The buying process has been changing in the manufacturing industry over the last couple of years. In years past manufacturing marketing budgets were primarily allocated on paid listings in industrial directories, catalogue ads, trade shows, magazine ads and more. Buyers are relying more on the internet. These four steps will help you improve your manufacturing marketing.
With the amount of information available online its estimated that 60% of the purchase decision is already made before the buyer contacts a company or sales rep. If you want to compete moving forward your manufacturing marketing strategy is going to need to be inline with the manufacturing buyers evolving process. (Not a manufacturing company, no problem. These tips are relevant to any company looking to improve their online marketing.)
Here are four key areas where you can improve your marketing effectiveness to drive more traffic, capture more leads and close more sales…
1. Create a Website That Gives Visitors What They Want
Your manufacturing website is the hub of your online marketing. Prospects coming to your site need to be able to quickly find the content that they are looking for. Based on a 2014 B2B Web Usability report, here are the types of content B2B buyers are looking for:
- Address and Contact Info (68%)
- Pricing Info (43%)
- Technical Info (38%)
- Case Studies / Blogs / White Papers (38%)
- Shipping Info (37%)
In terms of visual appeal some of the top noted issues visitors have with websites include:
- Confusing Navigation / Hard to Find Information
- Site Doesn’t look Professional or Up-to-Date
- Copy is too small or crammed together
If your site isn’t performing up to expectations you may be lacking the right content or visual appeal. Be sure to check out our blog post Awesome Tips to Improve Your Manufacturing Website.
2. Be Sure Your Site is Optimized for the Search Engines (SEO)
SEO is all about driving traffic to your website. But not just any traffic, but rather targeted traffic. 100 of the right visitors will always be more beneficial then 1,000 of the wrong people. So how do you get the right people to your site?
Simple. Make sure your site ranks for the keywords your prospects use when searching for information on problems, threats, opportunities, etc. that your products or services solves for them.
It takes time and effort to rank for the right keywords. It would be a shame if you spent any of this time ranking for the wrong words. The most important thing you can do before building or redesigning your site is keyword search. Forget about assuming or guessing and let your research guide your decisions.
3. Create Compelling Content
If you’ve done your keyword research, then you’re in a better position to began crafting content that is relevant to your target audience. Make sure that for each page and piece of content that you have a primary keyword. Then do on page optimization to improve your ranking chances.
Your prospects are going to be in one of the three stages of the buying process:
- Awareness: Problem Identification
- Consideration: Problem Solution
- Decision: Problem Resolution
Make sure you create content for all three stages.
4. Create Pages That Convert
If capturing leads is one of your website goals then you need to avoid wasting website visits. Utilizing calls-to-action is the perfect way to create value from prospects visitng your website. Many of the manufacturing websites we work with have one or both of what we consider major conversion issues:
- No Calls-to-Action
- Unclear Calls-to-Action
The first is east to fix. Create an offer that a visitor would be willing to give you there name and emaill address to access. Then add a clickable call-to-action tied to a form.
The second issue requires that you make your calls-to-action stand out visually and that the messaging you use clear conveys the offer.
Once you have clear calls-to-action on your page, then you can start optimizing them to improve your conversion rate. To learn more about using AB testing to improve conversions visit our Conversion rate optimization page.
Remember, you already have the visitors at your site, now you just need to get more to take the specific action you want them to take.
As buyers move more of their research and purchase process to the internet, your website, or your competitors websites, is increasingly becoming the sales resource in the best position to capture prospects attention. Will they find your site when they search? Will they stay on your site if they vist? Will they take a conversion action and at a minimum become a lead and prospect?
A complete online marketing strategy has a lot of integrated components, but it all starts with your website.