3 Manufacturing Marketing Strategies That Drive Sales

3 Manufacturing Marketing Strategies That Drive Sales

3 Manufacturing Marketing Strategies That Drive Sales

Quality manufacturing marketing strategies can be a struggle to find and implement. For many manufacturing companies, marketing is only recently necessary. In decades past, you probably relied primarily on word-of-mouth referrals, and for the most part, you still do today. The problem is that fewer of your ideal buyers are relying solely on word-of-mouth referrals.

Maybe you’ve recognized that you need to grow your position and presence in your market. Maybe you’ve noticed that competitors have a more prominent digital presence than you. 

Whatever the reason, there are a range of manufacturing marketing strategies you can use to draw in more of the right leads and shorten the sales cycle. If you’re looking for ways to grow your manufacturing company, these three manufacturing marketing strategies are proven to help you close more of the right deals, faster. Let’s take a look. 

01. Align Sales and Marketing Teams

Marketing isn’t a new concept for most manufacturers, but it does tend to be a tricky one. Many of the manufacturers we’ve worked with here at Evenbound either: 

  • Don’t have a marketing team. They have a few sales people who take the lead on some marketing initiatives, like developing mailers, brochures, or updating the website, but they don’t have a dedicated team of marketers supporting the manufacturing company. 
  • Have a marketing team that functions separately from the rest of the company. Marketing has its own department that doesn’t often interact with sales reps, product engineers, and more.

Both of these strategies are understandable — in the past they’ve worked well. But neither strategy is winning you sales today. 

New call-to-action

Today, any consumer, including the buyers and purchasers your manufacturing company so often sells to, is inundated with marketing and sales messaging. That means it’s more important than ever for you to absolutely nail any marketing message that’s going out into the world. 

Sales and marketing alignment is the first step to setting your manufacturing company up for marketing that drives sales. 

Since we have so much content out there already, I won’t go too far into it. When you’re on board, check out some of these other blogs we’ve got up on the site:

I will mention a few key points though. 

Sales and Marketing Alignment: Why it Works for Manufacturers

Sales and marketing alignment isn’t some huge, scary thing. It’s just getting your marketing and sales team in the same room, so they can share their separate experiences and expertise with the other team. 

When your sales and marketing teams are in the same room they can decide together: 

  • Who to market to
  • What a good lead looks like
  • The best methods to draw those great leads in
  • How to work together to nurture and close those ideal leads

Sales and marketing alignment is a manufacturing marketing strategy guaranteed to boost sales. 

When you have a dedicated marketing team who understands what leads are the most attractive to your sales team, they can implement manufacturing marketing tactics and strategies that work to pull that ideal lead in. 

02. Account-Based Marketing

When it comes to manufacturer marketing, it’s not uncommon to market to a small pool of companies. We often find our industrial manufacturing clients know exactly who they want to sell to. Especially if you’re selling a niche product for a specific market, you likely already know the key industry players. 

That’s why Account-Based Marketing is such a useful manufacturing marketing strategy. 

What is Account-Based Marketing?

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a hyper-specific marketing strategy that focuses on targeting marketing efforts to key accounts, rather than marketing to a large group of potential prospects or to a more general industry. Check out this handy ABM diagram from the team at Intercom for a visual: 

abm-diagram

When you use account-based marketing as a manufacturing marketing strategy, you do the work of identifying key companies and accounts that you know would be a great fit for your product or service.

Then, your marketing team gets to work developing highly-targeted marketing content that’s addressed to the five or six stakeholders at that company. These are the people who are most likely to make the decision to go with your product over a competitor’s. 

Why is Account-Based Marketing An Ideal Manufacturing Marketing Strategy?

While ABM doesn’t work for everyone, it’s a great manufacturing marketing strategy, especially for heavy industrial manufacturers who know exactly where they want their products placed. The benefit for companies like this is that you’re putting all of your marketing efforts into accounts that you know can deliver significant returns. When you close, ROI is known and significant. 

The benefit of ABM for manufacturers is that you’re only spending time and resources on the accounts you know can convert and deliver ROI for your company

03. Inbound Marketing for Manufacturers

The third manufacturing marketing strategy here won’t come as much of a surprise if you’re familiar with the Evenbound team. 

Inbound marketing is a smart, cost-effective, and proven manufacturing marketing strategy. 

If you’re implementing the other two manufacturing marketing strategies mentioned earlier, inbound marketing is only more effective. 

When your sales and marketing teams are aligned, and you have a clear picture of who exactly you want to market to, inbound marketing is a powerful tool for manufacturers

How Does Inbound Marketing Pair with ABM & Sales and Marketing Alignment?

Inbound marketing works to draw in the right, qualified leads to your website. By developing and putting out content that your ideal buyers are searching for, you pull them into your site in a way that’s helpful, rather than disruptive. Let’s take a look at how HubSpot visualizes inbound marketing: 

inbound-marketing-flywheel

For more information about HubSpot’s Flywheel, check out our blog: Understanding the HubSpot Flywheel. 

When you become a part of your lead’s researching phase, you can then nurture that lead with more content and marketing and sales contact that helps them through their buyer’s journey. 

Then, when that lead is ready to make a purchasing decision, you’re top of mind. If you’ve been nurturing that lead, answering their questions, and providing the resources they need to make the right decision for their company, they’ll choose to buy from you. 

Does Inbound Marketing Actually Work for Manufacturers?

So that was a lot of information, but not a lot of data. Let’s look at some numbers to see if inbound marketing actually does work for manufacturers. 

This graph shows the number of sessions of a company that sells a very niche industrial manufacturing product. 

Results-session-increase-from-inbound-marketing

As the Evenbound team began to publish content and optimize the client’s website for search engines, you can see that their sessions — or the number of people coming to their website — began to rise. From October to March, that traffic more than doubled. 

