The Inbound and Content Marketing blog

How to use HubSpot to improve your manufacturing sales process

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  10, August, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Manufacturing is an incredibly innovative industry, accounting for more than three-quarters of all private-sector research and development (R&D) in the United States (National Association of Manufacturers).

But manufacturing is also incredibly competitive. Factors such as global competition and Industry 4.0  mean it is essential your sales process keeps pace with your R&D, or you risk leaving customers in the dark; especially considering the sales experience drives 53% of customers’ buying decisions (Colin Masson).

One area you may not have considered the use of technology in is your manufacturing sales process. Many manufacturing businesses have traditionally relied on a direct or distributor sales force to generate growth. This approach simply doesn’t work as well as it did.

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3 reasons blogging works for professional services

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  9, August, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

As a B2B marketer in the professional services industry, pressure from partners to bring in new opportunities means you need to deliver. But referrals aren’t what they used to be, and you can’t afford to sit and wait for them to come in.

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How to write B2B blog posts that search engines will love

Written by Keith Errington  |  7, August, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

You may be able to craft the best B2B blog posts on the planet, but if nobody finds them, then all your effort won’t count for very much. In another post I’ve covered the more technical aspects of preparing a B2B blog post for SEO, in this post I am going look at the way you write, and how that affects the way search engines see and display your posts.

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The value of interviewing customers when defining buyer personas

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  3, August, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

For any business using an inbound marketing approach, defining buyer personas is an essential first step. Buyer personas are in-depth representations of your ideal customers. They go beyond the demographics of your target audience, and represent their attitudes, behaviours, challenges and aspirations.

Buyer personas are vital for creating content that will resonate with your target audience. Meaning you have a better chance of attracting new prospects, creating new leads, and converting them to customers.

Your sales and marketing teams will know a lot about your customers; the types of roles they are in, what they want to achieve by investing in a product or service like yours, and what the common objections to purchasing are.

But the best way to really understand them, is to speak to them.

While this will require some extra time and resources, we put forward the case that interviewing customers is the key to creating insightful and actionable buyer personas.

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What you need to know about SEO for B2B Content Marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  3, August, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It is easy for blog writers to either ignore the benefits of SEO or to get hung up on its supposed complexity. So, what’s the right approach? How can you reap the benefits of good SEO tactics without either falling foul of the hidden rules or spending ages working through a post?

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Why your Manufacturing company needs an Inbound Marketing Strategy

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  27, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

There is no escaping the fact that there has been a seismic shift in the way customers buy, and the manufacturing industry is no exception. Research shows nearly 90 per cent of B2B buyers begin by doing their own research online.

Manufacturers can no longer rely on a direct or distributor sales force to generate growth. Traditional sales and marketing tactics, such as print advertising, trade shows and cold calling don’t work like they used to. It is also difficult to calculate the ROI of such methods for manufacturing companies with typically long sales cycles. The famous quote: “I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. My only problem is that I don’t know which half” rings very true. In an industry which relies heavily on measurability of processes and systems, this is something of a discord.

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Why user testing should be part of your website redesign

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  26, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you’ve used an inbound strategy to guide your website redesign, you’ll have focused on making it look fresh and modern, and telling a story through your content. You will have used appropriate keywords to drive traffic to your site, used your buyer personas to create engaging blog content, and added relevant CTA’s to convert visitors to leads.

But do you know what the end user experience is like? Is your website easy to use? Does it encourage visitors to engage with your brand and products?  

Whether you are giving your website a complete overhaul, or are making regular changes through growth-driven design - your core focus should be on the user experience. 

Getting real users to test your website means you can ensure it delivers a positive experience. But too often, this is overlooked. 

We explore why user testing can be a valuable part of the website redesign process, and outline ways you can go about it.

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What is the SaaS approach to buyer persona development?

Written by Keith Errington  |  24, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

We know that the key to success as a SaaS business is to reduce churn by retaining existing customers. SaaS is different to many other products and services in that it has a closer relationship with its users, over a longer period of time. So, more so than for many companies, whose marketing revolves around understanding new customers in order to serve appropriate content and gain leads, SaaS is also about understanding existing customers.

This duality makes the job of the SaaS marketer both more difficult and yet at the same easier. More difficult, because there are potentially two sets of people to understand and market to. Easier, because the level of contact with customers/users over a period of time means there is more data on existing customers. This should allow for a greater understanding of their needs and therefore, by extension, potentially make it easier to predict what new customers are looking for too.

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6 steps for taking your qualitative B2B research online

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  19, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Last week we put forward the argument for using online qualitative methods in B2B research. But how do you go about doing it? 

Broadly speaking, basic qualitative research principles remain the same. Taking it online just makes it faster, easier to reach a widespread customer base, and more convenient for respondents. Your research still needs to be guided by your business case, you'll still need to define your objectives, and you'll need to develop a discussion guide of sorts.

In this post, we walk you through six steps for undertaking a qualitative B2B research project online.

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8 reasons to use an online qualitative approach for your B2B research

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  14, July, 2017  |  1 Comment  Subscribe

The use of online qualitative methods in market research has exploded in recent years, as technology has become more sophisticated, and people have become more open with sharing information - and themselves - online.

In the world of consumer research; online groups, diaries and mobile ethnography are now key parts of the researcher's toolkit. 'In the moment' feedback is being captured all the time - through written self-completion tasks, and self-shot videos of consumers using a product, or talking about a brand. All this data is being used to find insights that help businesses inform their strategy, or product development.

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How to leverage LinkedIn for Professional Services Marketing

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  13, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The professional services industry has traditionally relied on referrals to fuel business growth. Trust and good relationships are created and built upon through hours of networking and recommendations from current clients. However, while word-of-mouth is still an effective tool, it is no longer enough on its own.

With 64% of the UK’s population of over 65 million active on social media spending an average of 108 minutes a day on one or more social networks, you can’t ignore social as an essential way to connect with people and businesses (Keith Herrington).

But, get social wrong, and it can cause more damage than good to your reputation and your business. Your strategy for social needs to cascade down from smart goals set out in your professional services marketing strategy. Here are some tips to maximise the potential of LinkedIn for your professional services firm:

FREE Checklist: Your common sense guide to getting posts right on social

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