In short, inbound marketing is a way to get customers through the door by delivering the content they want, precisely when they want it. Although inbound marketing methodology is a framework that applies industry-wide, there are many ways to tailor it to your niche.
Done right, it can dramatically increase your leads, expands your online presence and grow your company.
For the engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors, we have prepared the following five step guide to developing and optimising a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy.
1. Commit to producing consistently remarkable content
Your blog is both an SEO tool and a conversion booster. First, you can attract the right people to your website by using relevant, industry-specific keywords. Second, it’s time to use CTAs to convert these visitors into leads via downloadable, gated content.
What’s happening in your specific engineering or construction niche at the moment? What topics are your buyer personas currently interested in? If you can feed into these relevant issues, your content will be well-positioned and engaging.
Make it your aim to consistently provide educational content (eBooks, case studies, webinars, etc.) that shows your technical expertise, thought leadership and ability to provide answers when it comes to industry issues and your customers’ common needs. That way, your target audience will know they can use your website as a source of information and begin to trust your brand.
2. Own your social media channels
Social media might seem like it’s for the ‘sexier’ verticals like beauty, travel and retail, but there’s no reason you can’t create a killer and successful social media strategy for your engineering or construction company.
Just as tech companies have jumped onboard, you can use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to talk to customers directly, promote your business and attract visitors to your website.
Spread the word about completed projects, new content and so on. Conjure up new ways to engage with your customers. Above all, have fun with your social media. The more visual your channels are the better, and don’t be afraid to inject some personality into your posts as well, as long as it is consistent with your brand.
3. Send out relevant, engaging email newsletters
Email marketing is your way of keeping in touch with your contacts and leads on a regular basis.
Whoever your client base, as an engineering or construction company you can use email marketing to inform your potential and existing customers of company news and events, new products or promotional offers, and fresh content such as webinars and eBooks.
Each email you send should have a clear purpose and call-to-action. Inbound marketing emails (sent to people who have subscribed to your mailing list or downloaded your content) are effective at keeping people coming back to your website and re-converting. They show strong conversion rates, especially when they are targeted and relevant to the recipient and their stage in the sales funnel (see list segmentation below).
4. Build — and then optimise — your landing pages
Your landing pages are the parts of your website that you direct people to from emails, social media and blog posts. They encourage a visitor to fill in their details on a form in order to receive a free consultation, download or other valuable offer.
Their role is to persuade people to act, through a clear and inviting design, clever and punchy copy and an irresistible call-to-action.
To optimise your landing page, there are a number of elements to look at. Consider removing unnecessary fields from your form. Forms that are too long may put people off filling them out, so you lose out on new contacts. Also experiment with different copy and call-to-action text and measure the performance of various options. This is known as A/B testing, and can help you draw conclusions about what makes your customers tick.
5. Segment your lists to move leads down the sales funnel
As mentioned above, email marketing campaigns perform better and is more relevant when you segment your contact lists into smaller lists. You can segment your contacts using data collected on form submissions (job title, industry etc.) or on interactions with your content such as downloading a specific offer, reading a pricing page on your website or engaging with you on social media.
Segmenting your list in these ways helps you direct the right content to the right people, as you’re better placed to decide what content will be interesting to them, based on what they have viewed on your website or their stage in the sales funnel. You can now send targeted, relevant emails to them that are likely to see higher open and click-through rates.