How Does Inbound Marketing Work for Industrial Manufacturers

Challenges: Leadership, Community, Growth

Posted by Meaghan Ziemba

Estimated Reading Time : 4 min.

Inbound marketing is a great way for industrial manufacturers to build a successful and optimized marketing strategy to attract leads and potential customers.

By: Meaghan Ziemba, Marketing Communications, MakingChips


This year’s Industrial Inbound Summit was held at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, WI -- the perfect venue for a marketing and sales conference that focused on the importance of brand storytelling and a culture of customer first.

The summit was hosted by Top Line Results and Stream Creative, and featured an impressive lineup of speakers and on-site advisors. Each speaker provided tips and tools on how to position your manufacturing business for success in a hyper-competitive, digital world.

Creative Stream partner, Steve James discussed the 5 steps that help industrial manufacturers build their inbound framework.

Step 1: Identify Your Goals and Objectives

The first step for a successful inbound marketing strategy is knowing what your goals and objectives are that have been outline by leadership. Once you have identified those goals, determine which of your products and services align with those goals.

You also need to define the following for your organization:

  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
  • Sales Qualified LEad (SQL)
  • Ideal Prospect

Once you have those defined, create a list of tools needed to help achieve your goals and a list of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will measure the success of each of your campaigns. Finally, Identify any opportunities to add a digital component to any existing traditional tactics; for example, white papers, catalogs, product descriptions, etc.

Step 2: Audit and Research Your Content and Pages

The next step involves you to audit the current pages on your website and making note of which ones drive the most traffic and the most leads. Make sure you review the calls-to-actions, ad pixels, links driving visitors to other pages, and videos. List any changes you want to make that will help convert more leads.

Once you’re done auditing your pages, ask your sales team which pages/content they regularly use during the sales process  that could be used in your lead generation campaign. Revisit past content to see if any of it can be repurposed for new campaign assets, such as video, content, podcast, emails, webinars, events, etc.

You also want to know who the industry influencers (partners, experts, associations) are so you can collaborate them and expand their reach. Some can even be asked to contribute content to your marketing efforts.

Step 3: Buyer Personas and Journey Mapping

To better  understand your buyer personas you should list 5 to 6 sales/internal experts and customers that you would like to interview to get a more accurate picture of your buyers as well as gain a better understanding of your buyers’ goals and challenges.

After your interviews, map your content to personal questions/pain points based on your campaign goals:

  • Awareness: pillar page, tip sheets, briefs, blogs, guides, and overviews
  • Consideration: eBooks, reports, white papers, and video demonstrations
  • Decision: case studies, free assessments, vendor features/services comparisons, and product literature.

Step 4: Strategy and Tactics

Your strategy for selecting campaign topics should keep your prospects’ pain points top of mind. Once you have your topics selected, list both internal and external team members needed to execute each campaign. Each person’s role should be clear.

You want to review your existing content and map out how it can be leveraged as part of your campaign strategy. This would be your pillar page. From there, outline any segmented lists you could leverage to deploy your campaign. There are various paid and promotional opportunities that can help your campaign reach your target audience, including:

  • Media
  • Social
  • Co-Marketing
  • Influencer

Step 5: Campaign Execution

The final step for a successful inbound marketing strategy involves:

  • Assigning responsibilities to all team members, including those who will set up internal marketing dashboards.
  • Determining the frequency in which your team will meet to review campaign data.
  • Iterating campaign assets based on the collected data.

Integrating these steps into your marketing strategy will help you attract more of the right leads and customers for your products and services.