Manufacturing buyers are not going to the Yellow Pages to find suppliers anymore: they’re searching online. If you want those buyers to find your company, you’re going to have to show up in the search engine results, and to do that, your site needs to use SEO best practices.
Quick Refresher: What’s SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO practices are things that best allow search engines to crawl and understand your site, making sure it shows up as a result in relevant searches. SEO strategy involves how you structure the pages on your website, the keywords you use, how often you add and update content, and how content is tagged, among other things.
Why is SEO So Important for B2Bs?
Like we said earlier, the people who are looking for your products and services are looking online. And, unlike B2C products, traditional advertising doesn’t do much for B2Bs. Have you ever seen ads for washing machine screws or rearview mirror assemblies? Neither have we. While a brand of soda might appeal to a lot of people and draw a lot of attention, your products or services are targeted toward specific applications in specific industries, and you need to target those potential customers with your digital marketing efforts.
SEO for B2B manufacturers is what will help people find you, and more specifically, people who want what you’re selling. That’s because SEO entails strategically using the same words your ideal customers are using when they search—keywords. When you use the right keywords, people who are looking for the services or products you offer, even searchers who have never heard of your company or don’t remember your company’s name, will find you.
SEO draws more people to your website, and that is the best way to get your site higher in search engine rankings and to convert interested site visitors to sales leads. The higher your site ranks in the search engine results, the more likely it is that potential customers will see your site and navigate to it. Plus, internet users are savvy, and they are more likely to click on a top organic search result than a paid search ad.
Additionally, the content you create when you implement SEO practices like blogging will help you establish authority in your industry and build trust and credibility with future customers. If buyers appreciate and trust the information you provide them, they’re more likely to purchase from you.
Think it’s about time to start implementing SEO practices on your site? Evenbound can help! We’ve worked with a number of B2B manufacturers, and have delivered serious results. Check out this case study to see how our inbound marketing strategy can help you get on page one:
Whether you’re a B2B, a home services pro, or a housing developer, you need leads. For every business, leads, calls, conversions, and a potential client picking up the phone to say “I need your help” is the goal. If you’re working on your website and digital marketing strategy, you probably already understand the importance of those leads, but what might not be so clear is how to get them.
Building a website that drives leads, calls and conversions can take time, but it is doable. And once you get it working for you? Your entire sales team will have additional hours to work with existing clients, building your base of dedicated customers. On the whole, calls and conversions make your life easier, and generate more revenue for your company. But if you’re just starting out, you may not have figured out how to drive those conversions online yet. Here are a few website strategies you can employ to give your digital marketing strategy the best chance at boosting your leads:
Make it Easy
Before we talk about anything else, if you want to increase calls and conversions, your fundamental goal should be to make your clients’ web experience as easy as possible. The easier it is to navigate, find information, and call or reach out, the more likely you are to get those conversions. In every web improvement you make, you have to ask: does this make the viewer’s life easier? If the answer is yes, then make the change. If it’s not, there’s a potential that your conversion rate will drop. With the concept of making the buyer’s journey easier at the front of your mind, you’re sure to implement changes that will help boost calls and conversion.
Keep Design Simple
Consumers are creatures of habit. While they like something to look fresh and new, anything too wild is likely to put them off. Keep that in mind while building your website. You need something that looks upscale and professional, but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Go for a style that’s very classic and clean, with high-resolution photos and an easy, clear navigation menu. This makes it apparent that your company is professional, but it also helps make the user experience simple and seamless, meaning it takes less time for them to figure out your website. The quicker they know where everything is, the quicker they’re going to call or message you with their question.
Because consumers are (like we said earlier) creatures of habit, it’s a good idea to place things where they’ll expect them. You should always have a “contact us” button on the top right of your website, because that’s where most consumers will look for it, and it’s where they’re used to seeing them. Placing buttons and click-to-calls exactly where consumers expect them to be is a surefire way to help customers covert quickly.
Make it a Button
If you want people to get in touch, you need to make that very clear, front and center. The best way to do that is to make a button. Whether you were linking to a landing page, offering a free download, or requesting that people call you, the bolder it is, the more likely people are to see it, and follow through on that action. That’s why call-to-action buttons work. They’re bright, they’re bold, and again, the consumer is used to seeing them, so they have a good idea of what will happen when they click. Buttons offer the perfect way to call out those opportunities for leads to call and convert, making it easier still for people to contact you.
