Nobody likes making mistakes, and the worst mistakes are those that go unacknowledged. Finding out where you may be going wrong is a vital part of sustaining, improving or growing your manufacturing business. With that in mind, we’ve pulled together a killer list of online marketing mis-steps you could be making with your business, and a few pointers on how YOU can avoid making, or continuing to make those mistakes...
Marketing is a vital part of any successful business and there’s no reason why manufacturers can't take advantage of the growth of digital marketing. Traditionally, this has been an area where manufacturing companies have struggled for a variety of reasons. Many manufacturers are missing the opportunity to grow their business online by making these mistakes:
1 - Failing to keep ahead of the competition.
Assuming your competition is not developing an online marketing strategy is a serious mistake. It takes months to develop a blog following, contacts on social media and to build up search friendly content on your website. Don't be left behind. Start your digital marketing plan now.
2 - Not tracking results.
One of the worst mistakes a company can make is failing to track the results of specific marketing campaigns. Keeping track, not only enables you to enhance what is working to attract new customers and obtain repeat business, it can also save thousands of pounds. That print advert you have in the local Chamber of Commerce magazine might be costing you hundreds of pounds while producing little ROI. In contrast, paying for a Manufacturing Network Business Profile could bring in lots of potential customers so it’s vital you keep track of every marketing strategy.
3 - Ineffective inbound marketing strategy.
Engineering buyers take time over decisions and their journey for finding suppliers often starts with finding answers. If your website content is all “me, me, me” it won’t be attracting the eyes of those potential buyers who are looking for articles and answers to solve their problems.
Giving the potential client relevant information, reports, news on legislation and your production processes in SEO friendly content both online and through targeted campaigns, gives them confidence in your ability to provide what they need and will also drive traffic to your website.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about when I say “Inbound Marketing” I’d suggest you check out this pretty Awesome Introduction to Inbound Marketing in one of our previous posts.
4 - Not personalising marketing.
This can make a huge difference to customer retention and also new sales. Using cookies, and creating content aimed at specific customers via either location or product specification, targeted marketing can have a massive impact. Keeping a record of names (studies have shown this gives a massive increase in open rates) and research into the customer's company can help you provide products they need and, once again, shows an excellent level of customer service.
Think about it, it’s far more engaging to receive an email or letter that addresses you by name, and is genuinely relevant to YOU and not obviously a ‘Generic’ message that’s been sent to every man and his dog!
5 - Not willing to spend ANY time or money
Reading blogs like this one arms you with the knowledge you need to take a ‘do-it-yourself’ approach to many aspects of your sales & marketing, but your sales engine deserves some investment. Choosing your marketing investments wisely, and not blindly throwing away what money you do spend will put you ahead of the competition. A small budget, with some time invested to deliver your marketing activities can be substantially more effective than large budgets thrown at an ‘expert’ who doesn’t understand you, your customers or the market you operate in.
6 - Not recognising when you need the help of an expert
Because some manufacturers don’t grasp the importance of online marketing, they’re reluctant to hire professionals. As with most things, it takes a while to understand the difference between the good, the bad and the ugly – and at this moment in time you might not appreciate how much better your online marketing could be. Failing to recognise a gap between where you are now, and where you need to be is a significant mistake.
Your son's friend – the computer whizz who knows all about tweeting – isn't going to bring in sales. There are numerous avenues to pursue when it comes to marketing, especially online. For most manufacturing companies it’s more time and cost effective to hire a professional for specific activities like writing SEO and reader optimised content for your website.
7 - Being stuck in the past.
Many manufacturing companies are long-standing, small family-run businesses. In the old days, local networking events, an advert in the yellow pages or brochures sent to potential customers were enough. Nowadays, this is not the case. There’s a potential global market out there.
Embracing new marketing strategies and moving forward in your thinking is essential just to stand still. Online marketing is not just an engine for growth, it’s a key strategy for sustainable business.
8 - Failing to embrace even the easy stuff
Things like online reviews on Google My Business and Google Maps are absolute no brainers for any manufacturer. That’s if you’ve even claimed and verified your Google My Business Page! With a little effort, and a shove in the right direction you can start building significant momentum over competitors. Unbelievably, most SME manufacturers aren’t embracing even the small steps (many probably don’t even know what those steps are) so reading this very blog is putting you ahead of the competition, as long as you ACT on the advice provided!
Want to know how you can get started with Google My Business? Here's a Step-By-Step Guide to Claiming Your Google My Business Page.
9 - Not keeping up to date with industry news and regulations
This is a fantastic way to not only feature in search results with relevant industry news, in turn, driving more traffic to your site, but also to assure your customers that you are compliant with all necessary regulations. For example, sending out a regular newsletter or personalised email campaign about safety standards in the industry and how your company complies, can achieve more interaction than a standard sales email.
10 - Not mixing it up
This is the biggest advantage that bunch of specialist marketing freelancers can bring to your business. Having one successful email campaign or a ‘bells and whistles’ website will not ensure continued success. Mixing things up is vitally important for the growth of your business. An interview with an industry professional on your blog, informing customers of special offers on your website, giveaways via social media and reviews of events relevant to your niche by email. All these methods give you the chance to compete with the top companies in your industry and will guarantee continued success.
Avoiding these mistakes will take your manufacturing business to the next level. Digital marketing is continually developing and is something you can't afford to ignore. There is a lot of work involved, and it may seem intimidating especially if you aren’t familiar with these practices. There are many time sucking marketing tactics out there, but amongst them are time and cost effective marketing methods, like our very own Manufacturing Network Marketing Platform.
Remember, spend your money wisely. A little research can go a long way to helping you recognise the snake-oil salesmen vs the real thing! Unfortunately you can’t just pay for your marketing “problem” to go away, you know your business and your customers’ better than any marketing subcontractor ever could. Working closely with an expert, or finding solutions that are designed specifically for you will inevitably deliver the best results.
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