Digital marketing has rapidly become a necessity to remain competitive in today’s manufacturing marketplace. With many B2B buyers turning to digital platforms to research, purchase, and engage with products and company leadership, manufacturers must take advantage of digital marketing strategies to reach potential customers and stay ahead of the competition.
By utilizing the power of the web, social media, and other digital marketing tools, manufacturers can create an effective and efficient strategy that will help them reach more customers, build awareness of their products, and increase their sales.
Digital technology is front and center in our daily lives. Digital marketing allows companies to interact with consumers in a more direct way, in real time, and where they are at – on screens. With Americans spending 10+ hours a day on a screen, savvy marketers have increased their digital marketing tactics, serving messages to prospective and current customers where they’re spending valuable time.
There are many online tools available to help promote your products and services through paid campaigns, digital placements and website experiences. But knowing the right way to use these tools is critical for success. Expert digital marketers know how to create results – and typically at a lower cost than traditional marketing methods. Digital marketing tactics include:
• Search engine optimization (SEO)
• Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
• Content marketing
• Email marketing
• Video marketing
• Social media
• Apps and interactive tools, and more.
Excellent question! Digital marketing for manufacturers can reap many rewards, including increased brand and message awareness, more leads and conversions and improved loyalty. Perhaps the most notable benefit is that it provides a unique opportunity to customize a user’s experience. Unlike brochures or print ads, digital campaigns can be highly targeted and designed for various customer targets, ensuring a more personalized brand connection to your prospects.
Digital marketing is typically more cost-effective as well. Especially beneficial for manufacturers with limited resources, digital services can be strategically combined based on business goals, targets and budget to maximize impact.
Not to be understated is the ability to measure your marketing results. With any marketing spend, being able to analyze and measure results is invaluable. As we always say, “data tells a story,” shedding light on web traffic, content performance, and more. Data sources like Google Analytics® allow marketers to make insightful decisions – showing ways to increase performance when campaigns are yielding positive results and knowing when and how to pivot when there are opportunities for improvement.
Below we explore eight digital marketing best practices to help set your organization on the road to success:
1. It All Starts with a Plan
To meet your marketing goals, you first must define them, and plan the strategy to help you achieve them. Establishing clear and measurable KPIs (key performance indicators) – like lead generation, brand awareness or customer engagement – can help ensure that your marketing plan is aligned with overall business goals.
Important during the planning phase (and refining along the way) is the identification of your target personas. Understanding who your ideal customers are, their pain points, and best ways to reach them are key pieces of information for your action plan.
Creating a strategic digital marketing plan can seem daunting. Our work in digital marketing for manufacturers can create unique opportunities tailored to your company’s needs and deliver quantifiable results. Reach out, our experts are ready to help.
2. Review Your Website for Conversion Opportunities
Evaluating your website for conversion potential (or CRO – conversion rate optimization) is an important step in improving your online presence. Looking for potential barriers to conversions, such as unclear calls to action (or asking too many), slow load times or difficult navigation, can help identify areas of your site that are working optimally or those that need improvement.
Your CRO ultimately should relate to those KPIs that we discussed above. For instance, digital marketing for manufacturers may include goals like achieving higher search result rankings, increasing web traffic, growing customer engagement, and improving your pipeline of qualified leads. Reviewing your website with these goals in mind can ensure that your online presence is optimized for success. Do you have clear CTAs? Are forms easy to find and fill out? Some simple website improvements can lead to more conversion opportunities. Our website design experts can help you achieve your goals and set your company apart from the competition.
3. Implement SEO to Drive the Right Traffic to Your Site
SEO (search engine optimization) is a critical part of any successful digital marketing for manufacturers strategy. Not only does it help businesses reach target audiences by increasing visibility but, when smartly executed, it can lead to increased conversions, leads and sales. An added bonus – organic SEO typically tops the list when it comes to the best long-term ROI.
SEO provides your marketing team with valuable data that can help you understand:
• Key search terms prospective customers are searching online.
• Pain points and challenges that prospects need to solve.
• Types of content that will best serve their needs.
• How current and new competitors are ranking.
• How to plan your website to expand your traffic, and ultimately, your sales.
Eighty-nine percent of B2B buyers research information about potential purchases through online search. If you’re looking to step up your SEO efforts, check out our tips at “How to Improve Your SEO Ranking on Google: 6 Tips from Our Experts.”
4. Create Engaging Organic Feeds
Today’s digital age makes social media marketing an increasingly critical component of an integrated digital marketing plan for manufacturers. With 84% of B2B leaders using social media as a source in making purchasing decisions, it’s important to craft an organic social plan that elevates your brand as knowledgeable and responsive.