Why do people call you?
Typically it’s because they think you’re the best for the job. Whether you have the best prices or seem the most trustworthy, people will call or email you when they’re convinced that you are their best option. The absolute best way for you to make that clear is to feature testimonials and client reviews.
Let your previous work speak for you! If you did a really great job on a house, or you know a client that loved working with you, have them write a short sentence or two, and put it on your website. Nothing builds consumer confidence more than seeing that other consumers—just like them—had a great experience with you. The more comfortable new site visitors feel with your company and your level of service, the more likely they are to call you. So, put those testimonials on your website. And if there’s a clean, logical way to place them next to a call-to-action, do that too. That way, as soon as they read all of those great things other people have said about your company, they can pick up the phone and give you a call.
Add a Chat Tool
Today’s consumer wants instant answers. They appreciate a company that can solve their problem, right now. One easy way to implement that idea for your own business is to add a chat tool. A small icon on the bottom of your consumer’s screen, it just lets them know if they need help right now, there’s someone there for them. It’s a great way to get simple questions answered, and to start building a solid relationship, so when that client makes the final decision to buy — you’re the one they turn to. A chat feature is easily added to your website, you just need to make sure someone is monitoring it during the day, and you turn it off when no one is in the office.
Consider Adding a Headshot
Though this may seem small, adding a headshot can actually do a lot to help boost calls and conversions. In today’s virtual world, many consumers feel a disconnect when they’re browsing the web. It’s easy to forget that there are real people behind the companies you’re looking at, and the services you’re looking for. A small headshot next to your call-to-action button or on your chat tool will remind potential clients that they have the opportunity to talk to a real person who can answer their questions. In today’s virtual world, person-to-person communication is a big deal. A small headshot is a quick, easy addition that can make a major difference because people are able to see exactly who they’ll be working with and talking to—a personal experience they might not get anywhere else.
In the end, the best way to boost calls and conversions is to make sure that you’ve made your website user experience as easy as possible. If potential clients can find the information they’re looking for quickly and efficiently, they’re more likely to convert. Your website design should work in tandem with quality content that answers questions and solves problems. While that content will pull them deeper into your site, convincing them further that you’re the right company for the job, when they’re ready to make a decision, your calls-to-action and content offers will be there to help them convert easily.
Inbound marketing is one of the buzzwords in the marketing community, but to B2B manufacturers, who historically haven’t invested much in marketing, it’s unfamiliar. Inbound marketing is the new way to reach customers, and unlike traditional methods of advertising like print ads and TV commercials, it’s not just for B2Cs. Inbound techniques attract buyers who want, need, or are interested in your offerings to you when they want information about your products or services or are ready to make a purchase. Like the way that sounds? Then you need to hire an inbound marketing company.
What Do Inbound Marketers Do?
The goal of inbound marketing is to bring clients to you, bring them inbound, rather than having to reach out to them with outbound, interruptive marketing like traditional ads. So a large component of what inbound marketers do is create content that will attract clients to you, and most of this is online. First, they determine who your ideal client types are and what needs, questions, and concerns those ideal clients have. Next, they create a variety of types of content that address those needs, from your website page content to downloadable ebooks to blog articles to emails. Then, inbound marketers set to work promoting that content so that those potential customers can find it.
Why Do You Need an Inbound Marketing Company?
Short answer: because you’re experts in what you do, and they’re experts in what they do. Inbound and digital marketing is a complex field that is constantly changing, and if you’re not an expert marketer, there are a lot of ways you can go wrong and a lot of opportunities that you can miss out on. Inbound marketing is all these companies do, and they’re very good at it. They hire skilled content writers, web designers, search experts, and social media strategists who know exactly how to target the buyers and companies you want as customers. Have you seen how engineers write? Do you think prospects will want to read that? Yeah, we don’t either.
How Do You Choose the Right Company?
A good inbound marketing agency is going to practice what they preach and have a good online presence with strong content (*cough* humblebrag *cough*). They’ll have a history of working with B2Bs and industrial manufacturers, so they’ll speak your language, and they’ll also have case studies with hard numbers that prove how effective their marketing strategies are.
