.

Marketing automation tools are powerful to streamline and personalize your communication with potential customers.

Set up automated email workflows that deliver targeted content based on the lead’s actions or interests. Moreover, it helps nurture leads and move them through the sales funnel. 

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Power of Marketing Automation

7. Present exceptional brand experience

This can be achieved with the right use of technology and marketing efforts.

You need to create content that provides solutions, optimize the website for the best user experience, and nurture it with personalized campaigns.

Moreover, provide exceptional customer support, making them your happy customers. Also, a fantastic customer experience can lead to repeat business and referrals.

Final thoughts   

Inbound marketing is swiping off traditional marketing methods.

It is a powerful and modern approach to marketing for manufacturing businesses to reach massive audiences in no time.

It aligns with your current buyers’ behavior and has the potential to generate sales-ready leads for your sales team.

Moreover, you can empower your sales process with smart inbound marketing strategies as they drive high-value leads for your manufacturing company.

Frequently asked questions 

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is a data-driven approach that includes creating valuable content, SEO, social media engagement, etc., to attract your target prospects and build relationships.

How do manufacturers promote their products?

Manufacturers promote their products offline (participating in industry events or trade shows) and online (website, content, and all digital marketing practices).

What are the key challenges in inbound marketing for manufacturing industries? 

Top challenges in inbound marketing for manufacturing industries include: 

  • Product technical complexity. 
  • Lengthy sales cycles. 
  • Limited content resources. 
  • Targeting the right audience. 
  • Demonstrating differentiation. 
  • Measuring ROI. 
Does inbound marketing work for manufacturing companies?

Yes, inbound marketing works greatly for every B2B business, including manufacturing companies.

What are the best digital marketing strategies for manufacturing companies?

The top digital marketing strategies for manufacturing companies to attract and generate leads are: 

  1. Content marketing: Create relevant and engaging content like blog posts, videos, and whitepapers. 
  2. Search engine optimization: Optimize website content to rank higher in SERPs. 
  3. Email marketing: Target with personalized emails to nurture leads and boost relationships. 
  4. Social media marketing: Share content and engage on potential B2B social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. 
  5. PPC advertising: Run targeted ads strategically. 

Sonali Negi

Sonali is a writer born out of her utmost passion for writing. She is working with a passionate team of content creators at Salesmate. She enjoys learning about new ideas in marketing and sales. She is an optimistic girl and endeavors to bring the best out of every situation. In her free time, she loves to introspect and observe people.

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