Maybe you’re a manufacturer that doesn’t sell directly to the public—so why worry about what’s on your website?
While plenty of manufacturers still depend on tried-and-true marketing tactics (including cold calling, mailing out printed catalogs and attending trade shows), there’s another highly effective marketing method on the block that’s about to help you do even more to improve your customer relationships and hike up your sales: digital marketing.
Get this: Companies that ignore web-based marketing are missing out on huge sales opportunities. More than 45% of B2B buyers say they research solutions online to narrow down their choice of vendors and …
Not sure how to go digital with your marketing? Start here.
Here’s what your manufacturing website needs so your enterprise can attract more attention and retain more happy customers…
- Enhanced Content
Your top-level webpages are just the beginning. Buyers, whether individual consumers or businesses, want the same thing: Information, and lots of it. You can enrich your content with white papers, case studies, articles, FAQs, and a blog covering company and industry news and concerns.
A great content strategy helps your manufacturing marketing efforts by:
- Increasing your web traffic and pushing you up in web search results.
- Building customer trust and buyer confidence. (Try answering common customer questions—they’ll love ya for it.)
- Establishing your in-house experts as knowledgeable voices of authority within your industry.
- Increasing brand recognition.
But let’s not forget your standard website basics: contact information, pricing, shipping, and technical information are all must-haves.
- Call-to-Action Buttons (CTAs)
A straightforward CTA gives your content teeth. Asking site visitors to provide basic information in exchange for something valuable, such as an eBook or white paper, ensures you don’t lose a potential lead.
- Immediate Response
One of the biggest mistakes any company can make is not responding to customer or prospect requests in a timely manner. People want answers right now—not in a few days. The faster you respond to inquiries, the more likely you are to make the sale. If you don’t, you can bet your competitors will.
To speed up response times, consider automated email responses and sales team alerts.
- Behind-the-Scenes Analytics
Analytics is the science of measuring, analyzing and generating reports from visitor and user data. It can include where users are located, how long they remain on each webpage (and even how far down they scrolled), where the visit originated, and where they go next.
Understanding what your website visitors do (and don’t do) can help you improve your website, target your marketing, separate hot leads from casual lookie-loos….and cut down on wasted time.
- Responsive Design
Many business executives report they usually search the web from their desktops, but mobile marketing is rapidly on the rise. Few online experiences are more frustrating than using a cellphone to access a website that’s not properly sized for a mobile device. Your clients may not be researching your product on mobile devices today, but they will be…soon!
Want to learn more about attracting more customers through effective digital marketing?
Download our FREE guide: Manufacturer’s Guide to Attracting More Customers to learn how your business can use digital marketing to grow. The guide includes:
- 5 key marketing strategies used by leading manufacturers
- 20+ effective, proven tips for generating more qualified leads
- Step-by-step instructions to attract and retain more repeat customers
No matter what industry you’re in, the competition is heating up, so traditional marketing methods simply aren’t enough anymore. Isn’t it time to get ahead of the curve and cash in on the inbound marketing phenomenon?
The “call to action” (or CTA) is a fairly simple concept: just ask people to do something. In exchange, you’ll collect important lead information. Surprisingly, a lot of businesses fail to use CTAs effectively…and lose potential business as a result.
Let’s take a look at the what, the where and the how of compelling CTAs.
Defining Your Goal = The What
Your goal might be to gather information, sell a product, ask for donations, or get feedback. Regardless, each of these goals is part of a larger goal: to bolster your lead pipeline. So, ask yourself: What do you want viewers to do? Why?
The first step to crafting an effective CTA is to define your goal. For example…
- Want to build your mailing list? Okay, your CTA could lead visitors to a contest entry, a white paper download, or a newsletter signup in exchange for personal details like name and email address.
- Selling a product or service? Cool. Your CTA might be, “Buy now” or “Join for free.”
- Other goals might include enticing viewers to like, share, donate, retweet, or provide input.
Reaching Your Audience = The Where
Be aware that the language you use in your compelling CTA will differ on different channels. Even though your end goal may be the same (say, “build our mailing list”), how you accomplish it depends on where you’re posting.
On your website, your CTA is straightforward:
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This compelling CTA is detailed, specific and actionable. Visitors know what they’re clicking and why. Simple and straightforward—with zero deception.