If you’re ready to take advantage of inbound marketing and the digital space, you need to contact a digital marketing agency, and we think it should be Evenbound. We’ve successfully helped B2Bs improve their websites, use paid search and PPC ads, increase website traffic, and, most importantly, bring in new leads and prospects. Get in touch to find out how we can do that for your company. Still want to know more about inbound marketing? Check out the case study below to see how inbound marketing and HubSpot helped this manufacturer get ahead of the competition:
When you’re marketing your housing development, you’re not just selling homes. The key to getting buyers interested is selling them on a place and a community. A physical home is just one aspect of purchasing a house, and for most buyers, it’s not even the most important. Sure, any buyer wants a roof over their head, but in most cases, it’s not actually the house you’re selling—it’s the experience of home.
More than anything, buyers are looking for a place to call “home.” A place to raise their kids, a place to grow old, and a place to start a life. If you’re building a housing development, that sense of place is your strongest marketing tool. Use content that speaks to your housing development’s story and sense of community to bolster new homeowner’s confidence in your development. The best way to get eyes on your site and pull homeowners through the buyer’s journey?
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times. You need a blog. That’s all there is to it. Without a blog you’re in the same boat as every other Joe Shmoe out there with “new homes for sale” signs stuck on every street corner. A blog not only helps you define your community vision, but it helps you reach qualified buyers more quickly. Think about it:
If you were going to buy a new home, would you drive around looking for “for sale” signs, or would you Google available properties near you?
Unless you’re really stuck in the 20th century, you’re probably going to pick the second option. It’s quick, it’s easy, and you can do it while you’re sitting in your pj’s eating breakfast. Since that’s what the majority of your housing development’s qualified buyers are going to do, it’s important to make sure you come up on that list of search results while they’re looking for a new home. How do you do that? Blogging.
So, start your blog, and consider posting about the following topics to create an alluring sense of place sure to draw in buyers:
Talk about local events and activities
We’ve already established that your target market is going to Google your area for new homes. They’re also going to want to know what’s happening in your town. They’ll want to know what community activities and events go on regularly, and they’ll be looking to see if they can get a feel of the town before they actually scope out homes or make a move.
If you’re regularly posting about those activities, whether they’re festivals, farmer’s markets, outdoor concerts, or any other sort of community gathering, you’ll start popping up in those search results. The more you post about local happenings, the better you’ll rank for local searches, which means you’ll start to become a go-to source of information for those people who want to know what’s going on in the area. That means you’re also the first place they turn to when they do decide to move.
What does a weekend in your town look like?
Like we mentioned before: when you’re selling a home, you’re really selling potential homeowners on a place and a feeling. They want to know what their life is going to look like if they move to your development. So, post about what life is like in your area. A weekend itinerary is a really popular blog style that consumers love:
Imagine you were visiting your development’s area for just the weekend. What would you do? Where would you eat? In a blog like this, you can highlight both activities and restaurants, giving people a more holistic look at what it’s like to live in your town. Is there a block party going on? Are local breweries hosting live music on Friday night?
Writing a post like this is another great way to drive relevant traffic to your website, while simultaneously creating that sense of place that draws new homeowners in. If you think about it, if you were visiting a new area for a weekend, wouldn’t your search query read like “what do do in “town name” for the weekend”? By answering that question in your blog, you’ll get more eyes on your site, in addition to helping some newcomers learn more about your town and your housing development.
Consider making regular “best of” posts:
What are the best restaurants, breweries, bars, ski hills, hiking trails, etc. in your community? Whether someone is new to the area or thinking about moving, these types of blog posts are the most searched, and the most helpful. They work to position you as an authority on the subject, and as more and more people come to you for their weekend suggestions, you’ll probably also be the one they look to when they finally decide it’s time to purchase a home.
Don’t be afraid to talk about what it’s like to live in your community!
All anyone wants to know before they move somewhere new is what life will be like. If your area or community has local quirks, share them. If there’s something really great about the people in your community, share that too. The more knowledgeable a person feels about your community, the more confident they’ll feel when purchasing a home.
In the end, marketing a housing development really means marketing a community. While a home buyer certainly wants a nice house, it’s intangibles like a welcoming environment and a warm community that really seals the deal. Show your potential residents what your community —not just your floorplan—has to offer, and you’re sure to be at the top of your target buyers’ list.
