5 Ways Manufacturers Can Gain More Name Recognition

Manufacturers face an uphill battle in terms of name recognition. Throughout history, most manufacturers toiled in anonymity. Today, though, you can’t afford to remain in the shadows. The rise of social media means the rise of social media pressure…but more importantly, it’s a grand opportunity for manufacturers to make a name for themselves.

Why Bother?
You’ve got a pretty good business, so why should you worry about image? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Manufacturing is once again on the rise (finally). Surely you want a piece of the action.

While most manufacturers are sitting on their laurels, you get ahead of the game by joining companies like GE and Caterpillar—and you don’t have to have that kind of budget to be successful. These big guys are already household names, but they’re busy preparing for a future where consumer opinion determines success. Now’s the optimum time for small- to mid-sized manufacturers to use digital marketing to GROW.

Manufacturer’s Guide to Attracting More Customers: How Top Manufacturers Are Driving New Revenue By Attracting More CustomersDownload this free guide and review five case studies showcasing how leading manufactures are using creative marketing tactics to connect with more customers.

Here are 5 ways you can put your manufacturing enterprise in the spotlight and gain more name recognition.

  1. Be the Go-To Guy

Authority is one of the strongest tools you have at your disposal. You’re the expert; it’s time to let everyone know. Decision makers are people just like you and me. They search for information and tend to trust the website that delivers the goods. Fill your site with information and you’re one step ahead of the game.

  1. Know SEO

You can slap any content you want up on your website, but only the best, well-written content stands out and works toward your site’s search engine optimization (or SEO). If your website is user-friendly and easy to navigate, visitors find exactly what they’re looking for—fast. SEO and content marketing best practices help boost your listing to the first page of search engine results… and keep it there.

  1. Engage on Different Platforms

GE is literally everywhere. They have social media accounts all over the web and they post every imaginable kind of content. Don’t stop at Facebook. Post interesting content on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and even Vine. (Check out how Cambro Manufacturing uses Vine) You don’t have to be everywhere like GE, but don’t limit your options.

  1. Show and Tell

People are fascinated by process. It starts at an early age, too. “Mr. Rogers Shows How to Make Crayons” has more than 278K views on YouTube.

Here’s how Caterpillar does it. By building sandcastles. Really, really big ones.

  1. Get Involved

If you ignore the occasional (yikes) security camera footage catching employees doing things they shouldn’t, UPS does a great job of showing its human side. The “Wishes Delivered” holiday campaign went viral with the story of an adorable little boy who wanted nothing more than to be a UPS driver. They also helped veterans get service dogs, delivered schoolbooks to children in Malawi, and provided gifts to families at Ronald McDonald House.

Raising your profile on the web extends your reach and polishes your image while building trust and recognition. In the digital world, name recognition is better than bacon.

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Growth Cycle MarketingDownload our FREE guide: Manufacturer’s Guide to Attracting More Customers to learn how your manufacturing enterprise 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

Free Download

 

 

Knocking Modern Manufacturing Up a Notch: How to Attract Top Talent

In the 1950s, manufacturing was the answer to the American dream. High paying, secure jobs with benefits meant a strong middle class and a booming economy. In the aftermath of World War II, nearly 40% of Americans worked in the manufacturing industry. Youngsters aspired to a career in manufacturing and a nice split-level ranch house in the ‘burbs…and there were plenty of trade programs and schools to help them get there. Career aspirations have changed a lot since then, and the idea of a career in manufacturing just isn’t as appealing as it once was.

With a limited talent pool and the competition heating up, how can you attract top talent?

Some companies are successfully using modern marketing tactics to polish up their company’s image and convince more bright young minds that manufacturing is a fulfilling and rewarding career path. Check out how these companies are knocking modern manufacturing up a notch—and how you can, too.

Nobody Does It Better Than GE

General Electric (GE) has fingers in a lot of pies. As a conglomerate manufacturer producing everything from lightbulbs to jet engines, GE needs a constant influx of skilled employees—many of them engineers. Worldwide, GE employs roughly 305,000 people with 134,000 employed in the U.S.

Their social media is widespread and all about making manufacturing look cool. Check out this video from GE Aviation about aircraft engines.

The branding on the video is subtle, but very clear: Work for GE and you get to do cool stuff. Slogans like “Imagination at work.” and “GE is committed to innovation.” reinforce the point.

