Companies and organisations which primarily conduct business offline tend to forget about their online presence. This is common for both up-and-coming and well-established businesses, as they can be too busy or too comfortable in their old habits to bother about the hassle of their online presence.
Larger-scale manufacturers, in particular, are firmly entrenched in the B2B marketing and business models of the past. Most tend to ignore the fantastic advantages that an online solution, associated with the best digital marketing, can provide. This is particularly true for more traditional manufacturers with long-term, stable contracts.
Why Should Every Business Have An Online Presence?
As many of 97% of consumers consume various kinds of online media before making any kind of purchase, including reviews and videos. Google's own research has suggested that as many as 9 out of 10 internet searches can result in a follow up action, which is typically calling or visiting a business, but can also include ordering online. Similarly, mobile searching has resulted in a conversion rate of as much as 73%, with 28% resulting in a store visit or purchase.
It is clear, then, that your business needs to be found online through an industry-leading B2B eCommerce solution – you need to be able to present yourself and your products to potential customers and clients.
But Why Do Manufacturers Need A B2B eCommerce Solution?
There is one major complaint that we've heard, again and again, from smaller and mid-sized manufacturers. Simply, they (and probably you) are finding it hard to get out from under the shadows of the bigger players. Every day, it's becoming harder and harder to compete with the top organisations, simply because they have much more resources on offer, including fleets of professional salespeople to support their size.
Similarly, the largest manufacturers have the money to spare when it comes to marketing, whether that involves online advertising or more traditional marketing. Traditional marketing can include anything from a billboard to an industry magazine advert.
How Can The Internet Help A Small To Medium-Sized Manufacturer?
A great online presence can be the ultimate equaliser in this field. When it comes to the internet, no one can really get a true representation of your size – at least, not compared to face-to-face meetings or factory visits. Of course, there's nothing wrong with being a smaller business in this industry, and you can often end up providing a higher quality service as you attempt to outshine your larger competitors.
Basically, through their online presence, manufacturers of all sizes can prove their credibility and effectively portray what is unique about them. A great online presence can make up for a lot in terms of poor offline marketing, and more and more businesses are looking online for the best manufacturers.
The only real problem with this is the fact that most manufacturers aren't making the most of the internet to attract and appeal to a range of potential business partners.
Three Things To Consider When It Comes To Online Marketing
There are a range of different tactics that manufacturers need to be investing in if they want to grow their business and take complete advantage of the internet as a format of their marketing strategy.
- Social Media – Although many manufacturers might think that their business isn't suitable for the world of social media, some of the world's largest names have been able to engage customers and ensure that their brand remains at the forefront of their industry. This is noticeable in no industry more than automotive
@ToyotaEquipment is a great balance of relevant industry news with networking and a range of great articles which the SM manager finds interesting. Aside from this, the account also has a tendency to share hilarious #forklift videos, which are absolutely perfect for the humour that you're likely to find on Twitter and other social sites.
If you're worried that it's unprofessional, remember that Toyota is currently the largest manufacturing company in the world, with revenue of $235,364 Billion.
Other examples of manufacturing companies doing social right include @MfgEngNews and @Cerasis.
- B2B eCommerce Solution Web Design – Most people still have the idea of manufacturing websites as utilitarian and basic designs which contain very little useful information. A lot of these sites are in place simply so the company can say that have a website and fill more space on their business card.
However, more and more manufacturers are taking the time to truly create a unique online presence to ensure that their brand identity and charactercomes across. One of the best examples of manufacturing web design has to be Knuckles Industries ( www.knucklesindustries.com), which takes the best aspects of modern B2C website design and applies them to the manufacturing industry. It manages to make the business look like a smaller, personally-run manufacturers and, yet, unbeatably modern.
Schneider Electric (www.schneider-electric.com/us/en) is another great example of manufacturing web design. This site stands out thanks to its extremely simple website design, which allows users to quickly and easily find the information that they're looking for.
