Does this sound familiar? Your job title is supposed to be Vice President of Sales, but “and Marketing” got tacked on to it. Luckily, you have a lot of sales experience, but do not feel as confident about your marketing abilities. You understand that times have changed, and your audience relies on the internet more than ever. Still, you need help figuring out where to start navigating these complexities. You know one thing for sure: you want to increase your revenue while ensuring you are supporting the sales team with demand for your products.
Going door to door used to work wonders, but now it can only get you so far. Cold calls used to get you in the door with potential customers, but now people are more reluctant to answer phone calls from unknown numbers. Overcoming these obstacles is where digital marketing for manufacturers comes into play!
How Times Have Changed
The internet is fairly new in the grand scheme of things. In the past, manufacturing businesses relied purely on their Rolodex, trade shows, or referrals. Sales people built relationships and loyalty by dropping off pastries, giving out tickets to football games, and dropping off brochures and product samples. But let’s be real, there was no real science behind finding leads.
In this changing world where we’ve all grown accustomed to the easy availability of information online, it’s important for manufacturing businesses to be accessible both online and in real life.
Digital Marketing can help bring warm leads straight into your inbox by utilizing a number of strategies that meet your business’ needs. But, with all the marketing options out there, finding a starting point can be overwhelming.
Before we talk about marketing solutions, let’s quickly analyze where you stand with your online presence. Then let’s discuss a few projects you can tack onto your marketing.
Determine Your Online Presence
When I say online presence, I’m not talking exclusively about social media (although that is an excellent way of showing your company is active and authentic). Our first step is to see if you’re showing up on search engines like Google or Bing.
First, take a few minutes to list a few unbranded search terms you would want your company to show for. Maybe it’s “forged nuts Houston,” “pharmaceutical semiconductor manufacturer,” or “domestic nuts.” Just remember to keep your search terms unbranded—you’re trying to search like someone that has no idea your business exists.
Next, act like a potential customer looking for a manufacturing company. Open a private browser window and search for a product or service related to your business. If your business relies on local customers, add your city to the end of the search.
Make a note of who is showing up in the first three results. Does your website show up? How about on the first page? If your business isn’t there, you’re losing hundreds of opportunities to educate your market and sell your product or service.
Decide What Steps To Take Next
We’re not recommending a complete overhaul of your marketing! Instead we recommend making intentional changes to help you get in front of your customers more effectively, specifically in the digital space.
Here are some of our favorite projects/strategies we recommend here at Marketing Refresh:
- Website Redesigns: Is your website stuck in the 90s? Updating your website is an easy way to show customers your business is currently open and ready for their business. New headlines, meta descriptions, quicker site speeds, and optimized images on your site can also help bring your pages up in the search results pages.
- Buyer’s Journey: This research uncovers valuable information about a person’s journey to becoming your customer. This information will help you craft a messaging strategy to help move your customers down the funnel. Having this research handy will help you speak directly to their pain points.
- Keyword Research: What keywords do your customers use to find your business? What keywords are you missing out on that your competitors are ranking for? Keyword research will help you fill these gaps with content and SEO to help your business move higher and higher in the search results. People are already searching; now you have to show up!
- Content Strategy: Content is key! A Content strategy is a cost-effective way of leading potential customers to your site (and if done right, into your sales rep’s email). Keyword research will help you find terms to target with blogs, website pages, and more. Once you’ve consistently put out intentional content for a bit, you’ll see your pages rise in the search results as Google recognizes your site as an authoritative source!
- Competitor Research: What is your biggest competitor doing with their marketing? You can find out. Researching your competitor can give you insight into many things like what ads they’re running, what keywords they rank for, their website performance, and even if they’re running ads against your company! This info can help you fill gaps you may not have even known existed.
- Targeted Ad Campaigns: Ads work! It’s been said that prospective customers will need to see your message about seven times before they buy. Ads will help you quickly meet those numbers. Ads can be great for brand recognition and showcasing specific products/services. You can even target ads around a particular location (including your competitor’s office).
What you choose to do will depend on your marketing budget, sales objectives, and capabilities. Each of these techniques, when implemented correctly, will play into bringing you leads while saving you time and money in the end. The best part? You’ll know these leads need your business. All you have to do is seal the deal.
Track, Analyze, and Optimize Regularly
Once you decide which path to take with your marketing, you need to set your goals, track your progress, and make any necessary changes. No Digital Marketing strategy is ‘set it and forget it,’ meaning you should check your marketing performance at least monthly!
Depending on what marketing project you’re taking on, you’ll want to measure KPIs like MOM keyword rankings, page views, ad clicks/conversions, and lead quality. Tracking the growth or declines in the performance of these metrics will allow you to analyze the results to determine areas of improvement and gaps you can fill.
Once you can find the gaps in your strategy, you need to implement a change, and measure its progress. We recommend making one change at a time so you can easily see what worked and didn’t without the headache of having to backpedal on several different changes.
Don’t Be Stuck In The Past
If your sales techniques aren’t working as well as they used to, it’s time to make a change! Being online and showing up has proven to be extremely important in this day and age. Sticking to old-school ways can only do so much, but with an effective digital marketing strategy, the leads will start rolling in.
If you’re overwhelmed with all the marketing options, we can make it easy for you. Our team has years of experience with digital marketing for manufacturers. We’re ready to help you define your ROI, fill the gaps, create content, and rise above your competitors. Send us a message and give some new-school marketing strategies a try!