Our agency has a lot of clients with B2B business models, and we have observed first-hand that digital marketing is changing sales in manufacturing. End-users and decision-makers in this market segment are using Google and LinkedIn to learn more about products and services that would help improve their own businesses. In fact, it is estimated that by 2025, as much as 80% of B2B sales interactions will occur online.
We know that change can be scary and risky, especially when you have approached revenue growth in a certain way that has worked well during your career. However, if you’re not including digital marketing as part of your strategy to increase sales, you’re likely losing opportunities for additional leads. The key to moving towards digital marketing is to recognize that it’s not meant to replace your marketing efforts but to add more value to them. While a lot of your customers may come from referrals, a vast majority of new potential customers are searching for manufacturers online.
By boosting digital marketing tactics in your OEM marketing strategy, you can improve the visibility of your brand with your target market by showing up in Google search for relevant keywords or by showing up in their LinkedIn feed.
There could be a lot of factors holding you back from exploring the possibilities with digital marketing. Maybe you’re still learning about digital marketing and how it works.
This is why we’ve created a list of tactics to help you begin a conversation with your own leadership team.
Tactics for Creating Your OEM Marketing Strategy
Continue to go to tradeshows, sponsor charity events, work on contributed articles to industry magazines, and invite your prospects out for lunch or sports events. Building your branding and relationships with your audience should be a multi-pronged approach. We’re simply adding onto these traditional tactics to help reach an audience who is searching for education and information in a more diverse way.
Did you know that 76% of consumers look at online presence before making a purchase decision? So for your business to stand out, you must have digital marketing. It plays a crucial role by placing your business right in front of their eyes.
Here are some tactics that you should include in your OEM marketing strategy.
1. Your Website = Your Main Foundation
Your website is the ultimate tool to capture leads. It’s where all your marketing channels should drive prospects, especially since it should have all important information they need to do research and connect with your sales team.
People also want to make sure that they’re working with a credible and trustworthy business. They want to learn about your work experience, your company story, and your products.
To help optimize your website for the best results, consider the following:
- Performing regular website maintenance to maintain site speed and security
- Creating a user-friendly, mobile-responsive website
- Continually updating your website with keyword-rich and informative content
- Include photography and videos that provide information about your products and specialized processes
With a strong foundation in place, you should then focus on areas that will drive more traffic to your website.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you’re looking for long-term success, prioritize Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Without the proper SEO, a competitive online presence is not achievable.
SEO is the practice that helps your website show up in Google and Bing search results for important keywords that your audience is searching for.
SEO can break down into several types:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
On-page SEO focuses on optimizing individual pages of your website to rank higher on search engines and earn more relevant search engine traffic.
Off-page SEO focuses on optimizing external factors that impact your search engine ranking. This could include backlinks from other authoritative industry websites, online business directory listings, and articles in online industry publications.
Technical SEO then focuses on optimizing your website’s underlying code and structure to ensure that Google can properly crawl your website and index it. By addressing technical SEO elements, you can ensure that your website is fast, accessible, and easy to navigate for both search engines and users, leading to better visibility and credibility in search engine results pages.
All these types of SEO are important to consider when developing a comprehensive SEO strategy, as they all contribute to a website’s search engine ranking and overall visibility and credibility.
3. Educate Your Market by Utilizing Content Marketing
When you create educational manufacturing content, you raise your credibility and product awareness. You also increase your chances of people sharing your content. So it’s essentially marketing that continues to give.
Bring value to your customer by determining what type of content makes the most sense for your website. Content marketing for manufacturers may seem tricky when you consider that everyone is looking for different content at different stages of their purchasing journey.
Some noteworthy ideas include:
- Product Demonstrations or Tutorial Videos
- Case Studies
If you want to convert a website visitor to a potential lead, you can require that the user enters some basic contact information to download specific types of content (this is referred to as gated content). People may hesitate to subscribe to monthly email newsletters but may be more open to sharing their information when they receive something instantly – like a valuable PDF with industry insights or product tips.
4. Google and Bing Paid Ads
Are you surprised we mentioned paid media like Google Ads and Bing Ads (now Microsoft Advertising)?
Where organic strategy takes building great content over time, a paid search ad strategy can add some fuel to your fire and get you a paid position on the first page of search results for important keyword terms.
SEO can help position your website and brand for important keywords, but it can often take six months to a year to show an ROI. Paying for ad positions can help you achieve results on a faster timeline. As you track the performance of the ads and how they convert to revenue with follow-up from your sales team, you may learn that further investment continues to provide value, or you may find that your SEO program is improving, and you can decrease your ad spend.
5. Social Media (Particularly LinkedIn)
While other platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, could be important for your employee recruiting programs, LinkedIn is the platform to use for building brand awareness and generating leads with your prospects.
In fact, 80% of all B2B leads from social media come from LinkedIn.
Successful B2B brands (including our clients) have used LinkedIn to:
- Generate awareness during a conference/event
- Build a leads list for a new product launch
- Promote a new whitepaper
It is also important for your sales team and company leadership to update their LinkedIn profile pages with current information and post about your target industries, your product information, and other work your company is doing to improve performance.
6. Emails: A Great Way to Nurture Leads
If you’re looking for a high ROI, look no further. Email marketing is the way to go.
After all, the numbers don’t lie. For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $36! That’s an ROI of 360%.
Sending out a regular newsletter allows you to:
- Stay in touch with your customers (and build more brand awareness)
- Build customer loyalty
- Advertise new products and promotions
- Receive customer feedback
- And, of course, generate more leads
Newsletters are also a great way to incorporate personalization. For example, you can email them with content about past purchases.
Ready to Tackle Your OEM Marketing Strategy?
Identifying resources to help you move forward with a digital marketing strategy can be challenging. Your internal marketing team may already be overburdened managing product collateral, conferences, sales presentations, copywriting, photography, and industry publications.
A marketing agency who can step in to complement your existing team with the specialized skills needed to develop an effective digital marketing strategy may be a more cost-effective fit. Digital marketing requires an intimate understanding and experience with a variety of platforms that work in concert to deliver value.
Marketing Refresh is here to walk alongside you and help you understand the intricacies and how they fit into your existing programs. We’re willing to educate and explain in detail about what’s working and what isn’t so you know exactly how your investment in marketing is being used and what results it’s producing.
To explore how digital marketing can help you, give us a call.