Since we’re optimizing their site for keywords that are relevant to that manufacturing client’s ideal buyer, that increase in sessions represents a significant increase in the number of qualified leads making it to that client’s site. 

With more qualified leads coming to them, that client can now nurture those leads with email marketing, retargeting, and personalized sales interactions, to close more of the right deals, faster. 

I get it, that’s just one example. If you’re not sure these manufacturing marketing strategies really work, take a look at our previous work. We have a range of case studies that showcase exactly what we’ve done to deliver quality results for manufacturers. All of our case studies are ungated and free for you to look at whenever is convenient for you. 

But you can also check out this one and many others on Our Work page. 

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

And if you have any questions about implementing marketing strategies like Account-Based Marketing or Inbound Marketing to drive sales for your manufacturing company, just give us a shout. We are pros at marketing industrial manufacturers, and we’d be more than happy to help you too. 

Construction Companies: 4 Ways to Align Sales and Marketing

Construction Companies: 4 Ways to Align Sales and Marketing

Construction Companies: 4 Ways to Align Sales and Marketing

There is a ton of information on the internet about sales and marketing alignment. A lot of it talks about opening up lines of communication. While that’s true, it’s not particularly actionable or specific. 

We’ve written quite a bit about sales and marketing alignment. What it is, what it can do for you, and how to use HubSpot to make it happen. What we haven’t talked much about are specific, actionable steps our clients can take to get sales and marketing on the same page. 

With this blog, I’m sharing 4 ways construction companies can align sales and marketing teams for overall business growth. 

If you’re not a construction company, don’t worry, I still have resources for you: 

New call-to-action

But if you are a construction pro looking for ways to boost that bottom line, here are 4 specific, actionable ways to align sales and marketing for overall company growth:

01. Leverage Sales Reps’ Direct Customer Experience

Let me guess: 

Your marketing team feels like they’re delivering the sales team leads that sales just doesn’t follow up on. Your sales team complains that marketing just isn’t sending them any good leads. 

Yeah, it’s that common. 

The solution? Leverage your sales reps’ experience working directly with customers on the job to better define your ideal leads and buyer personas. 

Here’s how that works.

Your sales team has inside information the marketing team needs. 

In the construction industry especially, it’s easy for sales reps to become distanced from the rest of the team. They’re often out in the field talking and working directly with customers, with little reason to head back to the office. 

But, your sales team has valuable information your marketing team can put to work for you and the sales team. They have first-hand experience working with your ideal customers — they know what they do, what their pain points are, what pushes them to close a deal, and what might stop them from closing. 

Sales should share key buyer demographics, challenges, and pain points with Marketing.

Here’s an example of a problem that can happen when marketing doesn’t use the sales team’s insider knowledge.  

The marketing team writes a buyer persona for a male general contractor in his 50s.

They say he’s the key decision-maker for your ideal type of large commercial building project. Marketing develops content with this buyer persona in mind and writes their monthly newsletter to him. 

But the sales rep who works with that type of project knows that the key point of contact is usually the general contractor’s head of administration, who is a woman in her 40s.

Even though the general contractor might make the final decision, sales knows that to be able to make a bid on the project, they need to first talk to that person in administration. She’s the person who reads marketing’s emails, and is researching for the content marketing publishes on the blog. 

This is a key problem for your marketing strategy. Marketing is writing to the wrong person, which means their content is unlikely to connect or resonate with the person sales needs to talk to. 

This is a pretty real example showcasing the importance of getting information from the sales team. The information sales gathers out in the field is exceptionally valuable to your marketing team. It’s all the data they need to put together specific, relevant buyer personas, and content to reach those buyer personas. But, if your sales and marketing teams aren’t aligned, it’s likely that this information doesn’t make it far beyond your sales team. 

If you’re working to align your construction company’s sales and marketing teams, leveraging your sales team’s direct customer experience is a great place to start. 

It gives both teams the information they need to collectively define what a qualified lead looks like, so marketing can start putting together campaigns that draw in those leads. When that happens, sales gets more of the leads they know they can close, and your marketing team knows they’re delivering leads that sales will follow up with.

It’s an essential step in sales and marketing alignment for growth, and it’s a key tactic for construction industries in particular. Your buyer personas are unique, and sales has valuable input that can guide the development of those personas, and the marketing content that generates the leads your construction company wants

02. Leverage Marketing’s Ability to Develop Lead-Nurturing Content

Solution #1 was geared at leveraging the sales team’s knowledge to help marketing. Solution #2 leverages marketing’s unique skills to help the sales team. Here’s how. 

Your marketing team’s job is to nurture leads to the point that they’re ready to send over to sales. They’re great at drawing in large volumes of leads, weeding them out, and converting the qualified ones into warm prospects who are ready to make a sale. 

Your sales team doesn’t rely so much on content as they do personal relationships. As I mentioned earlier, in the construction industry, most sales reps do their best work in the field. But, they likely have a few stucks. 

Maybe a warm prospect goes cold for no reason. Or the sales team finds that they’re consistently bidding on a specific type of project, and losing out in the final round. 

You can leverage your marketing team’s expertise at creating and delivering lead-nurturing content to address these sales concerns. 

A great way to align your sales and marketing teams is to bring in marketing expertise to create sales enablement content that can help sales nurture prospects through those key points of the funnel where they consistently fall out. 

New call-to-action

How to align sales and marketing to develop successful sales enablement tools. 

Get your marketing and sales teams in one room.

Have sales lay out the problems they consistently face. Whether it’s a specific type of buyer falling out of the sales funnel or the most common pain point that stops a prospect from converting to a sale, have sales explain the problem to the marketing team. 

