Many B2B manufacturing companies lack a robust social media presence, and it’s no surprise why: there’s an abundance of content out there that discourages B2B manufacturers from utilizing social media. The truth is, however, that social media platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and even Instagram are extremely useful, not to mention inexpensive, methods to reach a considerably larger audience than you ever thought possible.
That’s why we’re here: to bust a few of those common myths about social media for B2Bs. Any effective marketing strategy in this century should be making use of social media platforms, because regardless of your product or your business type, it’s one of the most pervasive ways to get the word out about your company. Here are five of the most common myths we’d like to demystify for B2B manufacturers:
Myth #1 B2B customers aren’t on social media
As a B2B company, it’s easy to forget that you’re still marketing to people. Sure, your end goal is to sell your product to a business, but a person is in charge of making that purchasing decision. And more than 1 billion people are active on social media today, regardless of their position or profession. It’s important to remember that Generation Y and Millennial employees are beginning to flood the workforce, both generations that grew up with and continue to use social media platforms on a daily basis. When such a massive percentage of the population is on social media, it’s hard to say that none of your potential clients are on social media.
What’s more, B2B purchasing decisions require a considerably greater amount of research than B2C decisions. Your standard B2B decision maker is reading everything they can about your product, about your competitor’s product, what your warranties are like, what your company is like, etc. before they even consider talking to you. The best way to make sure that these decision makers have access to that information they’re looking for is for you to make it easily accessible to them on the platforms they use the most. Any purchasing researcher loves to read reviews and testimonials from previous clients, recommendations from other industry professionals, and especially case studies with hard facts. The best way to make sure they have this information and give your company a second look is to put it out yourself on social media.
Myth #2 Social media tactics that work for standard B2Cs won’t work for B2Bs
Sure, you’re not offering a buy one get one free deal on your parts, and you’re not selling something easily consumable like coffee or t-shirts, but that doesn’t mean that social media is out for your B2B company. The fact is that no matter whether you’re a B2B or a B2C, you’re marketing to people, and communicating with people is largely the same across the board.
Every consumer, whether they’re a person or a company, has pain points and different needs, that social media and content marketing work to solve. Certainly, you’ll have to approach your social media promotion a bit differently, but primarily in the sense that the content you’ll be delivering is different than the content a B2C company might offer. Where promotions and brand-building stories might work better for them, your company will draw in all kinds of qualified leads when you put out whitepapers and case studies that help inform those decision makers about your product, and show them why they should choose to buy from you.
Myth #3 Our product isn’t sexy enough for social media
It’s true that automobile parts or cement mixers aren’t quite as interesting as say, Starbucks coffee. But the job of the B2B manufacturing marketer is a bit easier in that regardless of the sexiness of your product, someone genuinely needs it. Your company is creating these parts to fill a demand for that product, which means someone is looking for it.
So it doesn’t matter if your product is sexy or not––there’s a purchaser out there who needs to read about it, research it, and then purchase it for their company. Your job is to make sure that the content they need is out there, and easily accessible. The best way to get your content out there for all of the decision makers looking for your product is to put it on social media.
Now, this doesn’t mean you can just put out any old boring spec sheet and expect people to immediately pick up the phone. It is still important to make sure you’re putting out content that is easily digestible for your target client, and that solves their pain points. You don’t want to put them to sleep with your content, but don’t worry if your product isn’t the most exciting thing out there. So long as you’re selling something people need, and your social media content is working to solve client pain points and pull them through the sales cycle, you’ll start to see a boost in that lead generation you were looking for.
Myth #4 Social Media works as another platform to broadcast our company news
This is one of the biggest myths out there about social media for B2Bs, and it’s not all that surprising that it exists. Many B2Bs are reluctant to get into social media in the first place, and then when they do, they’re not sure what to post, so they fall into the same push marketing tactics they’ve relied on for years.
The fact is that your social media accounts are not just another platform to blast your company news. People who follow your brand are likely to care about what’s happening at your company, but they’ll easily get bored if you’re only sharing things that matter to you. It’s important to remember that social media is a platform to increase social engagement, reach new clients, and nurture existing client relationships. To do this, you can’t just tell all your followers how great you are, even though we’re sure it’s true!
