7 Lead Generating Content Styles All B2B Manufacturers Should Implement

 

A strong, lead generating inbound marketing plan must include content that helps prospects in all stages of their buying process. Below, learn 7 types of content you should implement now for ultimate success.

After the year we just came through, we now know that we can accomplish much more than we thought just 12 months ago. Pick just one of these content tactics and start your 2021 with a fresh approach.

 

1.  Blogging

Blogging consistently (we shoot for 2-4 new posts for ourselves and clients per month) is a great way to boost organic SEO and make your brand pop up when your prospect searches for a product or service you sell. By sharing helpful and educational content, your company will be able to build a relationship with your prospects that turns them into engaged leads and eventually customers. Felber PR & Marketing Blog (since 2008).

 

Not sure what content to write for your blog? Are you looking to establish yourself as an industry leader, increase brand awareness, generate leads, and close customers? Blogging is an excellent way to showcase your company’s expertise and create relationships by sharing your knowledge.

 

Struggling to develop content ideas? Check out our blog 10 Ways to Reignite Your Manufacturing Blog with Great Content for a list of great ideas!

2.  Comprehensive 101-Style eBooks

Would you like to cover a more in-depth topic through written content that makes sense in a blog and capture qualified leads at the same time? Then, you should consider developing an eBook.

 

We’ve utilized ‘101 style’ eBooks with many of our clients which essentially take multiple blog posts and compile them together to create an eBook.  Check out our client Grand River Rubber & Plastics who developed a Custom Gasket Design Guide that was developed using this concept.

Developing an eBook using a blogging strategy is powerful for a  few reasons:

  1. We’re developing blog content with the end goal in mind (developing an eBook)
  2. We map out the chapters of the eBook and write them as stand-alone blog posts that we utilize to drive SEO to our client’s websites
  3. Once we’ve finished all the blogs (aka chapter content), we can easily put the content together, expand on certain chapters if necessary, and put a professional graphic layout.

 

We preach to our clients all the time that content can be used more than once! Just because you’ve used a piece of content one way, doesn’t mean it can’t be utilized again in another facet. Do you have 5-10 in-depth blogs on a topic? That could be a great eBook in the making! Need more examples? Check out our free ebooks.

 

3.  Product or Process Comparison Documents and InfoGraphics

Above: Client Process Comparison Example, Fabrisonic

When your prospects are searching for a solution to their manufacturing challenges, they will compare processes or products. For example, let’s say oftentimes, prospects are between utilizing injection molding or 3D printing. Why not develop a document or webpage that breaks down the pros and cons of each process? This will not only be extremely valuable to your prospects but also will help you establish your brand as an industry expert.

4.  Sales Literature

Your prospects will want to have a clear understanding of your capabilities and expertise. Having spec sheets and brochures available to download on your website is critically important. Also, sales literature provides an excellent way to capture leads on your website.

 

Don’t be afraid to gate the content, or require someone to fill out a form to download it. However, it is important to note that your form shouldn’t be too long. Rule of thumb, your form length (information you are asking for) should always match the value of the content provided.

 

For more technical pieces of content such as white papers, you can ask more in-depth questions about the prospect. However, for a sales literature piece, even just asking for their email address does wonders from a lead generation standpoint. If you are utilizing HubSpot, you can then track that prospect’s behavior on your website from their first time on your site.

 

You can also enroll them in automated email campaigns. Also, don’t worry. Your HubSpot forms are smart and you can gather more information about your prospect when they fill out forms to download pieces of content or contact a sales rep in the future!

 

Check out our client General Die Casters Sell Sheet here

 

5.  Video

Video is an incredible tool to use in the sales process for manufacturers. Many manufacturers have not incorporated video because they feel fancy equipment, editing software, and production are required. While professional videos are highly effective, you can also develop videos from your computer for sales purposes.

Nonprofessional Videos We Recommend Manufacturers Try:

 

We (and our clients) have been using a free video platform called Vidyard (which integrates with HubSpot) for our newsletter, sales efforts, and client training. Vidyard allows you to easily take videos from your webcam or phone.

