The primary goal of any business activity is to increase profit, and your digital presence is no exception. Your B2B website exists to market your company, products, and services to potential future customers and convert them into leads. For many B2Bs, those visitors and conversions aren’t appearing. Here are five reasons why your B2B website isn’t generating any leads:
#1 Your Website Isn’t Mobile Friendly
Teens aren’t the only ones addicted to their cell phones. Nearly everyone is accessing the internet from mobile devices rather than desktop computers. What this means is that people are seeing your site on a variety of different screen sizes, and your website needs to be adaptable to any size screen. If not, your site will be too difficult to access and people are going to quickly navigate away.
#2 Your Website Is Old and Outdated
You’d think that at some point, we could stop saying it, but that day has never come: there are a lot of B2B websites that are old and out of date. Your website needs to be more than just a digital version of your current marketing materials, a few static pages with no way to get in contact except your phone number.
If you never ask your website visitors to become leads, you can’t convert them to leads. That’s why you need calls-to-action (a.k.a. CTAs) all over your site. A CTA is often a button or link that asks the reader to do something, to “request a quote” or “contact us.”
These calls to action need to address the content they are surrounded by as well as the stage of the buyer’s journey that your potential lead is in. Some prospects might not be ready to give your sales team a call—but they might be interested in an ebook with more information on the topic you addressed in your most recent blog, and gladly give you their email address in exchange for it.
#4 Your Website Doesn’t Use Any Landing Pages
If your paid search and PPC ads are directing clicks to your website’s home page, you’re missing out on huge opportunities to convert visitors to leads. Landing pages ensure that visitors who click on specific ads are seeing the specific content that is relevant to them.
Additionally, landing pages are essentially one big CTA—they limit options for the visitors to navigate away from the page, offer them the information they want, and include forms for visitors to enter their contact information and convert. They’re also crucial for tracking analytics and gating your content offers. Learn more in our post Landing Pages: Why Your B2B Manufacturing Website Needs Them.
#5 Your Site Content Wasn’t Written With SEO and Inbound Marketing Best Practices In Mind
PPC advertisement is one of the quickest, most efficient, and most effective methods of getting your company name in front of prospective customers, driving traffic to your website, and converting leads. If you’re marketing your B2B in the digital space, you need to have a PPC strategy. Here’s what you need to know about PPC for B2Bs.
Paid search ads make your site a top result when people search for your chosen keywords—these are the sponsored links you’ve undoubtedly seen before when searching for something on Google. You select the keywords for which you want to be a top search result and the area in which you want to be the top result (local, regional, national, etc.), and your link is in the top results for people using those search terms, which drives clients to your site or landing pages. (New to paid search? Freshen up on the basics in our Complete Guide to Outbound Marketing.)
Display network ads are text and image ads purchased through a specific network (like Google) and are displayed on affiliate sites, garnering lots of relevant views. These affiliates can include local news sites, mobile apps, or other popular sites.
Social media ads are effectively targeted ads, as native advertisements or sidebar ads, on a specific social media platform. Because the users of social media platforms provide so much demographic information, you can easily target your ads to your ideal client type.
For B2B manufacturers, LinkedIn ads are one of the most effective types of PPC ads. LinkedIn a) has tons of users, b) allows you to target users by industry, company, job title, and job function so you can specifically target your ideal customers, and c) provides stats on who clicked on your ads so you can determine whether your ads are effective. (Read more on LinkedIn Ads and B2B Marketing here.)
How Can I Use PPC Ads Effectively for My B2B Manufacturing Company?
First, know that you should be using PPC ads. Then, develop a keyword strategy. You need to determine the keywords that are relevant to your business and industry, the search terms your potential customers use when looking for your products or services, and the keywords that your competitors are using.
You can use that information to create ad campaigns that take advantage of certain keywords strategically, and to deploy PPC campaigns for those strategic keywords across relevant platforms.
For more manufacturing PPC tips, be sure to check out 5 Easy Ways to Maximize your B2B’s PPC Budget, which has lots of useful information on how to bid on brand, optimize deployment, and otherwise get the most bang for your PPC-ad-spend-buck.
If PPC for B2Bs is too many acronyms for you, HA Digital Marketing can help. We create and deploy optimized PPC campaigns that will generate leads for your B2B manufacturing company and increase your marketing ROI — that’s an acronym we know you love. If you’re ready to expand your digital marketing strategy to include PPC advertising, get in touch.
Last month, we talked about why inbound marketing matters for B2Bs, specifically industrial manufacturers, and in that post, how crucial it is for B2Bs to have digital content that is optimized for search (if you missed Inbound Marketing for Industrial Manufacturers, read it here). Your website is your company’s primary representation in the digital world, and it’s important that your content is optimized to best attract future customers.
In case your manufacturing page content could use a little love, here are a few tips to optimizing B2B page content for the clients you actually want:
Additionally, digital content has many more capabilities than print, including linking, embedding video, and searchability. These are all capabilities you should take advantage of, as interactive page elements like links and video work well to gain viewers’ attention.
How Do You Optimize Manufacturing Page Content?
Like all digital content, your website page content should use SEO principles, specifically, by including the keywords that relate to that page and your business. These should be words and phrases your ideal customers are typing in when they search for your products or services. (For more on why SEO matters for B2Bs, click here.)