You need to make sure that your platforms function as a comprehensive resource for your followers, offering them access to information that they’re actively searching for, and that will help them in their purchasing decisions. This is the most effective way to make sure you’re regularly gaining new followers, and generating qualified leads via social media.
Myth #5 Social media doesn’t provide ROI, and it can’t generate sales leads
It’s true that social media analytics tend to measure the results most helpful to B2C companies, like number of likes and clicks. Though these metrics aren’t the most helpful for B2Bs, it’s important to remember that the end goal of social media marketing is to generate qualified leads and increase revenue for any company. You can easily tweak your social media analytics to monitor the metrics that matter most to your B2B, like conversions and click throughs.
To do this, it’s a good idea to link your social media accounts to your existing CRM or marketing automation platform. You can also make use of the multitude of social media analytics tools that exist specifically to increase B2B company’s social media tracking capabilities. Either method will give you a clear indication of your social media accounts’ ROI, and they’ll also help you figure out what to do to improve your company’s online presence.
Okay, but how do I get started?
It should be clear that social media marketing is an integral part of any marketing strategy in the 21st century. Your clients are on social media, it’s proven to produce results, and more than anything it’s ridiculously affordable. The hardest part is getting started. If your B2B manufacturing company is looking to boost your social media presence, but isn’t sure where to start, just pick one platform, and go from there.
We recommend Linkedin for most B2B companies. It’s very easy to use, and it’s the social media platform most likely to capture the attention of your ideal client. To get started, check out our blog on Linkedin for B2Bs, create your company page, and work on posting and engaging with other industry professionals regularly. Once you have the hang of that, you can start expanding to other social media platforms as you have the time and the resources to do so. If any of this seems overwhelming, or you still feel like you don’t quite have a grasp on social media for B2Bs, feel free to get in touch with HA Digital Marketing. We’ve worked with a number of B2Bs, and would be happy to answer any questions you’ve got regarding social media or inbound marketing for B2Bs. Shoot us a message or email, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
B2B sales have never been easy, but in the past 20 years, constantly changing technology and evolving sales methods have made common B2B sales challenges even more difficult. Gone are the days where you send your sales team out to that new factory they’re building over in Ohio to pitch your product, and gone are the days of cold calling. The internet and social media has completely overhauled the way the B2B consumer finds and purchases products.
If you’re like many B2Bs out there, you’ve probably recognized the change. If you’re looking to stay relevant in this new technological age, inbound is one of the best ways to start solving some of the most common B2B sales challenges. (Learn more about the basics of inbound marketing here.) Whether you’re a B2B business owner or sales rep, you likely already what your sales team faces on a daily basis, but we’ve got a few ideas for you, proven to solve a lot of those unique challenges:
B2B Sales Challenge #1: Technical Products
B2B products are often complicated technical products. And even if your buyer has a degree in engineering, they might not know that your product exists. That’s what makes B2B products so difficult to sell.
Your client doesn’t need a long drawn out sales pitch, they need an education. They need you to tell them why your product or service provides a solution to a problem in their industry, and they need to know how. They’ll want to know how it works, how it fits into their production process, and what their ROI is going to be.
The Inbound Marketing Solution: Content that Educates
We’ve talked about it before, but what the modern B2B consumer really wants is content that allows them to learn about the product on their own. They want to be able to peruse helpful information at their leisure, until they decide what’s best for them and their company. For the B2B sales team, this should come as a relief. If clients are educating themselves on products and business solutions, that means your sales reps spend less time doing it face-to-face. This saves them time, and saves the company money.
You just have to make sure that you’re still the one providing the information they need. Inbound marketing comes in handy here, because you can create all of that educational material that potential clients are looking for, and put it up online where they can peruse it in a way that best suits them. By providing content in a bunch of different formats, like blogs, infographics, and even informational videos about your product, your clients are able to learn in the way that best suits them.
B2B Sales Challenge #2 – Buyers want to control their buying cycle (and it’s long)
Purchasing a heavy-duty piece of manufacturing equipment requires a bit more thought than that 25¢ cup of lemonade on a hot day. A B2B purchase is the furthest you’ll ever get from an impulse purchase. It takes a long, long time before a client decides to bite the bullet on that expensive machinery. And it makes sense. No one wants to buy an expensive software solution for their company, or a million dollar piece of equipment only to find out it doesn’t provide the service or ROI they were expecting.
