The purpose of this whitepaper is to offer crucial digital marketing tips that manufacturing and construction companies can adopt to grow their business.
Some of the tactics discussed at length include social media marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization, marketing automation, and the importance of integration.
The ultimate purpose of this document is to empower the organizations that follow these suggestions to obtain a competitive edge over the other players in their industry.
And with business dynamics changing rapidly, most companies, including those in the manufacturing and construction sectors, also have to keep up with emerging marketing trends and are, therefore, dedicating a large portion of their budget to digital marketing.
So, why should you invest in digital marketing?
You should invest in digital for three reasons:
- Your buyer is constantly online.
- It is the ideal platform to exhibit your products and services
- You can measure, track, revise and iterate any digital marketing campaign
Ready to leave your competitors behind? Let’s see how you can do that!
The majority of manufacturing and construction companies still depend on traditional methods of brand promotion like word-of-mouth referrals to trade shows and networking events.
This is not to say that these promotional tactics don’t work anymore. They still do to a certain extent and not across
However, it is also worth noting that the B2B game has experienced a significant evolution. Today more than ever, industrial buyers are incredibly knowledgeable, highly educated, and, most importantly, their determination to avoid pushy salespeople is on another level.
A considerable portion of the industrial buyer’s journey – close to 70 percent – is typically done before interacting with your salespeople. As a manufacturer or contractor, you need to understand that part of the research process of the majority of your potential customers involves looking not just at your website but at your entire digital footprint.
What does this mean?
To attract the ideal buyers and increase the likelihood of being shortlisted, manufacturing and construction companies must have a strong digital presence.
What does a robust digital presence entail?
What must the manufacturing and construction companies do in this brand new world?
Here is a complete digital marketing guide for manufacturing, as well as construction companies.
Digital Marketing Tips for Manufacturing and Construction Companies
Why must manufacturers and businesses in the construction industry turn to digital marketing? Two reasons – your buyers have changed, and the conventional marketing methods stopped being the best. Bonus reason: they aren’t the only way of reaching out to new customers.
You must have realized that the most complicated marketing activity within the manufacturing or construction industry is to convey the right message to the decision-makers.
Not to worry, though. With the right internet marketing strategy for manufacturing organizations, you can effectively and efficiently target the decision-makers.
Below are five easy-to-apply digital marketing tips for organizations operating in the construction and manufacturing industries.
While content marketing is a universal strategy, the landscape is a bit different in the world of manufacturing. The challenge comes from the difficulty of coming up with relevant content ideas. The situation is so severe that 68 percent of manufacturing firms report experiencing difficulties when generating content for multi-level roles.
Some of the reasons that set apart content marketing for manufacturing organizations include:
- Product complexity and hence the need for in-depth expertise for understanding and usage. This includes product offerings that are only used in specialized niches and probably only used in a few uncommon situations.
- The mere existence in an industry perceived as boring and dull.
- The target market demand for expertise – they aren’t looking forward to being sold to. They only trust a manufacturing or construction brand that exhibits efficiency and expertise.
- The long and seemingly endless buying cycle.
- The difficulty associated with finding the right information on the various market niches. Most of the time, the process demands industrial experience.
To get things right, pay attention to essential factors before launching your content marketing campaign. First, have a deep understanding of the buying process comprised of awareness, consideration, and decision.
Image source: ThomasNet
A manufacturing business’s first goal should be to determine the pain points of its customers and then consider possible solutions. For this to happen, in-depth background research of the target market is imperative.
Seek to know who they are, the kind of problems they are facing, the nature of solutions they are after (including where they are looking for these solutions), and lastly, the keywords they use in their online search.
Upon figuring out all these, it becomes easier for you to align the company’s content marketing efforts to your business goals. Doing so will go a long way in helping you gain the trust of your prospects and, eventually, give them strong reasons to choose you over your rivals.
While at it, don’t forget the critical role that emotion plays in content marketing as far as getting your potential customers to make a decision is concerned. Storytelling is the way to go if you want to capture the emotions of your audience.
Image Source: Visme
Besides being universal, a good story makes the audience feel something. It gives businesses an opportunity to make their values and the commitment to the same known to their target audience. As such, manufacturing and construction should grasp the opportunity offered by storytelling to not only intrigue but also inspire their customers.
Rather than sell, focus on teaching. The first and foremost thing you want to have is an educated audience. You must always remember that customers of manufacturing and construction companies are in search of knowledge and expertise.
Bring your target market a step closer to making a buying decision by informing them not only what you have to offer, but most importantly, how your product(s) or services can help them overcome their problems.
