Manufacturing and other industrial businesses aren't typically the most well known companies—even though they provide valuable products and services to many industries, they rarely garner the distinction or general awareness found with technology or consumer goods companies.
That's unfortunate enough, but the real problem is that many industrial companies are actually tech-shy and prefer to completely avoid establishing an online presence. This is their loss, because a well-constructed website—which means high-quality design driven by a comprehesive marketing strategy for manufacturing companies—could turn into a significant source of leads and new business for them.
How Industrial Websites Can Generate Revenue
A large majority of customers conduct research online prior to buying a most products or services. Most manufacturers only offer a kind of line card, trimming the details down to the basics, but consistently publishing helpful information on your website could actually generate enough new leads to keep your operation running—or even expanding.
There's a secret to this —you see, when companies are successful, it's because those companies have customers that think they design, engineer, and build high quality products. When you have interested customers and a loyal following, you should have an abundance of useful information you can share online—not just over sales calls with people half a world away.
In essence, online marketing is about establishing a story for your company and becoming an informative resource for prospective customers, and this works for every industry—even those who think online marketing doesn't apply because they're old school businesses operating in an unusual niche.
The key to online marketing is making everything about your customer—and when you talk about how you can help solve real problems, showcase examples with actual customers, and generally highlight what you can do to help them, you'll be producing informative content they'll want to read. When your website attacts the right traffic, every visitor to your site is a potential lead and sale.
Creating Your Online Marketing Content
It's not always easy to generate content for industries that are hesitant to enter the digital age, but it's not as hard as most people think.
All you really have to do is think like a storyteller or journalist and create compelling content featuring topics that appeal to your target audience. This content is not about you, but about how your company can help solve their most pressing problems. If your content is honest and relevant, customers will notice and ultimately reward you with new business.
Industrial companies of all sizes manage blogs and regularly publish interesting and informative content. It's not by accident, but a thoughtful strategy to help expand their digital reach, rank higher in search results and connect with existing and prospective customers. Consider the likes of General Electric, Caterpillar, Ingersol Rand, Boeing, Cummins and many others who actively publish and share content through blogs, ebooks, white papers, presentations, video, infographics and more. If you haven't considered blogging and content marketing as part of your marketing mix, it's likely your competitors are already, or will be soon.
Marketing with Social Media
Industrial and manufacturing companies can also leverage social media as part of their online marketing mix. Most B2B companies struggle with effectively using social media, but you don't need to avoid these channels just because your company isn't focused on consumer products.
In fact, stop thinking about the word 'consumer', and start focusing on 'customer' instead. You want to engage where your customers are—and many of them are on social media. Maybe you're connecting with C-level executives through LinkedIn, sharing informative articles on Twitter, or running serious discussions as part of an exclusive Facebook group.
Customers want information and help—and over eighty-five percent of them will do research online before they make decisions or contact a sales representative. That's especially true of the younger generation, and those are the people who are just now starting to take positions of authority within their company.
Every time you offer those customers a chance to learn about you, you have a chance to generate a lead and earn a sale. You're not just a manufacturer—you're the solution they're looking for. When the marketing strategy for your manufacturing company is focused with these proven practices, you'll find yourself shocked with the traffic you can attract and how many new sales leads you'll be able to generate.