Small to medium-sized manufacturers have proven marketing strategies that consistently delivered results year after year. But the market has considerably improved. The internet and mobile technologies have enabled us to look up any information that interests us in a matter of seconds.
Clients no longer need to visit trade shows or go through ad prints to make a list of potential manufacturing partners. A simple query, “the best manufacturer near me” in search engines such as Google or Bing, is all they need. In fact, according to Google’s consumer insights report, 90% of B2B buyers use online search engines when making a purchasing decision.
What does it mean? It means that, while proven marketing strategies still work, manufacturers are consistently missing out on the new opportunities to capture new leads. So, we put together this complete guide to help manufacturing companies like yours.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of marketing in the manufacturing industry, the most effective manufacturing marketing strategies, and how to create a successful marketing strategy for your manufacturing company.
Growth Formula Framework: Acquisition + Retention = Growth.
At OneIMS, we revolve our marketing strategies around the Growth Formula Framework: Acquisition + Retention = Growth.
With this formula, we focus on:
Creating awareness and demand for your brand using:
- Content marketing strategy.
- Strategies tailored to your business’ needs.
Capture existing demand using:
- Organic search.
- Paid Media (like Google Ads).
Manage and nurture leads using:
- Contact and list management.
- Customer nurture campaigns.
This formula results in sustainable and predictable growth for your company.
OEM Marketing & B2B Manufacturing Marketing Strategies
Over the past two decades, the B2B landscape has gone through so many changes. Among all the technologies that disrupted the industry, the internet is the one with the most profound impact. All those proven tactics to reach buyers, including direct mail, TV commercials, or print advertising, are not efficient. Not as they used to be.
Reaching B2B buyers online has become more critical than ever, because the new-age buyers do their research online before making a purchasing decision. Therefore, manufacturers need to change their marketing game to extend their reach and reach clients who’ve moved online. That’s where inbound marketing comes into play.
Inbound Marketing for Manufacturers
Manufacturers often use marketing strategies rooted in the best outbound marketing practices. While pushing messages to a broad audience can be useful to some extent, inbound marketing can help you change your marketing game completely. Instead of pursuing potential customers who don’t even have the buying intent, it will allow you to attract inbound leads with the intention to buy.
Inbound marketing achieves this by reinventing marketing and shifting the best practices to the online world. More importantly, inbound marketing decisions are not based on experience and hunches. All marketing actions are data-driven and a result of thorough research. The quick overview of inbound marketing goes as follows:
- It generates high-quality traffic and inbound leads
- It offers prospects educational material
- It provides actionable information to marketing and sales teams
- It increases trust and credibility
Inbound Marketing for Manufacturers Boils Down to Attract, Engage, Delight
All inbound marketing strategies can be put into three categories if we use their goals as the filtering criteria. No matter the channel and type of content, its purpose will either classify it as an item of the Attract, Engage, or Delight category. Here is what a broad scope inbound marketing strategy needs to be effective.
The goal of attracting strategies is to bring as many prospects to your website as possible. To do this, you have to create and publish valuable content. To maximize your reach, you should publish the content on your blog, promote it on social media, and create special content offers for your email subscribers.
The purpose of engaging strategies is to make the prospects interested in what you have to offer. You can do this by focusing on providing value. You can, for instance, standardize how customer service representatives talk to interested prospects and focus on the problems your product can solve instead of directly selling the product.
Never neglect the power of delightful customer experiences. You should work towards building a helpful brand image. Tap into the power of customer feedback to learn what you can improve, and act on it. A happy customer is a returning customer, not to mention all that free word of mouth marketing that you will ensure if you appear supportive to your customer.
Marketing Strategies for Manufacturers
The best approach to marketing for manufacturers encompasses different tactics, channels, and strategies, including:
- Digital marketing for manufacturers
- Content marketing for manufacturers
- Email marketing for manufacturers
- Social media marketing for manufacturers
- Paid advertising for manufacturers
- Account-based marketing for manufacturers
Digital Marketing for Manufacturers
Traditional marketing uses push-selling strategies to promote your business, whereas digital marketing leverages inbound marketing to promote your business by pulling them in. With digital marketing, you can stay on the minds of your prospects without annoying them with pushy sales tactics, but rather by continually adding and providing value.
