Keeping a well-organized database of customers and keeping track of the products they want is essential to marketing the right products for the right customers. Composite manufacturers can use their current databases, email software or even large Excel files to keep track of customers’ needs. “Sending your customers a quick email about a recent blog post or promotion in their field is an excellent way to promote your website and start a conversation,” says Hockenberry.

Measuring the response

The most important part about inbound strategy is the follow-up. There are several tools like Google Analytics and HubSpot to help companies monitor website views and other statistics. Hockenberry recommends that manufacturers use HubSpot since all the tools are located in one place. This limits the amount of time that a marketing person would spend learning and analyzing data on different platforms. He suggests monitoring blog post views, number of social media followers and site visits to see what type of content your audience wants to read.

Results

Hockenberry estimates that, if done properly, the results of inbound marketing should start to show in 30-60 days. He warns that even though many companies follow this format they don’t see results. Having an integrated campaign that uses multiple sources to highlight company strengths is the only way to ensure that an inbound marketing strategy can be successful. “The trick with inbound marketing is that it’s not a quick fix, it’s a strategy that if done properly you’ll see huge results. Companies without a solid plan might not get that same results.” says Hockenberry.

Those companies that have dabbled in inbound marketing know the process takes time and patience. Theoften disjointed process of redesigning a webpage is only the first step in a long process. For example, Hockenberry started working with Manufacturing Solutions, Inc. (MSI), an industrial equipment manufacturer in southeast Texas. MSI had just revamped its website with minimal SEO improvement. Hockenberry worked with the company to develop a new image and started writing content for the blog.

The full marketing campaign for MSI included posting company videos, new social media pages, a new blog site, pushing MSI staff to comment on other publications, data mining MSI’s customer database to send emails and postcards to the right customers, etc. Hockenberry also used video posts to capture MSI employees completing interesting new projects to show customers and sales leads. As a result of these varied and consistent inbound marketing efforts, in the past year MSI increased sales revenues by 86 percent and saved over $1,000/month in marketing expenses.