 

We suggest manufacturers utilize Vidyard for the following:

 

  1. Newsletter videos
  2. Personalize videos for sales emails
  3. Quick and personalized customer tutorials
  4. LinkedIn videos (how-tos, customer stories, list-style tips, and tricks)

 

Professional Videos We Recommend Manufacturers Utilize:

  1. Product or equipment demos
  2. Virtual tours
  3. Customer testimonials
  4. Company overview videos

Client Example, General Die Casters Overview

6.  Case Studies

Case studies provide your manufacturing company an incredible opportunity to showcase your expertise, product value, and customer service. Case studies are valuable because they give your company third party credibility.  Unlike a testimonial, a case study is meant to be in a long format. An excellent case study really allows your audience to get to know your customer, understand your company’s relationship with them, and fully explains in detail your work together. Then, your customer can get a better picture of what it would be like to work with you!

 

Are you saying to yourself, this is great but I’ll never be able to get my customers to participate in case studies, don’t fret.  Check out our blog, How to Convince Your Stubborn Manufacturing Customers to Participate in Case Studies for our tried and true tips to get your customers to say yes!

Check out client Grand River Rubber & Plastics Case Study, ‘GRAND RIVER RUBBER & PLASTICS HELPS RESTORE 1913 ELEVATOR AT HISTORIC SAN DIEGO HOTEL’

7.  Technical Papers

Technical papers are excellent to assist your prospects through their buying process. They also provide an excellent opportunity to gather more information about your prospects via forms. We suggest having your technical papers gated, meaning behind the form for ultimate lead generating potential. When you have a valuable content offer like a technical paper, you can ask more in-depth questions on the form.

 

For example, our 3D metal printing client, Fabrisonic asks this question on their recent Space-grade 3D metal printed heat exchangers technical paper:

How are you currently manufacturing your heat exchangers? Select all that apply:

  • CNC Milling
  • Brazing
  • Powder Bed Fusion

 

When developing form questions for your technical paper forms, ask yourself, what are the top 3 questions our salespeople or engineers need to know to best assist a prospect?

We hope you choose to implement one or more of the  7 content ideas in this article. To have a successful inbound marketing strategy, it is important to have a variety of different content that appeals to your buyer personas (or ideal buyers) and answers their questions throughout their decision-making process.

 

Looking to ramp up your content marketing strategy? Do you have a great team of engineers that are not writers? We can help. At Felber PR & Marketing, We Get Manufacturing. Since 1993 we’ve helped manufacturers develop strong content that generates leads, moves them through the sales cycle, and closes those leads as customers.

Call Rob Felber (330) 963-3664, RobFelber@FelberPR.com, or click here for a free assessment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Word of Mouth: Pure gold or just legends told at sales meetings?

We talk to manufacturers, a lot. Almost everyone tells us their best source of leads is word of mouth. Great…until we ask a few questions.

Normally the conversation sounds like this:

Manufacturer: Our main source of leads is word of mouth

international-marketing

 

: Great, how many do you get?

 

 

Manufacturer: A few a month…

 

international-marketing

: Excellent, how many do you want?

 

 

 

Manufacturer: 1,000!

 

international-marketing

: OK, what is your strategy?

 

 

 

Manufacturer: Um, well, hmmm. We really do not have a strategy.

Sound familiar? This is often how this conversation plays out. Interesting, yes; frustrating? Certainly.

The reality is almost no one is tracking these leads. And, as you have read here before, if it is not measured, it doesn’t get done. Word of mouth is great, if it really exists. Sure, we all believe that our customers are sharing their experience. We feel, rightly so, that a high trust built with our customer, that they must be the source of our leads.

Here are a few easy ways to measure word of mouth and translate the data into leads. Is your customer reading and interacting with your blog? Commenting on your LinkedIn articles? Using the chat feature on your website?

If you have evidence of word of mouth, do you know:  Who (persona) is talking? What they are saying? Why are they saying it? Again, measurement is important. Measurement is easy with a CRM, if done right. See these articles:

Why CRM for Manufacturing Lead Generation Doesn’t Work

The Most Common Mistakes Manufacturers Make When Implementing Inbound Marketing

 

We’re happy to discuss how to take your sales leads to the next level. Interested in how this works for manufactures? Contact us today.

How to Humanize Your Business-to-Business Manufacturing Brand

 

Let’s face it; your customers are tired of distant and detached corporate websites. Now, more than ever, they want to be engaged in conversation and find valuable information with ease. We say it all the time; people want to buy from people, not from companies. Keep reading to learn three ways to humanize your business-to-business manufacturing company’s brand.

