Increase Sales Leads For Your Manufacturing Business With Inbound Marketing

Posted On: April 09, 2020 by Steve Condit

There have been a lot of changes to how online marketing works in the last decade, but one basic fact hasn’t changed:  Inbound marketing, also known as content marketing, is still the backbone of online outreach.  Manufacturing businesses in Wisconsin, and around the world, should still be focusing on inbound as one of the primary pillars of their online marketing strategies.

However, specific methods of engaging in inbound marketing have shifted over the years.   So, in this article, we wanted to outline some of the most important tips and tricks for utilizing content marketing for your manufacturing business in 2020 and beyond.

10 Vital Tips and Suggestions for Improving Your Content Marketing

  1. Your content must be good

The days when a website could successfully use Search Engine Optimization hacks to get ahead, like keyword stuffing or link rings, are long gone.  Google’s heuristic content analysis systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated.   Their goal is to see the cream rise to the top of search results, and they’re making it happen.

Simply put, a business cannot “cheat” its content anymore.  To succeed in content marketing in 2020, your content must be legitimately good.  If not great.  Hire better content creators – people with a manufacturing background and give them a sufficient budget to produce solid work.

  1. Visual content is more widely shared

Blogs are super-cheap to produce, which is much of their appeal, but they’re not as widely shared anymore.  If you want to see your material popping up on social media, you will be much better off focusing on either infographics or videos.  

Infographics probably deliver the best (and safest) “bang for the buck” since they require significantly less effort than even cheap/quick videos.  However, a viral video will be much more widely seen than an infographic.  A single hit video can do more to boost a manufacturing inbound marketing campaign than a hundred blogs or infographics.

  1. Invest in remarketing advertisements

Remarketing, (also called “retargeting”) is a great way to extend the investment you’ve made into website content.  These are a particular kind of pay-per-click ad, available through Google, which specifically targets people who have already been to your site.

For example, say a prospective customer visits an electronic components website, looks at a particular brand of capacitors, but leaves without making a purchase.  A remarketing campaign would then put an ad for those specific capacitors in front of the lead for the next week or so, reminding them of the product and the vendor.  These campaigns have been shown to be 10x as effective as standard banner ads in driving sales!

  1. Host webinars

Thanks to the rise in affordable video-streaming technology in recent years, it’s now relatively cheap and easy to host your own online webinars.  These are an excellent outreach tool because they’re novel enough to attract a diverse crowd, plus they give you one of the best possible stages to display your thought leadership.  A manufacturing business known for hosting great webinars is also more likely to be invited to talk at live events and see other promotional opportunities.

Plus, webinars can be archived and redistributed like any other content, so every webinar adds to your pile of available content.

  1. Engage in guest blogging/vlogging

Very often, content marketing is a situation where a rising tide can lift multiple boats.  Having guest bloggers (or vloggers, podcasters, etc.) on your site will automatically attract a new audience, while also putting them in front of new eyes.  The same is true if you guest blog for someone else.

Guest blogging is fine for people within the same industry, but you can see the best results if you can involve people in related or associated industries, so there’s less direct competition.  Then it’s truly a win-win for everyone involved, as well as helping build bridges between you and potential professional partners.

  1. Put more emphasis on your social accounts

Social media is coming to be seen as one of the main ways that buyers interact with businesses, so social needs to have a prominent place in your industrial content marketing strategy.  Our advice is to focus on quality over quantity.  Don’t try to maintain a dozen different social accounts; drill down and focus only on those sites that host your best potential customer base.

Also: remember that social is increasingly about two-way communication!  Many buyers now regard Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn as viable ways to initiate a conversation with businesses.   If they aren’t already, your social managers should be empowered to respond to customer comments, complaints, and questions as though they’re part of your customer service teams.

  1. Monitor – and utilize – popular memesand hashtags

If your business image at all relies on being seen as trendy, or at least trend-aware, you need to spend some time keeping an eye on memes and hashtags.  Businesses who can successfully utilize popular memes and hashtags in a timely way can potentially get a lot of exposure and social sharing.  Arby’s, for example, are excellent at jumping on meme opportunities as they happen.

In general, your social accounts should be set up to be as agile as humanly possible.  Big news, internet trends, and other such pop culture moments can come and go in the span of hours.  If your social managers have to spend days getting content approved, you’ll always be missing the bandwagon.

  1. Contests and giveaways are still popular

Here’s a trend that hasn’t changed, and maybe never will: people still love contests and giveaways.  If you ever want to quickly pad out your email or social contact lists, a giveaway will almost always deliver.

Better yet, thanks to the increase in use of digital media over the years, often you can get away with only awarding digital goods.  However, don’t completely discount the value of promotional products – people still enjoy receiving free swag!  Smaller businesses and content creators, in particular, can benefit from investing in some promotional products.

  1. Integrate “freemium” options

Content marketing has traditionally been free (as in ‘gratis’) but that’s starting to change.  Websites are now starting to adopt freemium models, where users can pay small fees in exchange for better service.  This could include fewer advertisements, early access to content, or other goodies.

This model won’t work for everyone but give it some thought.  When it works, it’s an excellent way for your content marketing to directly generate revenue.

  1. Create buzz with beta tests

In software, a “beta test” is when the software is almost finished but needs to go through one last round of testing and refinement.  Having a semi-public beta test, where certain people within the public are given an exclusive chance to try out the software prior to release, is a great way to build buzz for that software – assuming it’s actually good, of course.

This same principle can apply to a lot of products!  For example, electronics manufacturers are increasingly sending engineering samples to popular YouTubers for exposure and feedback.  Look for ways to utilize the “beta test” concept for your own product.

Get Content Marketing Services Today

Do you want to take your manufacturing business’s content marketing and outreach to the next level?  Marketing Metrics, Wisconsin’s #1 industrial marketing firm, can make it happen.  Contact us to learn more!