Manufacturing marketing tips can be often a little surface-level, and that’s why we curated heavy-hitters in the manufacturing marketing space, starting with OG of manufacturing marketing John Locke. We hope some of these get your brain moving, and your sales pipeline full of hot prospects.
Without further ado, ‘8 Manufacturing Tips (With Examples) – Roundup’:
1. Commit to Content Strategy That Helps Your Customers
Global and national manufacturing brands win many of the SERPs not only because they are large brands, but because they create helpful content that guide ad educate buyers at every step of the marketing funnel. Instead of creating a single landing page for a product they provide, they educate the buyer on the benefits of that product and have numerous marketing assets to help them make an educated buying decision. The goal is to become the only logical choice, and that is primarily done through content and marketing materials.
A great example of this is Phillips, who want museums and art galleries to buy their lighting. How they chose to position themselves as the logical choice is through this landing page for museum lighting. This page lists the benefits of having a lighting expert set up illumination strategies for highlighting artwork and preserving the gallery pieces correctly. Their landing page for art gallery lighting also has links to specific museum case studies, different types of lighting products that are appropriate for museums, and services for consulting and designing specific lighting arrangements.
If you are a facilities director at a museum or art gallery, and you land on this page, you will have hours of marketing materials to study and absorb. Smaller lighting manufacturers will not have this depth of content on their websites and are less likely to rank in Google for long-tail searches related to museum lighting. If you want to get more search traffic from people making a buying decision at an organization or company, content strategy is a way to create permanent marketing materials to reach B2B buyers.
2. Use Modified Broad Match Keywords To Zero In On Customers In Google Ads
Cole Storley, Hook Agency – https://hookagency.com
If you’re using Google Ads and still are not using modified broad match keywords, you’re not doing it right. We love modified broad match because they’re more targeted and specific than a broad match but have a farther reach than exact match keywords. If done right, they find that sweet sweet middle ground of being relatively high intent(people who are motivated to buy), and not excluding more broad searches that exact match keywords wouldn’t pick-up.
To use modified broad match, you’ll just need to put a ‘+’ in front of each keyword in the phrase. For example, if we wanted to target people searching for an industrial manufacturing company, we would create and add and enter the keyword like this: +manufacturing +marketing +company. Now someone can search “best manufacturing marketing company in Minneapolis”, and since the search includes ‘manufacturing’, ‘marketing’, and ‘company’ – voilà! our add triggers and a great potential customer is staring at our ad at the tip-top of the search results.
3. Resist the temptation to gate your content
Kathy Mrozek, Windmill Strategy – https://windmillstrategy.com
If you’re a B2B OE or OEM manufacturer and your product is being specified by engineers or other technical decision-makers, provide as much detailed technical information as possible online, and resist the temptation to gate data sheets or 3d models. If an engineer wants your 3d model, chances are that they’re pretty far down the path of building them into their product designs and will raise their hands to talk to sales when they’re ready. It’s frustrating, but your products are complex, and they will recognize the need to talk to sales once they’ve done their initial information download.
Today’s engineers want access to technical information online, love to find their own solutions, and will go to Google first for this. They won’t call or fill out your inquiry form until they’re convinced that the person on the other end is the expert who can solve their problem better than they can (and their bar for this is pretty high). If your website doesn’t have enough detailed information and specifications online for them to be convinced of that, they’ll move on to the next site that does. In order to get more and better RFQs, the first step is content, the second step is targeted digital marketing to reach the right people.
When your products are primarily custom, and specifications take the shape of features, ranges and form factors, this should be supplemented with as many detailed case studies as possible, so that visitors can clearly see that you’ve solved similar problems for similar customers in the past.
High-level content based around industry or application can also provide trust for purchasing and C-level visitors who make the ultimate purchase. And, you don’t have to forego gated content altogether — look for opportunities for content that clearly helps technical visitors, such as an online calculator or tool that provides information and trust without a gate, then ask for an email to deliver the results or provide more detailed tools.
Commit to a blog that really serves their interests and needs and earns their subscription, whether that means providing best practices specific to your niche that help them excel at their jobs, or showing off the cool and boundary-pushing work that you’re experimenting with.
