In this year’s Northeast Ohio Manufacturing Survey Report, over 440 respondents provided candid assessments on their plant-level opportunities and challenges, pressing priorities, and predictions for 2018 and beyond.
While the survey yielded significant findings across the board, one in particular stood out. When asked what their company’s top three actionable priorities are, “finding new customers / improving sales and marketing efforts” topped the list. Lead generation, it seems, is on the front burner for manufacturers throughout Northeast Ohio. And that puts a premium on marketing tactics that are strategic in their design, and seamless in their execution.
The universe of marketing strategies and tactics is quite broad, and manufacturers of all sizes and scopes are constrained by finite budgets and resources. If you’re a manufacturer who wants to generate more leads in 2018, we believe it’s wise to first ensure your basic marketing building blocks are in place and functioning as they should. Specific recommendations follow.
Website: When was your website built and launched? Is it functioning as it was intended to when it first went live? Have your company’s needs changed since that time, and if so, is your site able to accommodate those needs?
What about optimization? Is your site properly optimized so that Google ranks it properly—and customers and prospects are able to find you when they search online? Customers and potential customers alike regularly browse the internet to compare products and services before they make a decision. You should be certain that you are providing updates and useful information that will help them make a decision in your favor.
Finally, does your website convey your true brand promise? Is it attractive and simple to navigate? Does it include premium content that benefits your audience and helps you qualify leads?
There are other questions to ask. But suffice it to say, your website lies at the heart of your marketing world. It should function optimally in a fast-changing digital world and facilitate lead generation at every turn.
If you’re interested, Skoda Minotti provides manufacturers and other companies a free 39-point website inspection. We can provide a full report of what’s working well, as well as areas for improvement. We’ll take a look at any issues that could be affecting your website performance, such as pages that can’t be crawled by search engines, broken links and duplicate page titles.
Social Media: What’s your social media strategy? Do you have a social media strategy? Many companies use LinkedIn for a variety of business networking purposes—from making and facilitating professional connections, to reaching specific groups of professionals through targeted messages and ads. While many social media platforms have merits and can be useful to manufacturing businesses, we believe LinkedIn is best suited to developing and driving qualified leads.
Content Development: In today’s digital world, it’s all about content. Content has made its way to the forefront of digital marketing in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) ranking and driving traffic to your website.
In fact, the best way your manufacturing company can consistently connect with your target audience (and ultimately, drive leads) is through engaging content that informs, educates and motivates readers to reach out to learn more. Content includes everything from your website, blogs and e-books to e-blasts and social media. Among its many other benefits, a strong content program will:
- Improve your Google search ranking for relevant keywords
- Generate online leads through the use of premium content
- Position your experts as thought leaders
- Reinforce your brand promise
Digital marketing: The possibilities in today’s digital marketing universe are seemingly endless. So, which digital tools and tactics can best help your manufacturing company identify, attract, qualify and convert quality new business leads?
The answer depends on many factors. Relevant digital marketing tactics for manufacturers span the gamut, from content development and email marketing to pay-per-click advertising and more. Yet overall, your digital strategy should be to deploy the right mix of digital platforms with the right messaging through the right channels at the right times—and ensure that they work cohesively to deliver seamless and consistent messaging.
Do you have questions about developing strategic marketing tactics that can drive leads for your manufacturing business, or other business advisory issues? Please contact Matt Seitz at 440-449-6800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.