Sales reps for manufacturing companies are losing influence as industrial buyers increasingly turn to the Internet for research about the products and services they need. Successful manufacturing companies are realizing that their company website is a tool that is under-utilized. As a result, they’re adopting inbound marketing strategies, ramping up their website and social media channels to generate more sales leads online.
With nearly two thirds of the industrial buyers’ decision already made before ever contacting a vendor, it is more important than ever for manufacturing vendors to be the go-to source for trusted information as buyers search and browse the web.
Here are five ways that web savvy manufacturing companies use inbound marketing to guide buyer’s decisions and convert multi-million dollar purchases.
1 - Get Noticed
More than 80% of purchase decisions begin on a search engine. That means if your name isn't on the list, you're not on the buyer's list. Fair or not, buyers assume that a company that doesn't show up near the top of their Google search is not worth consideration.
Beyond any larger goals, a good inbound marketing campaign that generates lots of informative content will place your site higher on search engine results pages. That creates a direct conduit for new leads from your company website.
2 - Establish Authority
Inbound marketing for manufacturing may differ a little from other industries. The typical "Frequently Asked Questions" style blogs and other content won't be enough to impress. While it is important to be informative and educational, inbound content for manufacturing has the latitude to be more promotional in nature.
Industrial blogs can focus on features that make your products different, better, more effective or affordable, than your competitors. A buyer researching large chemical tanks, or tractors, or custom tool manufacturing doesn't need to be sold on the product; they need to be sold on your product. So provide the data that proves it, in the form of blog posts and case studies.
3 - Look Towards The Future
Foresight and "big picture" thinking are highly valued in industries that often gamble on multi-million dollar ventures. If you want to build a steady flow of visitors to your website, giving them unique and accurate insights into the future of your industry is a great way to do it.
After all, if they're already coming to your blog for advice, they'll be far more likely to call you when they need your services.
4 - Multimedia Material Gets Shared
Strong images, audio and video will be more likely to be shared through social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook. In fact, photos and images on Facebook generate 53% more Likes than the average post according to research from Hubspot.
- Infographics: A good infographic is more likely to be shared than any other kind of content, because they quickly compress a lot of information into an easily-readable form.
- Podcasts: A podcast requires nothing more than a device with a microphone and a bit of software. Podcasts can cover material in more depth than blogs, while allowing more room for personal opinion. Good ones can pick up thousands of subscribers.
- Video: Video is perfect for a manufacturing company who wants to show off its processes. A well-produced short documentary of your manufacturing process, or your products in action, can quickly demonstrate value to your buyers.
One word of warning: Be sure your brand and your website are easily-seen on any visual content you produce. If it's shared, that's the only way to ensure you get credit.
5 - Add More
The real key to producing content that's enjoyed and shared by your visitors is adding something new to what's already available. Any way that you can add value will make your content more effective.
Try making an infographic out of a spreadsheet of data. Or, writing a direct response to a blog, taking a different standpoint. Or, finding a study and adding your own internal numbers to the discussion.
Adding more is what distinguishes websites with quality content from those who merely recycle the ideas of others.