Marketing budgets are always a sensitive topic—particularly for manufacturers who depend on a pipeline of projects that can ebb and flow throughout the seasons. During revenue downturns, it seems as though marketing is always the first budget to be cut when in reality it should be the last, especially when you want to continue pipeline growth.
When you think of where your marketing dollars would best be spent, you should always consider your website—after all, it’s your marketing hub. This means every marketing initiative should help make your site more effective at attracting visitors.
To generate more leads through your website, these are the five marketing solutions we advise spending your marketing dollars on.
Proper, up-to-date development is crucial to a manufacturer's website. Ensuring mobile responsiveness and efficient page loads bolster search rankings; your site won’t be found if it hasn’t been developed with the right technologies and methods in mind. It doesn’t matter whether potential leads find your site through search or through referral; they won’t trust your ability to deliver quality work or products if your website doesn't function smoothly and correctly—a manufacturer's website is a reflection of their company, for better or for worse.
Recently, SyncShow overhauled a manufacturing client’s website with fresh content, a current look, responsive design (i.e., making it mobile, tablet and desktop friendly) and up-to-date technology. With this change, they experienced a decrease in their bounce rate (people reading one page and leaving the site) from 60% down to just 2%.
– Michael Evans, Senior Developer
2. An SEO strategy.
Search engine optimization (SEO) for manufacturing companies is all about driving the right traffic to your site to provide the highest-value opportunities.
The process starts with keyword targeting. Using your feedback from customer interactions as well as the buyer’s journey, SEO professionals can determine the most likely terms that potential high-value customers will be using, before they’ve even thought to search. While most SEO companies focus solely on traffic and volume of specific search terms, the right SEO partner will expand your SEO reach into long-tail terms (i.e., those that are more specific) that the engineers or procurement managers in the advanced stages of sourcing would use. As the initial targeting continues to produce results, SEO partners will re-tool and keep targeting; you don’t rest in your attempts to drive your business forward, neither should your SEO team.
For one of our manufacturing clients, the implementation of a dedicated SEO strategy resulted in a 400% increase in keyword rankings for the top three positions in search engines. In fact, in some cases, the company secured all three top positions for a national keyword! Along with these gains, the company achieved localized rich snippets in the search engine result page (SERP), which is also known as being in “position zero”—or ranking above all other search results.
– Chris Gabriel, SEO Strategist
3. Brand-defining messaging and design.
Messaging and design are inseparable and must work together to help tell your brand’s story at a glance—which means they must be right. And making sure they are right is part art and part science. Color usage, for example, is rooted in science. In marketing, statements like “blue conveys professionalism” or “black indicates luxury” may seem arbitrary, but there’s actually scientific evidence supporting how humans perceive colors, both separately and together.
Messaging is also a bit of a science. Your website has less than a minute to hook readers. Whether visual (i.e., in video) or written, messaging should deliver quick, memorable sound bites that address the common pain points and challenges of ideal customers. Impactful headlines should command attention with benefits and supporting messaging should validate that your company can be trusted to provide the right solutions, services or products. Most importantly, all messaging (and on-site content pieces) should be driven by a carefully planned content strategy.
New or established, a company will benefit from stepping back to review whether its website is providing a content experience that matches the needs of those ideal customers. Every company should also make timely, on-brand design updates to modernize its website's look and feel. Occasional content audits and redesigns alone will reduce website bounce rates and increase average session times and page views. On-target messaging and on-brand design matter.
– Greg Lukach, Content Engineer
4. A clearly defined, unique value proposition.
You now have a website that functions properly, can be discovered on search engines, looks great and speaks to your products and services in a brand-specific voice—but does it really distinguish you from the competition? A website, or business for that matter, without a clear and concise value proposition could be missing business opportunities by not clearly communicating what makes it unique when compared to its closest and furthest competitors. No matter how great your site is, if you aren’t clearly communicating the unique benefits you bring to the table, prospects may assume that you and your competitors are identical—and make their decision based on price alone.
What can you do? Sit back and think about what makes you unique, and I mean really unique. Start by writing down your “uniques” and then use them to create a concise statement that explains what you do differently—and better—than anyone else. This statement should be used to influence all content you create, whether it be website copy or even printed sales sheets.
For example, Skype has a strong value proposition that is simply stated: "Skype keeps the world talking, for free." A value proposition should succinctly summarize the “what’s in it for me” for the target audience while also differentiating a company from the competition.
– Katie Luechauer, Account Manager
5. A strong social media presence.
A unique value proposition, valuable messaging and design, a strong SEO strategy and a high-functioning website are in place, now it’s time to tell the world! Social messaging is pertinent to reaching a growing audience that spends both time and money online. A well-thought-out social media strategy can provide the introduction potential buyers need before they even land on your homepage. How can you convey who you are and what you do in 140 characters or less? Demonstrate thought leadership by sharing a valuable article, add a personal touch by quoting an industry expert or spark educational conversation by linking to a relevant blog post written by a member of your team. Be the relevant voice that encourages your target audience to #listen.
One of SyncShow’s industrial clients made social media a priority in 2017 and experienced a 131% increase in click engagement. The company shared content featuring its products and promoting timely and relevant blog posts in specific LinkedIn groups as well as actively engaging with other industry-related publications, such as Building Enclosure Online and Buildings Magazine, via tagging or social media mentions. As a result, the company established a strong, trustworthy social media presence. Continuing to diversify promotional content and diving into segmented audiences will continue to grow the company’s already-engaged audience.
– Mary Ellen Riley, Account Specialist
To learn more about how SyncShow can help you generate more digital marketing leads, please reach out and contact us.