The manufacturing industry is growing at a rapid pace. It has fueled the need for industrial marketing solutions. As companies are beginning to expand internationally, they are turning to processes that can help them gain global market share in the most cost-effective manner. They are doing that by finding new ways to increase their exposure, via utilizing social media marketing and reaching out to target markets online.
There are many ways you can market your product to meet your goals. As a manufacturer, there are some marketing strategies that I feel are more important than others.
What to keep:
• Trade shows – these are an important part of the industrial buying journey.
• Trade journal advertising – this has value (impressions aside!) New or old school, walk into most industrial operations and you see these on people’s desks. But you’re going to have to be creative – Shift your ads from product focused stuff that looks like everyone else’s to offering whitepapers, case studies or reports with an easy link to your site to download. You’ll capture a modern lead through a traditional channel.
• Paid search – depending on your product and target personas this can be an effective component of your business development. Sometimes it’s a waste, and often it is most effectively redirected – for instance, since 80% of people searching completely ignore paid results, maybe it’s better directed towards organic listings/SEO.
What to build on:
• Social media – this doesn’t mean that you hire a community manager. But social media is increasingly used by technical buyers to research solutions. Make sure you’re found there, and ensure your company is engaged in a dialog not simply broadcasting.
• Get control of your website – IT and outside designers make a big deal out of small changes. And if your website is really going to work as a lead generation engine, it’s going to involve frequent changes and updates.
• Embrace unqualified leads – these are incredibly valuable since you can shape them
• User experience (UX) – consider every interaction from customer perspective. This includes not only quality of information and value of interaction, but even the ease of navigating your site and finding what they need.
What to change:
• Mobile friendly – ensure that all your thought leadership content is accessible to users regardless of what platform they’re using to access it. Phones, tablets and PCs are all commonly used.Mobile is now increasingly common as more users are from mobile than desktop.
• Step back from products & specs – Become buyer focused by building on customer challenges and value you create directly and indirectly
• Stop selling – help buyers buy
Adapt your broader strategy as you learn more from buyers.
These should be measured against goals set according to corporate strategy, and be built on realistic expectations
• growth target • lifetime value • rate of close • rate of conversion • traffic
“Overestimating internal capabilities – The shift to managed revenue growth will demand new technologies, skills and processes. A realistic assessment about which capabilities should be developed in-house and which should be developed by new partners is crucial.”
You need to grow traffic as a business asset – not merely a number. Statistically only some of your traffic will be interested in what you have to say. The goal is to grow the percentage of interested traffic first, and then grow the absolute number second.
This is achieved by organically targeting keywords that visitors search on Google and seeing how your website traffic increases with that.
In fact you may actually want to reduce traffic – by being clear enough in focus and optimization you’ll avoid folks that arrive by mistake and ‘bounce.’ And you’ll build time on site and engagement by attracting the right folks. But turning traffic from a statistic into an asset requires an almost universally overlooked step – conversion. Numbers of visitors are meaningless – but visitors who engage and who exchange a name and email address for some of your expertise are the future customers that you’ll never have to cold call.
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