These are major sales, at a high price point, and they require a bit of due diligence. That’s why most modern B2B buyers want to control as much of that buying cycle as possible. They have to ensure they’re going with the right product from the right company before they present it to higher-ups. Once that happens, they’ll still have to wait for budget approval before they can make the purchase. All this contemplation leads to a long buying cycle, which as you know, is frustrating for your B2B sales dept.
Inbound Marketing Solution – Content that addresses each stage of the buyer’s cycle
You already know that your B2B buyers have to go through each stage of the buyer’s cycle: awareness, interest, consideration, and decision. Make sure that you have content that helps those clients in every stage of the cycle. If you’re answering their questions all the way through their buyer’s cycle with quality, educational content that they can trust, you’ll be able to close a deal considerably faster than if you wait for them to figure it out on their own or set up a meeting.
Whether you devise a foolproof set of infographics, gated content offers, free trials, blogs, or webinars, your content has to speak specifically to each client. This means you need content for potential buyers that speaks not only to where they are in the buyer’s cycle, but also to their industry and market. By answering their questions, regardless of their place in the decision making process, you develop authority, and draw them through to a final decision much quicker than if they’re left to their own devices.
What’s more, this method is helpful and relationship building. Potential clients are able to easily access the information they need, without feeling like they’re being sold to, or forced to make a decision before they’re ready.
B2B Sales Challenge #3 – Multiple Decision Makers
Let’s say a production manager wants a solution to increase production efficiency. When she comes to your company for the product that will provide that solution, she not only has to gain approval from her higher ups, say the CEO and CFO, but she’ll have to work with the production engineer to ensure that the new solution can be integrated smoothly into the production process. This means that at the very least, the B2B sales team has to convince four people that this is the right purchasing decision.
Inbound Marketing Solution: Content for each audience
The best solution to the multiple decision maker issue is to provide content that addresses each decision maker’s greatest concerns. Let’s think about it: the production manager needs to know how your product or service will increase efficiency. On the other hand, the bigger players, like the CEO and CFO, need to know how this purchase will affect their bottom line. And last but not least, the production engineer needs to know the specs and info on the product, so they can ensure it will function seamlessly with production, and so they can determine how and where to install it.
To make sure that you’re answering everyone’s questions, inbound marketing best practices suggest you develop buyer personas. You can then use those to create content that targets each decision maker. By providing solutions for each party’s pain points, you’re working to get everyone on board with your product, and reach a decision that satisfies everyone.
B2B Sales Challenge #4 – Proving ROI
Finally, another challenge that B2B sales teams face is proving that their methods are effective, especially when it comes to marketing. Many B2B companies are reluctant to invest more money in their marketing practices because they aren’t sure the ROI will be favorable. But consider this: when your inbound marketing method is effective, your sales team has less work to do, and can focus on converting important, qualified leads.
By implementing an inbound marketing strategy that speaks to all of the major decision makers, educates buyers about your product, and speeds up the notoriously long buyer’s cycle, your sales team really only has to handle the most productive part of the sales process: closing the deal. But how do you prove it’s working?
Inbound Marketing Solution – Metrics and Analytics
Your inbound marketing strategy will work to feed you the most qualified leads, will help you weed out the leads that aren’t qualified or the buyers who aren’t yet serious, giving your sales team the opportunity to really focus on the leads you know show great potential. Best of all, an inbound marketing strategy is easily monitored through website metrics and analytics. Over time, this is the easiest way to prove ROI.
When you implement inbound marketing best practices, you’ll be able to see who’s coming to your website and what they’re interested in. Based on this online behavior, you can judge where they are in the buyer’s cycle. By monitoring site and search engine metrics and analytics, you’ll be able to learn what you’re actually getting out of your inbound marketing strategy. That’s invaluable information that not only proves ROI, but helps your sales team close deals, and shows you how to refine your strategy to further increase ROI in the future.
Are you a B2B Manufacturer? For more information on how inbound marketing can boost your ROI and solve the most common B2B sales challenges, check out our our inbound marketing page to learn more about what we can do for you.