What more can you offer when it comes to educating your target market? Set yourself apart.
Is there any expertise that you can provide for free? Go ahead and do it.
Doing so gives you an avenue to position your brand as an expert in the industry, and in the process, earn the trust of your prospects.
Lastly, choose the type of content to use carefully – and resist the urge to rely on only one. Depending on your understanding of your target audience, you may choose a combination of several types of contents such as blogs, video, social media, whitepapers, and case studies, among numerous others.
Image Source: Lyfe Marketing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO entails optimizing the company’s website to ensure that you rank high in search engine results whenever users search the products you offer.
For instance, if you are in the business of manufacturing chemicals, your sulfuric acid web page must show up at the top of the SERP when a potential client does a google search using related keywords such as “Sulfuric acid suppliers.”
B2B organizations generate two times more sales from organic search than the other channels, according to a recent research study. Based on this finding, it would be okay to conclude that manufacturing SEO provides an incredible avenue for meeting and surpassing a company’s marketing growth goals.
Among the most critical elements as far as ranking high in search engine results is having an SEO friendly web design. Make sure that your web design is up to date lest you lose potential clients to your competitors whose websites look more updated.
Always perform competitor research, interview your customers (every once in a while), and also conduct user testing. These efforts will help you come up with the most impressive manufacturing website design.
Having the best design won’t be of any help if your content isn’t good and SEO-friendly. The key is to generate content that seeks to address the pain points of your target market.
Image source: Brightedge
The same thing applies to construction companies – they must invest in SEO for construction companies/contractors. If you have been operating a website and still wondering why you aren’t getting additional leads from it, something is certainly not right.
Your SEO might not be on point.
Prioritize search engine optimization and local SEO after creating a website. A recent survey revealed that 50 percent of marketers in the construction industry pointed out website traffic generation as the most important result of their SEO efforts.
And this makes a lot of sense, considering that buyers often research products and services on Google first.
Image source: Industrial Marketing Today
By implementing good SEO practices for construction companies, you boost the chances of your potential customers clicking through your website pages. How you position your brand will make a lot of difference.
Having an SEO optimized website and local listings can help a construction company or a general contractor make the difference between a customer calling you to order you’re inquiring about your services – or contacting your competitor for the same reason.
Among many other things, SEO can help you achieve the following:
- Clearly define your target services as well as the service area.
- Have access to more prospective customers.
- Drive leads for particular services with the help of targeted keyword strategy.
- Boost the quality of leads you obtain from people who find your company on the internet.
Notable SEO best practices for construction companies include securing your site, making it mobile responsive, and thinking locally.
Why must manufacturing and construction companies secure their websites? For starters, Google is cracking down and flagging non-HTTPS sites as unsafe on Chrome.
If you’ve been running an unsecured website, consider securing it now. Besides ensuring your safety and that of your customers, a secure site will prevent your SEO efforts from going down the drain.
Social Media Marketing
A lot of times, manufacturing and construction companies argue that their potential clients are not on social media.
But the statistics paint a different picture.
For instance, did you know that LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, has over 660 million members? More fascinating is the fact that 33 percent of millionaires and 77 percent of recruiters have LinkedIn profiles.
It’s also worth noting that 90 percent of users of LinkedIn are also on Facebook – a social platform that enjoys a membership of over 2.4 billion active users.
The figure below shows the number of LinkedIn members who are in senior positions in organizations.
Image source: Business of Apps
With Twitter enjoying a membership of a whopping 269+ million users, your target customers are, without a doubt, on social media. For manufacturing companies, the most relevant platform for social media marketing as far as high return on investment is concerned, is LinkedIn. The majority of manufacturing companies utilize social media in two ways:
- To amplify and promote their blogs and other types of content
- To showcase their company culture for recruitment
Social media offers marketers a great platform for promoting their employer brand. As such, those who lack time to post and monitor multiple channels may consider utilizing LinkedIn.
Become part of your industry’s LinkedIn groups, keep sharing your firm’s blog posts, and don’t forget to display the expertise and efficiency of your company by commenting on relevant LinkedIn posts.
And if you are operating within the construction industry, you must also ensure that your company and the products/services you offer are found on social media too. Just like in other industries, social media marketing for construction companies entails keeping it social by engaging your target market.
This approach offers one of the most productive ways of identifying new marketing trends in the construction industry that your local target market is seeking to know more about.
Don’t forget to support your construction website with social media. Profiles such as Facebook and Google My Business are useful at spreading the word about your construction firm and the services you offer on the internet – way before customers interact with your website.