- Video Content – A great idea for manufacturers is to invest in providing great product training, or behind-the-scenes videos showing how certain things are made. B2B marketers tend to rank YouTube as the second most important social network, following LinkedIn, and this is simply due to the sheer value of video content.
YouTube provides manufacturing companies the opportunity to personalise and share the story behind their specific brand. It can also be a great way to provide education in a video format. Just a few video content ideas include:
o How-To Videos;
o Product Introduction Videos;
o Product Feature Videos;
o Brand History;
o Employee Interviews;
o Industry And Business News;
How Can Manufacturing Companies Use To Internet To Attract More Sales?
Companies that manufacture components or entire products have the luxury of long-term contracts. This has often led most businesses to avoid investing in their online presence. Few see the purpose of trying to grow their organisation when their immediate future is secure. Unfortunately, this means that it can also be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to obtain new business.
The key to generating more manufacturing leads for potential sales revolves around not only knowing when a potential customer is on the lookout for a new partner, but to ensure that you have the online presence to convince them that your business is the best for their needs.
1. Know When Potential Prospects Are Looking
People use search engines to find information. In most cases, they're looking the answer to a question or solution to a specific problem of theirs. There are a range of general and vague search terms that indicate a searcher might be on the lookout for something to purchase, there are just as many which suggest people are on the lookout for new manufacturing systems.
One of the best ways to learn when people are looking is to offer a regular newsletter or email service. Potential clients then have the ability to sign up to a newsletter which can help you to understand which companies might be considering a change in terms of manufacturer.
2. Convert Searchers In Leads
There are a range of great ways that you can turn potential clients into sales leads, including:
- Create Useful, Knowledgeable Content – It's not really a coincidence that search engines and your website visitors are looking for exactly the same thing – great website content that offers real information and advice. By attaching a blog roll to your website, you can create real, useful content which can help your brand to stand out from your competitors.
Great company blogs can be used to answer real questions and, as a major part of a dedicated inbound marketing strategy, you'll be able to build your business' online reputation. This can really help to ensure that any potential customers will think about your business when considering a change in manufacturer.
- Convert Your Potential Leads – Getting visitors to arrive at your site is one thing; convincing them that your business is the best option for them is quite another. In order to begin the conversion process, you need to be able to convert these visitors into leads, for which you need their name and a contact email address. There are a range of ways that you can try to obtain the contact information of potential leads, but one of the most effective is to offer something in return – these can include:
o Mailing Lists;
o Access To Exclusive Video Content;
Remember, too, that you need to include Call-To-Actions (CTAs) as part of your blogging strategies. These can include easy, single-button links to pre-designed landing pages or even directly embedded forms to allow file and content download.
That way, when someone reaches the end of your post, they aren't left hanging. By offering structure, they can follow through with your conversion process quickly and easily.
3. It Can Make Your Business More Visible To End-Customers – Not Just Potential Clients
Perhaps often the most overlooked in terms of advantages for manufacturers is that a great online presence with a focus on the quality of the products themselves can really help to drive sales. Whilst you're marketing your own online presence, you will also be conducting great digital marketing for the items that your business creates.
By advertising your products and your brand, you will be able to link your company name with high-quality products, making your overall brand that much more valuable to potential clients and customers.
Bespoke, B2B Manufacturer's Website From Advansys
If you're looking for a truly unique online presence for your manufacturing business, you need to make sure that you are working alongside the best. Here at Advansys, we have been working with businesses for many, many years and we have created some truly unforgettable web designs.
We can create bespoke B2B eCommerce solutions to ensure that your online presence can attract and convert the right kind of customer. We can help your business to grow across the internet and enjoy the fantastic benefits associated with a stable, rewarding internet solution.
Our expert team have created complete online presences for both B2B and B2C businesses. With a specific focus on user experience and brand identity, we are capable of designing an entirely unique website to meet your specific requirements.
For more information on our high-quality B2B eCommerce solutions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our professional team today on 0845 838 2700. Alternatively, you can email any questions or concerns to us directly at email@example.com and we'll do our best to get back to you as soon as we can.