The marketing landscape has changed rapidly over the past few years as Internet-based channels have become the standard. Even companies within B2B industries like manufacturing have had to adjust their strategies to accommodate changing buyer preferences.
There are now many new approaches to engaging current and potential customers—the challenge is figuring out which ones will work best for your particular company.
The Internet has sped up the pace of marketing, which means the channels and strategies that worked a few years ago might already be ineffective today. If you don’t stay on top of current trends, you could miss out on valuable leads.
However, this can be easier said than done—which is why we’ve rounded up the most relevant trends for your manufacturing company.
What are the most relevant marketing trends for manufacturing?
Below, we've compiled a list of the most relevant and useful marketing trends for your manufacturing company.
One B2B customer can generate millions in revenue every year. This means each lead is extremely valuable—and your marketing strategy should be precise and tailored to let them know that.
In order to do this, you’ll need to take a more personal approach to marketing. Depending on your budget and goals, that can mean many things, from personalized emails to customized landing pages on your site.
Either way, personalization is the key. Consumers and business owners aren’t going to respond to a message addressed to “Sir” or “Madam,” and they certainly don’t want to receive emails that sound like form letters.
Fortunately, new marketing platforms have a wide variety of personalization tools that allow you to reach out to each customer and prospect with an offer tailor-made for their needs.
Marketing requires regular contact with multiple prospects and customers across a broad range of channels. As a result, your marketing staff can spend a lot of time planning, implementing, and measuring a vast range of strategies.
Even with a large team at your disposal, you won’t be able to perform every task effectively if you do it all manually. Instead, find a reliable tool to help you manage and automate the process.
Businesses expect more from the companies marketing to them. As mentioned earlier, they don’t want form emails—they want personalized experiences. They also want to learn as much as possible about your company before entering into a partnership.
Automation is the only way to deliver these kinds of tailored communications to hundreds or even thousands of customers and prospects at one time.
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3. Content marketing
In a study by Content Marketing Institute, 86 percent of B2B companies are using content marketing to promote themselves. Many of these companies are developing content strategies and assigning dedicated teams to manage the process.
If your company doesn’t yet create and publish original content, it’s time to start. Your company is competing with hundreds of other manufacturers for business. Meanwhile, business owners want to learn as much as they can about your company before making contact.
Content gives them this knowledge and will help them become confident in their decision to trust you with their projects. Instead of talking about your company, you demonstrate your expertise. That’s why 60 percent of customers cite company-created content for improving their purchase decision.
As you continue to engage them on their terms, they’ll feel more confident about your knowledge and experience, which will make them feel more comfortable reaching out to learn more about your services.
If you’re hesitant about introducing content marketing into your company’s strategy, keep in mind that it doubles website conversion rates. It also generates 54 percent more leads than traditional marketing, emphasizing the value of not only content marketing but also Internet marketing.
4. Responsive design
A few years ago, mobile devices outsold desktops and laptops for the first time ever. Mobile adoption has only increased since then, and it’s now a key channel in a wide range of business transactions. This also makes it an important marketing channel for manufacturers in the coming years.
Your business needs to be prepared to accommodate site visitors and leads, regardless of how they’re accessing your content. The best way to do this is with responsive design, which will allow your site to display correctly across a variety of browsers and screen sizes, including smartphones.
It’s critical for manufacturing companies to adopt a responsive design now, versus later. More consumers are relying on their smartphones to research and purchase products. In fact, almost half of users prefer to use their smartphone to research and buy products.
That’s why a mobile-friendly website makes 37 percent of shoppers more likely to buy.
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5. Email marketing
While it’s been around for decades, not that many manufacturers incorporate email marketing into their marketing strategies. With a return on investment (ROI) of $44 for every $1 invested, however, it’s a tool that every company should consider.
If you already have an email marketing strategy set up, it’s critical that you review it for potential updates. For example, with more consumers owning mobile devices — more than half of emails are opened on smartphones — you need to ensure your emails display error-free on every device.
Additional ways you can improve your email marketing campaign include:
- Add video: An up-and-coming manufacturing marketing trend is video, which we’ll discuss later. Sprucing up your emails with video can lead to big responses from users, though. In fact, emails with video can increase their click-through-rate (CTR) by 300 percent.
- Use segmentation: Another technique for boosting your CTR? Audience segmentation. By segmenting your audiences, you can improve your CTR by five percent — some companies have even seen their revenue jump by more than 750 percent with this tactic.
- Test send times: As you’ve grown your email subscriber list, you may have forgotten about experimenting with your send times. Try it again and see what happens. Start with times in the morning, as more than 60 percent of people check their email then.
Updating the design of your emails is another way to impact the success of your email marketing.
6. Social media
Many B2B companies believe that social media is only useful for their B2C counterparts.
This belief is a myth, as more than 40 percent of B2B companies earn clients through Facebook. While some platforms are ideal for B2C businesses, others can be useful for expanding the reach of blogs, white papers, and other content.
That’s one reason why the vast majority of B2B firms now cite social media as an important part of their marketing strategies—including manufacturing companies.
Profiles on social media sites help your company get in front of business owners and other decision makers. By engaging with potential customers and sharing valuable content, you not only attract leads, but also increase brand reputation and authority.
You can also post content in a variety of formats, such as videos on YouTube or behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram. Keep in mind that not all of this content has to promote your services, either—posts that highlight company culture can be a great way to attract new applicants.
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7. Page speed
Whether a user visits your website from their tablet, desktop, or mobile device, it’s essential that you provide a speedy experience. Otherwise, they’ll leave and visit the website of a competitor, which costs your company a valuable lead.
Understand that people expect websites to load within two seconds. While that may seem like a hefty goal for your development team, it’s an attainable goal — and one that will pay dividends. In fact, improving your page speed by one second can translate to a seven percent increase in conversions.
That’s why page speed optimization is a priority for manufacturers.
8. Video marketing
Another rising trend in marketing that manufacturers should watch is video. Today, adults in the U.S. spend up to five hours each day watching videos, whether for business or pleasure. Why is video becoming so popular?
It packs a lot of information into a compact, digestible format. That’s why one minute of video is equivalent to eight million words. For users, that’s invaluable, especially when it comes to in-depth topics that require explanation.
As a manufacturer, video offers an immense opportunity.
Whether you produce videos in-house or partner with a video production company, you can create content that explains your manufacturing process, as well as the benefits of your unique approach. You can also create content that focuses on providing value to users.
Instead of highlighting your services, for example, you could do the following:
- A how-to video on cleaning your parts or equipment
- An explainer video on the different terms of your industry
- A company culture video that provides a peek at your company
- An event video that shares your recent attendance at an industry event
While video marketing may seem like a significant investment of your time, it provides immense value to your brand awareness and conversion efforts. That’s why almost 100 percent of users cite videos for influencing their purchase decisions.
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Marketing in today’s environment means finding unique ways to promote your business and generate new leads. It also means being ahead of the pack whenever possible by taking advantage of emerging manufacturing marketing trends.
If you’re ready to use the above marketing strategies, or any others, WebFX can help. Contact us today to speak with a strategist about how our Internet marketing team can use online channels to attract new clients and generate more revenue.