Write content from your customer’s perspective

It is essential to highlight the value proposition for your prospects and customers. When developing content that resonates with your target audience, we always suggest starting with a review of form submissions and social media comments to find inspiration. Jot down common themes, and if you don’t have content on each of these topics, develop it! Also, keep in mind, if someone has asked a question once, it is safe to assume more people have that same question.

When writing your content, focus on educating your readers, rather than promoting your brand. The perspective of a common challenge your customers face and the solutions you developed really personalize the story for your readers. Read ‘How to make this year ‘the year of content’ for more helpful content ideas!

Showcase your employees

Consider launching a “Meet Our Team of Experts” campaign in which you share blogs and video stories of the people behind your services and products. Buyers are motivated to purchase when they know the story behind your products and recognize the very people they speak to regularly.

Also by showcasing your employees on your website, you are empowering your employees by allowing them to highlight current projects and why they are passionate about their profession. The best and most authentic way to humanize your brand is to show the humans working at your company! This not only looks great to your prospect and customers but also can serve as a great recruitment tool. Check out our client, Grand River Rubber & Plastics’ employee ownership page here. They do a great job of showcasing their incredible tenured staff in videos to recruit new employees at their Ashtabula, Ohio plant!

Highlight customer case studies

Manufacturing case studies are a fantastic way to show your company’s capabilities and expertise. Case studies add third party credibility and could be the difference between your prospects choosing you over your competition.

Yet, many times when we ask our business-to-business manufacturing clients if they are utilizing case studies, a surprising number of them will answer: “We don’t do case studies. Our customers won’t agree to work on them with us.” We cringe when we hear this because they are not only losing a valuable content opportunity for both their website and even the industrial trade media but missing an opportunity to deepen their customer relationship (hence turning customers into promoters!)

Read ‘How to Convince Your Stubborn Manufacturing Customers to Participate in Case Studies’

We hope these three strategies will help you humanize your manufacturing content. Find your style. Some manufacturers find a nice balance between being informative but also conversational. We suggest avoiding jargon and aiming for simple, straight to the point messaging to resonate with your audience.

Are you looking to generate more content? We have 27 years of business-to-business manufacturing communications experience. Our writers will help you unlock the content vault.

3 Tips to Eliminate Cold Calls

Salespeople around the world just might be able to exhale a collective sigh of relief.  Why? Because today there are more effective strategies to reach buyers at exactly the right time in their purchasing journey, than conducting endless (and frustrating) cold calls.

First, let’s define what a cold call is.  Cold calling is a traditional sales technique that involves calling people with whom you have no existing relationship. You may suspect they use your products and services, or might in the future, but you have absolutely no idea if they are currently in the market for your offering.

                           “Cold calling is ineffective 90% of the time”

                                                            ~Harvard Business Review

Instead, I offer the term “warm calling”.  Warm calling, by contrast, means you have established contact with a prospect before you pick up the phone and try to sell them something. “How”, you say, “are you supposed to do that?” Well, it requires flipping the script.

Here are three tips for approaching the situation in a completely different way:

  1. Share helpful content online that is relevant to your prospective customer.

 When someone is in the market for a product or service, what do they usually do?      They “Google it”.  Having your content on the web is one of the best ways to drive new leads to your company website. How to develop strong downloadable content offers that generate leads

  1. Encourage visitors to self-select or opt-in for more information.

You must have a way to capture and segment lead information once a prospect has bounced over to your website.  This can be accomplished by inviting them to sign up for your newsletter or blog postings by simply supplying their name, company name, and e-mail. For more valuable content like a white paper or e-Book ask for a little more like title, industry, and perhaps, the number of salespeople at their organization. Here are a few eBooks we’re proud to offer:

  1. Implement a customer relationship management tool (CRM).

Tools like HubSpot, track prospect engagement, and can notify you in real-time when a lead has interacted with your company content. This activity signals they have entered into the buying journey.  Reaching out during this phase is a lot less daunting for you and less intrusive for them.  Additionally, the chances of securing an appointment, and ultimately closing a deal, increases significantly. Here’s another article about what to do when they do visit your site: Top Tips for Cold-Calling Prospects on Your Website

In short, let the buyer dictate when they should be contacted. Don’t be “that” salesperson who constantly interrupts them with unwelcome phone calls and irrelevant offers.  Use your website, social media channels, e-mail campaigns, blogs, and newsletters as a lead generation machine that helps and informs.   Your potential customers will appreciate it and be more receptive when you do reach out to them.

