Today’s consumer has more power over the buying process than ever before. It is estimated that 67% of the buying cycle is done without any human interaction. When it comes to reaching your audience effectively, inbound marketing has proven to be extremely effective. Using tactics like blogging, content offers, social media, SEO and more, companies now have the ability to attract and engage their prospects and customers where they are and on their own time. While many of the strategies described can appear to be niche or industry specific, inbound’s reach goes far beyond the consumer market. Technical audiences have been using the internet to research information for years and engineering firms who use these channels to market their expertise see a huge ROI.
So what is inbound marketing and how can your engineering firm use it to reach new prospects? Below is an infographic we created to walk you through the concept of inbound as well as provide you with some data from studies done on the technical vertical. By harnessing the power of the internet, you can begin to engage with potential customers before they ever speak to a member of your sales team.
Need more data?
TREW Marketing, an industry leader in marketing for technical audiences, has done some amazing in-depth research on the impact of inbound in the technical vertical. Their research and success as an agency has proven that inbound is a powerful marketing strategy to reach technical audiences. Here are a few of the amazing findings from a report they published in partnership with Engineering.com on the impact of content and online marketing in the technical vertical.
- The way engineers most often interact with e-newsletters is scanning subject lines.
- Engineers most often consume work-related content on their desktop computer throughout the workday.
- Mobile devices are used most often when they’re on the go and commuting.
- In viewing webcasts, engineers prefer real-world examples, images and diagrams.
- Online resources such as websites and search engines are the most valuable source of information versus offline sources such as conferences or publications.
- Engineers have the highest trust in content written by an engineering expert at a vendor company, more than an industry analyst or editorial pieces.
- Most engineers use social media in their personal life where they may stumble upon work-related artcles.
Breakdown of Marketing Channels
- Engineers are very engaged with e-newsletters; almost all respondents (89%) pay attention to the e-newsletters they subscribe to and trust in some way.
- The primary ways engineers interact with e-newsletters are scanning subject lines (36%) or opening to scan for content (30%).
When viewing webcasts, the three features engineers prefer most are:
- real-world examples
- images and diagrams
- pre-event agenda/explanation
Use of Social Media for Work
In describing their use of social media for work:
- Most engineers (42%) indicate they use social media in their personal life and they may stumble upon work-related articles which they sometimes read.
- Nearly a third (31%) said they use social media for work, either to search and share information or with a separate presence.
Use of Social Media for Work – Age Comparison
- When social media use is examined by age group, responses show younger age groups engage with social media more in their personal life than older age groups.
- All other groups selected “I use social media in my personal life and sometimes read articles that apply to work” to describe their use of social media, with the youngest engineers (age 26 to 35) by far (54%) choosing this option more than any other.
Content Marketing for Engineers
- Nearly all engineers (93%) indicate online resources such as websites and search engines are a valuable source of information on the latest engineering technologies, trends and products.
- Among offline sources offered, engineers equally rate print publications and technical conferences as very or moderately valuable (both 75%).
Cross tabulation revealed a difference in how particular industries value content sources.
- Engineers on average find online resources most valuable, followed by technical conferences, then print publications, and lastly trade shows.
- However the Engineering Design Services industry is unique in preferring trade shows most, then technical conferences, then online resources and print publications least.
As you can see, engineering firms that embrace inbound marketing have the potential to reach their target audience right where they are. Technical audiences are craving good content that helps them achieve their goals and will go deep into the web to find the right answers. By using the internet and the variety of channels available, you can position your firm as an industry leader and attract new, high-quality leads.
A Visual Guide to Inbound Marketing for Engineers [Infographic]