Then, let both teams brainstorm what types of content would help solve this pain point.

sales-enablement-meeting
brainstorm-align-sales-and-marketing

Maybe it’s a quote calculator that lets prospects estimate how much their project might cost before they ask for a bid. Maybe it’s a nurturing email workflow that re-engages cold prospects, inviting them back into the sales funnel. 

Inviting marketing into the conversation is a key way to address these pain points in the sales process. Every sales team faces problems like this.

Your marketing team is well-versed in reaching out and engaging with cold leads. They can apply that same expertise to developing the sales enablement content your sales team can use to provide the right message, to the right prospect, at exactly the right time. 

03. Set Common Goals

In any industry, it’s easy for sales and marketing to feel at odds. In many construction companies, marketing and sales can feel like they’re competing against each other to find and convert the best leads. 

The best way to get everyone on the same team? Set common goals. 

I’ve talked about what SMART goals are and how to set them before, so I won’t get into the nitty-gritty.

I will say that setting common, overarching goals that both sales and marketing contribute to and are responsible for is a key way to effectively align your sales and marketing teams. 

This goes back to leveraging the strengths of both teams, too. 

For example, if sales is having trouble closing on a specific type of project, or if there’s a new product they’re not having any luck selling, marketing can create a campaign that promotes the project or product to those ideal buyers that sales has identified. 

The key here is that both marketing and sales need to have the same goals — whether that’s an overall revenue goal, or a SMART goal that breaks down how many leads marketing needs to bring in, and how many of those leads sales needs to close on. 

04. Establish Regular Sales + Marketing Check-Ins

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times.

And yes, I will only ever use this gif in the communication section of every blog. 

Jokes and SpongeBob aside, communication is the surprising key to effective sales and marketing alignment. 

It’s easy to overlook something so simple, but we see it constantly with our construction clients. 

Your sales team is out in the field.

They’re checking out job sites, talking to prospects, making product recommendations, and trying to pull in those jobs that will deliver the largest returns. 

Your marketing team is in the office.

They’re trying to think of creative ways to get your brand out ahead of the competition. They’re regularly creating emails and brochures, developing ad campaigns, and interacting with visitors and leads through your website’s chatbots.

When sales is out in the field, and marketing is back at the office, there aren’t a ton of opportunities for them to connect. 

Key ways to keep sales and marketing teams aligned. 

Set up a standing meeting. Even if you start with one single meeting once a month, it gives both teams the chance to connect. 

If possible, try to work up to a few short meetings a month, and then plan one strategy meeting a month. In the shorter meetings try and hit a few small things like:

  • Which leads sales closed on, and which weren’t great fits
  • What results marketing campaigns are delivering
  • Where sales is seeing the best leads come from
  • Which platforms marketing is seeing the most engagement with new leads

You don’t have to cover all of these points in every meeting, but just taking 15 minutes in a week for sales or marketing to give an update to the other team will go a long way in developing a true growth strategy for your construction company. 

If you can’t get sales reps into the office once a week, Zoom, Google Meets, and even an old-school conference call can get the job done. 

So long as there’s a time scheduled for sales and marketing to connect, you’ll be doing a lot of the work that can help your construction company align sales and marketing for more streamlined campaigns that pull in and convert more of the right leads and jobs. 

Sales and marketing alignment isn’t always easy. Especially for construction companies with remote sales teams and minimal marketing support, it can be tough to find the starting point.

If you have questions about aligning your construction company’s sales and marketing teams, send us a message. We’re here to help you develop a growth strategy that pulls in and converts more of the right leads. 

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

What’s the ROI of Inbound Marketing?

What’s the ROI of Inbound Marketing?

What’s the ROI of Inbound Marketing?

Proving marketing ROI is not a new challenge. It’s something marketers have always tried to define and calculate, with varying degrees of success. In theory, marketing ROI is simple. 

The goal is to make more than a dollar for every dollar you spend marketing.

In practice, measuring marketing ROI is slippery. 

Things like brand awareness are hard to quantify, and traditional marketing tactics lack the closed-loop reporting you need to really put a number to your marketing ROI. 

Compared to traditional marketing methods, inbound marketing is much easier to track and measure, which means proving ROI is easier too. 

New call-to-action

If you’re new to inbound marketing, or are considering dipping a toe into inbound marketing tactics, it’s likely you (or your boss) want to know what the ROI of inbound marketing is before you jump in.

Let’s dive in. This blog will cover everything from what the general consensus is on the ROI of inbound marketing, to why that ROI is so good, to how you can calculate your own inbound marketing strategy’s ROI. 

What’s the ROI of inbound marketing?

When it comes to inbound marketing ROI, the stat you’ll hear most often is this: 

Inbound marketing yields three times more leads per dollar than traditional marketing methods. 

That’s 3x leads for every dollar you spend.

That in itself is a pretty convincing stat for the ROI of inbound marketing.

But, if you’re not convinced, here are a few more stats that outline the ROI of inbound marketing in general terms. 

  • The average cost per lead drops 80% after 5 months of consistent inbound marketing. (Impact)
  • Persona-driven content generated by inbound increases the volume of sales qualified leads (SQLs) by 45% (Weidert)
  • Inbound leads cost 61% less on average than outbound leads. (Impact)
  • Businesses that nurture leads make 50% more sales at a cost that’s 33% less than leads that aren’t nurtured (Weidert)
  • Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising (Weidert)
New call-to-action

How do I know that inbound marketing can deliver ROI for me?

Looking at the stats, it’s pretty clear that inbound marketing has delivered serious ROI for a lot of people. If you’re new to inbound marketing, it can be frustrating to hear about everyone else’s success, when you’re just not seeing the results yet. 

Remember that inbound marketing takes time to prove ROI.

Don’t at me for this one, it’s just the truth. 

Inbound marketers aren’t trying to pull the wool over your eyes or convince you to waste money on some invisible magic marketing scheme. 

