Article Read Time: About 5 minutes
The data shows that most people who go to a manufacturer’s website are first-time visitors. If you run a manufacturing firm, this means most people will have their very first experience with your company online. That makes your website an incredibly crucial marketing tool. And because the majority of your potential customers will first be introduced to your company through its website, that also makes it your most valuable lead generation tool, bar none.
Are You Creating “Customer Specific” Content For Your Website?
Ask yourself what would you normally want to accomplish during a first meeting with a potential customer? What message, in other words, would you want them to walk away with?
Seriously: You need to spend a fair amount of time thinking about this. If you have a visual learning style, jotting your thoughts down on paper can sometimes help.
Start by asking yourself exactly what you most want to spend time talking about with new customers. Chances are good that you want to speak with them about the needs and the major pain points of their own businesses. Eventually, you’ll want to discuss the ways your business can help them solve their problems.
In reality, of course, it’s more complicated than that, because from the moment you meet a new customer until the time they decide to buy, there are any number of different steps you’ll need to walk them through. And that’s exactly where your website’s content comes into play.
Is Your Website Making These Mistakes?
We see a major disconnect with the way manufacturing websites are structured and what your website’s visitors are looking for.
- A first-time visitor is almost certainly still trying to familiarize himself with all the industry’s available options. The content on your site’s top-level pages, therefore, needs to be relatively simple and jargon-free.
- Most manufacturing websites incorrectly assume that visitors know more about their respective companies than they actually do. As a result, they skip right over the conversations about a potential customer’s needs and pain points, and go directly for the close. They say, “Here’s our digital catalog; call us when you’re ready to buy.”
- Because they fail to address any of the early investigation and pain point conversations an initial visitor wants to have, they miss out on having any sort of conversation at all with the majority of people who visit their websites.
We Recommend a Different Approach
An approach in which we tailor your content and your offers to the various stages of a customer’s buying process. We also recommend that manufacturers position approximately 80 percent of their website’s content towards people who are still in the early investigation stages of your company.
When website visitors are still in the early investigation stage, you don’t want to ask them to do anything that might make them uncomfortable. You don’t want to suggest that they schedule a phone consultation, for instance, or sign up for a webinar. Instead, you want to focus on quickly and efficiently giving them the information they’re looking for.
We’ve found that the best way to determine the sort of content to produce for a manufacturing website is to align your content with the three clearly definable phases—or stages—that exists in nearly everyone’s buying process: introduction, investigation, and purchase.
Once you’ve determined which stage of the buying process a website visitor is in, it becomes much easier to create content that speaks directly to them. That’s also why we recommend attaching a number of buying stage-appropriate offers to your website’s content that can downloaded in exchange for a visitor’s name and email address.
A visitor who downloads an investigation stage offer, for instance, is likely to respond to even more investigation stage content that isn’t available on your website. Eventually, you can begin sending purchase stage content to that same visitor. That’s how you successfully transition a website visitor through your marketing funnel.
And remember: When a visitor reaches the end of your marketing funnel, they’ve also arrived at the top of your sales team’s funnel. This means you should be ready to follow up with a lead nurturing campaign, which will assist your sales team. We’ll talk more about lead nurturing campaigns in a future article.
If you’d like to learn more about how IQnection can help your manufacturing business implement these strategies and more, check out our upcoming webinar.