Even though industrial and manufacturing companies are starting to dabble in some of the latest sales and digital marketing methods, they still rely on old methods to provide the majority of lead generation and conversions.
Today we are in the age of the customer; everyone is data, mobile and social driven. Industrial and manufacturing marketers should take advantage of the benefits of online marketing – not just to attract new clients and improve sales, but also because returns from traditional tactics are already on the decline.
Here are seven musts of industrial and manufacturing sales and digital marketing.
- Content Marketing
- Content Offers
- Paid Digital Ads
- Email Marketing
- Sales & Marketing Alignment
- Trade Shows & Events
1. CONTENT MARKETING
When it comes to marketing products to prospective clients, coming up with attention-grabbing content is a must. Ideally, to market this content, various ways such as blogging, podcasting, and guest blogging are used.
All websites that have captivating blog posts are likely to attract the attention of those who visit to read any industry-related information. In the process, our website will end up being an authoritative information source.
Prospective clients tend to consider companies whose websites have authoritative blog posts on industry-related information.
A business must be podcasting for this one reason – podcasting is much easier than blogging.
Having a spread-out content distribution strategy can also entail podcasting. This strategy helps you to boost engagement with potential clients. Also, podcasts help you reach out to members of the target market who prefer listening to or watching audio-visual files rather than reading website content or blog posts.
• Guest Blogging
Amplifying messages and getting networking benefits are two main reasons why guest blogging is paramount.
Writing content for other blogs rather than yours alone funnels web traffic to your blog. If you write content for another manufacturing and industrial company’s blog, you will receive links to your blog.
Consequently, your increase your number of viewers and reach a bigger market.
2. CONTENT OFFERS
• EBooks, Courses, Demos, Product Guides
EBooks, courses, demos, and product guides can be used as lead generation tools. When you publish industry-related information on e-Books, readers are likely to end up on your site in a bid to find out more about you. This increases your web traffic.
3. PAID DIGITAL ADS
In the digital marketing arena, an effective tactic used by most business is using paid ads. By incorporating paid digital ads in your digital marketing efforts, you will essentially be buying visits to your site instead of earning them organically.
• LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn is one the largest and most diversified professional networking platforms. LinkedIn marketing can help you reach specific targets within the network through the use of hashtags and targeted content.
• Google PPC Ads
Google PPC ads are those that you only pay once web users click on them. Google will serve web browsers with ads that are related to the specific products or services that individuals might have searched online (based on their browsing history). This way, they can either learn more about the products or even purchase them.
4. EMAIL MARKETING
Email marketing is an effective online marketing strategy, which entails sending out emails to both current and prospective customers.
Through email marketing integration, it is easy to reach your leads’ inboxes with the objective of engaging and educating them about your services. Sending emails to your clients also helps you stimulate additional up-sells.
• Weekly/Monthly Updates
Providing weekly or even monthly updates to current and respective clients will keep them apprised with your next move.
Rather than pestering recipients about your products, the goal of email marketing is to enhance the relationship that you have with current and prospective clients. This not only builds customer loyalty but also ensures repeat business.
• Product Announcements
Emails can be sent to current and prospective customers to inform them about impending product releases. This keeps them in the loop about our new products and any discounts that they should take advantage of.
• Industry-Related News
Emails sent to clients should not always be about your products since it can dissuade them from making a purchase. Sending them industry-related information that might be valuable to them will show them that you have a sincere desire to help them reach their goals, rather than just selling your products to them.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is crucial to any digital marketing campaign. CRM software helps to build a good relationship with clients and as a result, create a client’s retention and loyalty.
Besides, it gives you a single interface for storing all your clients and prospects: making calls, sending emails, creating reports and even scheduling appointments. Other benefits of this software include…
• Lead Scoring
CRM software enhances efficient communication, which helps you score leads and convert them into paying clients. The software makes it easy to capture more leads, move them through the sales pipeline more effectively, and even close more deals.
• Pipeline Tracking
With CRM software in place, it is easy to put the finger on the pulse of your sales pipeline. Besides, it puts you in a position to effectively undertake sales forecasting, predictive analytics, and growth reporting.
• Follow Up
CRM helps you manage your contacts besides recording each interaction that you have with prospects and clients. This way, it is easy to arrange follow-up meetings directly within the CRM system.
6. SALES AND MARKETING ALIGNMENT
Sales and marketing alignment involves configuring an organization’s sales and marketing efforts through service level agreements (SLAs).
This aims to ensure there are cooperation and sustainable growth. Notably, misalignment hurts customers, and the tips below are critical in sales and marketing alignment.
• Reviewing Performance
Regular performance reviews should be undertaken to establish what can be done on either the side of sales or marketing to score more leads. Since the marketing and sales teams must work in harmony, performance reviews will help pinpoint any strategies in either your sales or marketing strategies, which need rectification.
• Content Review
The ability to review the performance of your marketing and sales team also enables you to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing and sales content. There is a need for whatever content that you put out there to be regularly reviewed to accommodate the ever-changing demands of the industry within which you operate.
7. TRADE SHOWS AND EVENTS
The trade show is a huge investment that gives you an opportunity to meet your clients and prospective clients in person – BUT, you must employ digital tactics to make the most of it!
• Before the Trade Show
Before the trade show, you need to establish a plan of attack. This includes creating email and social media campaigns beforehand to announce your presence at the show.
Decide whether you will be using the occasion to market your company, launch new products, or advertise your current product line.
Communication sent out to your clients should announce any teasers, relevant news, or crucial information about your exhibition. This will ultimately drive crowds to your booth on D-day.
Trade shows give you the opportunity to attract prospective clients, and invite them to your exhibition with the aim of engaging them about your products and scheduling later meetings.
Prospecting via social media to reach out to attendees, especially if the event has a chosen hashtag, is highly effective. Posting live feeds reminding attendees about why they should visit our booth is a smart way of prospecting for new clients.
• Collect Business Cards
When engaging with prospective clients at your stand, make it a point to collect their email addresses or business cards, because this will help you reach them later via email and other communication channels.
This is an analog technique, yes…but digitizing it afterwards is key! Back to the digital side of things, make sure to put all that data into your CRM the very moment you return to work after the show!
• Survey the Competition
If competing firms are also involved in the trade show, you should also visit their stall to find out if there is anything that they are doing differently. Information garnered will act as a basis for you to improve.
• Set Up Follow-Up Meetings
After the trade show, you should reach out to prospects via email (possibly using the drip campaigns you already prepared) to engage them and show that you are still interested in doing business with them. In this regard, you should create a 12-step follow-up process that will help you stay in touch with prospective clients that you met at the trade show.
Following up on prospective and current customers helps to build long-term relationships with them. Prospects are not going to purchase your products directly because you met them at a trade show. Staying in touch with prospects shows that you care about them. It also makes it easy for you to get referrals easily.
Industrial and manufacturing firms typically get a significant number of clients through either partnership deals, or via positive reviews and recommendations by loyal customers. And guess where a lot of clients leave or share their reviews of a company? Online.
Online content marketing will help industrial and manufacturing companies to expand their market reach. It is also easy to tailor digital marketing campaigns to reach a specific niche of the target market.
Most importantly, trying digital tactics – yes, even experimentation – is key to learning about new ways to communicate with people of all kinds. Want to know how all the youngsters around you learned to use digital tools? The same way you’re about to learn, too: through trial and error.
Wading into the digital world may be an uphill battle, yes…but the only way to lose the game is by refusing to play.
Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!
If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!