Historically, SMBs in the manufacturing industry have relied on more traditional marketing avenues such as trade shows, face-to-face sales meet and greets, and print advertising. But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, these strategies haven't been able to keep up, forcing many into the digital age.
On average, Americans spend 60 hours per week staring at screens. Now, more than ever, we rely on the power of technology and the internet to connect with each other. This goes for friends, family, and especially for shoppers. To keep up with the investing and buying trends of modern day consumers, leveraging SEO, social media, and online customer engagement are just a few of the most critical digital tactics to keep companies relevant.
If your company needs to make a change, make sure to keep reading. We have provided a quick guide on the latest online marketing strategies.
Finding Customers Online
One of the greatest advantages of the internet is reaching customers you typically can't reach. Many manufacturing companies are doing this with SEO and targeted ads.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It's a process that includes improving the quality of content on a website with relevant topics and keywords to increase the traffic it gets from those searching for those terms. You can achieve better SEO with hiring quality writers and using high ranking, searchable keywords.
Not only are manufacturing companies using SEO, but they're also creating targeted ads for potential buyers on platforms such as LinkedIn and Google Ads. Their ads attract and pull into their website intended demographics, giving their products more exposure.
Having blog posts with relevant content and keywords, and eye-catching ads allows manufacturers to reach potential customers without traveling or attending in-person trade shows. These online posts and ads can be easily shared with leads by sales teams (via email) by using trackable hyperlinks.
Using Social Media
It may seem odd to some that manufacturing companies are on social media, but they're doing it and doing it well. Social media is a great way to connect and build relationships within an industry. It all comes down to knowing how to use the different platforms.
On LinkedIn and Facebook, companies are able to create ads and business pages. Users can follow these pages and keep up with blogs, updates, reviews, and shared images. They're also able to invite others to 'like' the page.
YouTube is a huge platform changing the digital marketing game for many companies. Manufacturing companies can upload videos showcasing their products, and showing how they work in a real-world setting, basically providing a demo to potential customers.
On Instagram, customers and sales qualified leads view images and videos of products, old and new. Companies are finding even more creative ways to share media content of positive user experiences and happy customers. Even more, it opens the door to new partnerships and peeks into collaborations with other companies in the industry. Never underestimate the power of a photo.
A major piece of all marketing strategies is customer engagement. Companies constantly building online relationships with prospects and customers see rises in their numbers.The higher the engagement, the higher the sales tend to be.
While manufacturers have traditionally relied on a sales team, they can supplement their customer engagement, and provide more qualified leads for sales with online opportunities. Manufacturing companies should provide for direct communication with leads through their website and social media platforms.
Company websites should provide easy-to-find contact forms for questions and concerns. They can use chatbots to field questions and get contact information. Relevant content offers can be available on their website as a way to obtain the contact information of prospects and keep customers interested.
As mentioned above, social media platforms are also important tools for brand building to appeal to customers and prospects. It’s important to keep a steady cadence of social posting.
Perfecting the Website
As Industries are compelled to undergo digital transformation, having a versatile and ever evolving online business model is essential to their success.
With greater emphasis on digital strategy and inbound marketing, companies should always be working to improve their website.
IT teams need to be available to guarantee the site is running smoothly and quickly for all users. Tabs and windows shouldn't lead to dead ends, and everything should be easy to navigate. The user experience always comes first.
Increasing the accessibility of a site is also crucial. Greater accessibility includes offering image descriptions, text-to-speech abilities, and fonts that are web safe fonts.
Pandemic Problems and Solutions: Marketing for the Manufacturing Industry
The pandemic has highlighted the need for improved digital marketing strategies. For companies in the manufacturing industry which have typically relied on more traditional means of marketing, this includes improving their websites and SEO and making use of digital ads and social media to draw people into their site. Opening up streams of communication via content offers, chatbots and website forms for prospects and customers is crucial.
Are you in need of improvement in your marketing plans? We offer inbound marketing and sales growth services. Talk with us today to get started.