Are you a manufacturing business interested in modernising your marketing to get better results? Are you starting to realise that the old-school promotional methods are no longer helping you grow your business as rapidly as you'd like?
Building a strong digital presence is an essential step in your marketing strategy if you want to attract and convert more leads. Typically, B2B companies in the industrial sector have relied on trade shows, networking events, and word-of-mouth referrals as their primary source of leads. But the buyer's journey has changed, and prospects expect to find the majority of information they need on your website.
BEE Digital can help you differentiate your corporate positioning to promote continuous growth in a global market. In this article, we share some of the advice we provide to manufacturers looking to create and implement a digital marketing strategy.
If you're exploring a digital marketing strategy for the first time, you want to surround yourself with the right people. If you're not hiring resources in-house, pick an experienced partner who has succeeded in the manufacturing and industrial B2B sectors. This is an incredibly important step because creating content for manufacturers and their audiences is different to creating content directly for consumers. Also, you want to look for someone with knowledge and insight into your particular industry because the same approach won't apply across the board.
Once you've chosen your digital marketing partner, expect to sit down with them and have an in-depth kick-off session. Usually, this is where you will dive deep into your motives for wanting to develop a digital marketing strategy, and you will set SMART goals:
Specific: Get very granular about what you'd like to achieve. For example, "We want to see a 15% increase in sales leads over six months."
Measurable: Set the key performance indicators (KPIs) you will use to track progress and assess the outcomes of your campaigns. KPIs can be metrics such as website traffic, form submissions, bounce rate, etc.
Attainable: Goals must be realistic; otherwise, you're setting yourself up for failure. You may be ambitious about growth, but you have to factor in your previous and current marketing efforts, the state of the market and other influencing factors that will determine the likelihood of rapid growth in tight timeframes. Eat the elephant one bite at a time.
Relevant: Your goals should be about your business and its overarching goals. Base your targets on what's realistic and relevant for your organisation. If your offering differs considerably from competitors, you can't apply the same goals because you're likely targeting a different or niched audience.
Timely: Set short-term goals that act as steps towards your long-term objectives. Realistically, you'd like your digital marketing campaigns to deliver results in a 3 to 6-month time frame. Measure results frequently so that you can optimise and course correct on time instead of trying to do so annually or quarterly.
Use our free template to determine your SMART goals.
Depending on where you are in your marketing journey, you may need a substantial budget set aside for creating, launching and optimising the assets necessary to establish your digital presence and promote your offering. For example, do you need a new website, or does your existing one require redesign? Strategic and design elements come into play when undertaking such projects, not to mention developer and copywriter services. You'll need a good marketing diagnostician that can identify what's missing in your existing strategy and make suggestions that will maximise the impact of each decision.
To determine your budget, you should first establish your marketing goals. Broadly speaking, your objectives will correspond to one of the following budget plans:
You want to engage and retain customers using simple strategies and minimal tools. If you don't have overly ambitious growth goals but would like to keep a steady market position, this may be the option for you. Expect to spend around 2% of your top-line revenue.
You'd like to see more significant annual growth of your market share, perhaps around the 10-15% mark and want to attract new leads while keeping existing ones engaged. You're open to using more advanced tools and applying more complex strategies. Expect to spend around 4% of your top-line revenue.
You recognise that faster results require more investment and would like to take a more aggressive approach to drive your digital marketing growth strategy. Here, you need to plan for more resources, high-end tools and wide-reaching marketing strategies. If you'd like to achieve annual growth above 20%, then be prepared to set aside 5% of your top-line revenue.
Now is the time to focus on a strategy that will help you sustain online engagement instead of the peaks and troughs that come with traditional methods.
Applying an inbound marketing strategy that's focused on the B2B buyer will force you to really take a look at your customer's journey. Your type of buyer typically does a lot of research. Knowing what information they're searching for and making sure it's available through your digital channels is instrumental in helping them:
a) self-identify as your customers
b) see the value in your offering
c) trust your brand
From a technical perspective, you have to understand the keywords and terms that your prospects are using to find manufacturers similar to you. By doing this, you'll identify the keyword gaps your competitors aren't covering so that you can produce engaging content that will funnel leads toward your website.
Another essential part of an inbound digital marketing strategy is to ensure that you've positioned yourself as an expert. Ensure that you have plenty of content that establishes your authority in your particular niche. You'll need to produce content that addresses each stage of the funnel (awareness, consideration, and decision). For example:
A digital marketing strategy requires consistency across the board. All activities you undertake will need your commitment to continuous optimisation, content creation, and engagement with your online audiences. You should frequently:
Let BEE Digital help you strengthen relationships with your customers, differentiate from competitors and expand to new markets with the help of an expertly crafted digital marketing strategy. Find out more here.
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