An effective B2B marketing strategy for manufacturers is imperative for any company seeking to maintain a competitive advantage and win market share. It requires always being both relevant and responsive to the needs of the target audience, as well as highlighting the company’s value compared to your competitors. Since prospects are often deciding which manufacturing companies to choose based solely on online research, every element of a B2B marketing strategy for manufacturers must positively differentiate their company, inform prospects and drive leads.
Know Your Customer
Before you come up with a B2B marketing strategy for manufacturers, you must first do your research in order to learn more about your audience. Listen to what your audience is talking about, search for competing brands and take notes on their messages and style. This will not only help you understand your target audience and create a good brand strategy, but it will also allow you to market differently than your competitors. After all, you want to stand out among other B2B manufacturing brands.
Build Your Buyers Persona
When you are building a marketing strategy, you must first ask yourself – who are the customers that your company is targeting with your B2B marketing efforts? This is called building a buyer persona – a representation of your ideal customers based on research and data about their motivations, challenges, demographics etc. In turn, this allows you to create customized campaigns that they are likely to respond to. The data for this process can be gathered from surveys, interviews, competitive analyses and anything else that provides insight you can use to connect with the audience and ultimately convert them into customers.
While researching your target audience is important, it’s also imperative to do a competitive analysis. You want potential customers to select your company over your competitors, and to help ensure that they do, you must research and analyze how other manufacturing companies are positioning themselves in the marketplace and what marketing strategies they are using. A competitive analysis provides you with information about your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and in turn allows you to outcompete them!
Online Presence & SEO
Another crucial step to improving your B2B marketing strategy is increasing your brand awareness by improving search engine optimization and rankings. After all, if no one knows your brand and it doesn’t show up anywhere, they won’t find you. That’s why in today’s digital age, SEO and keyword planning are both essential. Keyword research helps you determine how high a website will rank in search engines like Google or Yahoo, and thus how visible it will be to your prospects. The higher the website ranks, the more views it will receive. Keep in mind that successfully optimizing a website will take time and it will also need consistent tweaking. Yet it is a necessary step in developing your B2B marketing strategy and ensuring your company’s success.
All manufacturing businesses want to be known as reliable, professional and consistent. However, many B2B companies overlook the more emotional side of their brand and thus may often appear faceless. Even as a B2B manufacturing company, you should remind your audience that there are real people behind your products. It’s especially important if your company is similar in price and quality compared to other brands. By sharing a more personal side of your business, you can make your brand stand out among competitors and appear more appealing to potential customers.
Social Media & Paid Ads
Manufacturing brands can reach a mass of people with organic social posts, as long as they are relevant, helpful, engaging and published on the right platforms and at the right time. For example, posting on Instagram may not be very beneficial for B2B companies – LinkedIn would be a much better solution. Just make sure to research what your audience is interested in, and then align your posts accordingly. Find your industry influencers and follow them, research and use relevant hashtags, and promote your website content. And don’t forget to monitor your social media insights and follow trends – this way you can maximize your marketing success on social media.
If organic social media isn’t bringing you enough leads, you may also want to consider paid advertising. Paid ads remain one of the most effective ways to quickly extend your reach. Try experimenting with them by starting with a smaller budget and comparing your efforts on different platforms, such as Google Ads, LinkedIn and Facebook, and figuring out what works best for your B2B manufacturing company.
When it comes to communicating directly with your audience, email marketing remains one of the most effective tools. Indeed, when you’re using social media you’re at the mercy of the platform’s constantly changing algorithms, so your message might simply get lost and never be delivered to your potential customer. With email campaigns, you are no longer limited by an algorithm. While some emails may still go to “junk” folder or be ignored, a well-timed email blast is still very likely to get your message delivered to your target audience and produce really good ROI.
To expand your reach even further, consider offering useful, informative content to your audience. Create blogs, case studies, infographics, white papers, eBooks, or anything else relevant to your industry, and share them on your website and social media channels. Not only it will improve your SEO, attract more website visitors and improve your brand image, it can also be used to capture leads. Consider asking viewers to provide their information, such as name, company and email address when downloading the content – this will allow you to follow up with them in the future.
Last, but not least, as a B2B manufacturing company you should consider attending events, trade shows and conferences relevant to your industry. This will allow you to get your name out there, meet with potential partners and clients, and make sure you know what your competition is up to.
Print some brochures and promotional materials, bring pull-up banners and consider doing a giveaway – these are all good practices for trade shows. Just make sure to advertise the events you are attending on your website, as it will help people find you and improve your SEO results. Finally, consider running an email campaign after the event – it’s a great way to follow up with people.
In 2019, marketing for B2B manufacturing companies is evolving fast. More brands are starting to consider a proactive approach, and understand that a proper marketing strategy is a “must”. Indeed, if you want to stay in line with your competition, you can no longer afford to ignore SEO, social media or email campaigns. So make sure to do your research, build a buyers persona and come up with a strong B2B marketing strategy – this will ensure that your manufacturing company is successful.
If you are a manufacturing company in need of marketing assistance? Feel free to contact us!