Industrial manufacturers might not have the advertising allure of consumer brands, but they still need a cohesive marketing strategy to compete for customers. While most manufacturing leaders understand the importance of marketing, some industry giants are plagued by mistakes and misconceptions.
Don’t let these shortcomings bring your success to a grinding halt:
Thinking your brand is bland by nature
Industrial services are not always sexy. Any passionate and skilled marketer will tell you, however, that there is always a way to make any topic engaging and intriguing. Manufacturers are among my favorite companies to work with, because they challenge me to step out of my comfort zone and find new ways to turn complex parts, processes and value propositions into snappy headers, sharp supporting copy and powerful calls to action.
Driving people to a dated website
With a new year on tap, marketing directors and coordinators might feel pressure to begin churning out marketing content immediately. Before you do, though, ask yourself whether your website is where it needs to be. Is the copy clean and concise? Is the design eye-catching? Is the layout user-friendly? In my experience, a website refresh – or sometimes even a complete redesign – is usually the best place to start. Why? Because all the web traffic in the world won’t show results if your website can’t convert visitors into leads.
Investing too heavily in social media
Repeat after me: “I will not slap crappy content on Facebook and call it ‘marketing.’”
The truth is that excessive social media posts don’t do a whole lot for manufacturing or for business-to-business (B2B) companies in general. While you need to maintain a social presence, it’s more for content-sharing and advertising purposes than for the intern-style, three-posts-per-day scheduling that leads so many companies down the wrong path. Sacrifice quantity for quality and stick to two or three social posts per week with branded graphics, links to your own blog content and maybe, on occasion, a curated news article.
Leaving the sales team out of the conversation
Marketing and sales go hand in hand, and yet the tendency is for these two teams to view each other as separate operations, or worse, as rivals. In the B2B world, the point of marketing is not to make a sale, but rather to position your salespeople to make a sale. You want to equip them with the materials they need to make a great pitch, which is why it’s important to bring them in to the earliest discussions surrounding your marketing strategy.
Creating content aimlessly
There was a time when simply creating content would put a manufacturer heads above the competition. Marketing has changed dramatically, however, and it’s no longer enough to publish content and expect customers to come running to your contact page.
If you’re going to produce content – which you absolutely should – it’s imperative that you pair it with a digital marketing strategy to rise to the top of the heap. This might include any combination of search engine optimization (SEO), landing pages, social media ads, banner ads and more. When you’re investing the time and resources to create blog articles, white papers and the like, you owe it to yourself to position them for maximum exposure.
What tips do you have for marketing in the manufacturing industry? Let us know in the comments below.