Engaging social media feeds help build relationships with potential customers and followers, while providing an opportunity to improve brand recognition and trust. Social media is one place where you can have direct, two-way conversation with your brand loyalists, as well as with prospects, giving you timely and unique insights into their needs and emotions. Thoughtful social media engagement allows your company to directly connect to the hearts and minds of your prospects by providing them valuable tools and resources and service while humanizing your brand.
Your social media content should provide value to your reader, whether it’s to educate, inform or entertain. Remember, it’s about them, not you.
5. Consider Targeted Omni-Channel PPC Campaigns
Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns allow business to communicate relevant messages to targeted audiences on search engines and display networks, helping to generate leads quickly and efficiently. Strategic PPC places your ads at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), and in front of qualified audiences, helping drive traffic to your website.
From priority sales areas to keywords that you are not ranking for organically to following qualified audiences with display ad content, pay-per-click campaigns can be a powerful asset in a complete digital marketing for manufacturers’ campaign.
Popular B2B advertising platforms like Google®, Bing®, Facebook® and LinkedIn® offer a wide range of targeting options to help ensure you’re reaching the right audience, including:
• Search terms
• Website visitors (yours and your competitors)
• Employer and professional information, and more.
A skilled PPC approach and experienced PPC management services can mean the difference between poor performance and campaign success. Learn about our PPC agency expertise and let’s discuss how we can increase your traffic, awareness and leads.
6. Apply an ABM Model to Your Digital Marketing Efforts
Account based marketing (ABM) is a technique that, similar to PPC, identifies key target profiles, then builds strategic campaigns to help drive those targets to you. ABM focuses on the sales and lead quality rather than the quantity, delving deeper into profiles and insights to identify key accounts and prioritizing them for sales. Digital campaigns built using strategic ABM tactics can create valuable brand touchpoints while delivering your specific messages and resources to prospects with the highest sales value.
ABM can hone your digital marketing for manufacturers campaign to be focused on a few key target company accounts, or key account-based profiles. For a crash course on ABM and how it can elevate digital marketing for manufacturers, read our article “B2B Account Based Marketing 101.”
7. Evaluate Existing Assets
With face-to-face meetings just as likely to occur virtually as they are in person nowadays, having ”traditional” assets that work in a digital way is a benefit to both customers and sales teams. Brochures, sell sheets and PDFs can present opportunities for interactive engagement while growing your asset library. PDFs can benefit from navigation menus to help move users quickly through a document, while embedding a video into a static online brochure can help bring your brand story to life in a way that a handout otherwise cannot. Combining a variety of features into each traditional marketing asset can compound their usability and return.
Read more tips in our article “Turning Traditional Marketing Tools into Interactive Digital Marketing Assets.“
8. Mobile Friendly is a Must
With the widespread reliance on smartphones and tablets, more people are accessing websites and marketing materials from their mobile devices. Google itself is prioritizing mobile-first indexing when evaluating a website’s content relevancy in relation to a user’s search. Now more than ever, ensuring that your website is optimized for both desktop and mobile experiences is crucial.
The regular investment in an SEO audit can help identify speed and technical issues, brand perception, content relevancy and more, ultimately helping to inform you of ways to improve user experience. An audit is a useful way to examine your site’s mobile friendliness to ensure an optimal user experience.
With continual changes in user behavior, combined with ever-evolving search engine algorithms and browser updates, thinking mobile will help improve the success of your efforts in digital marketing for manufacturers – driving results and ROI.
At Stifel Marcin, we have over two decades of integrated B2B marketing expertise and can help you craft digital journeys that will engage your prospects and turn your contacts into customers. If you’re looking for expert B2B digital marketing services, have a set scope of work or are looking for a new marketing agency, our team is here to help.
Our work creating digital marketing for manufacturers helps leading brands drive clicks, leads and sales. Contact us and let’s discuss how together we can power up your marketing.
Unlike many advertising and marketing agencies, B2B isn’t just something that we do, it’s all we do. We’ll work to help your brand achieve its goals through the strategic combination of creativity, communication and technology. Our focused client intake processes give us the ability to thoroughly understand your business, products and objectives, working to identify the competitive advantages and opportunities that will grow awareness, leads and sales. We develop innovative marketing plans with strategic, data-driven processes, presenting complex ideas and compelling messages that position your brand ahead of the competition. As your cooperative partner, our integrated B2B marketing agency is dedicated to your success and, since 2001, has been a leader in digital marketing for manufacturers. Reach out today and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.
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