B2B marketing can be a tough nut to crack. Depending on what you manufacture, and who your targeted markets are, there are many different marketing strategies that can help you reach your business objectives.
However, there are few catch-all tactics that will always provide positive results for manufacturing firms.
1. Update and Optimize Product Pages
One of the sad facts in the manufacturing space is that many company websites are dull, outdated, or nigh unusable. If you want to build organic traffic to your website then it’s time to update it to join the rest of the “responsive” web—that is, make sure your site works on mobile devices—and that means optimizing your product pages for search.
B2B buyers are heavy researchers and they want to be able to gather as much information as possible about the product or service they’re researching. Not only should you do a basic content audit to make sure that all products and services have dedicated pages, but also ensure that any valuable technical information is listed as well, complete with product specifications, sizes, data sheets, and pricing.
Also, consider the types of keywords that buyers will be using. For instance, if certain products come in multiple materials, or have different sizes or product codes, include that information in your product page (or create additional product pages optimized for those keyword phrases).
And don’t forget to provide phone numbers and contact information on each page, so buyers know how they can start the procurement process. If you have customer testimonials for particular products, add those as well. Buyers want to know you’re credible and trustworthy. And update often. An active website is perceived as an inactive business. Refresh your site’s content on a consistent basis and keep your product pages current.
2. Provide Personalized Answers to Common (and Complex) Questions
Manufacturers with complex products and solutions are likely going to attract the attention of not just procurement officers, but C-level executives, design engineers, and plant managers. Think about the types of content they’ll want to read or view, and then tailor the right answers to their questions.
For example, C-suite executives are more likely to want to read content that offers strategic insight to common industry pain points or challenges, while engineers would be more interested in how-to articles to see how your products can fit into their designs.
And keep in mind where buyers may be searching. Tutorial videos on YouTube and thought leadership articles posted on LinkedIn will educate buyers, earn their trust, and guide visitors to your website, where they’ll find more valuable content full of promising solutions to their problems.
3. Pitch Articles About (Un)common Industry Problems to Industry Magazines
One of the best ways for manufacturing brands to build awareness and credibility quickly is to leverage industry publications. To do that well, find a problem in your niche that nobody’s talking about. Maybe there are issues with obtaining ingredients for a certain polymer mixture. Or widespread supply chain logistics issues that no one has yet found a solution to. Whatever it is, highlight the problem, interview experts, write about it, and then pitch it to an industry magazine. Having another publication publish your content (complete with backlinks) will highlight your expertise and drive buyers to your site where they can learn more about your product or service.
That happened to use when we wrote about supply chain problems in the manufacturing industry for JW Aluminum. The paper got noticed by industry trade magazines and big sites like Forbes because we talked about an issue no one else at the time was covering. Investigate a problem in your industry niche and you can garner similar success.
4. Streamline Your Content Creation Process (and Get in Front of the Right People)
Blogs, videos, how-to guides—that’s a lot of content to create on a consistent basis. So it makes sense that only 20 percent of manufacturers call their content creation process excellent or very good. There’s room for improvement.
To get content out quicker—and to the right audiences through the right channels—manufacturing companies must enable swift approval processes and give content creation teams the resources and time they need to create compelling, valuable material for audiences. Teams must also identify the best niche audience possible and regularly publish to keep them engaged. Facilitate ways to make Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) available for weekly or monthly content to enhance your credibility and thought leadership even more.
By eliminating bottlenecks, identifying unique problems, and providing valuable, personalized answers to customers, your content marketing strategy will help your manufacturing company gain a better advantage over the competition.