Are you a B2B manufacturer who thinks your target audience is too narrow or niche for online ads? Although the number of people searching for your product may be small, you only are charged when they click your ad. So a campaign that targets the specific keyword phrases (and is well-researched to prevent wasting money on search terms that are intended for a commercial product or different purpose) will be inexpensive. But you'll want to closely track the metrics that are tied to revenue and aren't simply "vanity metrics".
Does Digital Advertising Work for B2B?
Buyers of manufacturing equipment no longer rely on a contact from a salesperson or trade show to get information on equipment suppliers. Plant decision makers (engineers, purchasing agents, and plant managers) are trending younger and they are digital-savvy, with experience doing everything online.
Digital advertising is essential lead generation for manufacturers because it is the fastest way to get listed and found on Google. By placing search and display ads manufacturers show up in top positions almost immediately; people see your ad you get found right away. Folks that click on the ads are generally lower in the sales funnel, and more serious about doing business.
The Metrics a Digital Marketing Agency for Manufacturers Should Report
An agency running digital campaigns reports metrics on the ad campaigns to demonstrate the growth and value delivered on your ad spend. Evaluating the success of the campaigns and what adjustments to make should be based on metrics that drive conversions, not vanity metrics such as Impressions or CPM.
The key success metrics to evaluate are:
- Conversions (Website Contact Forms, Phone Calls, or Online Purchases)
- Click Through Rate
- Cost Per Click (CPC)
- Conversion Rate
- Cost Per Conversion
Track these metrics over time as the digital marketing agency refines the campaign for continual improvement. Here’s an easy guide to indicate which direction the metrics should be moving for positive momentum.
Since the buyer's journey for manufacturing equipment often involves several visits to the supplier's website, one of the best metrics to track is assisted conversions. They are harder to track but really valuable to measure how advertising is doing when a buyer may have used an ad to go to the website but didn’t make the purchase on the first visit, instead they return later through direct traffic or regular search and made the purchase.
Setup Data Tracking Prior to Running Ad Campaigns
In order to measure the value of digital advertising and all other manufacturing marketing efforts, Google Analytics needs to be set up correctly and connected to the AdWords account. A CRM connects data between systems as well as delivers marketing automation to nurture leads from all marketing channels. HubSpot, for example, is a CRM for manufacturing companies that tracks where sales leads originate, tracks user engagement on the website, and allows for automated nurture campaigns to move the lead along in the sales funnel, as well as strengthen brand awareness.
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