FREE eBook

Another LinkedIn milestone, approaching 5,000 connections

In July of 2018, I was approaching 4,000 connections on LinkedIn. A mere year and a half later, I’m approaching 5,000 connections. For perspective, read: Reaching 4,000 Connections on LinkedIn– What I’ve Learned

In business and life, it’s simply about helping. Helping people connect, helping them get introduced to potential employers, and helping people grow their businesses. For historic purposes (and those reading this in 2023), we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

Now, more than ever we need to look beyond our day-to-day needs and see how we can help.

  • Help a friend grow their network
  • Impact a businesses reputation by sharing their content
  • Introduce your customers to one another
  • Or, simply acknowledge a colleague’s success in their career

For me, there is no better world-wide network designed to connect like-minded manufacturers and owners than LinkedIn. Are you still struggling with how to use this platform? Read: Leveraging LinkedIn for Manufacturers, 2nd Edition. Even if you are not in manufacturing, the principles are valuable and applicable to anyone in business.

Are we connected? https://www.linkedin.com/in/robfelber2008/ 

– Rob Felber

How Account Based Marketing Tools Help Manufacturers

Recently, HubSpot launched Account Based Marketing Tools. We’re excited to share these new tools with our clients because they fit seamlessly into how manufacturers connect directly with their best-fit, highest-value accounts. At Felber PR & Marketing, we have been utilizing an Account Based Marketing strategy to target prospects for years. We’ve helped our clients ditch old, time-intensive tactics such as cold calling prospects; prospects that are just not ready to buy are a huge time waste for sales teams. As a manufacturer, you know the sales need to be nurtured. Sales cycles are often measured in months and even years.

By utilizing the new account based marketing tools, your marketing and sales teams align, and greater focus is placed on engaging with prospects and customers. Below, learn what account based marketing is, and how HubSpot’s new tools can help your manufacturing company sell smarter, not harder.

What is Account Based Marketing?

 Account-based Marketing (ABM) is a growth strategy in which Marketing and Sales teams collaborate to create personalized buying experiences for a mutually-identified set of high-value accounts. By establishing the same goal, an agreed-upon revenue goal, teams develop their own paths and tactics to ultimately arrive at the same result – more revenue.

Why Manufacturers Should Utilize Account Based Marketing

ABM boosts the marketing and sales process by allowing you to weed out less-engaged companies early on and ensure that marketing and sales teams are working on the most valuable prospects. As a result, your marketing and sales teams can better engage and build relationships with companies that are more likely to buy quicker and more efficiently. ABM helps you to personalize the buyer’s journey and tailor content, email campaigns and messaging by identifying the buyer’s motivations, goals, and habits through monitoring real-time data and engagement patterns. By utilizing an ABM strategy, manufacturers can expect to see an enhanced return-on-investment from marketing and sales strategies and greater customer loyalty.

How to Get Started with Account-Based Marketing Tools in HubSpot

●     Develop Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

For those who have used HubSpot or an inbound marketing strategy for a while, these are similar to buyer personas, however, you build these around entire companies rather than individuals. Your ideal customer profile should include information regarding revenue, industry, location, and the size of the companies you’d like to target. HubSpot’s ABM software has an ICP-driven workflow (automated email) templates to help you identify common traits and classify companies in your database by how well they match the ICP you have developed.

●     Set Up Target Accounts

Once your ICP has been established, you will be able to set up target accounts in the ABM software. By tagging “Target Accounts” in your HubSpot platform, you can manage your audience from your new Target Accounts Dashboard. In the ABM software, once you’ve tagged an account as a “Target Account”, you will be able to rank them with an ICP Tier Property (Tier 1 for high priority to Tier 3 for lower priority accounts). The ABM software utilizes artificial intelligence target account recommendations which help manufacturers automate the researching process of finding good fit companies.

These types of tools will help you manage and then segment your lists so you can deliver personalized content to your target accounts. Once your ABM tools are activated, your HubSpot account automatically creates contact lists based on ABM contact and company properties from your existing database.

●     Create a Clear Plan for All Accounts

It is essential that there is a team put in place from both the marketing department and/or your marketing agency, and sales departments to make ABM effective. That way, your marketing team can develop a more personalized experience that reflects the same value propositions that your salespeople are using in their meetings, and that will put systems in place to close the deal quicker.

