Manufacturing companies face competition just like any other business. While your target customers may be a bit savvier and more knowledgeable when compared to the average consumer, they can still be wooed by an effective marketing campaign. That’s why digital marketing for manufacturers is so crucial to your business’s ongoing success.
The days of word-of-mouth referrals and print directories are long gone. These days, manufacturing marketing largely takes place in the digital realm, and seasoned marketing strategists like Momentum can help you thrive and compete no matter what comes next.
Effective digital marketing for manufacturers ensures anyone coming to your website is treated to informative and compelling content. A good marketing strategy also involves optimizing your site for mobile searches, which is becoming standard for browsing the internet, as well as careful placement of thoughtfully selected keywords.
The following is a comprehensive guide to the most effective tactics manufacturing companies can use. If you’re not currently employing all or most of these tactics, it may be time to rethink your digital marketing strategy.
Establish Yourself as a Credible Source
In the manufacturing industry, credibility is key. A flashy-looking website full of fluff content is probably not what your prospective buyers are after when conducting searches for products and services. Instead, focus on providing content that explains processes and offers information from a place of authority. How-tos are good in this case, as they offer actionable information to your readers.
If you have knowledge of an up and coming niche area of manufacturing, such as 3D printing, produce content using your specialized information. You should also use various mediums when providing information. Short, informative blog posts are ideal for keeping your site up-to-date but don’t be afraid to post long-form pieces when the time is right. These pieces can be information-dense, which establishes your credibility and shows that you’re an authority in a given area of manufacturing.
Create Audience Personas
At the heart of all marketing efforts is your target customer. If you lack an understanding of who this person is and what he or she is looking for, even the most carefully crafted marketing campaign is likely to fall short of your expectations.
Creating an audience persona is key in this regard. While you obviously can’t look into the hearts and minds of your actual target customers, you can use your best judgment to determine who might be in search of the services you offer. In this case, it helps to create several audience personas and tweak your efforts to meet their needs.
Get started by asking yourself a few questions: What are the goals of my buyers? What are their job titles? How would they go about web searches? From here, you can develop specific marketing pushes with these personas in mind. You’ll likely be targeting people like engineers and procurement managers. Keep in mind, this is largely a creative endeavor. However, it can provide unbelievable insight and help you expand your reach exponentially.
Choose the Right Keywords
Keywords are the driving force behind your SEO strategy. Consider that some keywords are more competitive than others. That means people searching for these keywords will encounter your site as well as many other competitors, which reduces the chance that you’ll engage with a potential buyer in an effective manner.
Conducting keyword research is a great way to determine what works and what doesn’t. There are a number of online tools that can help you do this, but you can also consider the overarching goal of your content. Are you trying to inform and educate a buyer? If so, your keywords should be educational instead of sales-oriented. You can also utilize long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are a lot more specific, which means that the person using them during a search is probably much closer to making a sale. A long-tail keyword is usually composed of four to five words that are far more descriptive than the commonly used generic search terms.
Update Your Website
Consider your website your business’s central marketing hub. All of your other efforts will ultimately lead people back to your site, which should be up to snuff to make the best impression. All sites, no matter how carefully designed at the outset, could use an update from time to time.
One major consideration is ensuring your website is mobile-friendly. Next, make sure you’re adding content on a regular basis. Consider the look of your website as well, which can actually have a huge impact on visitors. The best web design is clean and easy to understand. A cluttered design will confuse people and make it hard to navigate around your site. This can drive a prospective customer away, especially if they’re having a hard time pinning down your contact info.
Get Familiar With Your Customer’s Buying Cycle
The buying cycle for manufacturing and industrial companies is often a much longer, more drawn-out process than with other companies. The process is likely to start with a buyer identifying a need. Next, the person will conduct research, assess the abilities of the companies they come across, and finally make a list of those that seemingly meet their needs.
The assessment portion of the search will be where your business has the opportunity to shine, as the potential customer will be close to making a decision at this point. Your website will be a shining star in the case, but things like the strength of your brand, your social media presence, and your position within a given market will also be factors in their decision.
Use Social Media Effectively
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube offer amazing opportunities to manufacturing companies. Social media drums up interest in goods or services and also allows you to forge deep, lasting connections with your readers. The goal is to turn these connections into sales, which involves a few specific tactics when posting and updating your social media sites.
Look for influencers or thought leaders in your respective industry and try to develop relationships with these people. Influencers often have a massive reach that smaller companies do not. If the right person shares or likes your content, you’ll be able to reach a much wider audience than you would on your own. You can also get your readers involved by asking them questions about topics related to your industry, conducting polls, or soliciting personal stories.
Explore All Your Options
You might think that email marketing is an outdated concept. This is not the case at all, especially when you approach email marketing from the right perspective. It’s pretty easy to collect email addresses from interested parties. What you do with them is the hard part, as any email pitches that are overly promotional are bound to turn the recipient off. Instead, use email marketing to provide information. Make new products and services known with short, to-the-point emails. You can also glean useful information from contacts by sending out surveys and opinion polls.
Boost Brand Awareness
Brand awareness allows people to readily identify your business and what offers. Increased brand awareness means more trust in the services and products you offer, which not only serves to attract new customers but also ensures the ones you already have remain loyal to your company. Building brand awareness involves many different steps. The content you create, your use of SEO practices, and your presence on social media all play a role in your brand and how well it resonates with buyers. However, there are other steps you can take to ensure your brand is making the biggest impact. Try to relate to customers on a personal level. Take time to listen to their concerns and address their needs and they’ll likely respond favorably.
Track Your Progress
Effective marketing is rarely a one-and-done scenario. Some of the tactics you employ will work well and you’ll see through increased web traffic and improved interaction via social media. However, other tactics won’t work as well. Maybe you’re using the wrong keywords for your industry or made some missteps when creating your audience personas.
The best way to tell what isn’t working is to track your progress when it comes to marketing efforts. Track often, especially after implementing a new content strategy. Also, look at a variety of metrics to get a big picture view of your success. Review things like subscribers, rates of sales conversions, time spent surfing your site, and lead generation.
This information is extremely valuable for all sorts of reasons. First, it allows you to tweak your efforts when it comes to less successful approaches. Secondly, it allows you to understand your audience better, which gives you deeper insight into what makes them tick.
Momentum can help you drill down into the best practices when it comes to digital marketing for your manufacturing company. Call (586) 265-2562 to find out how you can schedule a consultation. You can also read over some case studies involving past clients by visiting them online.