Although your specific business goals may be different from those of your competitors or thousands of other manufacturers, everyone wants to attract new customers.
It doesn’t matter whether you are opening a new facility, expanding to create new markets or products, or simply trying to expand your customers, we are here to help you do it.
To begin with, industrial companies will need an effective online marketing and sales strategy to help them achieve their business goals – because the behavior of B2B buyers has changed. Innovative manufacturers and industrial companies are using digital marketing to attract more customers instead of relying solely on traditional methods such as in-person networking and trade shows.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re a manufacturer looking for more customers:
Optimize your website to convert new customers
Today’s shopping process begins on the Internet.
This means (at a minimum) that you need an up-to-date and modern website. This must communicate more than the name and contact details of your company.
Buyers want to know as much about you as possible to help answer these questions: Are you reliable? What markets do you serve? Are your capabilities able to meet the requirements of their project?
Surveys have shown that the buying decisions of industrial buyers are most strongly influenced by detailed technical information about the products/services they are looking for, which is why common content and pages that attract new customers are:
- Part-Level Specifications
- Lists of facilities and equipment
- All high level/significant projects
Some buyers only work with manufacturers or suppliers that have specific certifications, so make sure they’re visible and up-to-date.
Also, be sure to give buyers a place to contact you on your website — and if you post an email address for buyers to submit RFPs, be sure to follow up on those submissions regularly. Our survey of industrial buyer search habits found that 44% expect a response within 24 hours.
Be where buyers look for new suppliers
Add your business information to free local online directories to increase your reach even further. Manufacturers see an SEO benefit from qualified traffic by keeping their company name, address and phone number on the directory pages of business listings such as:
Your potential customers are looking for you online and on these platforms, so it’s important that your business information is up-to-date and consistent across all directories. Post photos of your products or services and use videos to drive engagement — Videos are transcribable and searchable, making them one of the most popular channels for connecting with customers, prospects, and even new employees.
Don’t forget your current customers
Not all customers are created equal, but it’s important to keep in touch with each one – once in a while, it’s good practice to see how your past customers are doing as well.
Create regular email campaigns to stay in touch. Ask them for feedback on how you can improve and encourage them to share your business with someone in their network or post a testimonial on your Google reviews. (Positive reviews will help convince others to do business with you!) You’ll learn what makes them happy and how you can improve; your email can even serve as a reminder for repeat customers.
Create content for each audience
Big or small, most organizations have didifferent people involved at different stages of the buying cycle.
It sounds like a challenge to reach them all, but it’s actually a great opportunity to create multiple types of targeted posts (from what you worked on above!) to impact different target audiences.
Knowing what each of these interested parties needs can help you speak their language more effectively and give you a better chance of being in the right place at the right time when considering vendors.
What makes sense to an engineer may seem like gibberish to a CFO, while if a supply chain specialist stumbles upon a message intended for a company president, it’s not that he doesn’t. wouldn’t know what he’s talking about – he probably wouldn’t care. .
Here is an overview of potential customers that manufacturing companies typically target:
These are your “technical heads” and they relate to all specs and abilities.
Since engineers are often the first to recognize the need for a new part or technology, you want to give them as much technical information as possible, including machinery, CAD drawings, and product data, in places like your free Thomasnet.com profile that we mentioned. earlier and your own site.
2. Sourcing professionals
The first lines of sourcing.
They do a lot of legwork, so you want to make it as easy as possible for them — that’s the first step to proving you’re a better partner than another vendor. This means positioning yourself where they source, illustrating your understanding of the supply chain, and giving examples of your reliability and problem-solving skills.
3. Financial managers
There is always someone holding the purse strings.
These people care about the bottom line, so show them you’re the best choice, even if you’re not the lowest bid.
Value comes in more forms than immediate pricing – communicate the efficiency, quality and expertise that sets you apart from the cheapest option. Have you ever saved your customers money? Stories like these are a great start to showing your long-term value.
Find out how much other leaders spend in 10 ways manufacturers spend their marketing dollars.
4. Diversity or Quality Manager
If you do business with government organizations, contractors, or public institutions, chances are they have diversity requirements, and many companies have quality requirements as well.
Don’t make it hard to find the standards you meet — make your certifications as visible as possible.
5. Decision makers
The decision makers are usually the ones who have the final say.
It could be someone we’ve talked about before, like an engineer or a CFO, or even a business owner or partner.
Give each of those other target customers the tools they need to give the final push to whoever the ultimate decision maker is – it’s likely going to be a combination of everything we’ve talked about: technology/capabilities, efficiency, and value.
The next step to get more customers
Building the right marketing strategy to help you achieve your business goals is more complex than can be summed up in a single article. Although industrial companies can “do it on their own”, it’s good to have a partner who is experienced in designing and creating unique online marketing strategies.
Read on: The Ultimate Guide to Marketing and Getting Customers for Manufacturers
Thomas has helped thousands of businesses like yours create online marketing strategies that help them achieve their business goals. We’ve been connecting manufacturers and B2B buyers for over 122 years.
“Thomasnet.com has been a great business for our business by dramatically increasing our brand recognition and enabling those who need the products and services we offer to connect with us in a real way,” said an executive at Blisterpak, Inc. “We are now well known in the region as well as in a national market and have been able to secure business that we would never have been considered for in the past.”
Do you also want to expand your manufacturing business and reach more customers? Join over 500,000 other North American manufacturers on Thomasnet.com who are growing their customer base every day.