Most manufacturing companies believe there is room for improvement in their B2B marketing activities.
The UK Manufacturing Landscape report by Cognition has found that, even though the majority of manufacturing companies use online advertising (74%), have a social media presence (68%) and create online content (65%), more than half think this output could be better.
A common explanation from respondents was the lack of dedicated marketing teams within manufacturing organisations. In addition to this, one in three felt their marketing processes were outdated.
A third of respondents thought their marketing processes were outdated despite most manufacturing companies having increased their marketing budgets in the past five years. There was a slight aversion to digital marketing too – print was thought to be the most effective marketing method. It’s clear that new marketing strategies need to be implemented and the important of digital channels needs to be realised.
First, you need a ensure that your website is a mobile responsive design containing the most basic of information such as products and services, including pictures and videos, your company details such as history, mission, vision and differentiators, your team (remember to highlight key management and employees) and contact details.
Ideally you should also have a news blog – to enable writing stories of how you have and can help business customers – and descriptive meta-tags.
Google Pay-Per-Click ads effective for manufacturers
The text ads that appear at the top of Google’s search results are golden territory – if you find the right keywords your prospective buyers are likely using to look for your products and your ad is compelling, then they may click on it, you have a conversion. An important part of running a results-oriented Google Ad campaign is to have the keywords, the ad, and the website landing page you are sending them to synced to each other and to the searchers intent.
To enhance results, have separate ad groups for each product or equipment line you want to advertise. Start with one or two groups, see how they do, then add additional products. The types of keywords a prospective customer would use to find each type of equipment should be as unique as possible. An example is using search ads, which can reach users at their specific time of need. An engineer, may turn to search engines to answer questions and find solutions. Your ads can reach these people when they are searching and ready for an answer.
Remarketing ads, text or display ads shown to people after they’ve visit your website, can remind them why they came to your website in the first place. In most cases, you can segment your remarketing ads to show certain ads to specific audiences that meet the criteria of your prospective customers. This type of ad can generate new traffic to your website and bring back visitors who may have viewed the particular product page on your website recently.
To get found on Google or Bing organic search results you have to be prepared to invest in developing a solid content plan and writing new compelling customer focused content on a consistent basis – at least two blog posts per month. Other solid content you could use on your website are case studies, Thought leadership such as white papers and professionally shot product images and videos. All of this content can also be shared on your social media pages
Email is still one of the most effective ways to reach your target market and keep your customers informed of your new or updated products and where you are going as a company. Since many manufacturing companies attend trade shows, it’s also a great way to leverage the contacts you meet and gives you a tool to follow-up with them on a consistent basis. According the Content Marketing Institute, email is the number one way manufacturers distribute content.
Your marketing goals
The ideas above represent some of the most effective manufacturer marketing strategies to attract new business prospects, and retain and sell more to existing customers online. However, you don’t have to do all of these straight away. Start with one or two and layer in the others when you are comfortable and have the resources and marketing budget to do them consistently and with high quality. Whatever digital tactics you utilise, the goal should be to provide solutions to the problems or situations your prospects are trying to solve.