Companies in the manufacturing industry have changed a lot in the past decade. Product life cycles are shorter, technology has transformed how companies make them, and businesses have learned to be more efficient with their resources.
Since adopting new technologies is not enough, businesses must also look for ways to grow their companies. Lead generation, sales, and marketing all play a crucial role in the growth of a manufacturing company.
It’s important for manufacturers to have a strong manufacturing sales marketing strategy to acquire new customers, maintain relationships with existing ones, and nurture future business. Throughout this blog, we’ll highlight the various inbound and outbound lead generation strategies that manufacturers should consider when looking to grow their business.
Inbound Lead Generation
With inbound lead generation, leads come directly to you from the internet. To have a successful inbound lead generation program, your manufacturing company needs to do the following:
Design a User-Friendly Website
One of the best ways for manufacturers to grow their businesses is through consistent, effective online marketing. To increase exposure and gain new leads, you should prioritize the design and content of your website.
A poorly designed website turns off potential customers. However, a well-designed website encourages them to take action. Optimizing a site’s layout ensures that search engines can find it. In addition, your site’s content should focus on your target audience. This brings in leads that are more likely to be qualified when they reach out by phone or email. For example, if a manufacturer wants to target facility managers, the website should be optimized with their buyer persona. This includes the way they speak, the terms they use, and what they’d be most interested in learning more about.
Manufacturers should also pay attention to the user interface and user experience (UI/UX) of their websites. The better these factors are, the more likely customers will purchase products and share positive feedback about them online.
To improve your website’s UI and UX, manufacturers should run usability tests and A/B tests to see how users interact with their site. They can also create more persuasive marketing collateral like infographics and videos to make their sites stand out among competitors.
After optimizing the UI and UX of your platform, it’s time to improve other areas like product descriptions, call-to-action buttons, and images. This way, you’ll be able to create a positive buying experience for customers so they can turn into loyal brand ambassadors.
Share Material That Highlights Your Expertise
By sharing material that highlights your company’s expertise, your company can be seen as a thought leader in the manufacturing industry. This material can include:
Lead generation for manufacturers can be difficult. It’s hard to get in touch with buyers because most don’t list their email addresses on public directories. To reach out to potential customers, many manufacturers blog about their company or industry. Not only does blogging generate leads, but it also works to position businesses as experts within the industry.
For example, consider writing blogs about new product information and their expected lifespan. This topic shows that you’re up-to-date with industry trends and you’re knowledgeable about the subject. Valuable blog content positions businesses as experts within their industry and can attract new leads.
When it comes to driving increased sales for their businesses, manufacturers should double down on lead generation channels that appear on their websites, including landing pages and content upgrades.
Content upgrades are relevant to blog posts that require visitors to provide an email address to receive more information. For example, a manufacturer could create a blog post about the benefits of their best-selling product and offer it as a content upgrade.
Marketing for industrial sales can be effective because they immediately provide qualified leads for manufacturers upon entry into the site. This means sales teams do not need to worry about sorting through poor-quality leads to find the best prospects.
“How To” Videos and Tutorials
Whether it’s on your website, social media accounts, or blog, your manufacturing company should create how-to videos or tutorials for products and services. This can be especially helpful in industries where buyers are trying to learn more about available options before making a purchase. It also helps you build trust with prospects.
Think of the last time you entered a search engine to find the best option in your industry. For example, if you were looking for a new forklift, did you see comparisons or side-by-side images of the various brands and models available? In these cases, instructional how-to videos can be incredibly helpful because they give buyers an inside look at what capabilities each forklift has to offer.
Fill Your Website With Relevant Keywords
Another surefire way for manufacturers to grow their businesses is by increasing their online authority by using high-ranking keywords and other SEO best practices. The higher a company ranks in search engine results, the more likely they are to generate new leads.
To increase domain authority, manufacturers should create high-quality content that ranks on the first page of search results. They should also focus on growing their social media presence so a larger audience can find them.
Distribute a Social Media Campaign
Social media campaigns are another effective way for manufacturers to grow their businesses digitally. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all provide ways for businesses to reach out to current customers and acquire new ones. Manufacturers should create a social media campaign that includes contests, polls, and other lead generation methods.
