Manufacturing is on the rebound after the industry’s tough times over the past decade. Manufacturers know they must continually seek new ways to decrease costs, optimize processes and generate leads.
Customer acquisition is a top priority for manufacturers, which is mainly due to the limited pool of potential clients. Manufacturers must fiercely compete to acquire and expand their base of customers.
Tapping into the right audience
How do manufacturers tap into their audience while staying on the cutting edge of an ever-changing landscape? Not long ago, manufacturers utilized a basic mechanization of tasks followed by specialization and the assembly line. Later, automation forever altered manufacturing.
Today, there is yet another revolution as cybersystems, robots, industrial internet, smart factories, and cloud computing transform the industry. And, although manufacturing processes have changed dramatically, two constants still remain: sales and customer acquisition. A manufacturer can make the best product in the world, but it is doomed to fail if the customer can’t find it.
Today, consumers shop and interact with companies across digital channels, and manufacturers must target these customers in real time. More than 100 billion people search Google each month. In 2014, Google identified that B2B researchers, on average, perform 12 searches before engaging with a specific brand’s website.
A manufacturer’s custom marketing program must consist of valuable, relevant and consistent content. This will help attract and retain a clearly defined customer base and ultimately drive conversion and sales. The program must promote a product’s performance, its advantages over the competition and its producer as a trusted authority in the sector. After all, new technologies aren’t only for manufacturing; they are for marketing and customer communication. The intent is to attract a solid and loyal customer base.
Inbound marketing strategy
Identify opportunities and goals. Update an outdated website. Build a robust SEO strategy. Create a comprehensive and focused content strategy. These are all vital pieces to the inbound content marketing puzzle.
An inbound content marketing program will facilitate:
- Quality leads
- An increase in sales revenue
- Opportunities for long-term sales potential
- Customer loyalty and trust
- Customer retention
- Brand awareness
To accomplish their in-bound marketing goals, manufacturing marketers are turning to videos, newsletters, illustrations and photos, podcasts, case studies and white papers, blogs, social media and online presentations to inform and educate their customer base. Then, through research, cost-benefit analysis and which channel produced the most customer leads, marketers can determine which marketing outlet(s) returned the highest ROI.
Take a look at the numbers:
- B2B companies that published 16 or more blog posts each month saw nearly 3.5 times more traffic than companies that published less than four posts per month.
- Forty-seven percent of customers viewed three to five segments of content before connecting with a sales rep.
- Ninety-six percent of B2B customers want content with greater input from industry thought leaders.
Content marketing strategy
About 86 percent of B2B manufacturing marketers said they use content marketing, and more than 44 percent increased the amount of content generated this year over last year. When companies were asked what their top marketing priorities were over the next 12 months, 70 percent said converting leads to customers was their top priority. This is followed by growing traffic to their website (55 percent), increasing revenue from customers (45 percent), demonstrating ROI (39 percent), sales enablement (29 percent) and reducing the cost of acquisition (24 percent). Two percent didn’t know. Companies can accomplish much of this with a compelling and persuasive content marketing strategy.
Another way manufacturers are accomplishing their goals for sales and customer leads is with referrals. According to a report by Cultivate, 62 percent of manufacturers rely on referrals. This may be through product reviews and sharing experiences with others on social media or other digital channels.
Content marketing drives customer experience
But, most likely, the most impactful marketing trend for manufacturing marketers will be a tighter focus on the customer experience throughout the buying process. Concentrating on what customers want and value most can lead to higher revenue and stronger customer loyalty. However, customers’ needs and preferences change over time. Therefore, it is necessary to update marketing content and invest in several marketing channels to understand what works now and what will work into the future.
Companies are likely to generate more customer acquisitions that lead to sales when marketing and manufacturing functions operate in a shared atmosphere of cooperation. They must realize that each has a role to play and a need that must be filled. Tempesta Media, a leader in outsourced content marketing, empowers a company’s marketing strategies with compelling and practical content that drives inbound marketing initiatives and generates customer acquisitions.
Lead generation for manufacturers has evolved beyond traditional methods. Embracing technology to drive customer acquisition will help manufacturers boost market share. Tempesta Media can show you how.