If you’re unfamiliar with marketing, terms such as digital marketing, content marketing, inbound marketing, marketing automation, digital strategy, and so on can be utterly confusing and practically indistinguishable from each other. In truth, each of these terms has a specific meaning. Inbound marketing and marketing automation are two which are often confused by newbies to marketing jargon. So what’s the difference?
in•bound mar•ket•ing \ ˈin-ˌbau̇nd ˈmär-kə-tiŋ \ ▶ noun. A marketing method that uses content to attract potential customers, then convert them into leads and sales. In opposition to traditional marketing methods, which push advertising copy onto consumers through interruptive advertising (hence the term push marketing), inbound marketing seeks to pull consumers in with compelling content that speaks to their needs. Inbound marketing is therefore customer-centric, rather than marketer-centric.
Inbound marketing employs techniques such as blogging, social media promotion, gated content offers, and SEO (search engine optimization) to attract clients on platforms like search engines and social media sites, which they are already using to research products and services before they make purchase decisions.
mar•ket•ing au•to•ma•tionˌ\ ˈmär-kə-tiŋ ȯ-tə-ˈmā-shən \ ▶ noun. software which automates marketing processes. Includes email automation software (MailChimp, Aweber).
Marketing automation software is a tool, whereas inbound marketing is a methodology. In fact, marketing automation software is a tool that is extremely useful in inbound marketing. Marketing automation software can be used to capture visitors’ information when they convert to leads, and from there, these leads can be segmented based on criteria such as industry, role/position, and place in the buyer’s journey and then be delivered relevant and timely content. Rather than dumping all of your contacts into an email list and sending the same content to everyone, marketing automation allows you to target a specific group of leads or clients, ensuring that you’re not spamming those to whom the content doesn’t apply, and that leads receive content that is specific to their particular needs.
Using marketing automation software to automate some of your lead nurturing marketing processes can be a major component of an effective inbound marketing strategy. Combining compelling, engaging, and pertinent content with targeted promotion and delivery is key to reaching potential customers in the changing marketing landscape.
Want to see what inbound marketing can do for your company? Interested in how you can better use marketing automation? Let’s talk. Click the button below to schedule your free inbound marketing evaluation:
By now, you know that content marketing is an important part of any company’s inbound marketing strategy, even for B2B manufacturers who in the past may have done very little marketing at all. But it’s not enough to just do content marketing. Here are some things you should be doing to improve and simplify your content marketing strategy for success:
Create the Right Content
While it can seem like quantity is hugely important in inbound marketing, especially when it comes to SEO and generating organic search traffic—the quantity of keywords you use and the number of times you use them—but as ever, quality reigns supreme. Rather than trying to churn out as much content as possible, instead focus on creating good content that is relevant to your audience and provides value. That’s what will make a successful B2B content marketing strategy. (Here are 5 steps to successful content for industrial and manufacturing B2Bs.)
Use the Right Platforms
You can create amazing content, but if your target audience doesn’t see it, it will all be for naught. You need to meet your audience where they are, so to speak, to get your content under their noses. This means using social media advertising and promotion, and for manufacturers and other B2Bs, this will likely mean LinkedIn, the professional networking site. Not only can you connect with industry leaders and potential customers, you can use LinkedIn ads to target very specifically your ideal clients. (Read more on LinkedIn ads and B2B marketing and easy ways to make LinkedIn work for your B2B marketing strategy!)
Video is one of the most compelling media, especially when one considers how we consume media daily: in quick snippets, on smartphones. For a B2B content marketing strategy, video is a way to demonstrate your capabilities. Sure, your product may not be more exciting than it is practical, but what your product does or enables or how it’s made can be fascinating and compelling to engineers and your potential customers.
Have a Plan
Don’t just write content willy-nilly and think that you’ll start attracting tons of new visitors to your site and acquiring new leads. Content marketing isn’t about attrition, it’s about strategy. It’s about creating the right content (see above) at the right time, promoting that on the best platform, integrating the right keywords, and more. And those things aren’t happy accidents. Performing research on the keywords and topics that will interest your target audience and that audience’s needs and behaviors is critical, and your B2B content marketing strategy should be using that information to ensure your content and delivery are as effective as possible.
A well-planned B2B content marketing strategy that is based on extensive research and combines compelling content with targeted promotion can enhance your marketing efforts manifold. If you want to improve upon your existing content marketing efforts, we should talk.
As a digital marketing company that believes strongly in the power of content marketing to draw in qualified leads, we get a lot of questions about how to write content effectively. Probably the most asked question when it comes to creating content is, “but won’t we give away company secrets?” And the answer to that is sometimes, yes. Creating compelling content often means creating content that divulges how your company got to be where you are, and what it is that makes you special. But that’s not a bad thing, and we promise it’s not going to ruin your company or give your competitors a leg up. Here’s why:
If you’re looking to create compelling content, the first thing you need to do is forget everything you think you know. Giving away your company’s secret isn’t going to lose you money or turn clients away.