For example, a business may run a drawing for 20 percent off all purchases made by their Facebook fans. This would allow the manufacturer to acquire new leads while providing an incentive to previous customers to stay engaged with the company’s social media accounts.
Social Media Supports Customer Communities
Customer communities are groups of people who work together on specific topics, companies, or causes. Customers involved in customer communities are typically very loyal to the brand and enjoy sharing information with others.
Manufacturers can benefit from creating a customer community by building stronger relationships with customers and increasing social media engagement. This allows manufacturers to engage with their past, present, and future buyers in ways that encourage customer loyalty.
Outbound Lead Generation
Outbound lead generation is the process of reaching out to prospective businesses that may or may not be interested in doing business with your manufacturing company. Here are some ways to practice outbound lead generation:
Cold Call to Discover New Leads
Many companies use search engine ads, or other paid advertising channels to generate new leads for their business. However, cold calling is another effective way to generate new business opportunities. By cold calling, your sales reps have the opportunity to provide your company with value and top-of-mind awareness. Even if a prospect has no need for your services right now, they may in the future and your manufacturing company will be the first one they think of.
Nurture Leads in the Sales Pipeline
During the cold calling sales process, sales reps should nurture leads in the sales pipeline. Most prospects don’t say “yes” to a business meeting after a first call, which is why sales follow up is an important component to your cold calling strategy.
In addition to generating new business opportunities, many manufacturing businesses also nurture relationships with existing customers. A strategy for nurturing relationships with existing customers is to ask for reviews, testimonials, and referrals so other prospective buyers can see how beneficial the company’s products are.
Another option is to encourage customers to sign up for a newsletter that offers exclusive deals through email or text message. This way, they’ll stay engaged and follow the company on social media platforms.
Consider Outsourcing Your Sales Process
While many manufacturers choose to internalize their sales efforts, they can reduce their cost of sales by outsourcing their sales process. It’s beneficial to use a third party for sales because it allows manufacturers to focus on what they do best: building high-quality products.
Sales outsourcing services can help companies automate tasks like lead generation and marketing campaigns to quickly scale their business. It also allows manufacturers to spend their time and resources on creating new products rather than generating leads for the same products.
Prioritize Current Customer Relationships With Technology
Many of today’s business software applications focus on data and automation rather than customer service. To stand out from the competition, manufacturers can create their special software solutions. The solution could be a platform that allows buyers to communicate directly with sales teams, filled with tools that automate lead generation and marketing campaigns.
This type of business software is beneficial to manufacturers because it reduces overhead costs while helping buyers find the right product through automated lead generation.
For example, if a buyer wants to purchase an industrial oven for their bakery, they can communicate with sales teams using the software solution and receive relevant information based on previous purchases. This will allow the customer to make an educated, data-based purchasing decision.
Offer a Customer Referral Program
Customer referral programs are one of the best lead generation strategies on the market. Manufacturers must first identify their best customers and then create a program that rewards them for recommending a new business to their personal networks.
For example, a business might offer an additional warranty with every purchase made by someone who a previous customer referred. The extra warranty is an added incentive for customers to recommend a business’s products to those within their networks.
Provide Customer Support Through Various Platforms
Manufacturers should look for ways to optimize the customer experience, which can be done by offering multi-channel support. For example, many consumers prefer to use multiple communication channels like phone, email, and chat when purchasing products.
Companies that want to meet these needs should invest in an omnichannel customer service platform. This type of tool will allow them to provide quick and efficient services across multiple channels. Then they will be able to maintain a seamless customer experience, which can lead to increased B2B industrial sales.
Manufacturers need to gain new leads and retain existing customers to stay competitive in today’s market. By using strategies like lead generation channels, paid ads, and content upgrades prominently on their websites, manufacturers can successfully acquire more customers that they can then nurture into loyal buyers.
As long as you can keep up with the ever-changing digital marketing landscape, your business should be able to scale in a way that is both profitable and sustainable. At Abstrakt Marketing Group, we work with many manufacturing companies like yours to generate high-quality business opportunities. Contact our sales reps today to learn how we’ve positively impacted manufacturing companies across the nation!
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