Digital Marketing for Manufacturers: 5 Must-Haves for Getting Started
Manufacturing entrepreneurs usually start a business with their connections, creative ideas, niche skill sets, and strong work ethic. But when it comes to growing their customer base, they’re not always sure where to start. The key to success? Digital marketing.
Digital marketing for manufacturers is the modern solution to finding new clients and growing a manufacturing business. Although there’s quite a bit to learn, it’s easy to pick up online manufacturing marketing and hit the ground running. When done right, digital marketing becomes just another part of the day, but it will contribute enormously to your manufacturing business’s ability to reach new clients and build stronger connections.
This guide will share the five most important digital marketing tools and techniques you should integrate into your manufacturing company’s workflow so you stand out from the competition:
- A mobile-responsive website
- An email marketing tool and plan
- A primary social media channel
- Updated business listings and reviews
- An easy way to create content
Ready to get new manufacturing deals and repeat business — all in one place?
1. A mobile-responsive website
Yes, your business needs a website. This is a modern-day requirement for every business of every size. No, a Facebook page isn’t good enough. And no, not every customer will find you through referrals.
Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of building a website. Modern technology has made it incredibly easy to create a functional, easy-to-navigate, and professional-looking website.
A modern website must be mobile-responsive, which means it works just as well on a smartphone as it does on a desktop — about half of all online traffic comes from people on their mobile devices. Tools like Constant Contact’s Website Builder solve this problem for you and help you get your business online fast without having to learn any code at all.
2. An email marketing tool and plan
Email marketing provides one of the best ROIs of any marketing tactic. With emails, you can automate many functions and connect with qualified leads while taking care of other business.
To get started, expand your email list by reaching out to current contacts and inviting folks to receive your email newsletter. You can include:
- Product launches
- Industry news
- Interesting studies
- Team features
- New client highlights
- And more
Save time by creating a template for all your emails and using it every time you send out a newsletter or welcome message. Your emails will look professional, help to build brand loyalty, and increase people’s trust in you as an authority in your field.
3. A primary social media channel
Social media marketing is a way to connect with your clients and future customers where they already are. But social media can be overwhelming with so many channels to choose from and new ones popping up seemingly every day. How do you start?
You don’t have to be everywhere — it probably doesn’t make sense for your company to be on Tik-Tok anyway. Choose one social media platform to start with and share engaging, entertaining, or informative content.
Try to post something a few times a week. Some examples of things you can post include:
- New videos
- Highlights from blog posts
- Interesting industry news articles
- Team updates
Social media lets you personalize your service and keep people engaged with your business. Be sure to respond to comments and feedback, but remember to stay professional and on-brand.
4. Updated business listings and reviews
Digital marketing is supposed to make it easier for folks to find you. Start by cultivating an online presence using tools that already exist so people can research your company before they pick up the phone.
Qualified leads will not only browse your website and look at your social media pages, but also check out your business’s listings and online reviews to see what your previous customers had to say. Have you Googled your business lately? If not, you should!
When updating your listings:
- Claim your business. Go to the listing sites and claim your business profile. This lets you make any necessary changes to information about you that the general public sees on these websites.
- Update your contact information. You want your contact information to be accurate — and consistent — on listing sites, otherwise, customers won’t be able to reach you.
- Add services, photos, and other information. You want customers to know exactly what they’re getting into. List out the services you provide and post photos to personalize your business and demonstrate your expertise — before-after photos are great for this.
Reviews are an opportunity to demonstrate your strong customer service skills:
- Show gratitude. Thank all reviewers for taking the time to leave feedback. A positive review only requires a thank you; a neutral or negative review requires more.
- Respond thoughtfully. When responding to a negative review, acknowledge the person’s experience and apologize without excuses — no matter how strongly you may feel the person is in the wrong. Invite the reviewer to discuss the situation further by providing your contact information. Show customers that you take their satisfaction seriously.
- Check often. Set up a Google Alert so you can see when your business is mentioned on the internet. Keep a weekly scheduled time to see if new reviews have been posted. Aim to respond to reviews within a day.
Your online reputation is critical; people will give online reviews of strangers almost as much weight as the opinions of their friends and associates. Don’t ignore what others see. Manage it.
5. An easy way to create content
A modern digital marketing strategy should include content marketing. It starts with SEO, or search engine optimization.
SEO is something your website needs to show up in searches. Your content should contain the keywords and phrases people use to search for your products and services. That way, search engines like Google will find the relevant pages on your website and include them in the search engine results pages.
Aside from helping with SEO, blogs provide a unique opportunity for you to position yourself as an expert in your industry or manufacturing niche. You and your team likely have a lot of detailed knowledge and skills that can benefit your customers. Sharing your wisdom will lead to folks wanting to trust your company and do business with you.
If you’re not comfortable with writing, partner with a professional copywriter or enlist a connection that is. Your blog doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective.
Bring it all together
The best digital marketing for manufacturers involves cultivating a strong online presence by:
- Building a modern, mobile-responsive website
- Using email newsletters to connect with customers
- Getting on social media to engage followers and raise awareness
- Updating business listings and responding to reviews
- Creating valuable content to position yourself as an industry authority
The result? You’ll generate more clients, repeat clients, and clients who are more engaged in your manufacturing business.
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