Proving the ROI of inbound marketing takes time because it relies on a few outside factors to catch up before you start seeing results. 

  • You create awesome content, but search engines have to crawl it and rank it before people outside your immediate circle will see it. 
  • As you update your website and continue to create awesome content, your domain authority and resulting SERP placements will start to rise. 
  • Basically, search engines need to see that you’re putting out good content that’s helpful to people before they’ll give your content priority. And as with any relationship, trust takes time. 

What to do in the meantime?

Keep putting out content, and focus on paid efforts. While you’re waiting for your inbound marketing and content marketing tactics to really take off, focus on creating killer PPC and social ad campaigns that deliver awesome ROI in their own right. 

And don’t take your foot off the gas on organic inbound methods while you do it. If you continue putting out great content and optimizing your website for search, you’ll start to see that amazing ROI you’re looking for. 

Are we good on that? I’m not just selling snake oil here. 

New call-to-action

Cool, let’s move on to why inbound marketing delivers better ROI than traditional marketing methods. 

Why is the ROI of inbound marketing so good?

01. Every piece of content you develop has more than one use. 

You might spend 2 hours writing a blog, but that blog, once written and promoted, can perform for you for years. 

If it ranks well, that one blog can draw in leads for months and even years to come as it appears on the first page of search engine results and draws in qualified leads. 

In addition to ranking, you can use that one piece of content for your social media platforms, for your email marketing campaigns, and to promote an awesome content offer you’ve put together. 

inbound-marketing-blog
Blog in Email

For Example: Evenbound's HubSpot Flywheel Blog

We wrote this blog on the HubSpot Flywheel back in July. In addition to publishing the blog, we promoted it through our email newsletter, and we turned it into a quick video that was promoted on social media. 

ROI of Inbound Marketing Calculator Artillery

You spent 2 hours putting together one piece of content that you will use in at least three ways. 

That in itself delivers inbound marketing ROI. If one blog that you spent 2 hours on delivers even one lead, it’s more than paid for itself. 

02. Inbound marketing focuses on digital efforts (which is where consumers live)

Another key reason inbound marketing’s ROI is so attractive is because it targets and speaks to consumers where they live. 

Traditional marketing tactics — cold calling, sending out mailers, sending out cold emails, etc, aren’t effective anymore. First, people block them. Second, most people just aren’t there anymore. 

The average consumer (and yes, manufacturers, this includes those purchasing managers you’re looking for) researches and buys whatever they’re looking for online. 

From a new parts supplier to the organic wine in their fridge, the average consumer will first research (best organic wine brands, organic wine shipped to me, clean local wines) online, and then make that purchase online. 

Inbound marketing methods meet consumers where they’re at, by answering those questions they’re searching with well thought-out and researched blogs, and by making it easy to make those purchases online, with quick click-to-call and order online features. 

Calculating the ROI of YOUR inbound marketing strategy

Now that I’ve proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the ROI of inbound marketing is stellar, let’s talk about how you can calculate the ROI of your inbound marketing strategy. 

We’ve put together an article called Marketing ROI 101: Setting Goals and Calculating Your Marketing Budget that will help you figure out how much you should be spending on inbound marketing. 

ACME Corp ROI model
ACME Corp Inbound Marketing ROI Model

That blog will take you step by step through a Marketing ROI Model that tells you exactly how much traffic and how many leads and sales you need to meet your monthly revenue goals. 

From there, we typically recommend that you spend at least 5% of your total gross income from new sales on marketing — and that’s fairly conservative (most companies spend between 6 and 12 percent of gross revenue on marketing). 

So if you were making $300,000 per month in new revenue, you’d be spending just $15,000 on marketing efforts. 

Not a big math person? 

ROI of Inbound Marketing Calculator Artillery

There are plenty of great marketing ROI calculators out there. This one from Sales Artillery is very straightforward.

HubSpot’s will tell you not just your ROI, but how HubSpot tools can help you improve that ROI and better track your results. 

ROI of inbound marketing with hubspot calculator

When it comes to figuring out the ROI of your inbound marketing strategy, there are a lot of fancy calculations out there, but the bottom line is pretty simple: how much are you spending to convert leads into sales? 

If you spend $1,000 on writing and promoting a blog that delivers 5 sales at $3,000 each, you’ve made $15,000 by spending just $1,000. 

No matter how you look at it, that’s an impressive return. 

Calculating ROI isn’t easy, and it’s not always straightforward. If you’re having trouble seeing the ROI in your marketing strategy, or if you feel like your marketing strategy is stuck in the mud, inbound might be the way to go.

The Evenbound team is here to help. Whether you have questions about how to effectively calculate your ROI or your marketing budget, or if you’re just looking for help implementing a better inbound marketing strategy, we’re ready to dive in. Let us know what your questions are. 

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

5 Essential Inbound Marketing Tools for Manufacturers

5 Essential Inbound Marketing Tools for Manufacturers

5 Essential Inbound Marketing Tools for Manufacturers

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of inbound marketing for manufacturing companies. We’ve seen first-hand how properly implemented inbound marketing strategies can quickly skyrocket forward-thinking manufacturers ahead of the competition.

If you’re looking to boost your position in the market by trying your hand at inbound marketing, know that you don’t have to do it alone. Here are 5 essential inbound marketing tools that are particularly useful for manufacturers.

New call-to-action

01. A Website That Converts

If you’re trying to boost your manufacturing company’s inbound marketing game, you need a website that’s working for you. It doesn’t have to be the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen, but it should be functional. And when I say functional, I mean:

  • Optimized for search
  • Updated in the last two years
  • Features a regularly updated blog
  • Highly visible calls-to-action
  • Includes landing pages with lead-capturing forms
  • Makes it easy for potential customers to contact you

At the very least. 