To create a successful digital marketing strategy for your manufacturing company, you’ll need to:
- Develop a user-friendly, trustworthy website for visitors
- Focus on search engine optimization (SEO)
- Invest in paid search to increase reach
- Create brand awareness on social media
- Use content marketing to provide value
- Develop and nurture relationships with email marketing
- Implement omni-channel marketing
Content Marketing for Manufacturers
If you don’t have an in-house person who can write engaging content, you should definitely find a team of capable content writers. It would be best if you used the results of keyword research to optimize your existing content and create something new.
The best content strategy delivers high-quality, engaging content you can leverage to increase brand visibility and generate high-quality leads.
To create an impactful content marketing strategy for your manufacturing company, you’ll need to:
- Define the buying process for your manufacturing product
- Create relevant content for each stage of the buying process
- Identify content marketing goals, types, channels, and publishing frequency
- Create a content calendar to plan out weeks and months in advance
- Leverage different types of manufacturing content, including blogs, case studies, eBooks, whitepapers, images, videos, podcasts, etc.
- Promote content to your audience via social media, email sequences, SEO, and PPC
- Perform a competitive analysis
- Track your content marketing performance with tools like Google Analytics
Email Marketing for Manufacturers
Chances are, if you have a good CRM, you have target prospects in your database already. So, you’ll want to leverage your contact records by using branded email marketing to maximize exposure, expand subscriber engagement, improve segmentation, enable data analysis, and ultimately increase leads and revenue generation.
Whether you are sending emails to prospects or customers, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Send welcome emails
- Generate company update emails when you have relevant information to share
- Use emails to promote useful content
- Write enticing subject lines
- Ensure email designs are responsive
- Always include a CTA
- Send re-engagement emails to prospects or customers that have lost touch with your company
Social Media Marketing for Manufacturers
If you’re running social media campaigns today, there are two main approaches you can take: organic social media marketing and paid social media marketing. In either case, you’ll need to:
- Define your social media goals, i.e., increase brand awareness, acquire website traffic, acquire leads, increase sales.
- Identify the best social media channels for your audience
- Create a social media calendar to plan out weeks and months of account activity
- Publish valuable and engaging social media content
- Determine the best times to publish on social media
- Interact with your audience
- Track your social media campaign results
Organic Social Media Marketing
These are posts on your social media profiles to reach and connect with your audience. For these posts, there are no payments involved. Therefore, your results will depend on the size of your audience and their engagement with your posts.
Paid Social Media Marketing
Many years ago, you could achieve good results through organic posts. Nowadays though, the story has changed.
Social media companies have implemented algorithms to reduce the reach of organic posts. Therefore, paid social media is the most effective way to reach a large number of your ideal audience.
Beyond that, paid social media marketing has many options to explore depending on your social media goals.
Of course, it’s rare to use a single approach for your social media campaigns. So, you’ll likely have to combine both organic and paid social media marketing across a variety of social media platforms for optimum results.
Here are the 5 most popular social media channels for manufacturing companies:
Paid Advertising for Manufacturers
Paid media management is beneficial when you want to achieve immediate results. Once you identify where your ideal customers prefer to spend their time online, you can devise a custom-tailored paid media marketing strategy.
Whether it’s a paid social, search, or display and remarketing strategy, you should monitor the developments in real-time and make changes to get the biggest bang for your buck. Here are some paid advertising tips to keep in mind:
- Advertise on social platforms to increase brand awareness
- Use both Display Ads and Search Ads in tandem
- Break Display and Search ads into separate, network-specific campaigns
- Use remarketing ads to target prospects who have previously visited your website
When it comes to paid advertising, the two most popular platforms are Bing Ads and Google Ads. Bing Ads are a good choice for companies with smaller budgets, companies lacking creative assets, and companies targeting older audiences while Google Ads are a good choice for companies willing to invest more money in paid ads, companies with a lot of creative assets, and companies looking to drive a high number of leads, fast.
Account-Based Marketing for Manufacturers
Account-based marketing (ABM) involves targeting a select group of accounts that represents significant growth and expansion opportunities with targeted marketing and sales support. To establish an account-based marketing strategy for your manufacturing company, you’ll need to:
- Develop target company personas
- Research shared business objectives and values of target companies
- Coordinate across marketing and sales teams and work collaboratively throughout the sales process
- Build a personalized campaign across multiple channels
- Leverage software that includes features such as analytics, prospecting tools, marketing automation, engagement monitoring, and lead scoring
Other Marketing Ideas for Manufacturers
For more information on how to attract and retain customers in the manufacturing industry, check out our on-demand webinar!