Since the dawn of inbound marketing, it’s been clear that B2B manufacturing leads need nurturing. They have the longest buyer’s journey of nearly any other industry; purchases of that size often have to go through a long chain of approval, and have to be researched extensively, so there’s nothing quick about it. B2B buyers need a lot of nurturing to get through the sales funnel of any B2B manufacturer. What hasn’t been clear, however, is the best way to work on that lead nurturing. Many people, marketers included, have advocated that email marketing is the singular best way to nurture leads in the B2B manufacturing world. But what if that’s not true?
It actually isn’t, according to a study done in 2014 by Bizo, in association with Oracle Marketing Cloud. Their study, which interviewed more than 500 B2B company executives about their lead nurturing strategies, found that email marketing alone is not an effective way to nurture B2B leads.
So why isn’t email marketing working?
Well, the inherent problem with email marketing is that you have to have a lead’s email in order to email them. And while contact forms are pretty good, they can’t always tell if they’ve been given a fake email, and they certainly can’t make email recipients open those great lead-nurturing emails you’ve put out. According to Bizo’s study, 79 percent of marketers report that their email open rates don’t exceed 20 percent.
That means that if you send a great, well thought out, helpful, nurturing email to 100 potential clients, 80 of them won’t even read it. And of the 20 that do, maybe one or two people will actually convert. Maybe.
Your email database is small compared to the amount of potential buyers that are out there.
You might not even have the right email address for many contacts.
If you do have a potential client and the right email address, it’s unlikely that a potential client will open the email.
If a potential client does open the email, they probably still won’t convert.
Both marketers and B2B manufacturing executives are having this issue with email marketing. So, if email marketing isn’t effective, what is, and how can you implement a lead nurturing program that does work?
For starters, you have to know how the modern B2B buyer shops. And today, that basically means a lot of research. The average B2B buyer will research until they’re almost positive that they know what they need, before they call a sales rep.
All of this research is actually making the buyer’s journey longer, too. According to Bizo, the average marketer has plenty of reason to believe that the amount of time from lead to sale for a B2B buyer has increased over the past three years. And a longer buyer’s journey means that marketers for B2B manufacturing companies have to beef up the lead nurturing program that much more.
It’s clear that the average B2B buyer does a ton of research before even contacting a company, and in many cases, is 90% of the way through the buyer’s journey before they even talk to a sales rep. So if clients are making their decisions before they make it to your sales team, how do you make sure they buy from you?
You need to make it into their research process.
According to Bizo’s study, the most effective lead nurturing strategy is one that is multifaceted, and relies not just on email marketing, but on a whole host of other lead nurturing methods. The more tactics you use, the more stages of the buyer’s journey you can target. By getting the attention of potential leads while they’re in the research phase of the buyer’s journey, you’ll be better able to pull them through your sales funnel. Not sure how to do that? Don’t worry, we’ve got options for you.
Things to consider incorporating into your lead nurturing strategy:
We’ve talked about how B2B marketers need to get in front of potential buyers while they’re still doing the research. The absolute best way to do that is to create content, and publish it for those researching leads to find and appreciate. To do this, think about trying to answer the most common questions your company is asked. You might already be doing this in your email marketing, but the point of making content freely available to those who aren’t subscribed is that you’ll be reaching a larger audience.
The more useful content you have out there that helps your potential buyer answer his or her questions about your product, the more likely they are to call you when they finally get close to purchasing. The easiest way to get your content out there is to start a blog. As you continue to publish relevant content that helps buyers, they’ll begin to seek out more information from you. That’s when you can begin to capture their email address and market to them based on their specific needs.
It’simportant to remember that you want to create content that addresses questions in every stage of the buyer’s journey. For instance, you might write one post that talks about how to choose the right fittings for your operation. This addresses buyers that are just getting started in their research process. Someone searching for this content doesn’t even know what type of product they need yet. From there, you can create content that addresses “how many units should I purchase based on my production levels?” This will speak to those clients that are a little farther along in the buyers journey. They already know what product they need, they just aren’t sure how much is enough yet.
By targeting each stage of the buyers journey, you’ll be able to draw in more qualified leads, and nurture them through their journey. Instead of just hoping you can get clients who are ready to buy, you’ll be addressing leads that you know need to buy, and your great content will show them that you’re a knowledgeable, honest source that they should consider purchasing from.