If You’re Worried About the Competition:
Don’t worry about the competition. At least not when it comes to content marketing. Unless you have some highly prized product like the Google search algorithm that no one could never engineer or produce or that is so top secret your business would literally crumble if one extra person knew it, your competition probably already has the formula. We hear it all the time: “I don’t want to put out too much content, because then my competitors will know how I do what I do.” If we’re being honest, they already know. All lawyers go to law school. All roofers know what products are on the market, and which ones are the highest end. All manufacturers have access to a wide variety of manufacturing methods. What really sets you apart is how you conduct business, and how you interact with potential clients.
If you’re a roofer, it’s not how you put on shingles or what shingles you put on that makes the difference. What makes the difference is that you’re respectful to homeowners, you complete projects quickly, and you make sure your crews clean up after themselves. What might make you stand out even more is an extra-spectacular warranty or service program, but people will have to know about it if you want that to set you apart. When you get down to it, your secret sauce isn’t all that secret. Heck, even McDonald’s has given away the recipe to their secret sauce:
But, if you’re still not quite comfortable with a company tell-all, there are still plenty of ways to write compelling content that endears you to followers and generates quality leads. Start by identifying what makes your company different. Is it your product? Is it your service? Or is it how you interact with clients that truly makes your company better than all the rest. Then, write content that speaks to that exact point.
Tell the What and Why
If you’re genuinely worried about revealing too much, focus on just writing about the “what” and the “why” and leave out the how. What is your product or service, exactly, and why are you the best provider for that good? What’s your elevator pitch? Content doesn’t have to tell how you make your super awesome product, but it should tell potential buyers why they should purchase it from you, and what exactly they’ll get out of working with you.
If you think about it, Panera Bread doesn’t necessarily give out the recipes to their food items, but they do tell you what’s in each of their dishes. This helps people choose healthy meals that they’ll feel good about, but it doesn’t mean they’re giving away their product for free. And even if Panera did give out their recipes, would that mean they’d no longer have customers? No, because people really go to Panera because it’s a fast, healthy lunch option they don’t have to feel guilty about eating.
Address Legitimate Questions and Fears
One of the best ways to get a consumer’s attention is to answer a question they’ve had about your product for a while, or resolve a fear they might have about your product or service. Today’s consumer needs to be fully informed before they’ll even consider making a purchase. They’ll analyze every pro and con of a product, and if they can’t find that sort of information, they’re less likely to purchase it. By creating posts and blogs that answer some of your target clients’ most frequently asked questions, you’ll be able to a) create content that’s genuinely useful, and b) draw in more qualified leads with the content that your target audience is already searching for.
Sell your Process
Consumers are absolutely obsessed about how things are made. Take one look at Youtube or Reddit, and you’ll see streams of videos that show how even the most common household products, like mascara and Pop-Tarts, are made:
You’ll notice that very few of those video-watchers are likely to start making their own Pop-Tarts from scratch, or designing their own, custom mascara. Most of these consumers just want to know what’s going into the products they purchase and use every day, they don’t care about making them themselves. What’s more, it’s just plain cool to see hundreds of Pop-Tarts sliding across the screen. If you want to create compelling content, you can’t go wrong with a short 1-2 minute video that shows how you do what you do. Even if you sell a service, clients want to know what to expect at each step of your service, which is why breaking down what you do into easy-to-follow steps grabs people’s attention.
A great way to generate content that turns site visitors into clients is to demonstrate your capabilities and your results. For home services pros, this often works best with before and after pictures, showing the old (really ugly) kitchen, and the new, shiny kitchen that you’ve renovated. For anyone who’s results aren’t necessarily visible, case studies are your best friend. People interested in what you have to offer will love a case study because they show measurable results for clients just like them.
For us, we’ve found that digital marketing sometimes throws off clients who aren’t tech-savvy. Since you can’t immediately see, with your own two eyes, the results that our services deliver, some people are wary of what we have to offer. We’ve found case studies to be exceptionally helpful in solving this problem because they give cold hard facts: how many leads we delivered each month, how much traffic our clients now see, where that traffic is coming from, and most importantly, how much revenue our efforts generated.
When you can provide hard numbers like that, people are more likely to respond, because it’s specific and honest. Consumers are tired of the same, general marketing statements like “this will change your life” or “massively increase your returns” that companies boast about, but never prove. People want to see cold hard facts, and they’re excited by content that delivers that, so if you want to draw in qualified traffic, put up a few case studies showcasing the results you’ve delivered.