How to Create a Successful Marketing Plan & Strategy for Your Manufacturing Company
To create a successful marketing strategy for your manufacturing company, you’ll need to:
- Define your target audience
- Set goals and objectives
- Adhere to defined marketing initiatives
- Measure your results
Define Your Target Audience
Defining your target audience and setting marketing goals are essential before you dive into your defined marketing initiatives. As with any marketing strategy, manufacturing is all about targeting and having a plan.
The buyer personas you define for your marketing strategy are vital to the success of your marketing strategy and initiatives. Every marketing initiative and activity should be informed by demographic and psychographic information to ensure that your content is seen by the right people.
Be sure to answer questions such as:
- Who will benefit from what we offer?
- How do we help solve problems?
- Who are we trying to reach?
- How do we intend to reach them?
- Where are the people we are trying to reach?
- Which platforms do they use?
- What do they read online?
- What do they want to read online?
Set Goals & Objectives
Defining your target audience and setting your goals and objectives go hand in hand. You can’t strategize and plan to get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going (or where you want to go)—and you can’t measure success if you haven’t defined what success looks like.
So, be sure to answer questions like:
- As a manufacturing company, what are the specific things we want to gain?
- How will we measure success?
- What metrics will we track?
- In order to measure success, what tools do we need?
Adhere to Defined Marketing Initiatives
It is always easier to create a plan or strategy than it is to stick with it. Therefore, if you develop a marketing strategy for your manufacturing company and you fail to define the implementation details, you more than likely won’t see results.
Developing your marketing strategy should involve a detailed plan for channels, types of content, who needs to be involved, budgets, tools, and more.
Be sure to answer questions such as:
- How will we leverage marketing channels?
- Which marketing channels will we use?
- What types of content will we create?
- Who will develop the content?
- How will content be posted?
- Who will be involved in posting content?
- Do we need any software or tools?
- Do we have a marketing budget?
- How much is our marketing budget?
- How will we use our marketing budget?
Considering all the work you put into your marketing campaigns and initiatives, it makes sense that you would want to evaluate your success and see where you had the most impact. In other words, you want to let the ROI speak for itself and use it as a guide to help inform future marketing initiatives and wiser business decisions.
However, many businesses fail to measure the results of their initiatives—and at OneIMS, we don’t want your manufacturing company to be one of them!
Be sure to analyze key metrics such as:
- Website traffic
- Closed deals
- Repeat business
- Referral business
- Any other metrics you see fit
Let The Data Fuel All Your Manufacturing Marketing Strategy
Data is the most valuable asset for any marketer. You can leverage any of the marketing platforms to identify a correlation between your marketing efforts and sales results. This will help you identify the goals of your marketing efforts and optimize marketing/sales alignment for better results.
This is an ongoing process that requires a lot of repetitive work. A reliable automation solution will help you enjoy the benefits of marketing automation and sales enablement completely hands-free.
Via audience segmentation and lead scoring, you will be able to identify the stage in the buyer journey for each lead that your marketing campaign generates. This data makes drip campaigns highly efficient and less intrusive. Ultimately, it will enable you to offer the right content to relevant leads.
Conversion Rate Optimization
While marketing campaigns have to provide results, they also have to be cost-efficient so that you can consistently benefit from them. This is why one of the primary goals is to optimize conversion rates. To do this, you can create different landing pages and employ A/B tests to identify and use only the ones with high conversion rate potential.
Enabling the sales team with valuable information when and where sales reps need it is vital to capturing sales. Thanks to sales workflow optimization and automation solutions, and smart use of CRM software, your sales team will be able to capture more sales than ever before.
Using a CRM platform with advanced features is imperative here. It will allow you to automate outreach and follow-ups, and get insight into powerful reports, customer purchase, and conversation history.
The best thing about inbound marketing for manufacturers is that it plays perfectly well along the proven marketing strategies manufacturers are already using. It only helps manufacturers unlock the full potential of their business and pursue valuable online marketing opportunities to capture inbound leads and increase revenue.
OneIMS: A Digital Marketing Agency for Manufacturers
Are you ready to take your marketing to the next level? At OneIMS, we have helped countless businesses in the manufacturing industry build website traffic, obtain more leads, increase revenue, and grow their business.
To see if we are the right fit for your manufacturing company, schedule a call with one of our strategists!
Manufacturing Digital Marketing Services
At OneIMS, we give you the solutions, strategies, and tools you need to reach and engage your prospects and clients. We help manufacturing companies with a variety of marketing initiatives and services, including:
- SEO services
- Content marketing
- Paid media management
- HubSpot management
- Reputation management & PR
- Website design & development