When we talked about content, we were talking about addressing those qualified leads that need your product and have just started the research process. But what about those qualified leads who have already made it to your site? According to the Bizo study, most B2B companies can get hundred or thousands of visitors to their business website every day. How do you capture them, and pull them through your sales funnel?
Calls-to-action are your best friend in this situation. B2B companies that don’t have calls-to-action will only convert an average of 1-5% of those visitors that come straight to the site, typically because there isn’t a clear, visible way for those new visitors to contact the business about their order.
The fix here is to implement calls-to-action that give site visitors a very obvious way to get in touch with your sales reps. These typically take the form of brightly colored buttons that say “request more information here,” “get help with your order now,” or “request a free quote.” By offering up clear pathways for site visitors to take the next step, you’ll boost your conversion rates, capture more email addresses, and have someone to send your email marketing efforts to.
A successful lead nurturing campaign has to have buyer personas. Buyer personas are essentially fictitious people that closely resemble some of your most frequent buyers.
Say, for example, that you manufacture parts for laboratories. One of your buyer personas is likely to be a lab manager. This is often the person responsible for making purchasing decisions on lab equipment, and in charge of any renovations that may occur.
In creating your buyer personas, think of who your most common clients tend to be. How old are they? What are they like? Do they have lot of free time, or are they very busy in their job? What are their biggest pain points when looking for B2B manufacturers, and what do they want from a manufacturer?
By defining these fictitious people, you’ll be creating a more solid idea of who you’re marketing to. When you understand who you’re marketing to, your lead nurturing efforts will become a lot better. You’ll know what each potential client is looking for, and you’ll have a better idea of how to address their pain points. From there, you can identify potential leads based on those buyer personas, and you can market to them specifically, providing tailored content that answers questions you know they have.
We said earlier that email marketing is not effective alone as a lead nurturing technique. That doesn’t mean that you can’t ever use email marketing; just the opposite, in fact. Email marketing is incredibly effective if used properly and in conjunction with other aspects of a multi-faceted lead nurturing strategy.
So, if you have the other aspects of your lead nurturing campaign straightened out, email marketing can be an exceptional tool. It’s a great way to target specific buyer personas, once you’ve got their email address. You can send these leads more of your great content that’s specifically relevant to where they are in the buyer’s journey. This is content that answers questions they’re likely to have, which in turn pulls them through the sales funnel.
When you’ve got your buyer personas nailed down, you can easily segment your automated marketing tools to send specific emails out to leads that fit those certain buyer personas. When they recieve content that they really needed, and that helps them in their buyer’s journey, they’re more likely to contact you later on down the line.
We’ve included social media as our last point in the lead nurturing segment because it really is important. Many B2B manufacturers write off social media platforms as frivolous websites that can’t be used to attract real clients. Believe it or not, your clients are on those social media sites. For B2B manufacturers, the two platforms that seem to work the best are Linkedin and Facebook, because they allow for highly targeted advertising. On both platforms, you can pick and choose what type of person you’d like to display your ads to, even going so far on Linkedin to limit ads to specific job titles.
So say you’re marketing to that lab manager. Linkedin can isolate your ad or content to show up in front of lab managers alone, targeting that specific buyer persona, wherever they are in their buyer’s journey. Facebook does much of the same thing, but since it’s not a site for strictly professionals, it can tailor ads based on age and location demographics rather than title.
Social media is another measurable way to nurture leads. Just think of all the times you’ve added something to your cart on Amazon, only to find it on the ads on the side of your Facebook wall. It’s not a coincidence, that’s lead nurturing through social media at work.
The changing times and changes in technology have altered the way we market, the way buyers purchase products, and even the way they research the products they’re considering buying. These changes mean that B2B manufacturers have to alter their methods too, in order to bring in the greatest number of qualified leads possible. No longer will a simple email marketing strategy get the job done. If you want to truly nurture potential buyers through the sales funnel in a way that expedites the process and gets you more clients, you’ll need a multi-faceted approach to your lead nurturing strategy.
We hope these tips help show you what a comprehensive, effective lead nurturing strategy looks like. If you have any more questions on lead nurturing in the B2B manufacturing world, or if you’re looking to implement some of these practices into your own marketing strategy, make sure to get in touch with the experts at Evenbound. We’ve been working with B2B manufacturing companies for years, so we’re confident we can help you get on the right track with your lead nurturing efforts.
