Marcus Sheridan on Life, Business & the Future of Industrial Marketing

Tom Repp at industrial-internet-marketer interviews inbound marketing’s rock star, Marcus Sheridan, about the future of industrial marketing.

marcus sheridan-tom reppIf you are involved in content marketing and have not heard of Marcus Sheridan you aren’t really involved in content marketing.  Sorry.  

Marcus Sheridan was on the verge of bankruptcy in the depths of the 2008 recession and found HubSpot and content marketing and embraced the concept of content marketing and inbound marketing in order to, literally, save his business and his home.

Marcus is now one of the leading evangelists for HubSpot, content marketing or inbound marketing…whatever you want to call it. (If you worry about the semantics, you miss the point: The Difference Between Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing: Industrial Marketers Need to Know )

Marcus is an evangelist because he made content marketing a culture at his “boring” business in Virginia…fiberglass swimming pools.  His success is legendary. 

Industrial marketers, B2B manufacturers and industrial suppliers can find the same success that Marcus has.

I caught up with Marcus in Kalamazoo this past week and asked him about his journey and how his success relates to my industrial marketing friends. 

Enjoy!   This interview is about 13 minutes…but well worth your time.  Continue reading “Marcus Sheridan on Life, Business & the Future of Industrial Marketing”

The Greatest Lead Generation System Ever for B2B Manufacturers

B2B manufacturers can use their thousands of long-tail keywords in their blogs for lead generation. Industrial internet marketing will never be the same

blogging equals more leadsLong-tail keywords!

That’s right, long-tail keywords might be the greatest lead generation gift B2B manufacturers have ever been given.

The concept of long-tail keywords was first written about in an article in Wired in the ancient year of 2004 by Chris Anderson.  Basically, it means a more descriptive keyword phrase where the web-user has more specific intent. Instead of “ice cream” he might search for “gluten-free fudge ripple ice cream”.  Damn…that sounds good.

In Google’s desire to provide the most relevant answers to their customers they are continually refining “semantic search”. In other words, Google has trained web users to type in more specific questions.  For example, instead of typing in “hydraulic manifolds”, web users now type in “semantic” search such as, “what kind of benefits can I expect using a custom hydraulic manifold for my laser cutting machine” The long-tail keyword in that question  or  “semantic search” is “custom hydraulic manifold for laser cutting” rather than just “hydraulic manifold”.  See the difference? Continue reading “The Greatest Lead Generation System Ever for B2B Manufacturers”

Why Not Give Your Web Site a Raise & Fire Your Sales Person?: 6 Disruptive Dynamics for Industrial & B2B Lead Generation

Inbound/content marketing are changing the way industrial marketers generate leads. Maybe it is time you give your web site a raise and fire your least productive sales person.

blogging equals more leadsWould you expect results from a $25K per year sales person?  Of course not.  Don’t expect miracles from a low budget web strategy either.

Google has given the industrial marketer the opportunity to hire a lead generation machine…a real sales   professional and you don’t even need to pay him benefits.

But you have to go through the same pain, due diligence, process, failure and euphoria you experienced when you hired your most valuable sales professional.

Sorry!  Google disrupts again. Continue reading “Why Not Give Your Web Site a Raise & Fire Your Sales Person?: 6 Disruptive Dynamics for Industrial & B2B Lead Generation”

Manufacturers Need to Know: How Are B2B Manufacturers Adapting to Content & Inbound Marketing [Report from Content Marketing Institute]

Curious Manufacturers & Industrial Marketers Want to Know. Content Marketing Institute Publishes Report on How Manufacturers are Using Content Marketing.

blogging equals more leadsMost of my customers know I am big believer in content marketing or inbound marketing for industrial lead generation. Typically the first question out of their mouth is, “How much does it cost?” or “Who else is doing it?”

In terms of costs, I wrote a blog about content marketing costs a couple months ago.  Check it out. 

But…in terms of actual adaption here is a recent report from the Content Marketing Institute

Want to know how your competitors are using content marketing and what their struggles have been? Want to know if the content marketing thing actually works?  Want to know how well it works?  Read their report right here: Continue reading “Manufacturers Need to Know: How Are B2B Manufacturers Adapting to Content & Inbound Marketing [Report from Content Marketing Institute]”

Still Skeptical about Blogging for Business? Escape for 1 Min. and Watch Tom Peters & Seth Godin Tell Why Industrial Marketers Need to Change. [YouTube video]

Industrial Internet Marketer

blogging equals more leadsFor two years I have been, almost, yelling at our industrial marketing friends to start blogging. ( I think I actually scared a few of them into it.) Many industrial marketers have complained that their web site is not producing the leads that it once did.  I reply, “Then start blogging. Google wants you to prove your industry expertise.  Then Google will start ranking your site higher”.

As Seth Godin said in an interview, back in 2008; “…the best SEO is great content”.   The best way to get started creating great content?  Yep…start a blog.