More questions about marketing your housing development? We’re here to help! We’ve worked with a number of developers, and know what it takes to fill homes and sell lots. You don’t have to take our word for it though: check out the case study below about the results we produced for a previous development client.
Instagram is a sort of brave new world when it comes to marketing, and when used properly, for the right business, it can be an extremely powerful tool. If you’re looking to grow your brand, and you can showcase your product or service in a visual way, Instagram might be right for you. But to help you decide more definitively whether Instagram is a good direction for your company to steer, here’s a bit more information about what Instagram does, and how it can work for you:
Instagram is a powerful social media platform, now with more than 800 million active monthly users regularly scrolling through feeds and tapping through stories. More curated than Facebook, Instagram is a space for people to capture the beauty they see around them day to day, and to check in with lifestyle influencers on new products, methods, and items of interest. Instagram is highly visual, and the majority of users do curate their instagram feeds more specifically to their tastes, choosing to follow brands and users who post content they genuinely like to see. This works to set Instagram up perfectly for businesses with something to showcase. No matter what you sell, produce, or provide, if you can create a way to display that good or service beautifully, you’re likely to do well on Instagram.
Instagram for Brand Awareness
Instagram is well known as the key platform for brand awareness, because it’s one of the only social media platforms that’s image forward. While other social media platforms value multi-media content, text captions are still important, and often lengthy. Instagram instead favors images first, providing a calmer, more aesthetic user experience that does not mesh well with a hard sell or in-your-face ad experience.
Instagram is a great place for a brand to grow a following by posting engaging content that’s interesting and that people want to know more about. If you’re looking to boost brand awareness, check out these tips below. If you’re interested in learning a bit about Instagram advertising, stick with me or jump down a few paragraphs for more on that!
If you want to see any kind of success on Instagram, you absolutely have to have beautiful, high quality photos. Even if you don’t feel like your product is that cool or interesting, a high quality photo can still stop an instagram viewer, and make them read a little bit more about you. If you sell a service, a video of what you do is equally engaging. The first step in growing your brand is getting eyes on your instagram account, and that means quality content.
It’s easy for businesses to fall into the trap of only posting about themselves. Whether it’s promos, a new product, or exciting news about your company, that’s all great content to put out, but you need to balance it with something else. If you’re only posting about your company, your followers are likely to become tired of what you’re putting out. Add in posts that are engaging, beautiful, and relevant to their lives too. For example, if you sell camping gear, post some pics of your staff’s favorite camping sites, or ask your followers to send in photos from their favorite trips with your gear. That’s a great way to change up what you’re posting about, while still staying true to your brand.
Engage With Your Audience
If you’re looking to grow your brand on Instagram, you need to get active. Instagram users are very responsive, and will comment and like posts they feel speak to them. Reach out to other industry influencers on Instagram, comment on photos tagged with hashtags your company often uses, and don’t be afraid to DM influencers and accounts you’d consider partnering with. Another great way to boost engagement is to ask questions. Create content that’s interesting, and ask your followers to share their own stories. The more you engage with your followers, the more likely they are to engage with you, which will help grow your brand awareness.
Instagram for Leads
If you’re not as concerned about growing your brand, and have heard about Instagram’s ad potential, then you might consider Instagram as a new avenue to generate leads. Instagram features the same powerful ad targeting tools as Facebook, because it’s run through the Facebook ad portal. What’s more, Instagram ads are typically more effective, as 67% of consumers value detailed images when making a purchase, rather than product information or even customer ratings. This makes Instagram advertising a powerful tool for businesses with quality visuals. If you’ve been thinking about Instagram Ads, here are a few things to know.
Instagram Ads are Scheduled Through Facebook Ads
If you’ve already dabbled in Facebook Advertising, you’re in luck! Instagram ads are run through the same platform. You simply go through the Facebook Ad portal, and when asked about “Placements” you can specify that you’d like your ad to go to Instagram. This makes it easy to manage multiple ad campaigns, and keep your budget under control. You’re able to choose how much you’d like to spend on a daily or weekly basis, and you can choose when the post will start and stop. Instagram Ads are fairly easy to put out, but it’s deciding on the content to go in those ads that’s the difficult part.
