Some of the traditional methods of lead generation for manufacturers, such as scanning through long lists of potential contacts or relying heavily on trade shows, are now falling by the wayside. This has opened the door for new, creative ways for manufacturers to capture leads digitally.
Not only will these tactics encourage engagement from your buyers, they will also help you collect valuable information and easily track where a prospect is along the buyer’s journey. When used in combination with marketing automation software, you can develop a consistent framework to efficiently follow-up with leads and nurture them into customers.
Whether you maintain a basic website with a minimal amount of content or a large-scale e-commerce platform, leveraging a collection of these lead capture ideas will provide a tremendous amount of value for your business and customers.
When potential customers are navigating your website, there’s a high probability that they have specific questions that they want answers to. If your phone number and other relevant contact information is not listed, that should be your first priority. Ensure that this information is prominent and appears above the fold on desktop, and is anchored to the top on mobile, so that your website visitors can easily find it and reach out to you if needed.
You can utilize a call-tracking platform like CallRail to track the direct source of these phone calls and even listen back into the recordings. Similar to an athlete reviewing film following a practice, these recordings can be valuable in helping you evaluate and improve the effectiveness of your phone answering process.
Establishing forms for your website visitors to complete is an excellent source of capturing the information of new leads. While there are a variety of different ways that you can leverage forms, the two most prominent for manufacturers are “contact us” and “request a quote” style forms.
Here are 3 best practices to consider for creating effective forms:
- Keep them concise: Attempt to keep the number of fields that users have to complete to as few as possible. Collect your user’s name, email address, and other essential information, but shy away from long, drawn-out forms that are likely to be abandoned.
- Consider user experience: If you are asking open-ended questions on your forms, use questions that are highly relevant to your potential buyers.
If you are considering implementing forms on your website, you can either create one main form that appears across several website pages or take it a step further and design several different forms for specific product lines. Be sure that your forms are easy to use on mobile devices.
With complex products and long buying cycles, videos are a powerful way for manufacturers to create a better experience for potential leads and increase engagement with their business. They can provide actionable advice or showcase how your products or services can solve an issue that potential buyers may have.
For example, a manufacturer of industrial blades could create a video on how to safely clean blades to avoid wear and tear in the long-run. This type of educational content will help improve the amount of authority that your business has with your target market and build trust among potential buyers.
Videos are also extremely versatile. You can post your videos on YouTube and embed them into specific landing pages to influence form submissions, on social media platforms, or blast them out to segments of your email list.
Gated offers for content
Sharing high-quality, educational content is an exceptional way to build trust and capture the attention of potential leads whether they are at the top or bottom of the sales funnel.
If you have any eBooks, Guides, or other long-form content, add a landing page with a form that is required to be filled out to access it. This is a fantastic way for you to identify leads and is typically a fair trade that people are willing to take to learn more about in-depth topics that they are interested in.
For guidance on how you can get started on creating content for your website, here are 6 Effective Types of Content For Manufacturers.
Conversational-AI has come a long way in recent years and the days of chatbots being viewed as just a customer service tool are in the past.
With more advanced chat options like Drift, you can save time and provide an exceptional user experience to your website visitors. Using pre-determined scripts, these bots are able to create a unique experience for each visitor and help identify qualified leads.
For instance, if a potential customer arrives on your website and has questions that you frequently receive, a chatbot can collect their information for you and guide them to the necessary resources to help solve their questions.
The use of webinars is a relatively newer lead generation tactic for manufacturers, but potentially a powerful one if they resonate well with your target market.
Webinars are live broadcasts that you can use to showcase product demonstrations, conduct interviews of industry leaders, answer questions that your customers have, and the list goes on.
Over time, webinars can provide valuable visibility and engagement for your business, but you'll need to be disciplined in your approach to promoting webinars in order to gain a decent audience. Sometimes all it takes is one high value prospect to attend one of your webinars to serve as a launching point for a lucrative deal.
You'll want to have a strategy in place to follow up with webinar registrants afterwards too, as this can lead to meaningful conversations about how your products and services might meet their needs.
You can capture new leads by adding a landing page to your website and including a form that is required to be submitted to register for your webinars.
When LinkedIn was initially created, it was typically used as a networking tool to connect people with other professionals in their industry. While it is still used for that purpose, it has expanded well beyond that.
LinkedIn can be a great avenue for manufacturers to capture the attention of new leads. With LinkedIn Advertising, you can precisely target individuals by their industry, job title, and the company that they work for. This will allow you to ensure that you are spending your money on showing your content to the exact audience that you wish to see it.
Leverage these advertisements to promote videos, long-form content, or other gated offers that you can use to capture leads, as well as to establish brand recognition.
Don't neglect organic LinkedIn opportunities. While organic reach has diminished considerably for other social platforms, focusing on organic content on LinkedIn is still worthwhile. It can be particularly effective for individual sales and company leaders to establish a following on LinkedIn and actively post content that your target audience will find educational and helpful.
Join Relevant Communities
Actively engaging in communities that are relevant to your industry is a great way to engage with potential leads and build awareness around your business, products, or services.
Some examples of communities that you can consider participating in are trade associations or online forums such as Reddit where you can join in and discuss subtopics that may be related to your industry.
LinkedIn groups can be another effective way to share useful information and establish expertise with a target audience, but you must be careful not to use them to try to sell or promote your business directly. That's the quickest way to alienate group members or even be removed from groups. It's all about sharing helpful content and interacting with other group members to share your expertise and build recognition as an industry leader.
Adopt a variety of lead capturing tactics
As digital technology continues to advance, more and more new ways to capture leads arise for manufacturers. It’s important that you utilize a variety of lead-generation tactics and not rely heavily on one specific tactic to generate all of the leads that you need to be successful.
Regularly testing different techniques, trying out new ones, and identifying what works best for your business will put you well on your way to creating a high-performing lead generation strategy that will serve you well into the future.
Interested in learning more about the components of a strong, lead-generating digital marketing strategy for manufacturers?
Visit our Manufacturing Marketing Resources page where you can find a collection of blogs, webinar recordings, and other valuable information on digital marketing for manufacturing companies.