For inbound marketing to work for your manufacturing company, your website has to function as your communication hub. You need to have somewhere new leads will navigate to, and opportunities for them to contact you when they’re ready for more information. 

If your website is set up to: 

1) Rank well on search engines, and 

2) Convert new visitors into leads and prospects,

Then you’re ready for the next four inbound marketing tools. 

If any of these bullet points have you scratching your head, I got you. 

See what a quality inbound marketing website looks like for manufacturers. And check out this content offer to see what upgrading your website (the right way) can do for you. 

CTA-Brutally-Honest-Website-Checklist-[button-02]

02. Google Analytics & Google Search Console

If your website is optimized for search engines and you’re consistently putting out great content, then tracking is a key inbound marketing tool you’ll need to assess your progress. The best tools we recommend for this are Google Analytics and Google Search Console. 

Google Analytics will tell you who is visiting your site. The tool offers a detailed breakdown of which pages are driving the most traffic, how long people are staying on your site, and more. Google Analytics is one of the best inbound marketing tools out there to measure the user-related data attached to your website. And it’s free. 

Google Search Console is perfect if you’re looking for more insight into how to improve your site for search engine rankings. Google Search Console is also free and will tell you how your site is ranking, give you organic search data, and offer helpful tips on how to improve your site. For example, Google Search Console will tell you if you have duplicate page content or page redirect errors that could hurt your site’s search engine rankings. 

google-search-console

Google Search Console

How to Use Google Search Console

  • Organic search data
  • Inbound and outbound links
  • Website Improvement Tasks
  • Malware Detection
  • Shows You Site Errors
google-analytics

Google Analytics

How to Use Google Analytics

  • Audience demographics
  • Referral traffic
  • Conversion tracking
  • Custom reporting
  • User behavior

Both of these tools are essential inbound marketing tools for manufacturers because they give you real-time data on the performance of your site. They show you which pages are performing well, and they provide insight into your audience’s behavior. Which pages are people spending the most time on, and which pages might you be able to optimize for more conversions? 

Using search console and analytics in tandem will help you answer those questions, and optimize your website for better inbound marketing performance. 

03. A CRM

A CRM or customer relationship management system is the next essential inbound marketing tool for manufacturers. A CRM is especially important for manufacturers with channel sales, or with a large customer base. A good CRM will help you keep track of all of those customers, from the minute they begin interacting with your website to when they close on a sale. 

As far as what CRM to choose, we always recommend HubSpot, especially for manufacturers. 

hubspot-home
hubspot-tools

Many manufacturers are transitioning from an old CRM, or are moving to a CRM for the first time. The benefit of HubSpot is that it’s remarkably user-friendly, and it’s a powerful, all-in-one solution that makes it easy for you to get all of your operations on one page. 

New call-to-action

With HubSpot, you have sales, marketing, and service tools all on the same platform, plus all of the inbound marketing tools and metrics you need to really make the most out of your marketing campaigns.

With everything from chatbots to email workflows to lead tracking to automated customer satisfaction surveys, HubSpot is robust enough to support even large manufacturing companies but easy enough to use that the onboarding phase won’t feel like taking a trip to the moon. 

04. A Keyword Research Tool

There are about a million inbound marketing tools on the web that are advertised as a keyword research tool. In many cases, choosing the right one comes down to user preference. The bottom line is that if you’re a manufacturer looking to make a serious impact with inbound marketing, you need to do keyword research

Keyword research is essential to boosting your organic ranking, and it’s also really helpful when you’re setting up strategic paid search campaigns. 

  • For organic search, look for keywords with a high search volume and low competition for organic and strategic content opportunities. 
  • For paid search, look for keywords that are highly relevant to your products and that have a low cost per click for paid keywords.

Here are a few of our favorite inbound marketing tools with robust keyword research capabilities. All of these options offer a range of SEO and keyword research tools for free. 

While SEMRush and Moz do have paid plans, I recommend you use their free versions for a few months. If you feel you need more functionality, the paid plans might be worth it for you, but generally, the free tools will give you more than enough data. 

SEMrush

Free basic tools, $99.95/mo for a basic plan

SEMRush offers a wealth of data with up to 10 requests per day on the free version. It will tell you what keywords you’re ranking for, what keywords your competitors are ranking for, and it will help you find new keyword opportunities. 

Google Keyword Planner

Free

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that’s included with your Google Ads Account. You’ll get the most accurate keyword data here, but it is a bit less user-friendly than other options. It’s also good to remember that the data you get from Google Keyword Planner is ad-specific.

Moz

Free basic tools, $99/mo for a basic plan

Moz is one of the best free tools out there. We recommend their keyword explorer if you’re trying to find new keywords, but they’ll also help you find backlink opportunities, and put a number to your domain and page authority. Plus, Moz is just the best for any kind of SEO education. 

05. SpyFu

The last essential inbound marketing tool I’d like to bring up is called SpyFu. While it’s a great tool for any company, it’s particularly useful for manufacturers, who are often operating in tight industries where your competitors are close and well known. 

While other industries can get away with minimal competitive analysis, we’ve found it’s absolutely necessary for most manufacturers. And if you’re looking to complete a detailed, comprehensive competitive analysis, SpyFu is a tool that can help. 

Check out this basic competitive analysis I did for Starbucks. 

spyfu-overview

Using Spyfu’s free version, I typed in their URL, and the tool populated all of these results. I can see their top keywords, how much traffic they get, and from where. I can also see what keywords they’re bidding on for paid search, their top ranking pages, and importantly, I can look at their keywords in relation to their competitor’s keywords. 

(Click on an image to enlarge.)

spyfu-results
spy-fu-bar-graph
spyfu-competition

For manufacturers, this is an exceptionally useful tool. You likely already know your top competitors. Plugging them into SpyFu will give you a wealth of knowledge you can use to optimize your inbound marketing strategy. From what keywords to focus on for your blogs to what keywords to bid on, the competitive analysis portion of SpyFu’s results is what’s most relevant to manufacturers. 

