For years, we've been hearing that voice search for B2B is the next big thing. But the evidence is scarce that Alexa, Siri and Cortana are moving the needle in the SEO world.
4 Digital Marketing Tips for Industrial Companies
In the past, industrial companies could rely on what’s known as outbound marketing: direct mail, billboards, print ads, and trade shows. While those tactics are still valuable, the most successful industrial companies now pair outbound marketing with inbound digital techniques.
You probably don’t need us to tell you this, but we’ll say it anyway. The COVID pandemic changed pretty much everything. For one, trade shows and in person meetings have gone the way of Zoom. Another factor: During the pandemic, customers created new buying habits. In fact, 68% of purchases start with a search engine.
This is true for every industry, including the industrial manufacturing industry. As a result, if you’re not excelling in the online space, you’re likely losing sales to your industrial competitors. Here, you’ll find four ways industrial companies like you can use digital marketing tools to your advantage, so you can reach more prospective buyers, improve brand reputation, gain quality leads, and boost sales.
4 Digital Marketing Tips for Industrial Companies
- Define your ideal customers
- Focus your website on your target customers
- Use the right SEO keywords
- Craft content that captures leads
#1. Define your ideal customers
Dig through internal research and sales data to figure out as much as you can about your top buyers.
What is the average size of the companies that buy from you the most? What problems do they face? What makes them most likely to purchase? What’s the job title of the person who tends to make the purchases? How about their location? Their interests?
Gather as many details as possible, even the time of day your buyers will most likely be online.
Once you have your data, it’s time to use this information to create several buyer personas.
We know, we know. Your eyes glazed over at the phrase “buyer personas.”
Thing is, they’re important. Buyer personas are a lot more than a marketing exercise. Once you have them in place, these personas will guide most of your future decisions, as well as your sales tactics. For example, when it comes to Pay Per Click advertising (see secret #5), your personas will help you to target only the customers most likely to care about what you’re selling.
(Read more: What to include in a buyer persona)
#2. Focus your website on your target customers
Once you have your buyer personas in place, it’s time to take a good hard look at your website.
Think of your site as your buyer’s first impression. You have mere seconds to make it a good one. So use those buyer personas to inform the look, feel, design, navigation, and content for your site. This includes the colors, fonts, images, messaging, and the overall user experience (UX).
If you craft state-of-the-art, expert design that matches the personalities of your top buyers, you’ll not only keep customers on your site longer, but you’ll also communicate “we’re worth your investment.”
For best results, do the following:
- Clearly describe your company: What do you sell, who benefits from it, and why should customers trust you
- Offer the technical information customers need to understand what your product is and how it works
- Include testimonials and case studies that build credibility and trust
- Use clear call-to-actions that drive customers to get in touch. With call-to-actions, action verbs are your friends. “Request a Demo,” for example, is more effective than “Demos Available.”
- Offer a smooth user experience (UX). Make sure pages load quickly, the navigation is intuitive, and everything looks amazing, whether someone’s on a desktop, a tablet, or a phone.
- Optimize your site with SEO best practices. That way Google can find, index, and show your site to buyers looking for the solutions you sell.
#3. Use the right SEO keywords
Speaking of SEO…
When buyers want to find products that solve their business problems, they turn to search engines. Most people never click past the first page of results. In other words, if your site doesn’t come up on page one when a buyer types in their search terms, you’re likely losing sales to a competitor.
That’s why SEO-optimized content ranks as one of the most effective tools for reaching your audience.
Based on your customer personas:
- Do SEO-keyword research to determine the content and questions your customers want and need. It’s okay if the content is low volume. Remember, you’re in a niche industry! This is more about getting the right match than it is about getting lots of unqualified searchers to your site.
- Once you know your keywords, write blog articles that feature them, on a regular cadence. Here you’re looking for evergreen articles that will seem current today as well as several years from now.
(Read more: 3 Steps to Target the Right Organic Keywords)
#4. Craft content that captures leads
Your SEO-optimized keywords will help to lure your target customer to your site. Once there, you want to start a conversation – but you can’t do that if you don’t have your customer’s permission to contact them.
That’s where downloadable assets and email newsletters come in.
By asking customers to download a resource or sign up for a newsletter, you receive permission to show up in their inbox. But this is about a lot more than just email capture. Use these tools to help your customers see your company as a leader in the industry that offers truly valuable content.
Maybe you offer a quarterly report on the state of your industry, for example. Or send out a curated email of relevant blog articles every month that answer your recipients’ top questions.
Conclusion: Digital Marketing for Industrial Companies is Essential
No longer can industrial companies afford to focus solely on outbound marketing. By optimizing a digital strategy, you set your business up for growth. And remember: You don’t have to do it alone. If you’re new to digital marketing – and don’t have an in house marketing department – it might make sense to join forces with a digital marketing firm.