Maybe this testimonial from Seth Godin and Tom Peters will get you off the mark. I remain hopeful. Continue reading “Still Skeptical about Blogging for Business? Escape for 1 Min. and Watch Tom Peters & Seth Godin Tell Why Industrial Marketers Need to Change. [YouTube video]”

With Inbound or Content Marketing Your Industrial Brand Lasts Forever. Make Sure it is Right.

As content marketing becomes mainstream for forward thinking industrial marketers…pumping up your brand is critical, because it will last forever on the web.

blogging equals more leadsMany industrial marketers are sniffing around the web and talking to their peers wondering if this content marketing thing is for real.  With all the due diligence into inbound or content marketing comes the common question, “Do I need to pump up my industrial brand first?”

YES.

In my last post I talked about the importance of inbound marketing and the enduring qualities it has over traditional industrial marketing. If done properly, the content you deploy will stay around and will continue to send leads to your web site.  For example, I recently received a call from an interested prospect from a press release we did on PRweb.com over a year ago.

As I mentioned in my last post a helpful blog article about your specific capabilities will stay indexed in Google forever, just waiting to be served up to the next qualified lead that asks about the “custom hydraulic manifolds” your business builds.

So…not only does your content last forever, your brand theme lasts right along with it.

So your industrial brand message better be right.  Continue reading “With Inbound or Content Marketing Your Industrial Brand Lasts Forever. Make Sure it is Right.”

Why Inbound Marketing Beats Traditional Industrial Marketing & Advertising…Hands Down

Why Inbound Marketing Beats Traditional Industrial Marketing & Advertising…Hands Down.

blogging equals more leadsI often get the question from industrial marketers curious about content marketing or inbound marketing, “Tom, what’s the difference between regular advertising and content/inbound marketing for industrial?” (Want to know more, see me last blog). 

Typically, advertising is designed to make a sale. Right now. 

Think of all the cheesy ads you see on TV. “If you call in the next 10 minutes we will throw in FREE shipping”, or “But wait, we are not done, call in the next 10 minutes and we will send you a second item FREE, just pay the shipping & handling charges.”   Right!

Many ads will sell from fear.  Think of the insurance ads designed to get you to think about something that you would rather not think about, from Allstate’s “Mayhem”, to State Farm’s “discount double check” to Nationwide’s “Greatest Spokesman”.   These ads are designed to interrupt you and get you to think about something unpleasant, often using fear to get you to act.

Harley Davidson takes a different approach. No one sells “The Dream” better than Harley. Think, “Ride hard or stay home”   One of my favorites is the guy behind a large amount of sweat and an old crappy lawnmower…looking very distracted.  The copy of the ad simply says, “Stop dreaming”.

This is interruptive marketing at its best…or worst, depending on your point of view. Continue reading “Why Inbound Marketing Beats Traditional Industrial Marketing & Advertising…Hands Down”

The Difference between Content Marketing & Inbound Marketing: Industrial Marketers Need to Know

There are semantic differences between content marketing and inbound marketing. If you are worried about the differences you are missing the point.

blogging equals more leadsFirst of all, don’t worry about it.

If you are struggling to understand the difference between content marketing and inbound marketing for your industrial business, you miss the whole point. Will explain in a little bit.

First, a little history. Both terms are less than 10 years old. I am not exactly sure when the term content marketing was first used?   As the web became a gigantic bull horn to publish content for marketing reasons, the folks at Content Marketing Institute popularized the term several years ago.

Then Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah started HubSpot in 2006 in a New Enterprise class at MIT.  They put their own spin on it and called it inbound marketing.

Wikipedia’s definition of content marketing is complete and accurate, in my mind:  “Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc.”

I think we called this pull marketing (As opposed to push marketing) in my marketing classes at Adrian College. I still remember the professor saying, “Getting customers to come to you.”  I think that is a great way to describe pull marketing, content marketing or inbound marketing…

Getting Customers to Come to You!  What a concept! Continue reading “The Difference between Content Marketing & Inbound Marketing: Industrial Marketers Need to Know”

Is Inbound Marketing Shifting the Balance of Power for Industrial Marketers?

Not everyone in the industrial marketing profession gets inbound marketing. Yet, given its success it is sure the change the balance of power from the sales department to the marketing department.

blogging equals more leadsI believe inbound marketing will begin a shift in the balance of power for many industrial companies.

Most industrial companies have built their success on the backs of their sales organizations or their distribution partners.  Many times B2B manufacturers can point to their sales success to their strongest distribution partners…typically the ones with the best sales machine.

Put another way, in terms of value, the sales department was considered much more valuable than the marketing department.  Of course, as most of you know, many industrial companies don’t even have a marketing department.   If they do, it is the IT guy, an intern or part time marketing person.

I believe we are at a tipping point where marketing departments are becoming as valuable as sales departments. Continue reading “Is Inbound Marketing Shifting the Balance of Power for Industrial Marketers?”