As you can see from my demonstration above, the free version of Spyfu is remarkably robust. You might get everything you need from that initial breakdown. But, if you want more data and access, SpyFu offers paid plans starting at $33/mo. 

Moving to a modern marketing method is a big ask for many manufacturers. It’s likely you’ve been relying on word of mouth for years, and switching to an involved marketing methodology like inbound can feel like a lot of work. 

We can say from experience — if you put in the effort, inbound marketing will deliver the results you want. 

These inbound marketing tools should help make the transition a bit easier, too. With more data and analytics, you’ll be able to focus your efforts on the inbound marketing tactics that will deliver the greatest returns. 

And if you run into any questions along the way, the Evenbound team is always here to help. Inbound marketing is what we do, and manufacturers make up a significant portion of our client base. We’d be happy to offer up any advice you might be looking for. 

Like this blog? You might like our article on the 5 Best Outbound Marketing Tools for Manufacturers. Same format, same length, just different tools to help you boost your outbound marketing game. 

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

3 Reasons Goal Setting is Essential to Inbound Marketing

3 Reasons Goal Setting is Essential to Inbound Marketing

3 Reasons Goal Setting is Essential to Inbound Marketing

If you’ve read any of our recent content, you’ll notice that goal setting is a topic that pops up, well, a lot. It’s usually the first step we recommend for any content marketing, digital marketing, outbound marketing, and of course inbound marketing strategy. 

But why?

Goal setting is essential to any inbound marketing effort. Here are three reasons why you just can’t (and shouldn’t want to) skip it. We’ll also throw in a few tips about setting great inbound marketing goals, too. 

New call-to-action

01. Goal Setting Aligns Marketing and Sales Teams

A common problem with any marketing or sales initiative — inbound or otherwise — is a disconnect between sales and marketing.

Marketing feels like they’re delivering tons of leads to the sales team, and they’re not doing the work of following up with them. 

Sales feels like marketing keeps delivering unqualified leads that aren’t a good fit or that will be really difficult to close. 

Goal setting, especially when you define and determine your goals with both teams in the room, eliminates this problem. 

Just getting both teams in the same room will do a lot to foster alignment, but setting shared goals can really make an impact on how your sales and marketing teams work together to reach your overall revenue goal. 

And when sales and marketing are working together seamlessly, you’re closing more of the right sales, faster. That means greater ROI for your company. 

02. Goal Setting Helps You Measure the Success of Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

It’s pretty difficult to figure out how well you’re doing if you don’t have a benchmark for success. Setting your goals upfront, at the very start of your inbound marketing process helps you determine what success will actually look like. 

Let’s say you’re implementing inbound marketing to draw in, convert, and close more qualified leads. 

You implement an inbound marketing strategy, and 3 months later, you’ve closed 15 sales directly from your inbound marketing efforts. Congratulations! But let’s think about those 15 sales:

  • Are 15 sales good? 
  • Are they the sales you were looking for? 
  • From the right market? 
  • Have they contributed to your sales teams’ revenue goals?

It’s hard to know the answer to those questions if you haven’t set goals ahead of your inbound marketing strategy. 

Goal setting is an integral part of the inbound marketing process that enables you to: 

  • Take stock of your company’s current situation
  • Evaluate where you are, and where you’d like to be
  • And set specific goals and benchmarks that show you when you’re making an effective effort to get to that place

If you don’t have goals to work towards, it’s difficult to say whether your inbound marketing efforts are working successfully to drive leads, close sales, and improve your bottom line, or not. 

03. Goal Setting Helps You Focus Your Inbound Marketing Efforts

Inbound marketing is a massive methodology. There are a million tactics you could be using right now, but they’re not all suited to every company or every goal. 

Setting goals helps you focus your inbound marketing efforts on just the tactics that will deliver the best results for your company. 

For example, if your goal for the moment is to increase qualified traffic, you know not to focus the majority of your time on your email marketing campaign. 

Email marketing is great, but it only really works to nurture leads you already know. It doesn’t draw in new traffic. 

If your goal was to increase qualified traffic, your marketing team would know that they’d need to up how much content they’re putting out, perhaps beef up your paid ad campaigns, and step up their work on social media in order to increase their reach. 

But without a goal, your team’s efforts are likely to be disparate and disconnected. 

Goal setting enables your teams to put their valuable time and resources to the efforts you know will produce the greatest results, and affect just the improvements you’re looking for from your inbound marketing strategy. 

How Do You Set Great Inbound Marketing Goals?

We’ve established that goal setting is important to effective inbound marketing. But how do you set great inbound marketing goals? 

Great question. 

We get that it’s not always as easy as it sounds to set  goals, so here are 5 steps to setting great inbound marketing goals:

01. Figure Out Where You Are

Before you can set relevant goals, you have to have a clear picture of where your company is now. 

  • How many leads did you pull in this month?
  • How much traffic does your website see on a monthly basis?
  • How many sales are you making per month from your inbound marketing efforts?
  • Are you pulling in the qualified leads your sales team wants to talk to?
  • If so, how many per month are qualified, and how many aren’t?
  • What percentage of your inbound marketing leads convert to sales?

When you understand where your company and your inbound marketing strategy stands now, you can set better goals for the future. 

New call-to-action

02. Figure Out Where You Want to Be

What’s your end goal with inbound marketing? What’s your big picture goal for the company this year?

You should have a pretty good idea of where your company stands at this point, so now let’s think about some big-picture goals that describe where you want your company to be in the future. 

  • Maybe you want to grow sales revenue by 20% this year. 
  • Maybe you want to beat out the competition and secure your place at the top of your market. 
  • Maybe your goal is to streamline your marketing and sales process so your sales team is converting a high percentage of the leads coming in. 