Interested in discussing how Account Based Marketing can help streamline your manufacturing sales strategy? At Felber PR & Marketing, we are a proud HubSpot partner agency and help our clients sell smarter not harder by utilizing account based marketing strategy and real-time data and analytics through HubSpot.

 

3 Manufacturing LinkedIn Posts That Drive Engagement

LinkedIn has more than 575 million users and provides manufacturing salespeople an incredible opportunity to share their voice, harness the power of content, and improve both their personal brand and company reputation. Often we are asked, “What should I post on LinkedIn?” Below, learn 3 styles of manufacturing-focused posts that you should utilize on your LinkedIn profile with some stellar real-life examples from manufacturers we admire!

Strong Manufacturing Post #1– The Interactive Experience

Tiffany Bryson, Direct Regional Sales Manager at Grob Systems, Inc. does an excellent job of providing value to her followers on LinkedIn.

The post above is an excellent example of an engaging post because:

  1. It’s interactive, offering a virtual plant tour.
  2. It’s educational.
  3. Comments and engagement are encouraged!

Providing your audience with a virtual tour is an excellent way to give them a peek behind the curtain of your processes, products, and innovative plant. Don’t have the budget for a virtual tour? No worries. Consider utilizing shorter videos of a unique process or area of your business and then, as Tiffany did, ask people to comment on what they learned!

Strong Manufacturing Post #2– Take a Stand

Nora Toure, founder of Women in 3D Printing, is a LinkedIn powerhouse (that you definitely should follow!)

This post is an excellent example of taking audience interaction to the next level because:

  1. It takes a stand about an important issue.
  2. It makes you think about ways to take action and find a solution.
  3. It encourages engagement with 3 thought-provoking questions.

Nora’s post is a great example of taking a strong stance on an industry issue in a respectful way. She stated the facts about the lack of women in her industry and implored her audience to help find a solution. Also, we love that instead of simply asking for suggestions on how to address the problem, she took it a step further by asking 3 thought-provoking questions. Clearly, as you can see from the screenshot, she had a considerable engagement on this post, and this screenshot was taken only 1 week after this post went live. We continued to see it on our feeds for over a month and the engagement continued to rise.

Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts on LinkedIn (as long as your post isn’t overtly political or religious, you’re fine!) Reshoring, the manufacturing talent gap, and the manufacturing supply chain amid COVID-19 are 3 different examples of current hot topics that you could take a stand on in a LinkedIn post. Also, consider using Nora’s 3 question approach on your future posts to encourage audience comments!

Strong Manufacturing Post #3– Problem & Solution

Matt Covele, Senior Sales Representative at ChemStation, does an excellent job of listening to the feedback and questions of his customers and then utilizing it as LinkedIn content.

Matt’s post is an excellent customer-focused example because:

  1. It addresses and answers a commonly asked customer question.
  2. It showcases Matt and his team’s expertise in a helpful and non-salesy way.
  3. It links to a LinkedIn Pulse article Matt wrote which is an excellent tactic to get his blog read by other LinkedIn users that could utilize his services.

Matt does an incredible job of educating his audience and building a relationship through trust. Instead of posting salesy content about why his company is the best, he chose to write from the perspective of his customers and address a common customer issue and how to fix it. We also love that he utilized LinkedIn Pulse to share this information.

If you have expertise in a certain area, we suggest writing a Pulse post, which is essentially LinkedIn’s version of articles, that can be self-published by members. 500-750 words are the perfect word count. Any more than that and your connections won’t read on.

By using appropriate keywords and hashtags, you can attract a much larger audience to your Pulse article, your personal LinkedIn page, and the company page. Recently the president of Felber PR & Marketing, Rob Felber wrote a Pulse post and the majority of his readers were 2nd connections! So it just goes to show that Pulse is a great way to expand your audience and build credibility and respect in your industry.

Struggling with what to write your first Pulse article about? We suggest you review social media and website form first. Look for themes of commonly asked questions and if you don’t already have content that addresses it, write it!

Interested in learning more about LinkedIn strategy. We recently launched our Leveraging LinkedIn 2.0 eBook, which will teach you everything from optimizing your LinkedIn profile to growing your network, and sales strategies. The eBook also includes helpful templates to help you along the way!

