Traditionally, manufacturing has largely been an industry resistant to advancements in digital marketing. Many companies stick with conventional and proven tactics like print ads and trade shows to showcase their products and generate leads. And there’s nothing wrong with that, frankly. But in order to truly maximize your marketing efforts and produce a marketing strategy that reaches the widest possible audience, manufacturers must embrace digital marketing. We’ve compiled a few aspects that any manufacturing marketing strategy should absolutely include. If you’re not embracing these technologies strategically, you’re basically inviting your audience to find the companies who are.
Are you setting aside time and resources to produce blogs and other unique content for your website and social media channels? Is anyone? If not, you’ll want to consider building a content marketing plan for the next fiscal year. Content marketing is one of the most effective ways of establishing your company as a leader in the industry without blatantly spelling it out for the consumer. Crafting original digital content designed to educate and enlighten an audience offers your manufacturing company a unique leg up on the competition. Let people know you know what you’re talking about by producing shareable content on a regular basis. While you may be forced to compete for booth space at a trade show or organic rankings on Google, no one can block you or steal your spotlight with well-crafted online content. A diverse and thorough content marketing plan can level the playing field in terms of where your audience is getting the knowledge they need to become customers.
Whether or not you choose to believe it, social media is just as important for manufacturers as it is in any other industry. While your strategy will differ greatly from, say, a restaurant or a clothing boutique, it doesn’t mean that the medium as a whole can’t be advantageous to your company. Using social media effectively to market your manufacturing business is a great way to humanize your company and let your target audience know the aspects that set your business apart from the competition. Discover where your consumers live in terms of social (we’re betting LinkedIn for this purpose, but other platforms are certainly a possibility). What are your competitors doing? What is your audience responding to? Answering these questions beforehand will go a long way in integrating social media campaigns into your broader marketing strategy.
If you want to stay truly ahead of the game when it comes to digital content, consider the use of video in your online marketing strategies. Studies show that the majority of Internet content is migrating toward custom video and many companies have already made the jump to fully embracing the change. Your manufacturing company deserves to be among them. A well-produced video or video series will go a step further in humanizing your brand and giving your customers an unmistakable inside look at your manufacturing operation. Providing a view of your business that competitors might view as “off-limits” is a great way to further engage your target audience and turn viewers into customers.
It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that your website is one of the most important tools in your marketing initiatives. And still, we see far too many manufacturers who don’t make the proper investments when it comes to their websites to give them the opportunity to rank on search engines. Outdated, slow, unengaging sites can drive away potential clients before anything else (and you’ll likely never know they showed interest in the first place). Furthermore, if your website is lacking the proper SEO attention, it could be causing you more harm than good. An SEO optimized manufacturing website will be rewarded by search engines and turn your website into a 24/7 lead-generating machine. However, ranking on Google’s first page of search results is no easy task and getting there takes a lot of hard work and SEO expertise. Your manufacturing company cannot afford to neglect your website any longer.
While we can’t understate the importance of SEO enough, there is a way to crack Google’s first page of manufacturing listings that is much quicker and easier (if you know what you’re doing, that is). By implementing a pay-per-click advertising plan, you can secure the prime above-the-fold real estate on Google’s first page. You can put your website in front of a highly targeted audience that are actively searching for your products. The catch? It’ll cost you. Pay-Per-Click advertising is a way to pay Google for exposure, and if you’re new to the concept, it can be a way to quickly lose your advertising investment. As important as it is, it’s best to do your research when it comes to PPC to make sure that you are getting the most for your digital advertising dollars.
We know that every manufacturing business is different and what’s right for some might not be right for others. For these reasons, we’ve really just touched on the basics in terms of what to include in your marketing plans for next year. If you’d like to dive a little deeper and come up with a strategy that is uniquely yours, let’s talk. We’d love to lend a hand.