But unlike blog posts, content offers, and other digital content, the purpose and tone depends upon the type of page:
Blogs and the like are primarily informative, used to refresh your site’s content, optimize your site for relevant keywords, and provide prospective customers with information they need about your product, service, or industry.
Website page content is also informative, but it’s more explicitly promotional—it informs prospective customers about your specific products and services, as well as your company itself. Your page content needs to tell website visitors what you do, what you sell, how you do it, and who you are, and you need to do it in a way that speaks to the kinds of customers you want to attract.
Check out how we’ve optimized our site for our target buyers: in the main navigation bar under “Who We Help” we have each of our client segments— Manufacturing & Industrial Marketing, Developer & Home Builder Marketing, and Professional Services & Small Business Marketing.
For each of those segments, we have page content that addresses how our inbound marketing and growth services will help clients in those industries meet and exceed their marketing and growth goals. These pages include links to relevant case studies, testimonials, and clients who are in the specific customer segment, to demonstrate our experience in the needs of the industry.
Industrial manufacturers are vastly underserved when it comes to marketing resources. But just like all other businesses, you have something to sell, and in order to sell it, you need interested buyers to know about your business and your offerings. Marketing is the way to raise this awareness, especially with the increasing primacy of the internet in researching and making purchases over good ol’ word-of-mouth. Here’s what you need to know about inbound marketing as an industrial manufacturer.
Were You Even Marketing in the First Place?
For a lot of industrial manufacturers, the answer to this question is no. For another big segment, it’s “we go to trade shows”—so, not really. It doesn’t seem like marketing is really necessary or relevant when you’re an industrial manufacturer, after all, you’re not marketing to consumers, but to other businesses, most of whom need your product to make their product or perform their service. Additionally, industrial products aren’t exactly high appeal; they’re useful and utilitarian, but they aren’t going to bring the boys to the yard.
So, you know you shouldn’t be running TV ads with celebrities endorsing your spring for garage door openers or hubcap bolt covers, but what should you be doing to attract potential buyers? Inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is kind of what it sounds like: rather than going out to your customers with interruptive ads or cold sales calls, you bring interested customers to you. (Learn more about the methodology in our complete guide to inbound marketing.) You do that by creating targeted digital content and ads that will appeal to your ideal customer and the person in the role responsible for sourcing and purchasing your products.
SEO and Digital Content
If you don’t already know this, you need a website and a digital presence. It’s 2018 (almost 2019!). But you don’t just need a website—if yours looks the same as it did in 1998 or even 2008, that’s not good—you need compelling digital content that will appeal to potential customers and make your site easy for search engines to find and categorize. This is SEO, Search Engine Optimization (find out more about SEO for manufacturers here). The content on your site should provide customers with all the information they need about your product, whether they’re just discovering that your product exists or they’re trying to decide on a new supplier, as well as the keywords for which you want your website to show up in the search engine results.
You can also use PPC ads to target your ideal buyers. For industrial manufacturers, LinkedIn ads are the perfect way to do this. Your ideal customers are often buyers or sourcing specialists for a manufacturing company, and they’re professionals who use LinkedIn. Not only is your audience using the platform, their job title and company information is included in their profiles, and LinkedIn uses this information to target ads. You can target ads to people with specific job titles, like “Purchasing Specialist,” “Sourcing Specialist,” etc., as well as by specific company, ensuring that your ads are seen by the people to whom they will be highly relevant, the people you want as customers.
If you’re in a manufacturing enterprise that’s particularly technical in terms of the product or service offerings, you’ll need to get some of your information for content from subject matter experts within your organization. Your company probably has a lot of engineers who are experts at what they do and your company does, and some of their ideas could make for informative manufacturing content that your potential clients will love. But engineers aren’t writers and they have other stuff to do. So here’s how to get that content from them:
Enlist a Technical Writer
Technical writers, the people who write procedures, work instructions, and manuals, have experience both with writing and with technical terminology; it’s part of their skill set to translate technical jargon into words that lay people can understand. Also, they have a lot of experience working with engineers, so they can be helpful in gleaning content from them.
Rather than asking your subject matter expert to write a blog post or white paper or page content for your website, instead, sit down and have a conversation with the expert in question. Ask them for the information you need rather than having them provide you with what they think you need. You might come up with even more questions through the interview process that will be questions that your ideal buyers have, so that you can tailor your content to tell your potential customers what they need and want to know.
Get Source Recommendations
If you don’t understand a particular process or product that your content strategy needs to address, get the experts in your company to tell you where to get the information you need. When they’re in full crisis mode on the plant floor or swamped dealing with a rush order, the people you need info from might not have time to talk to you. But they can point you in the direction of the information you need, saving them time but ensuring you aren’t stalled either.
Use a Review Panel
When you’ve written something without the prior input of a subject matter expert, to glean more information and fill in the gaps in your knowledge and understanding on the subject, get your engineering team or the experts on the topic to look over what you’ve written. They’ll tell you if you got anything wrong and help you add anything you might have missed.
Developing a content strategy for a B2B or industrial business can be a challenge, but it’s one that’s so important to staying on the bleeding edge and remaining competitive in your industry in the digital space. If you’re ready to amp up your content strategy and boost the ROI of your marketing efforts, it’s time that you get in touch with Evenbound.