Time and time again, we’ve heard this sector tells us that their products may be too boring or that people don’t search for the products being made. This means that marketing for manufacturing firms tends to restrict its efforts to slots at trade events.
Although these traditional methods are obviously successful, online marketing has become more important than ever as the purchasing behaviour present in people’s personal lives blends into their business lives.
This transformation in buying habits means that 77% of B2B buyers choose not to contact a sales person prior to carrying out their own research online. This means that sales rep contact is often the last touchpoint in the sales cycle, rather than the first.
Having a strong digital presence will ensure that you’re front of mind for these initial parts of the buying cycle. Conversely, having little or no digital presence hands this advantage over to your competitors.
Connect from the start with SEO
71% of B2B researchers start the buying process with a generic online search. If you don’t have a solid Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy, you’re missing out on every single one of these potential buyers.
The fact that the search engine is so commonly-used means that SEO should be the foundation of your digital marketing strategy: the search engine results page is the most effective way of getting your brand in front of people who are specifically looking for your products.
Actively investing to ensure that your website is technically sound and that your content is both picked up by search engines and appeals to visitors will help to ensure you good visibility for search terms which are closely related to your business activities.
Combine this with paid advertising
Paid search engine advertising, which appears as the text adverts above and below the search results on Google, is the perfect combination for your SEO efforts; simply because it allows you to cover even more screen real estate for the searches you’re targeting.
Only paid for when someone clicks an advert (hence the name ‘pay per click,’ shortened to ‘PPC’), this type of advertising can also help to give you a presence on search engines in the short-term. As such, you can begin to drive instant results whilst you work on the organic search visibility of your website in the longer term. PPC activity also provides the added bonus of giving you fast information on what keywords will be successful for your business as you look to further build out your SEO strategy.
Social media provides a unique opportunity for firms in any industry to connect with their audience and reach small, specific sections of their customer base with highly targeted messaging, unique to their needs.
Many manufacturing companies erroneously associate social media with companies which have a solely B2C focus. The truth is, if you’re posting content your audience is interested in, people will be excited to follow your page. Take the time to learn what motivates and interests your customer base and your content will be well received. We’d be wrong to tell you that social media will directly impact your sales – but it will contribute to customer reassurance, your overall reputation, and, in turn, sales enquiries.
Test your website. And then test it again.
When people are researching your business online, your website is the shop window for your company. It’s the first thing people will see, and that first impression is the difference between someone browsing to discover how you could help them and closing the tab to check a competitor.
Naturally, it’s vital to ensure that your website is beautiful, functional and gets all relevant information across quickly and effectively. The best promotion in the world will fall flat if the website potential customers visit is poorly-made and confusing.
Alongside your website user experience (UX), you need to ensure that it’s technically perfect and your calls to action are well-positioned. This is vital to ensure that people are easily able to contact you, no matter where they are – and that they don’t come across broken pages.
One of the oldest tools in the digital marketing playbook is also one of the most powerful, with email marketing achieving an average £38 return for each £1 spent in the UK. 59% of B2B marketers also state that email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation, showing just how powerful this channel can be if used correctly.
Of course, impressive results such as those are not achieved accidentally or by simply sending out a quick email once a month, but by careful planning and audience segmentation.
Take the time to set up specific, automated flows for your email marketing, ensuring customers and potential customers are getting the right emails, at the right time, to encourage them to buy.
Engage your audience with video content
Video marketing is the fastest-growing digital marketing tactic at present, owing to the fact that it’s faster and easier than ever to produce and release video content which perfectly encapsulates your product or business. Indeed, online videos are estimated to account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2020.
And people aren’t just watching videos for entertainment: they’re actively seeking videos out to help with their purchasing decisions. 90% of people say that product videos are a helpful part of the decision-making process and 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online after seeing a video.
Despite these incredible figures, many manufacturing businesses are still resistant to the idea of video marketing, with many feeling that their products are simply not exciting enough to make an entertaining video.
If there is information you need to get across about your products, however, this is entirely suitable for video. You just need to get your creative hats on!
Link your teams
So, you’ve perfectly implemented your SEO and PPC campaigns, your social media profiles are gaining followers at an incredible rate, your website is perfect and everyone is wowed by your timely emails and amazing videos – yet somehow, new business still isn’t flying in like you’d hoped. Why?
The first thing we suggest is to check that all of your different teams are collaborating. Failing to do this will result in leads not being responded to in a timely fashion and dropping off. This means that they’ll have gone to a competitor, whilst leaving with a less-than-positive impression of your company.
To avoid this, you should ensure that the customer relationship management (CRM) tool used by your sales team is linked up to your website correctly and it is set up to ensure all new leads are quickly and easily visible. This will ensure that all of your hard graft on the marketing front translates into actionable leads for the sales team.
Digital marketing for manufacturing companies
Of course, you may want to ignore all of this and focus on doing what you do best: manufacturing high quality products. If so, you can contact our digital marketing team. Our team specialises in digital marketing for manufacturing companies, meaning we will be able to craft a campaign which is perfect for your needs.