But GE doesn’t stop at YouTube. They have active Twitter accounts full of photos and info, plus you can find them on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and on Vine. They even invite followers to see the manufacturing process in person with #GEInstaWalk. What a great way to inspire followers…and create buzz! What GE does best is remind people that manufacturing is about ideas and innovation.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the ROI on all this social media output, GE credits their smart content marketing for 30% better returns.

Like GE? Check out Siemens

Siemens is another industrial giant that uses content channels to enhance its image. Far from being mired in the past, Siemens uses website and social media content to emphasize a corporate culture that embraces sustainability, innovation and the future.

Here’s a recent tweet:

There’s even a free app to download for people who want to follow news and articles across various Siemens publications.

The Common Thread

What do Siemens and GE have in common (aside from the obvious)? Instead of using social media and web content to sell their end products, they connect to their target audience in meaningful ways—and in the process, enhance their hiring process by showing students interested in computer science and engineering that there’s more to life than trying to develop the next Halo. They show how it’s possible to create awesome real-life technology that works…and not just in the virtual realm.

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Manufacturer’s Guide to Attracting More Customers: How Top Manufacturers Are Driving New Revenue By Attracting More CustomersYou can create a workable content marketing strategy for your manufacturing enterprise—and you don’t have to be an industry giant to do it. Learn how by downloading our FREE, step-by-step guide: Manufacturer’s Guide to Attracting More Customers. The guide also 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

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No matter what industry you’re in, the competition is heating up, so traditional marketing methods simply aren’t enough anymore. Get ahead of the curve.

5 Things Your Manufacturing Website Needs Right NOW

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 …

More than 45% of B2B buyers say they research solutions online to narrow down their choice of vendors and 78% said websites influenced their buying decisions.

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…

  1. 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.

  1. Call-to-Action Buttons (CTAs)

5 Things Your Manufacturing Website Needs Right NOWA 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

Manufacturer’s Guide to Attracting More Customers: How Top Manufacturers Are Driving New Revenue By Attracting More CustomersWant 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

Free Download

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?

6 Ways Manufacturers Benefit from a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing works for manufacturers. Surprised? It’s true: even if you don’t sell direct to consumers, content marketing can work for your B2B business.

So what’s been holding you back? Don’t think you’ll benefit from a content marketing strategy? Afraid your business or products are too boring? Nonsense. Content marketing does work for B2B, helping manufacturers attract and retain more customers—and grow.

6 Ways Manufacturers Benefit from a Content Marketing Strategy

Check out these great benefits:

1. Connect with More Humans
Manufacturing can feel impersonal, but every company (in every industry) has a great story to tell. Telling your story on your website humanizes your business, giving potential customers the extra information they need to make informed buying decisions, backed by a strong emotional connection. Believe it or not, even B2B/corporate decisions are emotion-based. So the more positive appeal you can generate for your brand, the more likely you are to increase sales and strengthen existing customer relationships.

2. Build Trust
Consumers want to buy from a company they trust—a company with the knowledge and experience they need. How will they know you’re knowledgeable if you don’t share your knowledge on your website? Content marketing brings your knowledge and expertise to consumers, so they can make better buying decisions.

3. Sell Innovation
Maybe you’re a new company and don’t have an extensive history. What you do have is ideas, innovation, and a fresh approach to problem solving. Your content marketing strategy should be aimed at sparking the imagination of your customers. If you can get people to share your passion, they’ll believe in you—and invest in your ideas.

4. Attract Talent
One of the biggest challenges for manufacturers face today? Attracting and retaining the best and the brightest. A great content marketing strategy ensures your company looks attractive to both consumers and potential employees. Showcase your company values to attract like-minded people and you’re more likely to build a workforce with staying power.

5. Build Your Brand
Whether you like it or not, public perception defines your brand. Many companies have a few minor blemishes on their records—so if you’re not perfect, don’t worry, you’re not alone. (Hey, sometimes you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet!) What’s most important is how you clean up after a PR disaster.

Remember WKRP’s turkey-promo episode? “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!” Best episode ever.

Even a fun promotional idea can backfire if you don’t think it through. The same goes for content marketing: strategy comes first. If your brand image needs polishing, great content marketing can help your company rebuild brand trust.

6. Get Better Search Engine Results
Finally, no matter what business you’re in, you need to show up in search engine results, preferably on page one. Without a constant stream of fresh content, your website won’t land on the front page—so when your customers are searching for your products, they won’t see your website. Nobody wants that.