Other useful social networking sites for construction companies include Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Something worth noting – social media marketing doesn’t generate results overnight. However, it has the potential to build up a commendable following, and also offer you a platform through which you can engage your local market. Routine updates are imperative to keep your prospective customers engaged.
Manufacturing and construction companies are moving towards robotic process automation. The primary motive is to optimize costs, as well as production.
If robots can take up part of the work previously performed by humans (and do everything better and faster), wouldn’t that hold true for marketing activities as well?
Of course, it would!
It is no wonder that a good number of manufacturing and construction firms are embracing marketing automation.
Those who are already automated can attest to the ease with which they are managing their digital marketing – especially if they have partnered with the right marketing automation platform provider.
Some of the benefits of automation include seamless monitoring of leads, easy identification of the most effective marketing messages, and also easy determining of the marketing materials with the most impact.
As a result, you can focus your marketing efforts on the activities that bring the most return and general business growth. Your marketing automation strategy will be highly dependent on your choice of automation platform.
Image source: Medium
The areas that manufacturing and construction companies are automating the most include customer relationship management (CRM) social media management, email marketing, and content marketing system (CMS).
Image source: Medium
Integration – A Common Digital Marketing Tactic for Manufacturing & Construction
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all automation software. Depending on the needs of your organization, you may see it fit to use more than one automation solution to reap optimum benefits.
The question is, how do you manage all these solutions? Your answer lies in your ability to identify an integration platform. And the integration market isn’t short of reliable providers of this critical service.
Take the case of SyncApps by Cazoomi, for instance. Assume you have already invested in Mailchimp (or plan to do so) for your email marketing. At the same time, you love what your Salesforce CRM is doing for your business. You don’t want to drop either of them!
Nor should you! In fact, you should bring them together for even better results and insights.
The way forward – integration through SyncApps by Cazoomi. The Salesforce to Mailchimp integration offers users in the manufacturing and construction industries various benefits, including the ability to track the total number of newsletters subscribers, email campaigns progress, and contacts and fans.
Most importantly, you will never have to handle your lists manually again. You can say goodbye to forgotten contacts or import errors.
Another popular integration in the manufacturing and construction industries is that of Dynamics 365 (for all your CRM and ERP needs) and Constant Contact (email marketing solution).
This integration allows you to stay up to date with the progress of your latest email marketing campaigns and their ROI, keep track of your fans and leads with only a few touches, and also allow you real-time access to CRM contact and leads.
Here’s a real-life example:
Promag Enviro needed NetSuite to handle its core business processes using a single, yet fully integrated system. The company also required Mailchimp to automate its marketing activities.
Through SyncApps, Promag Enviro – the leading supplier of chemical and equipment for the treatment of wastewater and water – can now seamlessly tie Mailchimp to the robust CRM by NetSuite. Through this integration, Promag Enviro can ensure that its customers get what they want at all times.
And another one:
Australian-based bathroom and kitchen renovation company, smarterBATHROOMS+, needed to integrate two excellent marketing automation solutions, Infusionsoft and NetSuite, so that personalized emails have maximum impact.
Since we knew that most integrations between Infusionsoft and NetSuite on the market are lacking in real personalization capabilities, we were able to overcome this challenge by personalizing and tailor-making the necessary configuration.
Now smarterBATHROOMS+ is able to effortlessly sync their NetSuite Customer Saved Searches to Infusionsoft as well as spend less time manually inputting tags and segmenting contacts from one solution to the other – keeping their customers happy and thus generating more referrals and repeat business.
Manufacturing and construction companies that want to become industry leaders must always stay ahead of their competitors when it comes to digital marketing. Don’t fall for obsolete cliches like “my customers aren’t on social media”.
Invest in the social media channels that are right for your business but don’t stop at that.
Content marketing must also be given the deserved attention to ensure successful SEO and website optimization. Lastly, with the ever-growing need for marketing automation, the surest way to ensure successful automation is via integration. The best integration examples are SyncApps by Cazoomi’s Mailchimp to Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamic 365 to Constant Contact.
Cazoomi allows construction and manufacturing companies to integrate critical everyday business data through our SyncApps integration platform. Integrate CRM, marketing automation, eCommerce, financial, and support software to the software you use today. We offer more than 150+ integrations and help you set up, explore your options, and guide you through usage.
SyncApps by Cazoomi enables construction and manufacturing companies to deploy software as a service for their financials, handle support, CRM, eCommerce, and marketing integration with ease and at a price point built for any organization.