B2B marketing can be a tough nut to crack for manufacturers. Depending on your industry and market, there are many different strategies that can help increase your leads and reach your business objectives.
There are also a few catch-all tactics that will always provide positive results for manufacturing firms, regardless of their niche:
1. Update and Optimize Product Pages
Manufacturers build the world that we live in, but many of their websites are dull, outdated, and don’t adequately represent the valuable services they provide. If you want to build organic traffic, then it’s time to join the rest of the “responsive” web. Make sure your site works on mobile devices, and optimize your product pages for search engines.
Here’s how to bring your site up to date:
Optimize for Search Engines (SEO)
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. Based on your experience, you know exactly who these people are, what they need, and how they look for it. Make sure your website is perfectly curated to answer the questions you know they have and address how your products and services will help them better than your competitors — down to the very keywords they’ll be searching.
Add Missing Information
Perform a basic content audit to make sure that all products and services have dedicated pages that call out your biggest value propositions. If this is lacking, you’ll need to create and optimize pages to really highlight your brand or product differentiators. Consider adding customer testimonials or case studies as well. Buyers want to know you’re credible and trustworthy.
Where appropriate, ensure that any valuable technical information is listed, complete with product specifications, sizes, datasheets, and pricing — but don’t expect this alone to sell who you are.
Keep Content Fresh & Consistent
Most importantly, be sure to update often. An inactive website is perceived as an inactive business. Refresh your site’s content on a regular basis and keep your product pages current with new features or insight from customer feedback.
2. Create Content That Speaks to Decision Makers
Manufacturers with complex products and solutions are likely to attract the attention of procurement officers, C-level executives, design engineers, and plant managers. Use your knowledge of their pain points to create content that will really speak to them — almost as if you’re answering common questions. In fact, 88 percent of top content marketing performers prioritize the needs of their audiences over their sales messaging.
For example, C-suite executives are more likely to read content that offers strategic insight to common industry challenges, while engineers might be more interested in how-to articles to see how your products can fit into their designs. 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.
Some B2B brands even go as far as building a news site to expand their audience and establish greater industry thought leadership. This type of approach to content can help you reach audiences (and potential customers) far outside your existing lead pipeline.
3. Media Outreach: Pitch Articles About (Un)common Industry Challenges 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 most effectively, find a challenge 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 publication. 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.
Consider when we wrote about the role of aluminum in eco-friendly building for JW Aluminum — the paper got picked up by industry trade magazines because we took a position on a trend that is becoming increasingly important in architecture.
4. Streamline Your Content Creation Process (and Get in Front of the Right People)
Blogs, videos, and how-to guides are some of the most effective forms of content — but that’s a lot to create on a consistent basis. It makes sense that SEMRush consistently finds content development to top their list of marketing challenges in their annual surveys.
To get valuable content out quickly, to the right audiences, and through the right channels, content teams need to streamline their development process as much as possible. Creating a well-oiled machine will help identify the best niche audiences and regularly publish to keep them engaged. This will also help with managing subject matter experts (SMEs), so content teams can regularly create unique and valuable content that only their companies are positioned to provide. The ability to publish this type of content on a weekly or monthly basis can significantly enhance credibility and thought leadership.
The manufacturing landscape is changing rapidly in the post-COVID world, and it’s imperative that companies stay at the forefront of their industries. Utilize these four tactics for content strategy, so you can gain an even better advantage over the competition.
Need more help developing and executing a content marketing strategy? Just like you’re experts in your field — we’re recognized experts in ours. Get in touch to learn more about how a solid content and PR strategy can raise your profile.