As a manufacturer, what will set you apart from your competitors? The answer is marketing.
Effective digital marketing is critical in all industries, and the industrial manufacturing world is no exception. Your business needs clear industrial manufacturing marketing strategies in order to rise above your competition. How do manufacturers market their products? By using many of the same techniques as other industries, manufacturers can get more people’s eyes on their products, so they can sell more effectively. Here’s a guide to creating your own marketing plan, so your business can grow and thrive while maximizing your marketing budget.
PPC for Industrial Manufacturers
PPC, or pay per click advertising, is one of the most common types of advertising in the digital marketplace. It works incredibly well for industrial manufacturers, provided the campaigns are carefully optimized and keywords well-chosen.
Like SEO, PPC creates high-quality traffic because it has commercial intent. This means that when a potential customer is looking to either buy or learn more about a product or service, they go to search engines using keywords. PPC ads connect to these keywords that are in line with your sales goals. You must choose the target keywords and then craft the ad copy. The ads run on search engines, like Google or Bing and when your potential customers are searching online and come across your ad, you only pay when they click on it.
For industrial manufacturing, PPC ads are used to generate inquiries for the products and services you offer. It is also important to make sure that the landing page the PPC traffic is driving to is relevant, has a strong Call to Action (CTA) copy, is mobile responsive and loads quickly.
Content drives digital marketing, and this remains true for industrial manufacturers as it does for other industries. Content, which includes blogs and social media content, must align with the brand vision and resonate with the target audience’s pain points so that it tightly aligns with the potential customer’s needs.
With effective blog content, you establish your company as a thought leader. You build a reputation that customers trust, and they will turn to you when they need products or services in the future. This content should also be SEO optimized to bring in new potential customers. To create this “thought leadership” content, record an interview with an industry expert and write that blog based on the transcription. The blog will have information that is not easily accessible to the general public, thus establishing your business as thought leaders.
For effective content for manufacturing companies, you must identify your target audience. Most industrial manufacturers are B2B customers, so a target audience would be a business owner that needs the products the company manufactures. Create a buyer persona and outline their buying journey to create a road map for content creation.
With that road map, manufacturers can then perform keyword research to help hone in on topics for content. Using high search keywords and well-crafted content, manufacturers can drive more traffic to their websites and social media pages, increasing their online visibility and engaging with potential customers. If you find that social media engagement is not generating organically, have your whole team share the content to their network and engagement with the content the company page posts.
SEO, or search engine optimization, goes hand-in-hand with content creation. SEO refers to a series of steps companies take to ensure their websites and online content show up well in the search engines. Content and keywords placed organically through it is a key component of SEO. To get these specific keywords, research can be done through platforms like UberSuggest and SEMrush.
Google My Business is a key tool for a manufacturer’s SEO. While you might not be a local business looking for store traffic, a strong GMB listing creates authority signals for your website’s organic visibility.
Here are 3 additional recommendations:
- To drive up your page rank on Google, you will also need to do some link building incorporating some keywords in your anchor text (mix it up, diversity is important). A good starting point for link building is adding your business to industry directories.
- If your website is built on a platform like WordPress, there are some SEO recommendations and tips you can follow through plugins such as Yoast SEO.
- FAQ sections within a page will also drive up your page rank on Google. When you have a Q&A section on a highly searched topic, your page may end up on the featured snippet section of the search results, a high-value, high-click portion of the search results. It’s also an opportunity to make your pages more keyword-rich.
How do manufacturers market their products? The answer is through an effective website. Web design is critical for this industry because a professional website showcases products and increases the likelihood of effective online sales. As most people browse the internet through their smartphones, it is important to have a mobile responsive website with a fast loading speed and a clean layout.
The web design needs to incorporate SEO elements, showcase products and services with an effective breakdown of pages, and make it easy for potential customers to find and shop with the manufacturer including call-to-action buttons.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is taking over the digital landscape. While Facebook remains popular for many businesses, industrial manufacturing companies are primarily B2B companies and benefit primarily from LinkedIn. In fact, 80% of B2B social media leads come from LinkedIn, and 71% of B2B marketers are using the platform. When it comes to lead generation, a key metric for industrial companies, LinkedIn is 277% more effective than Twitter and Facebook.
So how can social media, and LinkedIn in particular, work into a digital marketing strategy for manufacturers? LinkedIn creates a platform for page content and advertising. These ads should be targeted towards the profile of your audience that you create, based on their industries, job titles and groups they belong to. On Facebook and LinkedIn you can also show ads to past website visitors to amplify all of your marketing. It’s a great place to connect with new potential contacts too. The strategy may include:
- Posting relevant content on LinkedIn on the company page as a thought leader among other businesses.
- Having your team members posting and sharing content on their personal pages to increase the reach and engagement of the social post.
- Uploading email lists into LinkedIn to use the contacts as an advertising audience.
- Running LinkedIn lead form ads to build your email list or generate inquiries.
Print marketing is an important part of the industrial manufacturer’s toolbox, and it can increase the success of your digital marketing efforts. Digital marketing materials, like the photographs used on a website or the content on a social media page, can be transformed into print materials to give out at trade shows and events. Keeping the content cohesive across these various platforms makes it more effective and keeps your branding in place.
Additional print materials that can be created are company brochures, postcards, sell sheets with product information, handouts for sales calls, etc. Print materials like sell sheets and brochures can be used to handout at tradeshows or to support a sales representative while postcards are geared towards direct mail to support sales efforts.
Video and Photography
Video production and professional photography are an important part of an industrial manufacturer’s road map. With powerful visuals that showcase products posted on social media and directly on the company’s website, sales can increase. Businesses want to see what they are getting before they buy. It can also expand your audience on social media as videos on social media generate up to 1,200% more shares than text and images combined.
Video marketing can also assist with your brand strategy. Use videos to:
- Showcase products in use so customers can see exactly what the product can do.
- Highlight new, exciting, or innovative products.
- Show a key feature that makes your product stand out.
- Create tutorials and “how-to” videos that can be posted on the website’s product page
- Interview team members about their position in the company
- Show behind-the-scenes of your plant or warehouse to give your brand personality.
- Create effective content for social media and advertising.
Finally, reputation management is a key component of an industrial manufacturer’s marketing plans. Eliciting positive reviews on Google and Facebook is an important aspect of reputation management. When someone Googles your company, the right sidebar of Google is dedicated to that company’s Google My Business listing. Good reviews pre-sells the person before they visit your site. Getting people talking about your products and your customer service is a way you can grow your business. The Whitespark Google review link generator can help. Sharing this free tool with your customers to elicit more reviews.
Digital marketing for industrial manufacturers requires industry knowledge and an understanding of the B2B marketplace. As industrial manufacturers seek to reach a national audience, they must make sure they use a variety of digital marketing techniques to succeed.
Manufacturing companies should focus primarily on:
- Content Creation
- Website Design
- Social Media Marketing
- Print Marketing
- Video and Photography
- Reputation Management
Industrial digital marketing can feel overwhelming and complex. If you’re looking for help, reach out to the team at Ballantine. We can help you make sense out of your industrial manufacturing marketing strategies with proven digital marketing techniques that work.
I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!