As a B2B focused full-service marketing agency we work with businesses across the spectrum of technology, engineering and manufacturing. In our 6 years of existence, we have created brands, websites, run exhibitions, managed and delivered lead generation campaigns, and a lot more. Through that time we have had a great strategical view of the industry sectors for marketing. There has been a continual shift of overall focus to digital marketing, which is logical for how the world’s communications have developed.
With Covid-19’s arrival came a huge acceleration in that pattern. You cannot exhibit at an exhibition, you cannot attend networking events, visiting existing customers is hard, let alone target new customers. You could go on. Sales and marketing development has no choice but to adapt, and the place to do that is online. Here are 8 things you should continue to prioritise in your manufacturing business for marketing – in digital marketing.
1) Your visual brand is important in a digital world (don’t leave yet…)
Now more than ever it must compete. It may be tempting to ignore, you are in a B2B manufacturing world, your company is excellent engineers and manufacturers. But with a pandemic, the first instincts and introductions are how you look online. If your visual brand looks poor, they will presume the rest of the company is the same, and that perfect customer may well go back to Google. Developing your brand is often the most cost-effective way to enhance the value of your products and company.
2) Your website – This is now your manufacturing shop window
Factory tours are out, live product demos have gone, so your website must do these jobs for you. Your website needs to meet the needs of your manufacturing business, highlight your product range effectively, communicate your USPs, engage your target customer quickly, have great user journeys with excellent CTAs (call to actions) that make sure you get their details rather than a competitor. Google must love your website.
3) Write content that Google loves (SEO) – and of course your customer!
There is a connection, good content wins with both Google and your target audience. The key is to structure what content you are writing, it needs a purpose and it needs to meet the needs of your website. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) must get your attention to beat your competition. Ignore it and you will always be pushing water uphill. Keywords, website structure, great articles, press releases, domain names and more all have an effect.
4) Videos & animations show your manufactured product effectively
Do you have 3D models from your manufacturing design team that can be used for marketing animations? With STEP files you have made a cost-effective start to highlight the key benefits to a target customer. Videos of your team talking about your products work. Your technical team, your product managers, whoever can tell the story of the product or solution well. Make it genuine, consider it as if you are talking face to face with your customer. A virtual demonstration maybe.
5) Utilise business social media for manufacturing
Business social media for manufacturing, likely to be LinkedIn, is now a vital place for manufacturers to expand their sales reach. Sponsored posts, carrousel adverts, growing the follower base, blogs focused on LinkedIn, all need to be considered. Educating your team on effective use then getting them into a time-effective habit is vital to success. It is as much about your teams’ effective use as it is utilising the company’s focus page to achieve results with social media marketing.
6) Your digital marketing tools need to be effective to capitalise on opportunities
Can your team effectively present across video? Do you have a professional presentation that has been practised? Do you have engaging and interactive PDFs in a manufacturing world when people like to confirm specifications in detail? Can you explain your solutions quickly and effectively on a screen?
7) Product photography and video
Product photography and video are vital when you cannot show a product to a customer physically. Your website should have photography and videography that do your manufactured product justice. They should highlight your quality, your innovation, and explain your solutions. Put the photography into infographics, put the product video into explainer animations and expanded videos.
8) Educational focused communications
No one wants to be sold to in 2020, everyone wants to enable themselves. So focus your emails and sales tools around educating and enabling your customer base. Genuinely useful tools and advice. This should help you get involved earlier in a sales cycle, and bud thought leadership. Utilising infographics can accelerate that educational process. For PACE Networks we created a Trident package tool that highlighted key technical specifications and helped enable to user to select the correct solution for them.
There are other areas to consider – every sector of manufacturing is different and therefore general marketing and specific digital marketing strategies should be considered, and always must be aligned to your business plan and strategy.
You may also be interested in our blog that suggests 5 key considerations for virtual events and exhibitions >