And for more information on generating and nurturing more qualified leads for your B2B manufacturing company, make sure to check out below how we helped a cleanroom manufacturer convert more qualified leads than they had ever before.
In the B2B manufacturing industry, it’s often difficult to generate new leads. Many companies have worked with the same clients for decades, and while they could use new customers, are unsure of how to go about it. As you may have guessed, the internet and your website play a big part. Today, your website is your greatest tool to create business. When used effectively, it can act as your own virtual sales rep, catching leads 24/7. But to do that, you have to optimize your website to become that perfect lead generation machine you’re looking for.
First, let’s talk about what we mean when we say digital lead:
A digital or online lead is a person who is interested in obtaining your B2B manufacturing company’s product or service. These leads are people who come to your website, read your content, and decide to contact you for more information. Specific to B2B leads, these people are often near to making their purchase decision, have an idea of the size of their purchase, and already have a budget allocated.
You get leads when a site visitor fills out a contact information form, with their name, email address, and maybe a little bit more of their personal information, in exchange for more information, or subscription to your newsletters or email. Once you have those leads, you can focus on nurturing them, through targeted content, until they finally make their purchasing decision.
But how can you get more leads?
There are two things that affect how many leads your B2B manufacturing website generates. The first is overall site traffic, so the amount of people who are coming to, and viewing your site. This includes anyone who looks at your website, whether they’re coming from Google or Facebook.
The second is your conversion rate. This is the percentage of people that come to your site as viewers, and then convert to a lead. For example, if 100 people visit your site, and 2 of those 100 people fill out a contact information form, your conversion rate is 2%.
Typical B2B industry conversion rates span between 2-6%. If you don’t know your conversion rate, or if yours is way below those numbers, don’t worry! We’re going to tell you how to bump them up.
Here’s how to increase both your site traffic and your conversion rate:
Upgrade your website
If you’re like most B2B manufacturers, you probably started your foray into the internet wilderness with a website that basically functions as a brochure for your company. It probably doesn’t have a ton of pages, it doesn’t have a lot of information, and other than your phone number and maybe an email address, there isn’t any other way for potential clients to contact you. While it’s good that you at least have some online presence, this website isn’t doing any work for you.
Your first step to more traffic is to create a website that looks beautiful, is user friendly, interactive, and mobile friendly. It should offer your potential customers the information they’re looking for, with a content-centric design. An old, outdated website is one of the first things that turns potential customers away, so with your new web design, you’ll start seeing a boost in traffic just because it looks more modern. An upgraded website is also a good way to bump your ranking on Google. Google likes websites that are regularly updated, and the more content you have, the better you’ll rank for relevant keywords. The higher you rank on Google, the more traffic you’ll get.
Start a blog
Once you have a new, modern, user-friendly website, it’s time to start a blog. While this sounds pretty intimidating at first, content marketing is actually one of the easiest ways to increase B2B lead generation. All you have to do is think of questions your clients ask you regularly, and answer those questions in a blog post. Do your best to write posts that address specific pain points of your B2B manufacturing clients in a clear and thorough way.
Additionally, make sure to incorporate SEO tactics into your blog writing process. Your best bet here is to focus each blog post around one keyword. Then, include that keyword into the blog in a way that seems natural. Google has gotten pretty advanced in the past few years, so it’s likely to recognize synonyms, meaning you don’t have to stuff the same exact word or phrase into one blog post 50 times to rank for that keyword.
The 80/20 rule
If you want to increase your traffic and keep people coming back for your awesome information, there’s one content rule you really need to know about: the 80/20 rule. Your blog content should be 80% informational–content that answers client’s questions, and gives them relevant information they can use–and 20% promotional–content that has to do with your company specifically, whether that’s talking about awards you’ve gotten, or just detailing the services you provide.
While this might seem like an extreme ratio, if you look at your blog from a customer’s perspective, it is necessary. While you are trying to sell, no customer wants to read pages of marketing jargon that just talks about how great your company is. That type of content won’t draw in more traffic, and it won’t help you boost lead generation. Use it once in awhile, when you really have something great to say, but make sure it takes the backseat to content that’s actually useful to your target audience.