Related blogs:

5 Unique Ways to Prospect on LinkedIn

How to Create a Successful LinkedIn Content Marketing Strategy

How to Export Contacts from LinkedIn for Ultimate Sales Opportunities

 

 

 

5 Stellar Manufacturing Sales Qualifying Questions You Need to Use ASAP

Let’s face it, not every prospect is the right fit for your products or services. Utilizing qualifying questions in the sales process is key to helping you uncover if the prospect you are courting will result in new business. Are the questions you are using leading to a higher close rate?

Keep reading to learn 5 manufacturing sales qualifying questions we suggest using in your sales process. 

1. What is the manufacturing challenge you are trying to fix? 

Your manufacturing prospects are risk-averse, and they know that implementing a new product, or service can be a huge undertaking. If your prospect didn’t have a real problem or strong reason to make a switch, they wouldn’t. Do not assume you understand what they feel is their biggest pain. You need to ask questions and probe to uncover the real answer.

2. Have you tried another process/service to solve this issue in the past? If so, why do you think it didn’t work? 

Oftentimes, your prospect has tried other solutions before coming to you. Maybe they tried to solve the issue in-house, which caused them a considerable headache. Perhaps they tried another solution with a competitor, only to have that solution fail.

It’s important for you to have a crystal-clear understanding of what your prospect has tried in the past and why (they think) it didn’t work for the application or their company. That way, you know if the solution your company can offer will be a better fit for your prospect. Another key reason to understand why something failed is so the solution you (and by extension your company) is not tainted by their previous vendor experience; past failures, internally or externally, should not be associated with your offering.

3. If you make no changes, what will happen?

If your prospect answers, ‘it won’t make that much of a difference’, they do not have a strong conviction that your product or service is the solution. At this point, manufacturing salespeople can make the determination if this prospect should be disqualified as a lead or if there is an opportunity to explain the risk ahead. If you cannot uncover enough pain, you very well might not have a prospect.

4. How are decisions typically made on your team, and is there anyone else who will be involved?  

Asking your prospect to describe a similar purchasing decision will provide insight into their process, risk tolerance, and help uncover potential roadblocks. As a salesperson, there is nothing worse than when you think you are consulting with the final decision maker, only to find out there are more people that need to be brought into the decision. It is also important to understand who has budget authority on their team and the hierarchy of those participating. 

5. Are you currently considering other services as your solution? 

Many times, your prospect is considering multiple solutions. Maybe your prospect is considering you vs. your biggest competitor.  Or, are they discussing completely different processes targeting the same result. For example, maybe your prospect is considering your company (a die caster) vs. a 3D printing firm to produce their parts. You never know where the prospect is in their buying process unless you ask. For all you know, your prospect may have an offer on the table from your competitor but are feeling price pressure from upper management and need to present other options. Carefully listen to their response so that you can better understand where they are coming from and how to best guide in their decision-making process.

We hope you found our list of qualifying questions valuable. Whatever questions you choose to use in your sales process, make sure you customize them to fit your company and speak to your prospects in a way that will resonate with them. Taking the extra time to craft a strong list of qualifying questions your entire sales team can use ensures that you are all using the same messaging and have a clear understanding of how to evaluate if a prospect is actually a good lead. 

Related Blogs:

How to Adapt Your B2B Manufacturing Sales Strategy for the COVID-19 World 

Incorporating Video Into Your B2B Manufacturing Sales Strategy

How to Write Automated Sales Emails That Don’t Feel Generic

5 Marketing Tips B2B Manufacturers Should Implement Right Now

We hear it all the time. Manufacturers get a majority of their sales through word-of-mouth and loyal repeat customers. However, it is important now, more than ever, that manufacturers embrace the value of digital marketing. 

At Felber PR & Marketing, our clients leverage content and thought leadership principles to attract prospects, drive lead generation and sales, and retain customers. 

Learn 5 valuable strategies your B2B manufacturing company can utilize to get started developing a strong digital marketing strategy:

Develop a thought leadership strategy

In order for your company to see success with its marketing strategy, it is important to be positioned as a leader in your industry. To establish your manufacturing company as a thought leader, we recommend developing a strong content strategy. Tactics such as company blogging, expert interviews, white papers, hosting or sponsoring webinars on industry ‘hot topics’, or exhibiting at notable trade shows help position your company as a trusted leader and expert in your industry. 