Think big, but reasonably here. It’s a good idea to set yearly or quarterly goals now, and then we’ll break those into monthly SMART goals in the next step. 

03. Set SMART Goals

You know where you are, and you know where you want to be. SMART goals are the goals that help you reach that big yearly goal. Let’s say you want to grow sales revenue by 20% this year — that’s your big overarching goal, and it’s what will drive your inbound strategy throughout the year. 

SMART goals are individual goals within that large goal that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. 

You’re not going to increase sales revenue by 20% overnight. SMART goals make up the interim benchmarks between now, and the end of the year, that help keep your marketing and sales teams on track to reach your yearly goal. 

Here’s an example of a monthly set of SMART goals that would apply to your year-end goal:

  • Increase monthly website traffic to 10,000 new visitors/month. 
  • Convert 300 leads from the website/month.
  • Convert 15 of those new leads to sales. 

This set of goals assumes that your company converts about 3% of your site traffic into leads and about 5% of those leads into sales. If that’s pretty close, or just slightly better than your company’s current conversion rate, then these are SMART goals. 

Breaking Down Your SMART Goals

They’re specific — they say exactly what you want from each step of your inbound marketing process: new visitors, leads, and sales. 

They’re measurable — they tell you exactly how many leads, sales, and site visitors you want. 

They’re attainable — they’re based on your company’s current performance, and give you a little bit of room to improve, but not so much that it’s impossible. 

They’re relevant — increasing qualified traffic, leads, and sales will, of course, lead to an increase in revenue (your overarching goal)

They’re timely — all three of those goals set a time frame: a month. This tells you when you want to reach those goals. 

SMART goals give your team the direction they need to put the right inbound marketing tactics into play while keeping everyone on track to reach your overarching goals. 

04. Measure Your Results

It’s one thing to set goals, but they don’t do you a whole lot of good if you’re not measuring your progress against them. 

If you’re setting monthly goals, you should check at least at the end of every month to see how you did. 

  • Did you meet one or all of your goals? 
  • Did you seriously exceed your goals? 
  • Maybe you didn’t meet any of your goals. 

How you did doesn’t matter as much as circling back to measure those results does. 

Of course, you want to meet all of your goals, but if you didn’t it’s more important to figure out why. 

Maybe you met your traffic and marketing lead goals, but your sales team wasn’t able to close 15 of those marketing leads. That shows that somewhere along the line, there’s a disconnect between sales and marketing. 

It could be that the leads marketing is pulling in aren’t right for your sales team, or it could just be that your sales team needs some help — sales enablement training or sales enablement resources to help them nurture and close those leads faster. 

Reviewing your goal progress at the end of the month is really what will give you the insight you, your marketing team, and your sales team, need to hone in on the efforts that produce the results you’re looking for. 

05. Set New Goals

Once you’ve reviewed your goals and measured your success, you should set new goals according to your findings. 

For example, let’s say that in the first month you exceeded all of the goals you set. That’s awesome, but you don’t want to just stay where you are. Setting new goals will help your company continue to grow. 

Now that you know how you did in month one, you’ll be able to set even better, more relevant goals. Since you exceeded all of your goals last month, you know you can probably set a more challenging goal for this month. 

The most important thing to remember about goal setting is that it’s central to continuous improvement. Setting new goals, once you’ve reached the old ones, helps your company keep pushing forward. 

The more you set goals, measure your success, and implement new, optimized goals, the more efficient your company will become at inbound marketing, and more importantly, at growth. 

Goal Setting is Essential to Inbound Marketing

Goal setting is essential to inbound marketing, and really to any strategy — sales or marketing-related — that’s designed to help your company grow. If you want to increase revenue, boost your company’s number of monthly retainers, or even expand your client base geographically, the first step should always be goal setting. 

With clearly defined goals in hand, your team can work efficiently at the tactics that will produce the results you want. 

Struggling to set and define your company’s growth goals? Let the Evenbound team help. We work with all of our clients to set yearly and monthly goals, and then we put inbound marketing and digital marketing tactics in place to help them get there. We’d be happy to help you, too. 

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

A Quick Guide to 5 Types of Digital Marketing

A Quick Guide to 5 Types of Digital Marketing

A Quick Guide to 5 Types of Digital Marketing

When it comes to digital marketing, there’s a lot of confusion. Is inbound marketing also digital marketing? Is content marketing digital marketing? What about outbound marketing? 

There are so many different types of digital marketing, and the differences between digital marketing and inbound marketing and every other type of marketing you can do from your computer aren’t always clear. 

Let’s get that straight right now too. 

If you’re totally new to the industry, you might want to check out this inbound marketing vocab list to bring you up to speed. 

New call-to-action

5 Types of Digital Marketing

Think of digital marketing as a huge umbrella. 

It encompasses every marketing strategy you can implement on a digital platform. If you can do it, or see it on a smartphone, tablet, computer, or Elon Musk’s spaceship, it’s digital marketing. 

Inbound marketing is a methodology, a specific way of marketing, that draws people into your company. 

The goal is to draw people to your website or platform with great content and positive, helpful interactions. In an age where consumers value agency, inbound marketing allows the consumer to navigate to the information, decide what information they’ll read or download, and then make a decision based on what best suits their needs

If you offer the best content, the most information, and have quality, positive interactions, you’re the company most likely to come out on top.  

Inbound marketing, though, is just one type of digital marketing. Here’s a look at all 5 types of digital marketing we’re going to talk about today:

01. Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is primarily used in a digital capacity, where your website functions as the central hub to which all traffic is drawn. 

Most inbound marketing tactics are relatively inexpensive and rely on organic results, rather than paid ones. Inbound marketing and digital marketing serve different goals, but can work together beautifully to deliver the results you’re looking for. 