A lot of B2B manufacturers don’t use social media accounts because they don’t think it’s a legitimate way to market their product. They are wrong. If you think about it, almost everyone you know has some social media account, whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. And since these social media platforms are so good at targeting ads and content to specific demographics, it’s very easy to get your name in front of the right people. Simply by participating in the conversations that other industry leaders and potential customers are already having on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you extend your online reach. The more people that see your ads, and read your helpful content, the more pathways you create for potential clients to navigate to your site.
Boost your conversion rate:
Place more calls-to-action
Another major part of lead generation is how many of your site viewers actually convert to leads. If you want a website that functions as a lead generation machine, then you have to have a good conversion rate. And if you want a good conversion rate, you need calls-to-action. The most important point is that they need to be everywhere.
“Request a Quote” and “Learn More Now” buttons make it easy for potential clients to reach out to you, and they boost your conversion rate. Place them at the end of your blog posts, in the top and middle of relevant pages, and anywhere else you can think of. Sometimes, clients may not be sure if they need help or not. If they’re on the fence, oftentimes an easy call to action button is just motivation they need to request more information. Most simply, the more opportunities your site viewers have to convert, the more leads you’re going to get.
Add gated content
Going along with that last point, gated content is another great way to offer more conversion opportunities. Gated content is highly relevant, informational content that site viewers can access for free, after they give you a little bit of their basic contact information. So, say you had a great ebook about “how to choose the right metal finish for auto bumpers.” This is really useful content for a potential auto manufacturing client. Since they want that information, and they can get it for free, they’re usually willing to put in an email address and phone number to gain access. Then you both win:
You get their contact information and they get the content they needed for free. This is a great way to draw in leads who aren’t as far along in the buyer’s cycle. Then, through your lead nurturing emails and newsletters, you can maintain contact until they’re ready to buy from you. This is a great way to boost your conversion rates, because it offers another conversion form, but it targets a different type of lead. The more gated content offers you have, the greater your potential to capture leads in all stages of the buyer’s cycle.
One of the best ways to boost your conversion rate is to consistently A/B test your Calls to Action, and your landing pages. For instance, do you get more conversions when your buttons are blue or orange? Are people more likely to fill out a contact form if you don’t ask for a phone number? A/B testing will give you insightful data that helps answer these questions, which you can then implement to optimize your site. As long as you have access to your site’s analytics and metrics, you can go ahead and monitor what these small changes do to your conversion rate. A few tips:
Make sure to only change one thing at a time. If you change the color of a button as well as the script, you have no way of knowing which change is actually driving your conversion boost.
Your testing should be controlled. If you tested a blue button for a week – Monday through Sunday – you should give an orange button the exact same testing time frame before you compare results. Site traffic can vary widely by day and time. If you test one color on Monday and Tuesday, and then a different color on Saturday and Sunday, it’s possible that the changes you see are more a result of the different days’ traffic levels than the different color button. People are more likely to look at your website on a weekday than on the weekends, so just measuring the success of one button on the weekday and a different button on the weekend won’t provide you with accurate results.
Other Lead Generation Considerations:
Know your metrics
The best way to keep track of how your website is performing, and how many lead opportunities you’re getting is to stay informed about your site’s metrics. You need to monitor them regularly, at least once a week, if not every day. This how you find out what’s working and what’s not, and how you know which adjustments to make.
Site analytics will also tell you where your leads are coming from. Whether traffic is coming to your site from Facebook, Linkedin, or even a paid ad, you need to know. This will help you optimize your paid ad campaigns and your social media strategies to get the most traffic, and thus leads, as possible.
Develop a plan
The absolute best thing you can do to turn your B2B manufacturing website into a consistent lead generation machine is to make a plan. It’s easy to start something, and then forget about it if you don’t have a schedule with deadlines and attainable goals. By creating a plan that outlines how much content you need per week or month, that states your monthly or weekly lead generation goals, and that reminds you to check your analytics and metrics regularly, it’s much harder to fall off the wagon. When you have goals and deadlines to meet, you’re more likely to implement positive changes, and keep working at them to continue to optimize your website’s lead generation potential.
If you have more questions about increasing your B2B manufacturing website’s lead generation potential, make sure to get in touch.
B2B manufacturing sales have got to be one of the most difficult deals to close. Even when you finally get a qualified lead, it can take them months to get the money together and make a decision. That’s why your top priority is always focused on generating more leads. But what if your website is currently killing your chances to rope in some of those great qualified leads you’re looking for?
