There’s a common misconception that only what is exciting or made accessible is worth marketing efforts. In reality, it would be unfair to claim that it is an unfounded thought. Popular products and services are traditionally easier to market, and they drive more popular attraction, predominantly because they tap into a broad audience pool. However, it doesn’t mean that marketing tools can’t work for less popular industry sectors, such as for an industrial manufacturer for instance. As marketing is the art of bringing a product or a service to market, it, naturally, is suitable for any sector. The process of communicating with the market audience remain constant. What changes is the audience behavior. Manufacturers are less lucky that highstreet fashion stores, for instance: Their target audience is highly specialized and less numerous. Consequently, while marketing is still part of the business strategy, it needs to be adapted and tailored to meet the needs of a specific and highly professional customership. So far, there is nothing new in the fact that each business needs to target a different customer profile. But what might come as a surprise is the knowledge that you can repurpose typical B2C digital strategies to a manufacturer’s environment. As the Romans used to say “Nihil novi sub sole”, there’s nothing new under the sun, and that’s why you can still learn all the best digital business promotion strategies from your favorite retailers!
Invest in location based marketing
If you own a shop, it’s easy to understand how you could benefit from being visible on Google Maps, as this would allow your customers to find your location easily. When you’re a manufacturer, you may not see the advantage of putting your business on the map. In reality, it’s a matter of exposure. While not everybody might need Google Maps to navigate in town or plan a holiday, everybody uses Google to find a solution to their problems. And as Google and Google Maps are deeply linked, you can easily gain local exposure in the search results as a bonus of appearing on the map. The benefits are huge, and there’s nothing to worry about: Google Maps provides an entirely free service. It’s a win-win situation! Not only do you appear on top of search results from people who are in the vicinity of your company, but you don’t have to pay a cent for it! Surely that’s not an opportunity that you want to ignore. You can also support this local advantage through your location based marketing, which will allow you to promote your company to local clients. While this is an essential tool for stores, in the case of manufacturing, it’s a way of extending the ranking advantageous of Google Maps. For instance, you can focus on location tags in social media, especially on Facebook and Instagram, or location hashtags on Twitter. Another great way is to create location specific content with geographic keywords, which means that combined with Google Maps you are more likely to boost your SEO ranking for local searches.
Work closely with your suppliers
Building a large base of loyal customers is the goal of every company. But before establishing your customers, you need to find the right suppliers for your needs. Suppliers, as it happens, can also provide the kind of digital promotion that can boost your online presence. How does it work? Everything begins with establishing trustworthy relationships with your suppliers of industrial equipment, from pressure cleaners which are suitable for most industrial sites to specific machinery and replacement for high-end industries. Do you know what suppliers like most in their line of business? Clients who promote the quality of their products and services. In short, if as a manufacturer you share posts of how you maintain high hygiene standards in your company using their effective cleaning equipment, it’s likely that your supplier will notice you. They might share your post with their followers on social media, granting you with additional exposure. Or, if you’re really lucky, they might get in touch to organize a testimonial article which would quote your company and provide a reputable backlink to your website.
Build an informative and clear design
Do you know how e-Commerce retailers manage to keep their customers engaged on their website? Of course, it has something to do with good quality products. But there’s also a valuable lesson to be learned from the way their website is organized. Indeed, the user experience is key to gaining the trust of your visitors. Consequently, you can use UX design to reflect two vital elements of digital success: Flawless handling of customer information and asymmetric understanding of user experience. At the core of your design there’s the need to understand what your customers perceive as a sign of trust, namely a company that shares honest values by ensuring that you help your customers to get the most of your products, a company that communicates clearly what it provides and how much it costs, and a company that takes users’ privacy seriously. Communicating these values through your UX design can encourage customers to commit to purchasing.
Create a website that encourages trust
Admittedly, while the design plays a huge role in facilitating trust, your website also needs to include essential elements of content and technology. For instance, most successful online retailers have a very strict policy about getting in touch with the customers: They make it easy to establish contact by providing their visitors with multiple contact options. It’s a good tip to reproduce the same practice. You can share your social media platforms prominently on your website – most websites like to keep the relevant logos and links in their header or the footer on all pages. If it’s too much, you can keep it simple with a contact page. Additionally, you want to provide your visitors with a possibility to get in touch with a contact form and a phone number. As a rule of the thumb, you want to avoid sharing your email online as it could get copied and used by scam boxes. If you sell products on your website, you may want to take inspiration from e-Commerce sites and share reviews from your customers online. There’s nothing like a star rating system to convince people that you’re a trustworthy company! Finally, when it comes to digital payment, if it’s something that you offer, you should buy an HTTPS licence either for the pages with data input or the entire website. Users can notice the difference on top of the browser window with the padlock icon in front of the URL.
Keep it clear
We get it: Some businesses are more complex and difficult to grasp than others, depending on the kind of products or services that you offer. While everyone understands what a shoe-selling shop does, the same cannot be said for a high-tech manufacturer of lab equipment. But that’s precisely why it’s essential that you provide a clear description of your manufacturing activities. As you do, you need to identify the type of problems that your product solves, as this will resonate with your target audience. You need to provide a problem statement that customers can recognize. Say, for example, you manufacture parts of car engines on mould. Therefore you solve the problems of needing to repair an old engine that has been discontinued or for which original parts are too expensive.
Use content to prove your expertise
It can be difficult to show your expertise only through business description and images. Instead, you need to make the most of your content to let your knowledge shine through. Relevant qualifications or accreditations can be useful depending on your manufacturing sector, but that’s not enough. Instead, if you don’t have a blog, use the “About us” page to share information about your market and how you fit in it. Ultimately, you could use a blog to build trust and discuss your specific market. A blog can allow you to target very specific issues – and consequently attract long tail search terms – that you don’t want to include in your static web content.
Take an interest in giving back to the community
You can turn a good deed into a promotional campaign for your brand. Take the example of Kestrel, a British building products manufacturer, that has helped to convert a building into a community training centre and temple. The advantage? It didn’t cost Kestrel much to provide some of the material required compared to the beneficial brand reputation exposure it has gained through it.
Wear your green badge proudly
Everybody loves a business that has high moral values. For instance, turning your company green is a positive move, especially in the world of manufacturing industries where the great public assumes that pollution is second nature.
You can share your efforts to reduce paper product consumption by using PCW, which uses 45% less energy and creates less waste. You can fill the bathrooms at work with green products, for example, or look for green appliances – if not in the production area, at least in the work kitchen. There are always ways to introduce environmentally-friendly practices in the workplace. Sharing your efforts online can get you a lot of positive attention!
In conclusion, manufacturers can gain a lot from copying the digital marketing strategies of their B2C neighbors. Popularity and brand reputation also exist for high machinery environments!