3 Reasons Small Manufacturers Need an Inbound Marketing Agency

Ashley Wilson-Rew

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Manufacturing and online marketing. Not oil and water. Not cats and dogs.

More like gravy on biscuits. Cheese on a pizza. Sauce on wings. (Anyone else getting hungry?)

How Can an Inbound Marketing Agency Improve Your Marketing ROI?

You have the product. You have the capabilities. You just need people to know that you exist. Inbound marketing makes that happen. Just one problem - you can't handle a successful marketing strategy on your own. 

Wouldn't it be great to have some help? That's where an inbound marketing agency comes in. Here are the perks of outsourcing your marketing in words your boss will understand.

1.  Productivity

Marketing, especially inbound marketing, is time-consuming. Think about all the components you have to juggle:

  1. SEO
  2. Blogging
  3. Content Marketing
  4. Social Media
  5. Email Marketing
  6. Sponsored Advertising

Not to mention whatever traditional tactics you may be using. 

When you're focused on marketing, you're not performing the other duties of your job role. When you're focused on other responsibilities, marketing falls by the wayside. Successful marketing requires consistent production, tracking, and optimization. Believe me - any one of these things could be a full time job. 

When marketing is taken off your shoulders, you're free to perform the duties you were hired to do. You're more productive in your role, you and your marketing will produce more ROI, and your boss is impressed with all of these results.

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2.  Perspective

Objectivity: When you're directly invested in your company's success, it's difficult to take a step back. As a third party, an inbound marketing agency can review your strategy with fresh eyes. They can help you look at problems in a new way - a way that will bring the traffic and leads you need.

Related: 5 All-American Manufacturing Marketing Tips

Balance: A new perspective helps you find the sweet spot between uninteresting technical info and overly simplistic hand-holding. It helps you balance promotional sales copy with interesting educational information. You can't be a salesperson all the time. To increase your marketing ROI, you first have to provide value to your prospects.

Creativity: That thing you thought was obvious? Turns out, that's the thing your buyer wants to know more about. An inbound agency can identify this extremely valuable information, then turn it into a rainbow of lead-generating content. Not just website copy - guides, eBooks, videos, photos, spec sheets. You name it.

3.  Expertise

Online B2B Landscape: Every inbound marketing agency is familiar with the nuances of online marketing. They do it for themselves, and they do it for their clients every day. Manufacturers are generally not as savvy, and some actively reject the Web as a source of business. 

Greg Linnemanstons of the Weidert Group, an enterprise manufacturing marketing firm, describes the "oh shit" moment regarding online marketing. Does your boss sound like the "Prospect" in this scenario?

Me: So, why are we talking today?

Prospect: Well, it feels like the things we’ve traditionally done to grow our business just aren’t working like they used to, so we’re trying to explore other potential methods. We’ve heard inbound marketing is something we should investigate.

Me: That’s great! Inbound marketing is all about making your business perfectly visible online to your best prospects. We use online content marketing, SEO, social media, and marketing automation to turn traffic into leads and qualified leads into customers.

Prospect: Now just wait a minute. Our business is different.

Me: How is it different?

Prospect: What I mean is, our prospects and customers are different. They’re serious people who aren’t wasting their time on social media. They read trade journals, not blogs, and if they’re on LinkedIn it means they’re looking for a job.

Me: I’m pretty sure the facts don’t support that. Did you know that over 90% of B2B buyers start their research on Google? So if they don’t find you, you don’t make it on their short list.

Prospect: You mean consumers, right? People looking for a new car, or an iPhone 5, or a new HD TV.

Me: No, I mean people looking for a new conveyor system, or packaging equipment, or someone to build a storage tank farm. They start by asking search questions about problems they’ve had, or deficiencies in their current equipment, or new technologies they’ve heard about. And the companies that show up as credible experts make it on to their short lists.

Prospect: Oh S**t!

Interpretation of Results: Once your inbound marketing plan gets off the ground, you're going to see a lot of numbers floating around. The best and worst thing about inbound is how trackable it is. You can see how your content is performing on a minute-by-minute basis - and you can drive yourself nuts agonizing over it. 

An inbound agency takes data analysis off your plate. They'll provide only the most impactful numbers (good or bad) and make personalized recommendations for optimization.

Optimization and Testing: Having the numbers is one thing. Acting on those results is another. A/B testing must happen constantly for best results. Further, optimization is not a static goal - it's a free-moving target. Even if your metrics are "good enough" or "great," they can always be better. 

Your agency will put those boots on the ground. Otherwise, you can spend entire days optimizing and testing different variables.

Small Manufacturers Need Inbound Marketing Services

Why? Let's recap:

  1. You don't have enough time in the day to juggle marketing AND your other responsibilities.
  2. You're very much in the weeds - a third party can give a much-needed bird's-eye view.
  3. Inbound agencies spend at least eight hours a day improving marketing ROI. Their practical experience can be an invaluable resource for your company.

Manufacturers have so much potential to succeed online. Especially since the industry is still scrambling to catch up to the Internet. If you don't believe us, read this incredible success story from one of our clients.

Related: How Big Ass Fans Is Rocking Their Manufacturing Marketing

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VIEW MORE STORIES IN B2B, Manufacturing, Inbound Marketing, Inbound Marketing Services

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