Leverage PPC (pay-per-click) ads, social media advertising, and SEO

A strong content strategy, when combined with PPC ads, social media advertising, and SEO, is essential for digital marketing success. By utilizing these tactics, you can ensure that your prospects, customers, and potential employees can find your company online. 

We have many B2B manufacturing clients who are currently utilizing digital advertising to generate strong, qualified leads. (We’re also practicing what we preach for our own lead generation – and it’s working beautifully!) Social media advertising (primary LinkedIn ads) has been especially valuable for our clients as this is the leading B2B social media platform for the industrial sector. 

When meeting with new manufacturing clients, more often than not, they tell us that they are or have utilized digital ads and saw an uptick in traffic. However, when we go further and ask how many of those website visitors converted as a lead by filling out a form, more often than not, the ads aren’t generating conversions.

Consider all this great traffic coming to your front door (website), but it’s 5:55 pm, lights are out and the door is bolt locked. Leads cannot get in! Consider our free Inbound marketing assessment to discuss your situation now, for free.

Develop a consistent schedule of content 

A strong content strategy with relevant, engaging content is the foundation of digital marketing and lead generation. A consistent content strategy helps manufacturers stay at the top of search engine results and also, solidifies your brand’s position as an industry thought leader. 

To create a sound content marketing plan, it is essential that you take the time to identify your ideal customers and uncover their unique goals and challenges. That way, you can write content that addresses your ideal prospects and helps you speak their language. This process is called creating buyer personas. Buyer personas help manufacturers identify their best prospects. The profile of your best prospect and how they buy is the buyer’s journey. Read Why Your Content Strategy is Failing (Content Mapping 101)

Once you’ve identified the buyer personas you would like to attract to your brand and eventually, close as a customer, develop a running list of content ideas that would appeal to that ideal buyer. Then, develop a content map to ensure you follow through with your new content ideas and develop a consistent stream of content! 

Don’t underestimate the power of video

Video is a powerful tool to show your audience your products, the innovative machines, and processes utilized at your plant. Additionally, we highly recommend incorporating video case studies to showcase the value of working with your company.

 Manufacturing case studies are an amazing way to show your prospects and customers your skills and capabilities. Case studies add third party credibility and could be the difference between your prospects choosing you over working with a competitor! Don’t think your customers would be willing to participate in case studies? Check out our blog “How to Convince Your Stubborn Manufacturing Customers to Participate in Case Studies” for helpful tips!

Focus on engaging current customers

While digital marketing is a great tactic to attract new prospects and customers, it’s also an incredible tool for customer retention. Develop email campaigns to target existing customers offering high-level technical content, helpful resources, and product discounts. Also, we recommend having existing customers participate in a yearly survey. Take the time to develop a survey where your customers can explain why they work with you, what you can improve upon, and what content they enjoy receiving. Then, you can tailor your content strategy, sales efforts, and messaging to not only keep current customers happy but also, attract similar prospects!

Check out these helpful related blogs to learn how to revamp your B2B manufacturing marketing strategy:

My Dog Doesn’t Know There’s a Pandemic

A recent distraction that did some good. Prayers from Maria – Sunflower Fields of Hope https://prayersfrommaria.org/#1

Arriving home recently from another long day, I was greeted by my dog Rolo, stubby tail wagging as always. Rolo is a Pitbull mutt rescue with the most peaceful disposition (unless you’re a squirrel, rabbit, or chipmunk).  She doesn’t know there is a pandemic nor do I think she would care. She still gets two walks a day, a full bowl every morning and evening, and unlimited access to the couch and TV (yes, she watches TV).

It reminded me that we need to pause and enjoy these moments. We’re bombarded 24/7 with bad news. We never know what the next day will bring, and we know we have friends, neighbors, and colleagues going through tough times.

So, today’s Tactic Thursday departs from business, education, or tactics. Just a reminder to find those moments. Find the time for yourself. For me, working out, using the “breathing” app on my iWatch, and just falling into the couch at the end of the day with one of those Marvel movies I never took the time to watch helps. No, the pandemic and our business challenges are not going away. But, they can for a few minutes.

Let’s make this a place where we share our distractions. What are you doing to stay balanced?

Post or comment, perhaps with a photo of how you are distracting yourself from the daily stress.