Every industry has its own marketing challenges and the industrial manufacturing sector is no exception.
When it comes to digital marketing, one of the most common struggles we hear from our industrial manufacturing clients is that the competition is fierce and visitors are sparse. This could be said of many industries, but our industrial customers have a point: there are only so many people looking for large-scale manufacturing services or products at a time—but you would be surprised how many companies sell them.
With so few visitors and so many competing websites, how can you successfully market your brand online?
In this post, I will discuss the first two major challenges that industrial websites face when creating or revitalizing their online campaigns and how marketers can work on them:
- Getting enough actionable data.
- Creating a content plan to stand out against your competitors.
Making the Most of Minimal Data
The core of online marketing campaigns should be data. You need data to know what is working and what isn’t.
But you can’t just collect information from 25 visitors and call it a day. You need enough data to make a truly informed decision. This should be closer to 1000 visitors, at least.
Since you can’t really force more traffic to your site, industrial marketers must collect data longer before acting on it. Wait a month until you’ve collected data from 770-1000+ visitors.
This sounds simple enough, but the long time-frame also means you need to plan ahead. If you overlook something that you want to record, you’ll have to wait another month before you gather enough data. Trust me, it’s painfully frustrating having to restart such a long process.
To create a recording plan, look at your website and determine exactly what you want to know. Ask yourself questions like:
- “How many people are using my CTAs?”
- “Which PDFs do people download most frequently?”
- “Where are my visitors coming from?”
- “What are they looking for?”
- “Do we provide answers to the questions people are searching for?”
Write each question down, and then create a plan for answering them. Do your analytics provide the answers already?
Some questions might require additional analytics or code to track them. If you’re recording PDF downloads, for example, you’ll probably need to use Event Tracking since analytics only record pageviews, not PDF-views.
Thus, make sure all your questions will be answered. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait even longer to get the data you want.
Connecting with Visitors
You’re only getting a small splash of visits per week, and many of those visitors can just as easily access your competitors’ websites.
You can imagine how easy it is for visitors to forget about a company if it doesn’t stand out.
That’s why you need to not only attract visitors, but build a relationship with them. Once they get to know you, they’re more likely to remember you when they’re ready to buy.
One of the best methods for niche markets like industrial manufacturing is content marketing. This style of marketing attracts visitors by providing information your visitors actually want.
It all starts with knowing your customers. You need to know what they want from your products, what topics concern them, and their pain points. Once you learn some of this, you can create blog posts or whitepapers to attract your ideal customer.
For example, if several visitors are looking for the NFPA standards for rupture panels (and your company sells explosion venting equipment), you would provide a blog, eBook or whitepaper on NFPA codes for rupture panels.
If you have quality content, you can even request that visitors provide their contact information before downloading your offer.
Once they fill out a form to download your content, you know the visitor’s email address and their interests in relation to your products. You can now send them promotional or follow-up emails personalized to his or her interests. You can continue to develop a relationship with them until they’re ready to buy.
Instead of just watching visitors come and go on your site, this method captures more leads and builds long-term relationships that you can nurture into sales.
Of course, there are tons of ways to attract and engage your leads, but developing content based on your ideal customers is a great way to start.
In the industrial manufacturing industry, you have limited opportunity to acquire both data and leads, so you can’t let those opportunities slip by.
It’s really all about advanced planning and making informed decisions based on your data: you need to know what you’re looking for and what to do once you’ve found it.
Ultimately, your data should lead you to a content plan that attracts, engages and converts your visitors before they’re lost to the multitude of competitors out there. Make sure your brand is at the forefront of their thoughts.