On Twitter, while the end game is still the same, your real value might be in spread, so you need to go for the retweet. Social scientist Dan Zarrella analyzed Jet Blue’s tweet lengths and found the most retweets happen when tweets are short—just 50 characters. What can you fit in 50 characters? How about…
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It includes a dynamic enticement (Want more sales?) and a CTA (Click here to learn). Everything you want to say in a tiny tweet.
On Facebook, your goal is interaction. Engage your customers by asking for opinions.
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When your customers interact with you, their friends see the discussion. Direct engagement increases your visibility. Your CTA is the invite to comment…but you’ve also included a link to your site, of course.
In email marketing, there are a whole host of other concerns. Before your recipients even see your CTA, you have to entice them to open your email and the prevalence of mobile users adds a whole new dimension of complexity to email marketing design. Stick with an irresistible subject line to really pull them in, then keep your CTA short and sweet within the email body.
Be Succinct = The How
Crafting an effective CTA means using the fewest words necessary for the greatest impact. The best CTAs have a hook for WOW factor paired with a clear CTA. Here are some of the best:
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Each of these brilliant CTAs outline the benefits of signing up and then provide clear instructions for what to do next. That’s really all it takes.
Who doesn’t love a pristine buffet? All you can eat, hot and ready, just waiting for you to fill your plate and dig in.
Wouldn’t it be great if your leads were laid out in the same way: hot and ready to be served?
To ensure your buffet is always stocked with fresh leads, offer your visitors a tempting spread of content marketing.
Fill Your Seats
Filling seats in a restaurant is much like driving traffic to your website using inbound marketing tactics. While you may not be able to showcase mouth-watering meals, you can offer up teasers for useful and helpful content to make your potential customers salivate. Target your marketing and social media offerings to match customer wants and needs, tempting them to walk in the door.
Hot, Fresh Content
Now that your potential customers are in the door, deliver what you promised. They’re looking for hot, fresh content. If your content is stale, cold and skimpy, visitors will bounce without even ordering an appetizer.
This means paying special attention to your landing pages. Marketing links are a promise with a specific focus. Don’t make them search for the content they came for, take your visitors right to a landing page designed to support your advertising. Make juicy, succulent linkbait the centerpiece of your buffet.
Set Out Lots of Tools
Any decent buffet will have plenty of tools for diners within reach: tongs, spoons, knives, and stations at each buffet table with dishes, eating implements, and napkins. On a webpage, your tools should be designed for convenience. Give your visitors a way to sign up and/or contact you on every page.
Always Offer Great Service
When you go out to eat, poor service can really suck the fun out of an evening. Poorly managed buffets let used plates fill up the table, offer few servers on the floor for beverages and other needs, and pay little attention to keeping the buffet trays full, attractive, and at the right temperature…which means they’re not responding to customer needs.
Too many leads just sit there, waiting for service. Customers, like diners, are impatient. If they have to wait, they’ll give their business to your competitor. Offer great service from the minute they arrive and throughout every stage of the Growth Cycle Marketing process.
The Dessert Table
What’s a great dinner without a sweet ending? Your “desserts” offer up a little something extra. When your prospects come to your website looking for a simple meal, give them what you promised PLUS a delicious dessert…offer a discount, a special offer, or a free download. And all they have to do in return is provide an email address. What a deal!
Leaving a comment card on the table allows diners to give their opinion. Show visitors and social media contacts you value their opinions by asking questions and discussing ideas. Customers love being part of the process. Give your customers the opportunity to weigh in without asking loaded questions that may get you in trouble on social media.
Mail Out Coupons
You want diners to come back again and again, so give them a reason. Keep in touch with email, newsletters, social media offers, direct mail, and other tailored marketing efforts. Beef lovers who rave about your roast beef won’t be able to resist your grilled peppercorn-crusted rib eye special. Keep those special offers comin’ to keep customers engaged…and hungry for new products.
While your business probably isn’t a buffet restaurant, your approach to your business marketing should be similar. Success requires tempting offers, satisfied customers, responsive web design, and stellar customer service. Turn your website into a delicious buffet and reap your just desserts—a steady funnel of hot, fresh leads.