Team Thomas August 15, 2022
Today, marketing without a business plan in place is nearly impossible if you want to drive results—and it’s even more true in the manufacturing sector.
You need to align your strategy of bringing in new clients with how you’re planning to expand into new markets, work at capacity, and expand your company.
Industrial marketing can help you create a competitive strategy and drive financial success. Using techniques that work best for each business, its customers, and its leads to get people interested in products or services.
With that background out of the way, let’s dive right in and discuss more about what industrial marketing is and its impact.
Many different marketing types are dependent on the platforms you use and the campaigns you invest in, but they are generally categorized under B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing or B2B (business-to-business) marketing.
In its simplest format, industrial marketing is B2B (business-to-business marketing) and promotes goods and services from one business to another.
Today, industrial marketing is generally done with online tactics and involves many complex components.
Data shows that industrial buyers are typically 70% of the way through their purchase decision process before reaching out to a supplier. That’s because today’s B2B buyers are mostly millennials who are digital natives and do all their online research anonymously online first.
Industrial marketing begins with research into these target audiences and prospects to understand how to meet their needs, what types of content, and where.
Manufacturing customers want to see detailed product information, your company history, where you do business, and reviews/testimonials that endorse your company.
They expect the content they’re researching to be available on-demand, optimized for any device, interactive, and highly visual.
Does your website provide everything a prospect is looking for? If you answered yes, that’s great! You’re ahead of the game. But if you’re not sure, that’s okay — you can only go up from here.
Businesses can no longer afford to ignore the power of digital marketing and the opportunities it provides. After COVID-19 began, there was a 12% increase in manufacturers using their website to connect with more customers. [Click Here To Read The Full State Of Manufacturing Report]
The purpose of a manufacturer’s website is to engage industrial buyers by providing the content and functionality buyers demand, resulting in quality, pre-qualified leads.
Ideally, it should be working as a sales tool for you and generating leads.
You may already be including a lot of informative content on your website in the form of your product information, specifications, certifications, applications, capabilities and equipment.
You should also include your company history, reviews/testimonials to help prospects validate your company, as well as detailed content that potentially gives buyers a positive perception of your company. Rather than just create a standard About Us page with all this information in text, consider diversifying your content with videos.
Content marketing is a critical component of industrial marketing because it helps get your business found online and (when done right) encourages prospects to contact you or make a purchase. Some popular content marketing ideas manufacturers see great engagement on are beginner-topic blog posts and how-to guides. Incorporate videos and other multimedia options to diversify your content and keep visitors engaged.
Take Tex Tech Industries for example—they provide innovative, high-performance materials across a vast number of industries.
“Diversified content on our site has really helped us stand out as a leader in the industry,” said Eoin Lynch, Executive Director of Sales and Marketing at Tex Tech Industries. “Some industries like aerospace technology can be complex, but our graphics, data sheets, and videos from Thomas Marketing Services break it down for buyers to understand what they need and how we help them.”
In the blog example below, Tex Tech answers common questions any buyers have about the type of fabrics for their special projects. Graphics and a video further detail the quality and advantages of the materials.
Instead of just writing paragraphs of content or posting pictures of your shop floor, videos can effectively promote your brand too — marketing doesn’t have to be all about writing. Different people consume content differently so it makes sense that video content grows revenue 49% faster than those who don’t, but it’s important to keep your online content fresh.
If you last updated your site a year ago, think about doing it again.
The Google algorithm searches for many factors, so an updated site but is important if you want new buyers and customers to find you online. Keeping your website design fresh and your content new will help boost your brand and visibility.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and how the search engines — Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., — use a formula to determine the results for a user’s search.
It is key to your industrial marketing strategy and goes hand-in-hand with new content on your website. By providing detailed product information in a search-engine-friendly way, prospects are more likely to find your website for specific search terms. And when they get to your website, they still search very specifically — sometimes even including part numbers in their searches.
Here’s what else you should include in your advanced search features on your website:
If you’re specifically targeting customers in your area, be sure to include local keywords in your content. Terms like “CNC machining in Southern Illinois” will let B2B customers and search engines know where your service area is.
Below is an example of Google search results for a buyer searching for CNC machining services in the New York City area. If your Google My Business profile is up to date and has a consistent name, address, and phone number as the rest of your online platforms, you’re more likely to get found by local buyers.
Industrial buyers want to find the products they are interested in quickly, which is why website functionality is a part of industrial marketing.
With a customer-centric approach becoming popular in business, advanced website functionality can make all the difference between your website and your competitors. With more businesses shifting to a direct-to-consumer model, they are upgrading their website to include a robust product catalog.
When a buyer or an engineer goes to a website, they look for exact product information to purchase and/or specify products into their design. With an interactive product catalog, product manufacturers can provide information of all of their products and their variations, as well as make it easy for users to quickly and efficiently filter their way to what they’re looking for.
An interactive product catalog can also streamline the buying process by integrating eCommerce for direct online purchasing. As long as your data is accurate, you can drive sales around the clock. The functionality of an online product catalog ultimately replicates various aspects of your business from customer service to purchasing. It makes you as the manufacturer more accessible at any given time to meet preliminary prospect demands. Ultimately, your platform should have real-time functionality, support your distribution partners, and reduce customer service and engineering hours.
In the example below, Spirol designed their product catalog for engineers to configure their custom products.
Just as there are different types of industrial marketing, there are also various advertising formats.
There are search ads, display ads (you likely see many of these in your regular day-to-day internet activities), social ads (yes, that video you saw on Facebook was likely an ad), and more. Advertising campaigns are important to marketing because they promote all the above efforts to a broader and targeted audience.
Similarly, emails let your subscribed audience stay in the loop about your company, products, offers, and resources you recently published.
Research shows that only 25% of leads you receive are immediately sales-ready, while 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy. Nurturing those leads with email campaigns and content resources pushes them closer to the buying stage while keeping your business top of mind.
Emails continue to be one of the top marketing channels to stay connected with customers, and according to Campaign Monitor, emails have the highest ROI for small businesses.
While talking on the phone might be one of the most traditional communication channels for some consumers, the majority of B2B buyers fall into the tech-savvy millennial age group and are researching vendors and suppliers online anonymously before getting in touch.
Custom plastic injection molding company, The Rodon Group, uses a website chat function on their homepage as part of their lead generation strategy to guide visitors to what they need whether they are just browsing, need to submit a quote, etc. Supplying prospects and customers with easy-to-access information makes their jobs easier and helps them see you as a trusted resource.
There are many other additional industrial marketing components, including PPC, social media, A/B testing, and reporting.
And since it’s not a one-and-done job, some businesses either hire an in-person marketing professional or an industrial marketing agency to help when resources are spread thin.
We have been connecting manufacturers and B2B buyers for more than 122 years. Our industrial marketing team is supported by degreed engineers who can help differentiate your company and grow your business.
If you’re beginning your first industrial marketing plan and unsure how you go about it, contact us for a free digital health check.
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