02. Content Marketing

Content Marketing is a marketing tactic that supports an inbound marketing strategy. Used most often on digital platforms in the form of blogs and content offers, content marketing works to draw in qualified potential clients by offering up high-quality content that answers people’s most pressing questions about your product or service. 

03. Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is a marketing method that uses your social media platform to provide quality content to your followers. Social media advertising is the paid version of social media marketing. 

04. Email Marketing

Email Marketing has been used since email came out. For many, it’s those spammy emails you get from Target and Art Van about their latest sales. Email marketing that’s done with inbound marketing methodology at heart helps nurture leads by providing the relevant content leads are looking for, when they need it. 

05. Outbound Marketing

Outbound Marketing is any type of marketing that shouts or advertises your product. (Don Draper, we’re looking at you.)

In the digital marketing world, outbound marketing means paid ads, social media advertising, and pay-per-click. 

While these methods are all still under the digital marketing umbrella (and very useful in specific situations), they don’t fall under inbound marketing because they push your product to people, rather than pulling them into your website naturally. 

As we’ve all learned, outbound marketing doesn’t have to be bad or annoying to consumers. Outbound marketing advantages actually do exist — outbound marketing can help you get more of the right people to your website, right now. It just costs a little bit of money. 

But it is good to remember that outbound marketing is separate from inbound marketing. 

While inbound and outbound marketing can and do work together seamlessly, they have opposite goals. Inbound marketing aims to pull people in, and outbound marketing works to push a message out. 

New call-to-action

How All 5 Types of Digital Marketing Can Work Together to Drive Leads

Now that we’ve got clear definitions of what each of those types of digital marketing are, and how they’re different, it’s important to know how they all fit together. 

And more importantly, how they can work together to drive leads. 

Let’s start with inbound marketing. 

Inbound Marketing Frames Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Inbound marketing is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. It provides the guidance your digital marketing strategy needs by dictating how you market. The inbound methodology gives you the foundation you need to truly build a digital marketing strategy by forcing you to answer questions like: 

  • Who do you want to market to? Your ideal buyers, defined by buyer personas.
  • How do you want to market? By pulling leads in with great content.
  • Where do you want to market? On your website, which you’ve designed to be a lead generation tool.

Once you have the answers to these questions, you have a foundation to build the rest of your digital marketing strategy on. 

Content Marketing Delivers the Value You Need to Pull in Leads

With your inbound marketing framework in place, you can start to develop content that’s geared to your buyer personas. 

Content marketing strategy helps you deliver value to those leads, and when written or developed for keywords, it helps your website rank higher on search engines. 

The content you create works to: 

  • Help you rank for keywords
  • Increase your site traffic
  • Pull in more qualified leads
  • Nurture those leads through the buyer’s journey

The more aligned your content strategy is with your inbound marketing strategy, the more leads you’re going to pull in.

Social Media Marketing Amplifies Your Strategic Content

Once you’ve spent a ton of time developing content that you know will speak to your ideal buyer, you can amplify it with a social media marketing strategy

Your social media platforms enable you to share your message with your followers on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Houzz, Twitter — whatever social media platform you have the greatest foundation on. 

Social media marketing takes all that hard work you’ve done creating content, and broadcasts it to an even greater audience that you’ve already curated. Your followers on social media are people who already have an interest in your product or service. That means your content should be hyper-relevant to them. 

The better you’re able to promote your content on social media, the more qualified leads you’re going to pull into your website. 

Email Marketing Nurtures Leads for your Sales Team

Your content marketing and social media marketing efforts are driving a ton of people to your website. Thanks to your inbound marketing strategy, you’ve optimized your website with calls-to-action, landing pages, and forms that are capturing qualified leads’ contact information. 

Email marketing helps you take that contact information, and turn it in into something valuable — an email list. 

With that contact information, you can enter those leads into email marketing campaigns that are specific and relevant to their unique pain points. 

Maybe you have a regular newsletter. Maybe you’ve got unique email marketing campaigns set up and segmented to address each unique buyer persona. 

Either way, your email marketing strategy uses more of that great content you’ve been creating to keep building relationships with and nurturing those leads. By answering their questions and solving their pain point, you’re keeping those leads warm and in your sales funnel, until they’re ready to talk to your sales team. 

Outbound Marketing Pulls in Qualified Leads, Now

The only downside to inbound marketing, and the digital marketing tactics that support it, is that it can take a bit of time. 

Content has to be indexed by search engines before it can climb in rankings, and that can take time. 

Outbound marketing solves that lag by delivering the qualified leads you want to your site, right now. 

When done well, by identifying long-tail keywords with buyer intent, and by targeting your social media advertising audiences intuitively, outbound marketing is a great way to draw in only the right leads, right now

And it serves the secondary purpose of helping you build brand awareness. The more recognizable your brand, the more likely people are to follow your blog, sign up for your newsletter, and follow you on social media. 

And as your digital platform grows, you’ll only continue to pull in more and more of those qualified leads you want. 

Digital Marketing Delivers Leads

So there you have it. That’s how all 5 of those types of digital marketing can work together to deliver leads. 

When you implement a digital marketing strategy that’s founded on inbound, and supported by digital outbound marketing tactics, you develop a lead generation machine that’s always working to draw in qualified leads for your company. 

It’s a long, complex process to both understand and implement, but we can say from years of experience — it works. 

Not sure about digital marketing? Sounds great, but also like a lot of work? Yeah, we get it.

We’ve helped dozens of clients implement a digital marketing strategy from the ground up. We can help you too.

If you have questions about where to start with your digital or inbound marketing strategy, or if you think you’d like a bit of help getting started, let’s chat. A quick conversation can help you align your efforts in no time. 

New call-to-action
New call-to-action