Finally, don’t be afraid to get emotional. There’s nothing consumers connect with more than a great story, so be sure to tell them yours. The more a consumer knows about your company and about you, the more real you feel, and the more likely they are to reach out to you. With the rise of internet and technology, there’s been a loss of genuine human connection in business, so if you can find a way to show your clients that you’re more than just a building or a product, you’re likely to have content that more people connect to.
Creating compelling content can be a lot easier than you think if you just identify that thing that sets your company apart. Because in the age of the internet, there isn’t much the consumer doesn’t know or can’t find out. The best way to build a content marketing strategy that delivers legitimate leads is to be honest and helpful, and create a connection with that potential customer. Because when a consumer has their choices narrowed down to you and a competitor, they’re going to pick the option they feel they have the greater connection with, and if you’ve been helping them along by answering their questions directly and providing content that helps them figure out what their options are, they’re going to choose you.
Content marketing is what we do. If you’re struggling to finesse your content marketing or larger digital marketing strategy, we can help. Get in touch by sending us a message at your convenience.
When it comes to real estate development, marketing isn’t always an easy task. Rather than selling just one home, you’re selling a whole bunch of homes at once, and that means speaking to a much larger number of people. That’s why it’s so important for real estate developers to tell a story. If you think about it, you’re selling people on a lifestyle, not a piece of land. No homeowner is going to purchase a home in a real estate development because the land is really nice. Instead, they’re looking for a place they can call home, where they’ll hang out with their neighbors and raise their kids. That’s why real estate developers need to find their community’s story, and tell it in a way that rings true with the right people.
So, if you’re working on beefing up your real estate development marketing strategy, here are a few tips to help you pinpoint the story of your development. To help illustrate our tips, we’ll be using real-life examples from one of our own housing development clients‘ website.
What Do Your Residents Do?
What does a day in the life of your ideal resident look like? Do they work full-time, and if so where? If they don’t work, is it because they’re home with the kids, or because they’re retired? When you have a better idea of what your residents’ lifestyle looks like, you’ll be able to market to them more directly. You can tailor your development’s story to fit their unique lifestyle, and when you know what they do for a living, you’ll also have a better idea of where to set the price point.
Our client, Sovereign Oaks, worked to pinpoint their ideal resident, and found that their perfect buyer was the type of person who wanted to live somewhere peaceful, where they could raise a family or take in the beautiful natural surroundings, but who also valued cultural experience. As you can see from their homepage, they made sure to incorporate those values into their development’s story by showing potential buyers that their development was located in the peace of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but just minutes away from downtown Asheville.
What Do Your Residents Like?
Once you know what your residents do in their daily lives, you’ll want to discover what it is they do in their free time. What do they like, what are their values, and what sort of community do they picture themselves in? If you’re building a retirement community, your residents will want to know about things to do that are very close to the community. They’ll also want to know what sort of support they’ll have access to at home, like a lawn care service, or help with around-the-house repairs. If your community is geared towards younger residents, know that they’ll care less about community services, and more about what they can do in the area, like music and shows going on in town, and possible activities to do with the kids.
Sovereign Oaks recognized that a number of people in their price point wanted to live in a community that valued sustainable living practices. They included things like a community garden and encouraged backyard farming and beekeeping. But since their residents are younger, they also made sure to show that they were up-to-date technologically.
The above slider, with just a header and a single sentence, convey both of those ideas neatly and easily. Here, Sovereign Oaks is telling potential residents their development’s story. It’s a simple, easy place to live, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have all of your technological luxuries. With state-of-the-art technology they’re able to provide a fiber optic line to each house, ensuring each resident has a superior internet connection.
Choose Three Words to Describe Your Community:
The best way to go about telling your real estate development’s story is to start with a concise idea. One way to make sure your story is consistent, and your marketing content is always on message, is to pick three words that together, describe the culture of your community. For Sovereign Oaks, those three words are something like: tranquil, sustainable, and convenient. From there, and using those three words as core concepts when describing their community, it’s easy to explain to potential residents that when you live at Sovereign Oaks, you’re living in a community that’s peacefully quiet, that values sustainability, and that’s easy to get to-and-from.
Since the Sovereign Oaks story is so clear, it’s easy to qualify or disqualify potential leads, and they’re not often approached by people who won’t be a good fit for their community. In addition to attracting potential buyers who are well suited to purchase their homes, they’re also attracting home buyers who will fit in well with the rest of the residents already living in the community.
Put Your Story on the Web
Once you’ve decided what your real estate development’s story is, it’s time to write it down and put it out on the web. Make sure your message is clear and accompanied by beautiful professional photos of your community. Remember that buyers are most compelled by a community that’s easy to envision themselves in. Show visitors to your site what life looks like at your development, because if they can picture themselves living there, they’re likely to pick up the phone and give you a call.
