As the manufacturing sector gets more diverse and prospects take longer to choose the right solutions, more brands are turning to inbound marketing to secure leads and reach sales goals.
Inbound marketing contrasts with conventional sales-driven approaches – focusing on building relationships with decision-makers through helpful, informative content. As would-be buyers take their research online and on mobile, inbound has grown in effectiveness.
In fact, today’s business buyers spend only about 21% of their time talking to salespeople.
Where is the time going? 56% of the buying cycle is spent engaging with Web content.
The Big Difference Between Content Marketing and Sales-Driven Marketing
Inbound marketing focuses on developing a base of helpful, informative content that will always be selling your product – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as your site is running. Crafting this content means understanding prospects’ problems and offering laser-targeted solutions they are motivated to pursue.
While salespeople can take a consultative approach and deeply understand prospects’ pains, most prospects are not willing to engage with a sales professional until they’ve built up trust in your brand. Good Web content helps develop that rapport and qualify leads.
Any type of Web content can support a content marketing strategy, but some are more effective:
Blogs can engage prospects at any point in the buyer journey and may be a good way to get totally fresh leads onto your mailing list. Each blog post typically covers a single problem that your customers might have, digging deeply into it and providing the first steps of a solution.
Whitepapers are helpful for prospects who are further along in their decision-making process. They tend to focus on large-scale issues and demonstrate how your manufacturing solutions are superior to those of your competitors. Whitepapers help motivate prospects to contact your sales team.
Long-form e-books are a great way to build on your blog posts and entice prospects with more information. They take a deeper view of a subject, guiding the reader from beginning to end with concrete advice and proven solutions – warming them up for case studies.
As B2B decision-makers spend more time on mobile devices, the importance of video content has risen. 42% of purchase decision-makers use mobile, and video is one of mobile’s most convenient content forms: 61% of B2B users watch work-related mobile video.
No matter what format you favor for your content, having a content marketing strategy is vital for today’s manufacturing companies: In just five months, it can result in 80% savings on cost per lead. The more content you have, the easier it will be to capture online leads today and in the future.
If your manufacturing business is ready to invest in content marketing services, contact us today.