Calibrated Content: 2 BIG Ways Manufacturers Get More Qualified Leads

Even if you’re not selling directly to the public, great content marketing is the key to obtaining more high quality manufacturing leads from the web. While there are a lot of ways to drive traffic to your website, not all website traffic will convert to a lead—plus, we all know that all leads are not created equal.

To spark a boom in business, you’ll want to create website content that attracts the attention of prospects at a key point: when they’re nearly ready to buy.

Calibrated Content: 2 BIG Ways Manufacturers Get More Qualified Leads

Here’s how to get more qualified leads from your website…

#1: Create a Variety of Content Packed with Specific Information

Qualified leads are looking for specific information about your products. Use your website and company blog to create content calibrated to contain the information those prospects are looking for. Options include how-to articles, brochures, white papers, charts and diagrams, and more. Be sure your content is easily searchable so your prospects can find the information they need quickly and easily.

Because you’ll likely have to bridge the gap between engineers and purchasers, ensure your website content is more accessible by “translating” your engineer-speak to informal, but still professional language that will be easier for your target audience to understand. (Unless you’re looking to attract engineers, then by all means, keep the techno-talk coming.)

Go beyond solely posting articles on your website and company blog. Build a content marketing strategy that includes other integrated marketing channels, such as: eNewsletters, print and direct mail, online presentations, webinars, infographics, case studies, and podcasts.

Research shows 80% of B2B marketers are using eNewsletters, 73% are using case studies, 63% are using online presentations, 62% using webinars, and are 26% using podcasts. Infographics have increased in popularity, from 38% in 2013 to 51% in 2014.

#2: Join the Conversation: Go Social

On YouTube, GE has nearly 59,000 subscribers. With over a million Facebook fans, more than 300K Twitter followers, over 10K followers on Pinterest, more than 150K Instagram followers, and more than 100K Vine followers, they’re casting a very wide content net to reach a broader audience with varied content.

General Electric (GE) focuses on a number of markets, including financial services, healthcare and energy. They captivate their target audiences by posting a variety of neat content, capitalizing on brand events, and using a variety of social platforms. On YouTube, GE has nearly 59,000 subscribers. With over a million Facebook fans, more than 300K Twitter followers, over 10K followers on Pinterest, more than 150K Instagram followers, and more than 100K Vine followers, they’re casting a very wide content net to reach a broader audience with varied content.

AT&T Social Media ExampleIn 2011, AT&T developed a social media strategy built around their corporate B2B blog, Networking Exchange. By offering up engaging content and leveraging the power of Twitter and LinkedIn, the two social platforms they knew their customers actively used, they were able to bring in $47 million in new business in just 18 months.

But you don’t have to be as big as AT&T or GE (and you certainly don’t have to be everywhere online) to get attention and get more qualified leads from the web. To do smaller social right, explore multiple social platforms (including Twitter, LinkedIn Groups and Instagram) to determine the best chute for your manufacturing content.

LinkedIn has the potential to be a great lead generation source for manufacturers, as it’s the real-deal platform for a number of industry decision makers. As THE B2B social platform, LinkedIn (as well as LinkedIn Groups) could be critical components to your manufacturing social strategy. In 2014, 91% of B2B content marketers used LinkedIn to distribute content.

Keep your main focus on the social channels where your target audience goes to get important industry information. Share great, engaging content, but don’t neglect to respond to comments. Reach out to offer help to your prospective clients—they’ll be very appreciative, and that could very well tip the scale in your favor.

No matter what your competition looks like, a great content marketing and social media strategy will help you gain the competitive edge. Invest in creating content that best speaks to your target audience. Take the time to analyze the online behavior of your prospects, then engage with them on their favorite social platforms—and you’re sure to get more qualified leads.

resources

Manufacturer’s Guide to Attracting More Customers: How Top Manufacturers Are Driving New Revenue By Attracting More CustomersLearn all about how top manufacturers are driving new revenue by attracting more qualified prospects—and learn how you can, too.

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Download our FREE step-by-step, how-to guide for manufacturers Manufacturer’s Guide to Attracting More Customers for much more information on how great content marketing and social media strategies can generate more qualified manufacturing leads.

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.

resources

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.