If you’re like most B2B manufacturers, it might be. Here’s the top three reasons why:
If your website was built before 2008, there’s absolutely no way it’s going to send you leads. You probably built it because the competition did, and then you forgot about it, didn’t have the time to put into it, or just really didn’t know what to do with it. If your site is old, it makes your company look old and outdated. And with 94% of B2B buyers researching their options before they even make an initial phone call, that’s putting you way behind. You have to have an updated website with user-friendly navigation, and a responsive design before you can even think about generating qualified leads.
You don’t know your ideal client
If you don’t know who you’re marketing to, it can be really difficult to attract that type of lead. To have a website that works for you, you need to understand what your ideal buyer looks like. How big is their company? What’s their budget? Who is the main decision maker? Once you know who you’re trying to attract, it will be considerably easier to develop a site, and content for that site, that speaks to your ideal buyer, and draws in more qualified leads: the leads that you know want and need your product.
This is another biggie for lead gen. If your site doesn’t have a call-to-action, or a way for people to get in touch with you, it can’t generate leads. It probably seems super obvious to you that if people wanted your product they should call you, but qualified leads need a little nudge. Just having a button that says “get a quote now” or “contact us today” makes your service accessible to potential leads. People that are really serious about your product will click the button to get in touch with your sales team, or leave you their contact information. With their contact information in hand, voila! – you have a new qualified lead.
So now that you know how your site is crippling your lead generation capabilities, it’s time to fix it:
If you want to turn your B2B Manufacturing website into a lead generating machine, we can show you how. We’ve put together a comprehensive, full-scope Digital Marketing Guide that will take you through the basic steps of optimizing your B2B Manufacturing website for increased lead generation. With a website that is user-friendly, and that addresses your ideal client, you’re sure to see the qualified leads rolling in in no time.
SEO: we’re sure you’ve heard of it, because it seems to be all that anyone’s talking about when it comes to digital marketing or website optimization. And there’s good reason for that, since SEO is one of the singular most effective ways to increase both traffic to your B2B manufacturing site, and qualified leads converting from your site.
That’s why we developed this SEO checklist specifically for B2B Manufacturers.
If you’re looking to boost traffic to your site, increase the amount of qualified leads your site generates, and increase your overall ROI, SEO is the way to go.
Still don’t believe us about the effectiveness of SEO?
Well here’s just a few of the benefits you’ll see once you properly implement the best practices listed in our SEO checklist:
First and foremost, SEO best practices function to draw more people to your website. The fundamental point of SEO is to bump your rankings on search engine results pages, putting you closer to the top of that first page on Google, and boosting your site’s visibility along the way.
Help People Find You
Naturally, when you’re at the top of a Google search results page, you’re more likely to be clicked on. In addition to that, if you’re ranking highly for keywords related to your B2B manufacturing company, it will be easier for people to find you. Say someone didn’t remember your company name, proper SEO practices would ensure that when they typed in “B2B Manufacturer in [your area]” your company would come up first.
Attract Relevant Customers
SEO is very targeted. You can control and see the results of every minor change you make to your website, and you can gain insight as to what terms people in your market are searching for. By ranking well for exactly what your ideal client is searching for, you’ll be attracting more relevant traffic: people who can then be converted into qualified leads.
Build Trust and Credibility
SEO goes a long way in generating authority for your company. Most SEO best practices serve dual functions as in addition to boosting your traffic, they also help you build trust with the visitors that do end up on your site. The more people trust you and see you as an authority in your manufacturing field, the more likely they are to purchase from you.
The cost of implementing most SEO practices is very minimal, especially when compared with the relevant traffic and qualified leads that it generates. SEO is an investment, rather than an expense, and it provides a huge return. The best part is that the results are measurable, so you’ll be able to see exactly what you’re doing right, and what needs work.
Beat Paid Searches
Studies have shown time and time again that internet users are more inclined to click on organic results than paid search results. That means that when your website pops up on the first page of organic results, under the ad results, you’ll get more clicks than your paid ad would, for less money! And what puts you on that first page? Yup, SEO.
If you’re looking for any of the above benefits, SEO is the way to go. To learn more, get in touch with our team.