If you are in the manufacturing industry, you know that competition can be fierce. Some manufacturers are capitalizing on social media while others are utilizing paid ad campaigns. But how should you invest your time and resources? Is one form of marketing more powerful than another?
Whether you’re new to the marketing realm or you’ve been running various marketing campaigns for your manufacturing business for a while now, this is the guide for you.
Learn more about digital marketing for manufacturing, goal-setting best practices, marketing initiatives you should start implementing today, and the KPIs your manufacturing company should never forget to track.
If you’re ready to improve your revenue and increase your lead pool, keep reading!
The Era of Inbound Marketing
Over the past decade, businesses have had to pivot their marketing strategies to meet their customers where they’re at: online.
Because of this, many companies are moving toward using social media, paid ads, content marketing, email, and other forms of digital marketing to attract new potential customers and bring in more revenue. One form of digital marketing that manufacturers are using specifically is inbound marketing.
But what exactly is inbound marketing? How is it different from other types of marketing? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Inbound Marketing for Manufacturers?
Inbound marketing, in short, is the process behind creating value-driven content, attracting potential customers online, and nurturing customer relationships through the buyer’s journey.
Example of Manufacturing Inbound Marketing
Here is an example of inbound marketing at work in the manufacturing industry.
Let’s say a potential customer needs help understanding the differences between cotton and polyester fabric because they are trying to start a clothing line. They may have several questions about the two fabrics including:
- “Is cotton or polyester more comfortable to wear?”
- “What happens to these types of fabrics when they are put in the dryer?”
- “Are these fabrics flammable?”
Once you’ve thought through the questions your ideal customer may ask, your job is to create a valuable piece of content centered around the topic: cotton vs polyester. In this piece of content, you’ll want to expand on the differences between the fabrics while answering your audience’s questions.
After reading the article, there may be a place at the bottom for your audience to download a helpful guide in exchange for their name and email address so you can continue to provide them with relevant, helpful content. This will draw them further into the buyer’s journey and get them one step closer to becoming a lasting customer. Get the picture?
That was a high-level overview of inbound marketing and how it works, but why should your manufacturing business choose to invest in it? Is it relevant to your business structure?
Why Should Manufacturers Invest in Inbound Marketing?
As mentioned before, customers are engaging more often than not with the brands they love online. From exploring a company website to liking the company’s page on LinkedIn, customers are interacting with companies online in more than one way. The more valuable online touchpoints your brand has, the better.
Here are three reasons why manufacturers are choosing inbound marketing over traditional marketing.
1. Better Reach
Sharing your content online and setting up digital marketing campaigns gives your business more reach than traditional marketing. There are 5.3 billion people on the internet — you’re selling your company short if you don’t fully utilize the power of your online presence.
2. Lower Cost
Digital marketing is more cost-effective than traditional because you can target your exact audience with the medium they are already using. Say goodbye to wondering if your traditional marketing campaign was shown to the right audience or not.
3. Accurate Tracking
Another main benefit of digital marketing is the fact that you can accurately track the success of your digital campaigns in real time. You can easily calculate the ROI and other necessary KPIs of your marketing initiatives.
Now that you know about what inbound marketing is and the reasons why manufacturers are investing in it, it’s time to talk about goals.
What Are Your Marketing Goals?
If you don’t know what your marketing goals are, don’t stress. That’s why we’re here.
When setting a marketing goal, it needs to be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Here are some examples:
Not a SMART goal: “We want more marketing leads.”
What’s wrong with this goal? This is not a SMART goal because it doesn’t have a time frame, it’s not measurable, and it’s not specific.
SMART goal: “We want to have 100 more leads by the end of 2024 from organic search.”
Unlike the first example, this goal statement is SMART because it has the number of leads the organization wants to attain, a timeline of when the goal needs to be met, and the specifics of what source they want these leads to come in from.
What’s next? Sit down with your team to start setting your SMART marketing goals. Do you want to increase conversions, leads, or sessions? It’s time to set goals around those metrics.
Be sure to ask sales team members for their input too. Marketing goals don’t only affect the marketing department but the company as a whole.
How to Market Your Manufacturing Company
After creating your marketing goals, it’s time to get to work. We touched on what an inbound marketing campaign looks like already, but let’s dive a little deeper. Here are some actionable ways that your team can market your manufacturing company and keep the needle moving forward.
Produce Educational Content
Content marketing increases site traffic and allows for your website audience to be nurtured in the buyer’s journey. Here are content ideas you can use to market your manufacturing business:
- Website pages
Build Manufacturing Specific Lead Generation Campaigns
Once you have created a library of content, it’s time to set up a lead generation campaign. Here are some pieces to your lead generation you need to create to capture leads:
- Content offer
- Call-to-action (CTA)
- Landing page
- Thank you page
- Follow-up email
- Email drip campaign
There’s a lot of prep work involved in creating an effective lead-generation campaign. This blog will help you get started.
Create an SEO Strategy
So you have content and a lead generation campaign, but how do you make sure these initiatives are getting seen by Google? The secret lies in search engine optimization (SEO).
By optimizing your content and digital marketing campaigns, your website will be set up to rank higher in search results. This means there will be more eyes on your brand and traffic to your site. Here are some actionable ways you can optimize your site’s content:
- Do keyword research: Ubersuggest, Moz, and Semrush are great tools to use to research keywords.
- Increase backlinks: Backlinks are when another website links to your site. They help build your site’s domain authority and drive traffic to your site.
Evangelize Your Manufacturing Business
Last but not least, you should evangelize your manufacturing business. There are many ways in which you can do this; here are some ideas:
- Social media
- Paid advertising
- Asking customers for reviews
- Asking employees to share on social media
Don’t Forget to Track Your Marketing
After deploying all of these marketing initiatives, you need to revisit your goals to see what analytics you should be tracking. How many sessions did you want to see this quarter? What conversion rate does your site need to convert at? Look at the metrics that are important to your goals.
Give your marketing initiatives about six weeks before analyzing their success. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time to pick up steam in search results.
Marketing Tracking Tools Your Company Should Be Using
To track your marketing data, you need to utilize tracking tools to find out the health of your marketing campaigns. Below are some tools that we like to use to track our client’s metrics:
- HubSpot Analytics
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
Key Performance Indicators You Need to Track
Once you set up your tracking tools, it’s time to look at the different KPIs you have based on your marketing goals. Here are some KPIs that are essential for your team to analyze:
- Sales opportunities
- Conversion rate
Digital Marketing and Your Manufacturing Company
If you have gathered anything from this guide let it be this: Digital marketing is here and it is here to stay. If your company doesn’t effectively utilize it, your competition will.
If you’re stuck still trying to figure out how to optimize your marketing efforts or start a marketing campaign that works, don’t worry. We created the Manufacturing Marketing Checklist just for you. Download the checklist here to generate more leads for your business.