Jan 09, 2020
Whenever you come to the end of a financial year, your senior management needs a breakdown of what you’ve done with your budget.
They want to know how well you’ve executed your marketing campaigns, your return on investment and your future plans to increase leads volumes.
If your marketing strategy is underpinned by the three following tactics:
I strongly recommend that you read this entire article from beginning to end!
Traditionally, manufacturing companies have been slow to adopt change and have relied on tried-and-tested traditional marketing methods. Now let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with attending trade shows or advertising in a trade magazine. Both are robust marking strategies that have stood the test of time and to this day drive large volumes of new business for manufacturing companies and B2B companies in general. But results from traditional marketing methods are waning.
The critical factor to understand is that a solid marketing strategy needs to target the channels where the majority of your target customers are and where they spend most of their time. Unfortunately, print, trade shows and referrals are no longer the big players here.
Now before you make your case to senior management and your CEO says, “Our B2B prospects and customers are different, they don’t have time to read blogs and they don’t check Linkedin“, you should inform them that, 77% of B2B purchases won’t even speak to a salesperson until they’ve done their research first. In fact, they often perform up to 90% of this research on search engines.
Whether you want to admit it or not, your customers are using digital tactics to research their next purchase.
Now that that’s cleared up, let’s have a look at five of the best manufacturing marketing channels in 2018 and some simple tactics you can implement to target your audience exactly where they are.
First, let’s clear up what organic search is. Organic search refers to the section of the search engine results that are earned and not paid for. Now, that’s a bit grey talk for anyone not working in SEO. Basically, any search result that has a little ‘Ad’ box right before the URL is a paid result. All other search results are, as a rule of thumb, organic.
To learn more about organic search check out our blog: Organic Vs. Paid: Where You Should Invest Your Budget.
A lot of SEO is technical and requires a person with some technical know-how but there are some quick changes you can make right now that are likely to increase your organic rankings. Let’s dig into how you can aid your website’s visibility in the search engine rankings.
Late last year Google officially announced that HTTPS would become a ranking factor, meaning that websites using secure encryption could get a noticeable boost in their rankings.
How much of a boost is open for debate but according to research carried out by Backlinko, who analysed 1 million search results, they found that there was a strong correlation between higher rankings on Google’s first page and sites with HTTPS.
65% of domains ranking for high-volume keywords are HTTPS
Internet users want to find answers to their questions as fast as possible and if your website is sluggish, this will have a knock-on effect on the number of users that stick around. This, in turn, will have a negative effect on your rankings as search engines don’t want to promote sites that people immediately leave.
Site speed as a rank factor is nothing new; Google announced this was part of their algorithm way back in 2010.
In a recent survey performed by SEMRush, site speed didn’t feature in their top 20 rank factors. That said, what did dominate the list was user-based metrics — bounce rate, time on site, pages per session, etc. — that could be influenced by site speed.
If your site takes over 3 seconds to load a user will likely immediately leave your site, resulting in:
This all adds up to the potential of poor ranking.
Title tags are one of the most important on-page factors for SEO after content. If you’re not familiar with page titles, check out our handy explainer graphic below.
A good title tag immediately demonstrates to the user what they can expect from the page before they click and visit the page. Your title tags should give a good description of what your page is about. If you don’t give a suitable description, people won’t get what they are looking for when they click on your page and will, in turn, click away. This will invertedly affect your bounce rate and in turn your rankings.
You will also want to include the keyword you are trying to rank for in the title tag as keyword-optimised title tags are associated with a better ranking.
For a quick look at your current title tags, open Google and type in “site:” then your full website URL into the search box. For example, we would type “site:www.digitalimpact.co.uk“. This is called a site search and shows all the pages Google has recorded for a certain website.
In the example below, the three pages listed are targeting Digital Marketing, eCommerce Sales Channels and Google Analytics Training. Notice how we lead with the keyword we want the page to rank for and then follow up with our brand name.
The H1 tag should be used at the top of the page for the title and should indicate what the content below the title is talking about.
Again, if the heading doesn’t match the content that the user is expecting to find from clicking through from your page title link, it will likely result in higher bounce rates as visitors will leave your page to go back to the search results.
While Facebook and Twitter might be the two most popular social media networks overall, neither network is anywhere near as valuable as LinkedIn is to B2B and manufacturing businesses.
