There is a common misconception that manufacturers are behind the trend when it comes to marketing and increasing their online presence compared to other industries. We have found that the manufacturers that approach us for help with their lead generation and digital marketing actually know exactly what they want and have an idea on how to achieve it (the biggest marketing challenge for manufacturers is in fact "lack of time"- say the Content Marketing Institute).
Most manufacturers just need advice on which software tools would fit best with their requirements, sales and marketing alignment assistance, updated web design/branding assets and modest ongoing IT / web or marketing/analytics or reporting support. In this article we share some top tips to help you with your digital marketing that will increase your leads.
Update Your Website to Increase Conversion
Not all websites need replacing with a brand-new version. In some cases, it is just the analytics that are missing leaving you unable to see who is visiting you site and where they look. e.g.
- Your site might already be receiving high traffic numbers but may have a high bounce rate (people click off your site too quickly to even read it)
- Your bounce rate might be low, but the visitors might not be converting into customers etc.
Here are other website features that you might consider boosting your success rate:
- Contemporary design - minimalistic sites with dynamic components such as interactive video and auto-scrolling are everyday practice for business websites today. Top web developers (such as Quattro ;-) who specialise in web design for manufacturing companies) are able to incorporate the aesthetic of your brand in innovative and exciting ways that capture the attention of your web visitors and keep them engaged.
- Lead forms – Some websites enable you to capture your prospects information through simple form completion. These are often filled out in exchange for incentives such as: white papers, how to information, or free consultations etc. The given prospect information, if a good fit, can then be used to nurture future business deals.
- CTAs - a Call to Action (CTA) is an image or line of text that encourages your visitors, to take action. It is, quite literally, a "call" to them to take action by either downloading a piece of content or subscribing to your newsletter or an invite to an expo etc. CTA’s usually follow an informative article or blog post, relevant to the offer. They could also motivate a reader to make a purchase, sign up for an email campaign or merely read more information, depending on where they are in their 'buying journey'.
Start Using Video
Video is one of the fastest and most popular mediums today and dare I say trending right now. So, open a YouTube account and get filming. The most clicked through video content that our manufacturing customers experience are:
- How to videos - whether showing how to maintain, clean, install or change your equipment/product to best practices and how a more complex product functions
- Webinars/podcasts – From educational to sharing knowledge or blatant promotional recordings, these are ideal for sharing with a select group of people
- Ads – If engaging and unique these still get viewed, downloaded and shared. The best ads are creative and/or make people laugh (generate an emotional response)
- Corporate Videos – A great way to introduce your company, describe what you do and your ethos/mission
- App Video - As app consumers are usually hesitant to download an app without full knowledge on what it does, a quick app video could be used to introduce it and explain the details to an interested party. Use this video to enthuse your audience and display the key features that make your app so special to encourage downloads
- Testimonial Videos – probably the most successful at converting prospects, especially those close to buying. These can be quotational snippets or full case-studies. Ultimately, the best way to convince customers to buy your product or service is to show off the happy customers you already have!
Personalised videos are best and those that include your actual team but don’t forget animation and word slides can be added to the mix too. Producing video content and sharing it on prominent sites and playing on loop at your uk manufacturing expo can, at the very least, generate an interest in your brand, products and services.
Manufacturers Are at an Advantage
This industry suits video content in so many ways e.g. factory tours, complex machinery in action, hazardous materials safety advice and cutting-edge science. The manufacturing industry is an interesting arena, and people relish watching it, as demonstrated by the popularity of shows such as:
Making the all-new Mac Pro – by Apple
Build Your Brand Authority
This could be gained from regular content that you produce and share, from ads, quoting, interviews to articles in the media. The idea is to create thought leadership in your industry, so you become the ‘go to’ company for information in your field.
Storytelling and authenticity are important factors to building brand recognition so don’t be afraid to talk about the things your company could have done better along with sharing your best attributes.
It is good practice to also publish these articles on your own website blog, or on profiles connected with your brand. LinkedIn Pulse is another well-known platform for organisations to publish content on. It takes time, but high quality, relevant content will build your search engine rankings, increase your website traffic and backlinks from other businesses that find your content useful, of interest and that resonates with them.
How to Nurture Your Leads
Once generated, your leads will be at different stages in the buying cycle so in most cases you’ll need to nurture the leads that come to you until they are sales qualified. Firstly, you’ll have a great CRM (like the free HubSpot one) that you can segment into lists of e.g. industry, location, lead score etc. Using these lists, you can initiate email campaigns, account-based marketing initiatives and expo invites etc.
Automated marketing solutions will help you with your time challenges by personalising, tracking, scheduling, emailing automatically. Combined with the best software for manufacturing e.g. a good CRM that your sales team will be able to easily keep track of conversations, make notes, create tasks all on one contact’s page so you won’t miss out on a potential customer.
Modernise Your Business and Remain Competitive
There are so many tips we could have included in this summary it was difficult to pick a few. Please, read our other articles and content to support you with your specific needs. If like your manufacturing colleagues, your digital marketing also suffers due to a lack of time, we are a platinum HubSpot partner with experience working with manufacturers therefore we understand your long order cycles, absent analytics, reporting tools and conversion tracking challenges. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to a worthy marketing strategy but with the best, up-to-date information and software tools you will have the means to create your own in order to facilitate modernising your business and remaining competitive.