When it comes to marketing for manufacturing companies, there is no 'one size fits all' approach. Every manufacturing business is different, and digital marketing needs to be tailored to the specific target markets, and more specifically, the target personas within those markets.
B2B manufacturing marketing strategy targets a unique audience. However, this audience may or may not be ready to make purchasing decisions at the moment we first make contact.
So which strategies should manufacturing marketers try?
Digital Marketing Strategies for Manufacturers
A digital marketing strategy that works for one manufacturer may or may not translate to a different industry, despite apparent similarities. For this reason, manufacturer marketing plans should be unique and include a detailed digital marketing plan that outlines a clear path to success.
Keep in mind that getting from the planning stage to the success stage takes trial and error. You'll leave a few failed strategies along the road.
Yet, B2B manufacturers can see tremendous success from digital marketing efforts. Throughout the years, WebStrategies has worked with a wide variety of manufacturing businesses. Along the way, we've had our fair share of both successes and failures.
For now, though, we'll focus on the success stories. See how we've created content marketing strategies for B2B manufacturing websites and implemented digital advertising tactics to increase sales leads and generate revenue for our clients.
Manufacturing Marketing Success Stories
PPC: Google Advertising Success for a Silicon Wafer Manufacturer
A client of ours who sells silicon wafers asked us to test out a few advertising campaigns on Google Paid Search platforms. In the first 90 days, the client spent approximately $2,200. They acquired 17 qualified leads—one of which had a six-figure potential!
If your manufacturing business is looking for a few quick digital marketing wins, we suggest a Google Paid Search campaign. This strategy is especially powerful if a decent number of people are searching for keywords related to the products you manufacture.
(It also helps to have your ad campaign managed by experienced advertising veterans.)
Content Marketing: Blogging Success for a Brewery Manufacturer
Google Paid Search generally takes effect quickly however, content marketing strategies take a little more time to implement. But the time is worth it.
In a little over two years, we roughly quadrupled the amount of organic traffic coming into a brewery manufacturer's website.
Here's how we did it:
- Expanded some existing content pages
- Created a few pieces of new content
- Blogged about industry topics
- Incorporated keywords that people use to find products related to this manufacturer's business
Here’s a look at that traffic increase from Google Analytics:
The key to this traffic increase was creating content more targeted to this brewery manufacturer's potential customers. Improving existing content to better appeal to this manufacturer's target market also contributed to the success of this marketing strategy.
As noted, content marketing strategies can be particularly effective in increasing organic traffic. However, the results can take a bit longer to see than some other digital marketing initiatives.
Content Marketing Impact for Another Manufacturer:
CRO: Conversation Rate Optimization Success for a Brewery Manufacturer
For this same brewery manufacturer, we also implemented a strategy to optimize conversions on their website. Previously, the company did not have a means for customers to contact it through the website. Aside from a listed phone number, customers couldn't easily get in touch with the company.
To increase conversions on the site, we set up three different types of contact forms (including the floating "Get Info" call to action (CTA) shown here). We also set up dynamic call tracking to identify the source of phone leads.
The number of form submissions and calls increased, with a sizable portion of these calls and form submissions being qualified sales leads.
With more prospective customers to contact, the addition of forms and call tracking has transformed this organization's entire business.
Manufacturing SEO: Searched Keywords Added on Equipment Manufacturer Product Pages
In 2014, one of our seasoned marketing managers undertook an initiative to overhaul the website product pages for one of our manufacturing clients. John diligently added product pages that were missing. He also edited the content on those product pages so it matched up with the keywords people actually search.
An SEO play like this is typically a long-term initiative. Luckily, the client was patient, and the desired results paid off for them in a very big way.
Over time, this client went from getting about 500 organic visits a month to over 3,000. That's six times the organic traffic they were seeing before making these simple changes.
These SEO efforts have translated to many organically generated leads. They've also helped to close business opportunities that the equipment manufacturer would otherwise never have had.
Website Rebuild: Updating a Site for a Custom Mining Conveyor Equipment Manufacturer
This last success story includes a complete overhaul of a client's proprietary platform website with a more modern appearance and functionality. Our focus was to make everything on their site more accessible. To accomplish this, we did the following:
- Made the site compatible with mobile devices
- Created an extensive keyword and content strategy to attract prospects through search
- Improved lead tracking capabilities on the website with contact forms and call tracking
After this complete website overhaul, organic traffic to this equipment manufacturer's site increased by 376% within twelve months.
With more strategic lead tracking initiatives—and a more targeted Google advertising campaign—this manufacturer received 116 quality contact forms. This increase in quality lead generation led to $2.9 million in business for the company. That was a significant increase compared to less than $1 million in the previous year.
Digital Marketing Agency for Manufacturers
There isn't a silver bullet to marketing for manufacturers but a combination of digital efforts applied consistently, and tweaking as you go will yield results. Over the years, we have found that content marketing does yield long-term results but requires an investment in content creation.
As described by our CEO, Chris Leone, in our manufacturing webinar, Building Your Content Calendar from A to Z, if you are going to do one (digital marketing) thing, it should be content marketing.
The real secret to success is learning from your failures, A/B testing along the way, and sticking to long-term initiatives. As you've seen from some of our clients, certain strategies like content creation don't always get results right out of the gate.
However, consistent work on these long-term initiatives can be powerful. If you're also looking for quick-win opportunities, Google Paid Search and other advertising platforms can serve as great sources for increasing qualified leads.
If you'd like to learn how our agency can help your manufacturing business navigate the tumultuous road of digital marketing, contact us today.
You can also check out our resource library of Manufacturing Marketing Strategies for more successful marketing approaches for manufacturers.
You may also be interested in this manufacturing marketing article:
Note: This article was originally posted on March 17, 2020, and has been updated with more current manufacturing marketing examples.