Optimize Your Inbound Marketing Strategy
It’s time for manufacturers and distributors to stop killing trees and wasting money on old-school marketing techniques. Print ads, direct mail and cold-calling are over. These strategies pale in comparison to the cost-effective, modern practices of inbound marketing. In contrast to outbound marketing, which pushes products to potential customers, inbound marketing works to draw customers to your business through content marketing, social media, search engine optimization (SEO) and other tactics born in the Digital Age. Whether B2B or B2C, your business’s success depends on the ability to garner the attention of busy consumers through savvy inbound marketing techniques.
But many of our manufacturing and distribution clients don’t know where to begin in their marketing transformation. That’s why we’ve compiled five inbound marketing tips to help you create an effective strategy to win new customers.
1. Create Quality Content
Most manufacturers and distributors are selling products and services to businesses who undergo a more thorough decision-making and researching process than individual consumers. Businesses are making huge purchases and considering the impact of new products and services on their bottom line. Therefore, to establish yourself as an expert to these B2B buyers, you must create quality content—such as blogs, e-books, emails and landing pages—to earn their trust and gain their attention.
Above all, content should be relevant to businesses across the buyer’s journey. Inbound marketing consists of three stages: Attract, Engage and Delight. In the Attract stage, you’re increasing awareness of your site by getting the attention of buyers who’ve just started their research. Using appropriate keywords, design blog posts and social media content that answers some of your customers’ basic questions.
In the engage stage, you’re building relationships through email, bots and live chat and personalizing content through targeting tools. Additionally, CTAs and forms capture the prospects’ information to help you continue reaching out to them. The delight stage is the way you keep in touch with current customers, gaining their feedback through surveys and delivering content specifically for them.
Designing a website and a wealth of content probably sounds overwhelming, but the truth is that modern Marketing Automation software enables anyone to create an effective content marketing strategy. HubSpot, the pioneer in inbound marketing, is an all-in-one solution where you can manage all your content in one place. HubSpot ensures your pages and blogs look good across desktops and mobile platforms without any work on your end. Plus, on-page SEO tips will help you create material that soars to the top of search results pages. Content is king in inbound marketing. When you consistently put out quality content, quality leads are right around the corner.
2. Include CTAs and Contact Forms
A simple but extremely important part of your inbound marketing strategy is including calls to action (CTAs) and contact information throughout your content and collateral. Too many businesses make the mistake of burying their contact information in a hard-to-reach webpage, sticking contact forms in only a few places or failing to create a call to action, whether that’s downloading an e-book or signing up for emails. These elements are essential for generating leads and reaching out to potential clients.
Here’s a few tips: Finish off every piece of content with a clear CTA. On every piece of collateral, every email, every web page—you get it, everywhere—include easy-to-find contact information. HubSpot’s intuitive design will make it easy to include CTA buttons and forms all over your site to capitalize on lead generation opportunities.
3. Experiment and Analyze
Manufacturers and distributors face some stiff competition when it comes to attracting customers to their websites. But rather than cave under that pressure, embrace experimentation. Develop creative content and outreach methods, and utilize your Marketing Automation software to track the performance of your site, downloads and campaigns. HubSpot tracks your marketing performance, delivering reports and data to help you determine which strategies and topics are sticking with your audience.
This methodology of experimentation and analysis is part of conversion rate optimization (CRO), a method of testing various marketing and website designs to determine which ones drive the most conversions. A/B testing is a common aspect of the CRO process. In A/B tests, one group of website visitors sees the original (A) version of a page while another group views the new (B) version. Perhaps the B version includes different keywords, a new CTO or a creative layout. Using A/B testing, check one element of your website at a time to continue refining your online marketing performance.
4. Build Nurturing Campaigns
The B2B sales cycle is often a long one that involves multiple parties and negotiations. You can’t afford to let your prospects lose interest. By nurturing a lead, you ensure prospects receive relevant information that continuously demonstrates your company’s expertise and commitment to fostering strong customer relationships. One effective way of doing this is by building a lead nurturing email campaign.
The best campaigns target each prospect’s interests. It’s impossible to individually write a separate email for every lead, but you can personalize your campaigns using a Marketing Automation solution. HubSpot includes an intuitive interface that makes it easy to design drip and nurturing campaigns targeted to specific contacts. Personalization tokens allow you to tailor emails to individuals without performing extensive manual tasks. Using these tools, you can keep prospects engaged by sending pertinent information on best practices and industry trends.
5. Integrate HubSpot and ERP
Without connecting your Marketing Automation application with ERP, you’re losing out on valuable insights and productivity. Manufacturers and distributors who keep these systems separate must manually enter and update data in both systems, a time-consuming task that inevitably results in human errors. A software integration automatically syncs data between your platforms, giving marketers real-time access to customer contacts, shipping orders and more to help them personalize enterprise content. This ensures that you maintain accuracy throughout the buyer’s journey.
Plus, users can optimize other processes. For example, when someone makes an order or progresses in the buyer’s journey, that person can automatically receive relevant emails for related services or exclusive discounts. Integrating HubSpot with ERP software helps businesses capitalize on new opportunities and automate critical activities.
Though several inbound marketing tactics are considered the domain of B2C and retail businesses, the truth is that inbound marketing is for everyone. Mailed flyers end up in the trash; cold calls are dropped. But B2B buyers want digital content from inbound marketers to help them on their search for new products and services.
The best way to give buyers what they want is to implement HubSpot. HubSpot literally created inbound marketing, coining the term in 2005. Their Marketing Automation software is designed with comprehensive tools and analytics for businesses of all sizes. But to maximize the value of the platform, manufacturers and distributors should take the extra step of integrating HubSpot with their ERP instance.
Unity, an integration application designed by Datix’s expert developers, instantly connects Epicor ERP with HubSpot. Pre-built with common bidirectional sync points, Unity can be rapidly installed by our consultants without any coding on your end. We even manage your solution throughout its lifetime, taking care of updates and maintenance at no additional cost. An affordable, hassle-free solution, Unity is the easiest solution for enhancing your marketing performance.
Find out what makes Datix a leading consulting firm for manufacturing and distribution solutions. Contact our software experts today!