Digital marketing is perfect for manufacturing companies who are trying to modernise their marketing infrastructure, break into new markets or increase turnover.
Your marketing team may already be engaged with some aspects of digital but we thought we could define a list of must-haves for any manufacturing who has ambitions to grow through online customer acquisition.
You should develop a customer centric approach to your digital marketing. Focus on your customers’ needs and understand why they are searching for your product online.
Buyers don’t want to speak to a sales-person whilst researching for a possible solution to their problem. They are moving through their own buyer journey and will only engage with your company when they are ready.
Think of the three stages of inbound buyer journey:
Awareness ==> Consideration ==> Decision.
You need to be where the specifiers, engineers and buyers are hanging out online and nurture them through the three stages of their buyer journey. Digital marketing for manufacturing companies is a chance for you to connect with these technical buyers early on in the sales process whilst they are researching online.
A successful website design does not happen by accident. You will need to work with an agency that can guide your company through a process of online modernisation. They will need to understand your buyers, how they make their decisions, mapping this out and combining this with elements of good design to create a seamless user experience from start to finish.
Moving away from a boring old fashioned brochure website and creating a modern fit for purpose marketing platform that will bring you a consistent flow of good quality new business enquiries is an exciting journey.
To help you with this we’ve listed the most important things that you should include if your website will make any impact at all on your business growth plans.
Top of the list and critical - your website needs to get found by Google, and be usable by any visitors that find you online. The first 10 seconds are when visitors will make up their mind whether to leave or stay.
Tip: Perform a squint test - look at your website through squinted eyes. Do you see a clear purpose to the page. Is it layed out in an easy to understand manner?
Offer your visitors something of value that helps solve their problem. What are your top 5 solutions to your visitors problems? Maybe you have a brochure that is helpful. You could offer this as a download in exchange for you visitors email address.
Your users are online searching for solutions to very specific problems. You should develop online content that demonstrates how your products or processes help these potential customers solve those problems.
This is an easy win, but you’d be surprised how many companies that we meet who have WordPress websites that do not capture and share information to the correct person.
Tip: Don’t rely on form data to be emailed to the correct person within your company. Store the details in a CRM that is linked to your website.
Defining your positioning statement will help bring clarity and consistency throughout all of your digital marketing. If you don’t have a positioning statement we strongly recommend that you do this.
Here is an example template that will help you build out your positioning statement. You need to fill in the details relevent to your company...
"We (provide this service/value/outcome) for (a specific type of company/industry/market) by (using a specific approach) because (the why)."
Adopting this approach will allow your marketing to communicate value in a consistent manner, therefore resonating more directly with your target customers.
In today’s ‘always-on’ digital world opening up modern communication channels may just give you a competitive edge. Lots of manufacturing companies are still struggling to deal with the problem of Social Media, but this isn’t going to go away. Your prospects and existing customers are already using Social Media everyday. This gives you the perfect opportunity to develop conversations at different stages of their buyer journey.
It’s not just a case of Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook anymore - that's old news. Progressive thinking companies are already moving into the Snapchat and What’s App space. Take a look at how GE are using Snapchat to connect with potential recruits.
A business blog is a perfect opportunity for you to showcase your expertise. It may be a new product development, attendance at an industry event or a new contract win. Your prospects will find this information online and use this during their evaluation of your company.
8 - Email marketing
Still as strong as ever… a properly considered email campaign based around useful content to your target audience is a great way of staying engaged with prospects who may not be ready to buy. Email marketing will nurture them through their buyer journey.
A simple quick win. Make sure you have social sharing buttons on your website. Make it easy for users to send their own contacts your content.
Your sales team will return from events with pockets full of new business cards from prospects that they have spoken to. Make sure they are stored in a CRM so they don’t lose track of those valuable leads. Marketing and Sales can both use the CRM to handle the digital marketing.