In the world of business, most people assume that you are either in retail or software. However, the world runs on a lot more business types than just what the population at large understands.
In fact, most people don't understand that the vast majority of those retail businesses don't even produce their own goods.
Without manufacturing companies printing up parts and products, the rest of the business world would quickly collapse.
Fortunately, if you run a manufacturing business, you don't need the love of the population at large, just the unique collection of business owners, managers, and department heads that know on which side of the factory their bread is buttered.
Of course, when it comes to getting new clients, it can be challenging to get the word out, reach out to new companies you've never partnered with before, and increase your credibility in the manufacturing industry.
In the past, the best way to get new clients has been through referrals and recommendations from existing clients but the world is changing.
The worldwide online environment allows everyone to connect much more easily than we used to and with the right inbound marketing tactics, your manufacturing company can take advantage of modern advertising and lead generation techniques as effectively as any eCommerce retail venue.
All you need is the right perspective to get started. Here are some solid marketing tips for manufacturers:
1) Business Managers Use Google, Too
When considering inbound marketing, many B2B businesses wonder if this is the right way to go. After all, businesses can't use a search engine and a company doesn't read blog articles. But the managers do.
It's important to remember that while your client may be a business on paper, you will be dealing with people.
It will be an authority-wielding person who decides whether or not to hire your manufacturing services for the company's needs and that same person most likely starts their search for a new manufacturing partner on Google.
From questions about what to look for in a manufacturer to research on local manufacturers available, you want your inbound marketing content out there drawing in leads who could potentially turn into new business clients.
2) Industry Internal Knowledge is Worth Its Weight in Gold
What's the most important thing to a business choosing a new partner? Experience, industry knowledge, and professionalism.
What your potential clients are looking for is someone who knows exactly what they need and can produce it with the minimum amount of explanation and questions asked.
Rather than trying to assure clients of this upon meeting them, you can subtly indicate your expertise through your inbound marketing content by writing about your industry in detailed, informative articles.
The more you show you know, the more your clients will trust you to be the expert they need.
3) Become a Reliable Source of Information and Products
Next, consider the needs of a company looking for a manufacturer. Perhaps the most important quality is reliability.
They need to be able to trust that the products you produce will be of the same high quality every time. However, reliability can be displayed in more than one way.
You can use your blog and inbound marketing tactics to become a reliable source of information about your manufacturing process, your rock-solid policies, and admirable best practices.
4) Your Online Community Can Be a Professional One
For retail and community-oriented businesses, social media and inbound marketing are used to build a community of random consumers who show interest in their products or services.
With a manufacturing company, on the other hand, your entire world is B2B because that's who needs manufacturing done for them.
The good news is that you can still absolutely gain all the benefit of an online community, it simply becomes one made entirely of related-industry professionals. You might even have better luck on LinkedIn than Twitter for this reason.
5) Invite Questions and Give Detailed Answers
Once you have started building a community, you have the opportunity to
create a positive feedback loop between those interested in your services and your inbound content writers. In your blogs and on social media posts, make it clear that you're interested in receiving and answering questions.
This is a great way to engage with your audience, show you care, and get very useful ideas for blog articles that your clients will really want to read.
6) Don't Keep it 'Corporate' in your inbound strategy
Twenty years ago, if you created a business promotional item, whether it's an article, video, or image, the message would be bleached clean and ultimately corporate.
However, times have changed and not even your B2B business partners want the white-wash treatment. Instead, be as real and genuine as possible.
Talk about real-world difficulties in your industry and even tell stories about past work or clients to show the reality of your experience and industry expertise.
In the current climate, this is much more persuasive than a corporate advertisement in any form.
7) Address Your Customer Industries
Another very useful way to use your inbound marketing is to highlight how your services can benefit the industries you work with.
Write articles about real clients and how they used your services, write about creative ways to make use of what you can provide, and give examples of how various industries have to gain by working with a service like yours.
This will draw in industry-specific leads and help them visualize their needs being filled by your manufacturing.
8) Provide Tips on How to Make the Most of Your Services
Finally, while it may be impractical to go the standard route and offer special online discounts to leads and readers, you do have a unique opportunity to increase the value of your services through inbound marketing.
Simply write about how your clients can make the most of the packages and partnership arrangements you have to offer.
Tell your future clients things you've always wished clients already knew like how to fill out order forms, what's really annoying if not taken care of on time, and tips for how to make the most of what you can provide.
From the curious to the ambitious, these fascinating and useful insider tips will draw in leads and show them that you are really thinking about how to be a good business partner to them.
For more marketing tips for manufacturers, contact us today!