Digital Marketing for the Manufacturing Industry

How often have we heard comments such as these:

“We are the leader in our industry!”
“Everyone knows us”
“People don’t search the internet for what we make!”
“Word of mouth has always worked for us”

Even if you are the leader in your industry you are unlikely to be the only company making your product…

So let’s take our plastic manufacturing industry. Say you are a trade injection moulder and someone searches for ‘plastic injection moulding’. Let’s say you haven’t bothered about your SEO and you come right down in the rankings. Then that person clicks the link to the company above you? That person probably won’t know you are the leader in your industry, all they know is that Google ranks them above you. So they contact that company – how much could that have cost you. Possibly 1000’s of pounds!

What do we hear about creating and distributing press releases and content?

“There is nothing interesting in what we do – nobody will want to read it”
“Only my competitors are interested”
“We prefer to stay under the radar”
“We haven’t got the time to put this stuff together”

Costing at least £50k, many of these companies will employ a sales person, yet for only £10K more they could have an excellent content marketing program to support these sales efforts and engage their existing customers.

Remember your target and relevant audience WILL be interested in what you’re doing, you just need to tell them. Putting it simply, create interesting content and your audience will read and share it.

So what are we trying to achieve?

  • Increase sales
  • Promote your brand
  • Get more leads
  • Engage with your customers
  • Up-sell
  • Improve customer loyalty

Every part of your content marketing should be designed to target at least one of these areas.

So what do manufacturers include in their content?

Your prospects will want to know how you can solve their problems or make them money!

Let’s say you’ve just bought a new machine that now enables you to make larger mouldings. Your existing customers may be using a different supplier and they could now place all their business with you. Or a prospect that has problems with an existing supplier reads the article and now has another option to look at. You may be using a new polymer that has given some of your customers an advantage with the properties it offers. Your article tells your targeted audience and they also want this advantage. They call you up!

Your articles will often want a strong technical content demonstrating your knowledge in the industry.

Where can you get the ideas?

Chat to your team, they can often come up with interesting stuff and they’d feel very valued if you published their content!  Your audience could also be very interested in the process that gets their products off the ground.

So what media do you create?

There are plenty of options which work for the manufacturing industry. These range from blogs, e-newsletters, white papers, videos, press releases and case studies. It’s easy to put a blog on your website and if you upload one every few weeks you can distribute through your social media channels and it’s great for your SEO. A Blog is also excellent for customer loyalty. You can get guest contributions from your customers and suppliers greatly improving engagement.

I see too many customers spend a lot of money and time on producing excellent media then sending it to a bad database, where most of your customers and prospects are missing.Unfortunately this is common, as most companies in the manufacturing sector have a poorly managed, out of date database. Your first job must be to spend some serious time in sorting this out. Contact all your existing customers and ask for their email list to update your system. Ask all your staff to go through their email program and put all the email addresses (& first names) on a spreadsheet. Ideally install a CMS which will help ensure it remains up to date going forward.

Send a personal email to your entire database explaining your future content marketing plans and the benefits they will receive by engaging. Tell them they will be added to the mailing list but will have the option to unsubscribe.

We’ll shortly be telling you about building up your social media presence providing another vital resource for distributing this media. We’ll then discuss the value of videos in your marketing strategy.

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