You work for a company that makes one specified item: small parts for big construction equipment, or valves for machines that clean out septic tanks.
And because you work for that kind of company, you might say “Inbound marketing isn’t for us. We’re not selling iPhones or sneakers or the next Avengers movie. Our customers don’t use the internet that way.”
We beg to differ.
Inbound marketing works for manufactures the way as it does for other businesses. It allows you to use your website, and your social media presence, to tell the world the story of who you are and what you do.
Here are a few steps to take when trying to figure out marketing for manufacturers.
Make Sure They Can Find You
Part of marketing yourself involves making sure people who are interested in what you do can find you online.
That means a practice called “search engine optimization,” or SEO. Tools like Google AdWords or Google Insights for Search can help you research the right SEO-friendly keywords.
Normally, this is where we’d tell people to be as specific as possible with their keywords.
As a specialty manufacturer, you’re already talking about your product in fairly specific terms. Still, adding your location won’t hurt. People tend to do location-based searches.
Inbound Marketing is Content Marketing
And vice versa. This approach means marketing by creating original content that can inform or entertain your customers or potential customers.
It’s a method of marketing more and more companies are using in lieu of traditional advertising.
Content marketing can mean a lot of different things: blog posts and articles on the company website, e-mail blasts, white papers and newsletters, and social media. But regardless of the format, the important thing is that the content is relevant to your audience and actually helps them solve a problem. Then, make it easy for them to share that useful information by making sure visitors can easily find your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Social Media is More Than Just Facebook
While we’re on the subject of social media, it’s important to go beyond just Twitter and Facebook.
Studies have shown LinkedIn to be the most effective platform for business to business communications. The second most effective social media platform was YouTube, with its millions upon millions of users.
So use it to do your marketing. People like seeing how things work and how their made. Set up a YouTube channel and tell the story behind your product, or educate your customers on how to use it.
When you’re using social media, whether it’s YouTube, Twitter or Facebook, it’s important to interact with your customers. Remember: Social media should be a conversation, not a broadcast.
Be Image Oriented
We don’t mean your company’s public image (that’s a topic for another day). We mean that people want to see images on your site. If your site hasn’t been updated in a while, consider a look that includes calls-to-action, allowing users to download content that interests them and keeps them on the page longer.
When you write blog posts, try to populate them with a decent amount of images, or with infographics. This will help better explain your business or products to your readers.
And social media posts with images tend to get a bigger response. Remember, part of our marketing for manufactures strategy is to tell the story of your company.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Getting your customers — and your potential customers — a better picture of your company is worth a whole lot more.