If you’re interested to know more about how Evenbound drives results for developers, check out the case study below. Or if you’re looking for information on marketing your own housing development, get in touch.
For attorneys, blogging can seem like a slippery slope; after all, you don’t want to offer free legal advice. Your knowledge and expertise are your services, and you don’t want to be just giving that away. It’s important to know that blogging isn’t just free info, it’s a crucial tool for building your credibility and attracting leads online
There are two major reasons why your site should have a blog: 1) it is a way to increase your site’s SEO (search engine optimization) and 2) blogging allows you to demonstrate your expertise. Since blogs are regularly updated (or should be, at least once per month), they’re a great way to add to and refresh your website’s content. Blog content uses relevant keywords in unique contexts (good for SEO) and the addition of new content means that search engines will crawl it.
By blogging, you’re also able to answer your potential clients’ questions, without charging them or obligating them—they feel like they’re getting free legal advice, and see that you know your stuff. When potential clients think you’re knowledgeable and credible, they’re more likely to want to work with you.
How Should You Blog?
Post at least once a month on topics relevant to your potential clients’ situations and your practice and specialization areas. To avoid falling into a trap of giving free legal advice, address topics that are general, and might come up before a client’s first consultation, for instance, “How do I know I have a case?”, “What is medical malpractice?”, or “How to find the right attorney”. Frequently asked questions are often a goldmine for blog topics; blogging on them can even save you from having to answer them time and time again.
Your blogs should also contain calls-to-action, phrasing that directs the reader to connect with you in some way, whether it is to send you a message, provide their contact information, or schedule a consultation. When readers, upon reading your post, decide that it’s time to speak with a lawyer or find that they have questions, they’ll contact you, potentially turning into clients.
Promote, Promote, Promote
Promoting your blog posts is just as important as writing them. If you’re just publishing them on your blog, even with the best keyword integration and catchiest title, it still might go unread. Promote your posts on social media and on other platforms to ensure that the content is reaching your potential clients.
If you’re looking to boost your firm’s credibility and attract new clients by incorporating blogging into your digital strategy, talk to us.
If you’re looking to improve your B2B manufacturing website’s digital marketing ROI and the effectiveness of your paid search and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, you need to incorporate landing pages into your strategy. Landing pages allow you to control visitors’ interaction with your site and are a valuable tool in gathering visitor information to convert them to leads.
What’s a Landing Page?
A landing page is where visitors land on your site when they navigate to it from a specific interface, for instance, an ad on Google. More specifically, the term landing page is used to refer to a page that visitors land on where you can capture their information. These pages generally have limited navigation options (to keep visitors from wandering to other areas of your site and failing to provide their information) and offer something in exchange for the visitor filling out the form with their contact information, such as a case study, ebook, or whitepaper, which is called a content offer.
This is one of our landing pages. Note that the page offers visitors a case study in exchange for completing the form. There is also no navigation bar at the top of the page.
Landing pages are a super-effective way for B2B manufacturers to convert visitors to leads because they simplify the process. A landing page presents the visitor with two options: enter their information in exchange for the content offer, or navigate away from the page.
Why Use Landing Pages?
Directing visitors to a landing page, rather than the homepage of your B2B manufacturing website, ensures that they see content which is relevant to them and that they are directed to the content, offers, or calls to action that you want them to see. If visitors are directed simply to the homepage of your site, you risk having them navigate away.
Target your Buyer Personas
A landing page allows you to be extremely specific in your targeting, as well. For each of your different keyword campaigns, you can have different landing pages with content and offers specific to those keywords—a tactic that is much more effective than something general; visitors will be more likely to enter their information (convert) when presented with a highly relevant offer.
Track your B2B Manufacturing Website Analytics
Additionally, you can track the traffic and conversion rates of these landing pages to determine the effectiveness of the campaign and the content of the landing page itself. You’ll be able to track how many people navigate to the landing page from your ad, and what percentage of those visitors convert. With that information, you can adjust your campaign, landing page content, or content offer accordingly.
If you’re running ad campaigns but directing visitors to your B2B manufacturing website’s contact or homepage, you’re missing out on a ton of leads. A simple landing page that provides your visitors with value, a content offer, in exchange for their contact information will incentivize them to convert and will allow you to better calculate the effectiveness of your efforts and marketing ROI, in addition to increasing that ROI.
If you’re interested in incorporating landing pages and PPC and social media advertising into your digital strategy, we should talk. For firsthand experience on how we use landing pages to generate leads for our B2B manufacturing clients, be sure to check out the free case study below: