How industrial b2b companies can attract more sales ready leads through more effective marketing
We’ve written previously about how industrial B2B marketers need to be more structured in their thinking, developing content and communications that arouse, attract, engage, and inform prospects to take positive action.
This process involves thinking more like a publisher, being much more open and being present in the right places at the right time when they are asking questions and conducting research.
Carefully created marketing strategies that talk to the needs of your prospective customer involve providing some information, help, or guidance – free or in exchange for their contact details – so as to start a more meaningful and “sales-qualified” conversation.
It’s about building trust, assuring them of competence and capability before starting a messy and disjointed sales conversation.
Manufacturing companies are often looking to win a contract or become a preferred supplier, so creating the right content that targets the right people and the right problem becomes critical.
Check out some of these ways we help clients improve their results from marketing to impact the bottom line.
Be clear on targeting
So much of industrial b2b sales isn’t just about making the first sale; it’s about locking in repeat business on contract. That’s why often seismic decisions can take months, if not years.
Once a product is specified, that makes it harder for other manufacturers to break the specification and dislodge the incumbent.
In order to get specified, companies that manufacture industrial parts and finished products need to target their marketing at the right decision makers and influencers.
Whether it’s a design engineer, a production director, or the C-suite, the key to generating more incoming warm sales leads is to implement an always-on, evergreen inbound marketing strategy that can help identify when qualified prospects are looking for a new supplier.
Know when industrial prospects are in the market for a new partner
People looking to make supply changes use search engines to start their search and if they don’t have a grasp of actual suppliers, they will ask questions. Start by asking Google a number of keyword rich questions to get an idea of what is being searched for.
As an example, search terms such as “industrial coatings” will offer up a flavour of the types of phrases searchers are using, but it may be too broad. Tightening up the search by using “what are the right/best industrial coatings for *application” will give a much more realistic view of the content that is ranking in search and being used by purchase ready searchers.
The depth of search also starts to imply at what stage they are in their decision making. If you’re in the business of industrial coatings, wouldn’t you like your site to appear in that search result too?
Then, and if budgets allow, tap into services like SEMRush or Moz to establish likely search volumes on certain words so you can begin to plan out content mapped to customer search.
Create content that attracts and qualifies visitors
Website visitors and search engines are looking for the same thing – quality content. The reason everyone is hammering home the importance of content right now is because it is proven to be the number one way to improve awareness, reputation, and expertise as well as driving both organic paid campaigns.
The information you provide through your website will be optimised to appear in your prospects’ search results. And, if your website content is steeped more towards being informative, educational, or in some other way helpful to your reader – rather than being self promotional – you will succeed in landing more clicks and time spent on your site.
The best way to do this is to write regular helpful posts on topics customers are searching answers and help about. This means having a blog which can be optimised for search. Over time, you’ll build a library of helpful articles about critical topics and authority on search engines as these articles show up in the search results of the people who are looking for those answers.
Convert visitors into customers
While taking time to develop useful content is a good way to attract more interested visitors to your website, the goal has to be to start conversations with them. To do that you need more as you’ll need to convince them to share their contact details with you.
Many industrial marketers use blogs, search engine optimisation, and other online marketing efforts to drive traffic to their site, but they are frustrated that they don’t convert the amount of sales leads they expected.
There are lots of clever ways to move a conversation forward and all involve offering something of deeper value. You’ll need to consider creating a downloadable asset such as a report, white paper, ebook, or an opportunity to benchmark themselves and receive much more tailored feedback.
These can be added into each blog post as a clickable link or button, a widget in the side menu, or a pop-up (statistics say they work, but you should give people some time to read what they came for first) and link it to a corresponding landing page where a visitor can fill out a form to access it. Repeat the offer at the end of the article.
Downloading your offer for more related content provides you with an opportunity to start a conversation about what they think about it and ask about their current challenges.
Unless they know exactly who they want to contact, buyers of industrial products looking for a new supplier are most likely to start their research with an online search.
The useful, industry-specific content that you publish on your website will attract visitors who are actively searching for that information. And a seeding strategy of using that content in free and paid social media, email marketing, and PR will help get more eyeballs and begin to turn your website into the sales tool you always wanted it to be.
Not all manufacturing problems can be fixed or mitigated by sales and marketing. But many of them can be improved by having a marketing mindset and putting customer experience at the heart of your operation.
What are your industrial marketing challenges? Do you have the in-house capability and skills to be able to resolve them?
If you’d like to see how we can help, take a look at our industrial work here: https://www.velo-b2b.com/our-work/industrial-sector/
Check out the Velo formula here.
Or, to start a no-obligation conversation – click here.