4. Identify and Shorten Sales Cycles through Marketing
Stuart Blessman, August Ash – https://www.augustash.com/
Studying analytics and patterns in customer behavior from digital marketing campaigns can identify opportunities to shorten fulfillment for marketing. Your customers by their actions will tell you what they want!
Analytics data can tell you if customers are spending more time than needed to find the solution they are looking for on your website. High bounce rates, too many pages viewed, and time on site are all indicators that a visitor coming in from a marketing campaign is getting lost or not finding what they are looking for.
Manufacturers who work with distributor networks often find increased customer satisfaction and sales by creating targeted advertisements in Google Ads or Bing Ads that directly link potential leads with customers through a web portal rather than through a call center or sales representative. In one example with a large manufacturer with an international distributor network, I saw their distributor leads and sales increase by over 40% YoY. At the same time, call center volume decreased significantly, with more specialized calls coming in.
Customer surveys reported higher satisfaction and engagement, despite going through digital marketing rather than through the call center. While this might seem like scary new territory to more established manufacturers, customers, by and large, appreciate the faster response and immediate nature of having their questions answered and solutions fulfilled.
5. Make sure you have helpful videos for all of your top product lines or specialties.
Tim Brown – Hook Agency – https://hookagency.com
Video is extremely powerful – not only on the big emotional commercial level but also the demonstrations of differentiating features and more context around the lines of products or components you offer.
To showcase what it is that makes a particular product so awesome in the video – it can be done so much more quickly and efficiently than text, images, audio – or other mediums on the web. Ultimately, your videos don’t have to be fancy – check out this awesome small business/startup video setup for under 2k.
A minute and a half will do – these videos can be used on social, and/or on the product or specialty page – likely leading to an increase in the average time on page. Make sure to place the video in a way that makes it obvious and easy to access and clearly state in a headline above or below it – how the video will help a customer:
Example: The headline under the video on ProtoLabs CNC Machining Service – “Quick Turn CNC Milling”
6. Look Like a World-Class Manufacturer with a Well-Designed Website
John Locke – Lockedown Design & SEO – https://www.lockedownseo.com
One critical factor in marketing is how customers perceive your brand. If you want to compete with regional, national, or global brands, you must look the part. Design matters when it comes to SEO. Without a doubt, you must have the right content on your website, and you must have relevant backlinks to your site in order to rank in organic search. But the user experience, design, and layout of critical pages on your site will also determine whether you rank well over the long haul.
The way that you present your brand can make a difference in whether buyers pick up the phone or not. Should they choose your company or another that looks more professional? Aesthetics influence our decisions, and we generally think more favorably of a company website that looks sharp versus one that looks cobbled together.
It’s also important to identify what elements and content should be on key landing pages. Certain information usually needs to be on a page in order for it to rank for specific keywords in Google. This is part of the well-planned design.
7. Use LinkedIn as a curator for valuable information in the industry you serve
Bea Bonte – Hook Agency – https://hookagency.com
It doesn’t always need to be as complicated as most people make it on social media. The most important thing is being useful to people in your network. If you’re a manufacturing firm that serves construction/home builders, for instance, it would be valuable to post articles relating to problems contractors often come across.
The important thing to remember is that people don’t necessarily need to know about how the sausage is made, but they care about is how to sausage, the ketchup, the potato salad, and the beer will make their party more enjoyable for their guests. Understanding this concept can make social media for a somewhat dry industry much more relatable.
8. Use Facebook to help get employees and promote company culture
Bea Bonte – Hook Agency – https://hookagency.com
People sometimes underestimate the power of Facebook and their personal network and often forget that something that makes their business more profitable is A. Employee retention and B. Making the hiring process as concise as possible. Utilizing Facebook as a way of attracting prospective employees is a valuable tool that shouldn’t be ignored, even though you are a B2B company.
Millennials, in particular, want to work at a place that they feel cares about culture, thought leadership and is relatable. With the job market getting more and more competitive, digital marketing agencies, tech companies, and startups shouldn’t be the only ones putting in effort towards attracting top talent from social media.