Why Your Marketing Isn’t Working
Does this scenario sound familiar? You spend thousands of dollars exhibiting at a trade show; tens of thousands for some premium ad space in trade publications; more on printed brochures or other marketing collateral to hand out; and much, much more in a slick website … then see nothing come of it? You don’t know why, but you do know your bottom line is suffering. The short answer may be: you are focusing too much on outbound marketing and not the more cost-effective inbound marketing.
What is Inbound Marketing?
In short, inbound marketing is the practice of getting people who are already searching for your products or services to come to YOU via the Internet. This type of marketing is far more results oriented because potential customers who are looking for what you provide make the initial contact with YOU. Plus, it is measurable and offers better data for what does and does not work.
How to Make Inbound Marketing Work
It’s tempting to blindly begin, create a website, start social media marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click campaigns, etc.; but without a plan, your chances of being successful can be much lower. Successful inbound marketing includes several crucial components and connecting them is critical to the process. Yes, planning and strategy take longer than most would like, but getting through it, you’ll end up with a marketing road map so even if you have several individuals working from the plan, they’re all on the same page.
Designing a Website for Inbound Marketing
If you’re serious about inbound marketing, your website is not an area for compromise. It is your greatest marketing asset and should work harder than your BEST sales person in delivering quality leads. Shoot to accomplish these objectives if you want your website to be the star performer in your inbound marketing program:
- Instantly and consistently communicate your company’s purpose and competitive differentiation – in written word as well as visually
- Provide a positive user experience (information organized well and easy to navigate)
- Make asset content available that helps prospective customers move further through the sales funnel (educate them, motivate them, and convince them) – video, white papers, articles, e-books
- Include numerous calls to action (CTA) that provide contact information for lead nurturing
- Opt for a phone call tracking system that enables you to monitor valid leads calling in to your company via your website
- Make contacting your company easy – highly visible company phone number and email address, live chat boxes, sales team contact information, etc.
- Dynamic areas for content that not only position your company as a thought leader, but also function as an SEO boost (blog, infographics, news center, resources or tools)
Why Patience is Important
A successful inbound marketing plan is one that produces scalable, repeatable, and predictable results, which also takes time. While it can happen quickly or slowly, most of the time it is a slower process than most would like, full of A/B testing and retooling. It is also important to remember the data on the lead generation is one of the most important factors in deciding how to optimize. This is why it’s a good idea to start with a “lean” website, a few keywords, and a few social media accounts to better analyze results.
If issues arise with the inbound marketing plan, it can be tempting to give up and go back to old ways. But rest assured, your competitors are not. We cringe when a client asks, “how long will it take for this to work?” You don’t typically have this kind of skepticism when making other business investments, and if you did, nothing would ever get accomplished. It makes more sense and is even more cost-effective in the long run to power through with the inbound marketing, figure out the challenges, and work out the proper tactics to make the plan deliver.
For those who have problems working out a plan or simply don’t have the internal resources (time, personnel, skill), outsourcing to a professional is the way to go. However, it’s not always easy to find the RIGHT professional. It should be a team/firm that has experience delivering tangible results for businesses in your industry. There’s less risk involved if you hire a pro that has made inbound marketing work for other companies in the industrial space.
Conclusion on Inbound Marketing
It may appear we are trying to say that inbound marketing is superior to older, more traditional methods. There is a place for traditional marketing. Inbound marketing can deliver better results; but it only works with a strategy and patience. You are probably setting yourself up for failure if you view it as an experiment. Be prepared for delayed results. This is part of the process and learning curve. Unlike outbound, inbound marketing allows you to easily find solutions to challenges and make them work.
Need Help With Industrial Inbound Marketing?
If you have questions or want to know more about how to set up and improve your inbound marketing and are an industrial company, contact us today for a no obligation consultation.