Ready to get started on your manufacturing content marketing strategy? Try these questions:

  • Who are you? An old-fashioned family-owned business that puts a noticeable emphasis on family? A company heavily invested in green initiatives? A quirky, cutting-edge startup with a nap room and a basketball court in the building?
  • Now, who are your customers? Are they your end-users? Your distributors? What do they want most out of your products? What problem does your product help your customer solve?
  • How would you define a model employee? What shared values might draw in that type of person? Whatever your company values, there are candidates out there looking for a company exactly like yours.

Manufacturer’s Guide to Attracting More Customers: How Top Manufacturers Are Driving New Revenue By Attracting More CustomersYour company can implement marketing strategies from top manufacturers—and you don’t have to be one of the big guys to do it.

Download our FREE guide: Manufacturer’s Guide to Attracting More Customers to learn how your business can use content marketing to grow. Learn how:

  • 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

Free Download

Remember: A well-crafted content marketing strategy ensures both qualified people and like-minded buyers find you.

This Ain’t Your Grandpa’s Assembly Line: Creative Recruitment to Bring in Young Manufacturing Talent

Manufacturing was once the cornerstone of a middle-class lifestyle…the American Dream. A high-paying union job that would allow you all the comforts of life: a house, a car, a vacation every year, and even college for your kids.

Today, perception has changed. While manufacturing got more high-tech, its reputation was tarnished. Even though manufacturing jobs still pay relatively high and come with more benefits than most jobs offer, they don’t rank high on the list of career choices for young people. How did this happen?

 This Ain’t Your Grandpa’s Assembly Line: Creative Recruitment to Bring in Young Manufacturing Talent

The Perception Problem

Manufacturing is suffering from an image issue. Between sensationalist news stories of plants closing and the demonization of unions (often to score political points), manufacturing in general has taken a beating in public perception.

Part of the perception problem is rooted in fact and education. Between 2000 and 2010, the U.S. lost 5.7 million manufacturing jobs and 57,000 manufacturing companies went under. It may seem like too much of a gamble to consider a career in an industry that took such a huge hit. At that same time, high schools on tight budgets have culled elective shop programs that once allowed kids to build necessary skills.

Unfortunately, now that manufacturing is starting to make a comeback, the workers aren’t there to fill the jobs. There’s an alarming shortage of engineers, skilled tradesmen and IT workers in the manufacturing industry, and it’s time for manufacturers to step up and change their image.

Attracting Millennials

With the workforce aging and young people choosing different directions, U.S. manufacturing could be in trouble. We need to show young people that manufacturing is as cool as gaming. In fact, manufacturing has a lot of similarities to gaming, except at the end, your achievements create something people can actually use.

Shifting perceptions isn’t easy, but some companies already have a jump on it. Caterpillar, for example, is building engaging content geared to attracting customers and potential employees. Landscaping and construction equipment may not seem very sexy, but Caterpillar manages to tap into viewers’ passions with clever, entertaining videos that demonstrate precision, ease of operation and performance.

The “Built For It Trials – Stack: Largest JENGA® Game Played with Cat® Excavators” video has more than 2.5 million views to date. Now that’s exciting. Check this out:

For potential employees, the message of the Built For It campaign is clear: Driving a Caterpillar takes skill and precision—so it’s more than just a grimy, entry-level job. For customers, Caterpillar shows its equipment has the versatility to perform even the most delicate jobs.

Changing the Narrative

Launching a successful recruiting campaign for millennials means peaking their interest and showing off the cool side of manufacturing: 3D modeling, robotics and complicated programming.

Manufacturing, almost by definition, sounds repetitive and boring. Gen Y Millennials want to know their jobs will not be routine—they want to know they’ll be met with constant challenges. Show young manufacturing talent the intricacies of the work and the upward trajectory of their jobs. They are innovators. Present your company as one open to new ideas and receptive to input.

Millennials are natural collaborators. They grew up in constant communication with their peers, so they crowdsource every decision from dinner to life choices. Use your content to stress the teamwork aspect of your business and you tap right into their comfort zone.

When you change your narrative, you put a fresh new face on your company. If you can change the way young prospects view your company, you can attract and retain top talent.

By 2015, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that nearly 50% of the U.S. workforce will be Millennials, and by 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce.

You need them. Take your company image from stodgy to innovative, dynamic and exciting to lock in your top talent today.

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