Inbound marketing is based on four integrated factors that are sometimes referred to as "integrals." They're broad, basic concepts that illuminate the process of inbound marketing for the uninitiated.
Even if you've never really thought about inbound marketing for engineers, it's worth taking a closer look at how each of the four integrals relates to your efforts to drive leads, win contracts and grow your business.
It's important to note that the entire inbound marketing process is goal-oriented. For instance, you might set a goal to boost your total lead generations by 50 percent over the coming year while improving the quality of your leads by another 50 percent. The four integrals are most successful when they're aligned with such tangible goals and used to support a goal-attainment process that can easily be tracked at every step.
Attraction is the process of drawing visitors to your company-branded website, thereby increasing the number of qualified visitors or potential leads.
Attraction is achieved by:
- Creating, promoting and distributing highly relevant content with high value to the prospective customer such as actionable blog articles and press releases
- Optimizing content for search engines and using other channels to enhance its visibility
- Cultivating links back to your website and organic mentions that drive traffic your way
Conversion is the process of converting visitors into qualified leads, beginning the journey down the sales funnel.
Conversion is achieved by:
- Creating and promoting high-value content offers to website visitors: eBooks, case studies, reports, guides, how-tos, product guides and more
- Architecting landing pages with calls-to-action (CTAs), associated thank you pages and email workflows that track and encourage lead-generation behavior
Closing is the process of turning qualified leads, of which there are several sub-varieties, into committed customers. This is achieved through an integrated lead-nurturing process and is designed to boost the total number of customer relationships that grow out of your inbound marketing operation.
Closing is achieved by:
- Nurturing leads throughout the sales cycle with automated email "touches" that further qualify your leads
- Using persuasive content to nudge prospects from the consideration stage to the decision stage including free trials, further content offers, testimonials, no-obligation quotes and more
- Using tracking systems to keep close tabs on every prospect at every stage of the buying cycle
- Recognizing when a prospect is ready to engage with your sales team
By delighting your customers with ongoing interactions and valuable content, you keep them engaged with your company and "on ice" for repeat sales engagements, upsells and cross-sells. Delighted customers become "fans" and brand evangelists that contribute to your growth as an industry thought-leader and help drive more business to your doorstep.
Delighting takes many different forms, including:
- Regular email newsletters with news, insights and offers
- Engaging social media content
- Educational content offers
Learn How Inbound Marketing Helps Engineering Firms
These four integrals form the basis of every inbound marketing campaign. When it comes to inbound marketing for engineers, though, they're doubly important.
Why? The answer lies in sobering statistics like these:
- 90 percent of customers say their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews (per Dimensional Research)
- Buyers engage with an average of 11.4 pieces of information or content before making a buying decision (per Google ZMOT)
- Buyers are five times more dependent on content than five years ago (per Nielsen)
- 97 percent of buyers use online media when researching products and services in their local areas (per BIA Kelsey)
- Buyers complete up to 90 percent of the buyers journey before ever contacting a sales professional
Real Results for Engineering Firms
These statistics are eye-opening, but there's hope for engineering firms. In fact, a Connecticut civil engineering firm recently harnessed the four inbound marketing integrals to implement an integrated marketing strategy. The company used email newsletters, blogging, social media, list segmentation, landing page optimization and other strategies in support of their efforts.
Its results were impressive: Within one year, website traffic jumped 200 percent, new leads jumped 40 percent, overall business increased 80 percent and ROI exploded by a staggering 330 percent.
If you're intrigued by the power of inbound marketing and want the same results for your firm, please take a moment to download and read our eBook “Growing Your Engineering Firm Through Inbound Marketing.”
We've packed it with statistics like the ones outlined above, fuller explanations of the four inbound marketing integrals, actionable tips to produce better results for your marketing operation and a host of other kernels of wisdom gathered from over the years.