Often reliant on long-term relationships and reputations, more proactive marketing can be unfamiliar to manufacturers and engineers – despite its increasing importance.
As B2B marketing specialists, we take a look at some effective marketing tactics for businesses within the ever-more competitive manufacturing and engineering sectors.
Define Your Customers
For your marketing to reach the most profitable customers you need to have a clear idea of who they are. Many manufacturers and engineers have a diverse range of potential clients and each may value different qualities.
It’s important to identify an accurate customer profile, breaking down not only information like type and industry but also psychological factors like attitudes, preferences and objectives. You can then use direct marketing including email, mail and social media to individually target them.
Become a Thought Leader
To stand out, customers need to see that you offer trusted experience and expertise.
To demonstrate leadership within your particular sector, you can write blogs on industry specific topics, publish white papers which showcase your knowledge and offer support when attending industry events or trade shows. A steady stream of content also helps boost your search engine optimisations (SEO) and ranking in search engine results – whilst providing lots of good information to share via social media.
Revise Your Website
In an ever more online-savvy world, a good website will help present your company and products in the best light, communicate your expertise and encourage browsers to get in touch.
As a minimum, your engineering or manufacturing business should have a mobile responsive website which works well on both desktop and mobile devices. An increasing number of visitors will be using their smartphone to research suppliers and search engines now access websites by their mobile presence first when ranking them.
The most visited pages will likely be the homepage, about us and contact us pages, so make them clear and compelling. Include some background on your company, list your services or expertise and use a call-to-action to encourage visitors to take the next step.
Depending on what you deliver, an ecommerce facility may enable your customers to explore or order your products online, leaving your workforce to focus on other important areas.
Add News to Your Website
Search engines love new and topical information added to websites. Whatever your sector, it will help you to out rank your competitors if you regularly add news, updates and advice.
Adding a news section is a great way of promoting your company and sharing your views and expertise on industry issues.
With technical industries like engineering and manufacturing, articles which explain or share advice can prove very popular and encourage potential customers to return to your website.
However, remember that the content that goes onto your website represents your company. Though it may not be your forte, your potential customers will judge your writing skills and ability to craft an easy-to-read blog article. If language is not your area of expertise, outsource your content creation to an experienced B2B marketing agency.
Use Virtual Tours and Videos
For engineers and manufacturers, video content is one of the most effective ways to engage with your customers and showcase what you deliver. Consider creating how-to or behind-the-scenes videos which demonstrate how your products are produced.
Videos should be short and to the point. Put your key messages in the first 10 seconds, then elaborate. It is easy to produce video with modern technology but it’s worth hiring in expertise to ensure the final video best represents your company.
Invest in Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
Beyond referrals and existing reputations, search engines remain the next port of call for most businesses seeking manufacturing or engineering services. Paid search and digital advertising can quickly target them and drive them to your website.
A small budget can go a long way, particularly if you carefully target only the users, locations and keywords relevant to your specific products or solutions. Remember, the effectiveness of PPC is only as good as the website you direct them to, so insure the pages they land upon communicate the right information.
Engineer Social Media
In an industry not known for flair, social media can give you something extra. Social media is about people, and decision-makers within businesses are just as likely to use it as consumers.
LinkedIn is a great place to start as it’s dedicated to professionals. It allows you to connect with potential clients and demonstrate your industry insights and specialist knowledge.
Consider the tone and design of your posts and how they reflect your brand. Because manufacturing and engineering are visual industries, videos and images work well and are more engaging than words alone.
Most engineering and manufacturing companies know who their ideal customers are, so direct marketing is one of the most effective ways to target them.
Though direct mail may appear a little old fashion compared to modern digital marketing, its relative lack of popularity has actually made it more effective than ever. A well-timed and targeted sales letter, flyer or brochure can grab attention, be retained and actioned.
Email marketing is less costly per unit but easier for recipients to dismiss. However, it can help to spread brand awareness, back up other marketing and reinforce direct mail. If you have regular developments or innovations, an e-newsletter can help to retain your existing customer base and expose your expertise to potential new customers.
Without most of the GDPR constraints of B2C marketing, it remains easy to gather high-quality data and market directly business-to-business.
Harvest Customer Testimonials
Nothing says you’ve done a good job better than your customers!
Ask your customers for endorsements and testimonials which you can display on your website and in your market materials. Better still, create some case studies to detail the value you delivered. Again, make sure there are well written and presented.
Presentation is Key
One trap engineers and manufacturers often fall into is disseminating marketing which does not equal the quality of the products or services they deliver.
Any marketing you produce can be the first impression made on a potential new customer. If you go to great lengths to ensure the quality of what your business delivers, you should ensure whatever marketing you do represents and communicates the same high standards of design and effectiveness. Finding an experienced B2B marketing agency is key.
For more support with B2B marketing for manufacturers and engineers, contact [email protected]