Manufacturing, like all business, has to move with the times and address trends in order to stay current and successful in a crowded marketplace. It’s no longer enough to have a good product, good customer service, a proud history – your company must be visible, easy to find and easy to deal with. People want ease and convenience in the workplace as much as at home, which is why many of the digital marketing trends for manufacturers reflect those in the wider world.
We have put together 5 key digital marketing trends for manufacturing companies so that you can see what your company is doing, what it needs to do better, and what it can begin to do to increase its visibility, conversions and, ultimately, revenue.
A throwback to the days when the world was smaller and you had the same contact with the same supplier for more than 30 years, the concept of personalisation seems at odds with the way companies now do business online. Customers want the options, ease and flexibility associated with modern B2B dealings, but they also want to feel valued and special.
By tailoring your marketing output to different sectors and companies, you’re not only recognising the special requirements of those customers, you are also saving them time by showing them material they will actually be interested in.
The extent to which you personalise your marketing will depend on your budget and goals, but customised digital marketing could include:
- Landing pages
- Social media posts
By offering relevant content and making customers feel valued in this way, 98% of marketers agree that personalisation also helps to advance customer relationships and generate long-term partnerships.
Content marketing and social media
As well as customers wanting to feel like you know them, they also want to feel like they know you as a business. By demonstrating who you are, what you do and your expertise through original published content, you allow potential customers to learn about you and build trust before they make contact to find out more about the services you offer.
A recent study by the Content Marketing Institute found that 91% of B2B companies use content marketing to promote themselves. Types of content marketing include:
- Case studies
- Social media posts
- White papers
- Images (infographics, illustrations and photos)
Utilising social media can expand the reach of other content you produce, putting it in front of business owners and decision makers instead of leaving it for people to search out themselves, with LinkedIn being the most effective social media platform for B2B marketers. Using a combined SEO, content and social media strategy, you put the content you want in front of the customers you want, where you want – generating traffic, increasing engagement and boosting conversion rates. Creating and sharing valuable content not only attracts leads, but also helps to increase the visibility and authority of your company brand.
With almost half of users preferring to use their smartphones to inform and carry out buying decisions, businesses of all kinds must consider the kind of responsive design that allows content and websites to be viewed on a range of devices.
It is no surprise that a mobile-friendly website makes 37% of shoppers more likely to buy from you. A responsive site is much easier to view and engage with, making conversions much more likely. Showing customers that you are up to date with the advances in modern technology will also increase their confidence in your business.
It looked a little dicey for a while there, but email marketing is not dead. A valuable tool in any digital marketing strategy, providing a return on investment (ROI) of $44 for every $1 invested, email marketing can be updated and customised for the season, campaign, customer and more. Yes, mailing lists have been reduced due to GDPR, but what is left are the customers that actually want to hear from you.
If you already have an email marketing strategy, it is essential you review it. Find out what works and what doesn’t. Importantly, email marketing should reflect the other trends in digital marketing:
- More than half of emails are opened on smartphones, so emails must go through a quality check to ensure they can be viewed error-free across a range of devices.
- Personalise/segment your audience to increase click through rates – some companies have seen their revenue increase by more than 750% using this tactic.
- Include videos in email to vastly increase CTR.
The beauty of email marketing is the many ways it can be optimised and improved upon… As well as acknowledging the trends above, why not try updating your designs, reflecting the brand and user experience from your website, and even experimenting with send times.
This is probably the newest of the 5 key trends discussed here. The use of videos, whether standalone or as part of your other marketing output, can greatly increase CTR and customer engagement.
Written content uses punctuation and formatting to direct the message, like road signs direct motorists. In person, a message can be qualified using not only words but tone, facial expression and body language. Video can combine all that and more. Forrester researcher Dr. James McQuivey estimates that one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words. On video you can utilise:
- People (speaking, interacting)
The multilayered quality of video allows so much more and varied content to be packed into a short, easily digestible package. As a manufacturer, you can produce videos to demonstrate product function, manufacturing processes, culture and more. And as the technology associated with 360 degree video, and virtual reality in the future, becomes more widely available, customers will be able to experience your business in ever more vital, captivating and enticing ways.
How ExtraMile Communications can help
At ExtraMile, we can help create and guide your digital marketing strategy with any number of marketing materials and trends. We go into more detail about all the things a full-service marketing agency does in our blog. To put it simply, we work in a collaborative way, integrating our services to suit your business needs and objectives. Why not go to our website to see the range of services we offer and the variety of industries we have worked with?