Linkedin is reported to have 467 million users with around 40% of monthly active users using LinkedIn daily.
Let me repeat that: 40% of Linkedin active users viewing their feed every single day.
As LinkedIn is a professional network (and not a social network), it’s an ideal platform for any business, especially B2B.
You will find numerous guides advising you on how to optimise your personal profile so our advice will focus how to use LinkedIn to promote your business profile. Here are a handful of top tips:
The aim of your company LinkedIn page is to gain followers and build an audience. This will be much more difficult if your staff are only posting the content on their personal profiles only.
Email marketing is often a solid go to channel for most SMEs and B2B manufacturing businesses are no different. In the past, the appeal of email marketing has been down to the abundance of email contacts collected over the years when dealing with new, existing, and previous clients.
However, the art of collecting email addresses from your inbox and auto adding them on a marketing list will soon become a thing of the past due to pending GDPR regulations coming into effect on the 25th of May.
Although the GDPR is initially putting a spanner in the works for your mega email marketing machine, it shouldn’t put you off email marketing.
Yes, you might have to ask people to re-opt in for your emails and yes, perhaps only a small fraction of them will. But once you start to rebuild those lists, you are likely to see a significant improvement in your marketing metrics because your recipients will have actively opted in and shown a genuine interest. A post-GDPR email list will mean so much more than a pre-GDPR one.
Email campaigns within the manufacturing industry have a strong average open rate of 21.74%, which means that it might be easier for you to get subscribers to re-opt in for your newsletters and offers than an eCommerce company, where the average open rate hovers around the 15% mark.
In email marketing, there’s a spectrum. It usually goes from emailing vast third-party lists — to creating laser specific emails relevant to specific personas. Whilst generalist and poorly targeted email campaigns might give you rubbish results — a super specific and helpful email marketing campaign to a neat group of similar personas might perform fantastically well.
Here are a few easy tips on how you can nail your email marketing:
Your prospects are bombarded with information on a daily basis so your email needs to cut through the noise and grab their attention. You get emails, you know how it is. A powerful way to communicate with your audience is to personalise the subject line.
Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened
Consider segmenting your email list based on the products or services the users were interested in. Once your lists are segmented, you can cater specifically to each different email list and its independent interests, rather than creating one mass message for all.
In a study by Campaign Monitor, marketers noted a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns compared to generic.
If the purpose of your email marketing campaign is to drive more traffic to your website, you will need to create calls to action (CTAs) within the email that resonate with the prospect and (fingers crossed) result in a click through to your site.
Research conducted by campaign monitor shows that most people only scan the text in an email. This can result in them overlooking any CTA’S that are text links.
Rather than creating text CTAs like “Click here”, “Learn more” and “Buy now”, use buttons to drive engagement. By using buttons rather than links, you are likely to increase your click-through rate significantly.
When a prospect is looking for a new supplier, statistics tell us they will undertake their own research before making contact with your company. Potential clients will usually do their own research and feedback to multiple in-house decision makers before speaking with a new supplier.
To assist the prospect in remembering the unique selling points of your business, your site should have a range of downloadable assets to help them gather background data on your suitability.
For example one of the biggest drivers for a prospect when selecting a new supplier is the question: “Does this provider work in my industry?”
If your site has case studies or a testimonials section, you should look to repurpose this content into downloadable pdf case studies along with a short company bio. The prospect can now download the asset, print it off and pass it to management.
A lead magnet is an incentive that marketers offer to potential buyers in exchange for their email address. For example, you can provide a PDF or an eBook and ask the user to enter their email address to access it.
The traditional gated content model is fast becoming ineffective as fewer visitors are willing to hand over their email addresses. And if they are, you better have something of immense value to their business.
The best way to win the user’s trust (and capture their email address) is to deliver on your promise to deliver solutions to their problems and do so without downloading a PDF or arranging a call.
We recommend developing on-site tools that can deliver solutions instantly without the need to receive the answer later or review a lengthy piece of content.
Here is an example of a manufacturing businesses doing just that.
So, there are five fantastic digital marketing tactics for your manufacturing company. Now, I don’t recommend you try them all at once. All companies have a finite pot of resources and spreading them too thinly is the probably the easiest way to fail.
Instead, select one at a time and trial it for a couple of months. If you’re seeing results, double down! If, for whatever reason, your trial isn’t bringing in many results, just move onto the next one.