This article is an excerpt from the HubSpot eBook, “Constructing a Winning Blueprint for 2017.” Chris Kelley was one of 23 authors who contributed to this collaboration about how manufacturers can overcome the biggest marketing and sales challenges currently facing the industry. Download the eBook and see Chris’s section on page 30.
The websites of many manufacturing companies fall short of their marketing expectations leaving industrial marketers frustrated by a lack of leads. After all, the promise of the website was to be an online sales rep where customers would request a quote at any time of the day or night, and new business would roll in 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Some manufacturing companies invest more time and money into digital marketing activities like blogging and search engine optimization, social media marketing, and paid digital ads, but still do not see the pay off in terms of increased leads and sales.
Individual online marketing tactics, like SEO and social media, can help drive website traffic. But while the website may attract visitors, it lacks a way to convert those strangers into leads. Only a fully integrated inbound marketing strategy is designed to use those tactics to convert sales leads and nurture the most qualified prospects.
Most websites already rank in Google and do, in fact attract some visitors. Their problem is not traffic – it’s conversion. The fact is most visitors do not click on a search result because they want to buy your product – yet. While a “Request a Quote” form is a mainstay for most manufacturing company websites, most website visitors are far from ready to make a purchase. Usually, they are simply doing research, comparing specifications or suppliers, and finding product information that answers their questions.
But whether they found your site via a search engine or clicked a digital ad, they came to your company’s website because they were at least somewhat interested in the information you provide. The goal is to give them more of that helpful information and convert those anonymous visitors into leads. After all, you’ll need their name and email address, as well as other demographic information, to use in your sales follow-up. Here’s how:
Offer Premium Content
Offer valuable content on your website that prompts an informational transaction. Free educational resources like downloadable eBooks or whitepapers help website visitors in their research and decision-making process, in exchange for their email address.
Provide your website visitors with a clear next step that you would like them to take. This Call-to-Action (CTA) should send the visitor to a landing page where they can download your free content in exchange for some identifying information like their name and email address.
This is the point when an anonymous website visitor shares their contact information with you and becomes a lead. Present your offer clearly, eliminate distractions, and make it easy to sign up for your information via a web form.
Industrial engineers and purchasing agents of industrial products will likely start their research with an online search and are attracted to your site by the helpful, industry-specific information you provide. Use the simple, 3-step method described above to convert those strangers into leads and turn your website into the lead generation and sales tool you expected it to be.