Throw out Promos
People love free stuff, and they love great deals. If you can offer a discount or a free item with their first purchase, you’re well on your way to boosting those leads. Offer a high-quality video or image of what they’ll be getting for making a purchase, heading to your website, or signing up for your email newsletter, and you’re likely to capture a few leads.
Know Your Audience
Like Facebook, Instagram Ads can be set to go out to only a very slim, targeted group of users. This can save you money and boost your potential of gathering legitimate, qualified leads, but you have to know your audience to do so. Do some research before you start buying ad space: What are your key demographics? Who is buying your product or service, and who needs it most? What do they do in their free time, and when are they most likely to be on social media? Answers to these questions will help you develop an ad that’s highly targeted, and that will successfully reach your target buyer.
Scheduling Ad Time
Another benefit of the Instagram Ad platform is that you can specify what times you’d like your ads to go out. While there are tons of studies that show when Instagram users are most active you’ll also want to take into account your target buyer. If you’re targeting stay-at-home moms, you might consider putting ads out around 10 a.m. on weekdays. Even though that’s not a high engagement time for Instagram, maybe your research shows that 10 a.m. is right after your target buyer has dropped the kids at school, and might be sitting down for a second cup of coffee. No matter who your target buyer is, it’s important to think about their lifestyle, and what a day in their life might look like. Then compare that against the high engagement times for Instagram to make an informed decision about when your ads should go out.
If you’re looking to kick your social media marketing strategy up a level, Instagram is a great go-to platform. It features all the targeting tools of Facebook, but many ads tend to see more engagement on Instagram, because of their visual nature. If you’ve got more questions on growing your brand awareness, social media following, or boosting your lead generation potential, don’t hesitate to get in touch! And if you’re looking for more info on Inbound Marketing check out the case study below:
If you’ve read any of our previous blogs for homebuilders, you’ll know that we’re very pro-Houzz. It’s an excellent marketing tool for any homebuilder, because it’s full of qualified leads just waiting for your advice. What we haven’t talked all that much about is Pinterest. Very similar in layout to Houzz, Pinterest attracts many of the same users and followers as Houzz, making it another ideal social media platform for home builders to take advantage of. If your home building company is already engaging regularly on Houzz, it’s a good idea to take some of that great content you’re putting out, and post it to Pinterest as well.
Why Should Homebuilders Market on Pinterest?
Because Pinterest is a captive audience made up of your target buyers. The majority of Pinterest users are women, 77 percent of those users are between 18-54 years old, and 87 percent of women on Pinterest trust it as a reliable source for information. Women between the ages of 18-54 are a homebuilders target market. Most often, it’s the women of the household who are making the final decisions when it comes to building a home or hiring a contractor for a renovation. That’s what make Pinterest such a rich source of potential leads for home builders.
How Homebuilders Can Market on Pinterest
Now that it’s clear why you’d want to use Pinterest—your target buyer lives there—let’s figure out how to use Pinterest. It’s certainly a tricky one, since there’s no real linear timeline or news feed like you’d find on other social media platforms. Instead, Pinterest functions on boards and pins. You can create boards, and pin different articles, images, and blog posts to those boards. You can post to other people’s boards if they’re public, and you can invite people to pin things to your board as well. For you, the homebuilder, it’s best to start small.
Create a Board that Showcases Your Work
Whether you’ve got some stunning before and after photos, or you’ve got some killer images of a staged home you just completed, that’s all great content to put on a Pinterest board. Make sure you follow standard best practices for optimizing your Pinterest pins:
Link to your website
Include high quality images
Provide detailed descriptions
Don’t forget NAP
Name of your business
Address and city name
Phone number or a way to contact you
Create a Board That Draws People In
Now that you’ve got your work up there, it’s time to start drawing people in. Create a board that answers a common question that’s relevant to the housing industry, and that you know people will be searching. For example, let’s say there’s a holiday coming up. A board that puts together cool DIY projects to decorate your home for the holidays is going to draw in a ton of people, and get eyes on your company’s Pinterest.
Say you wrote a blog about 10 Classy Holiday Place Settings: pin that to your holiday DIY board, and make sure it links back to your website. This will help grow your company’s awareness, increasing the chances that you get quality leads. In addition, the more people you get coming to this holiday DIY board, the more people you’re going to have checking out your original board—the one with all the awesome photos of your past work. More eyes on that board mean more calls to your sales team about how someone can get a home that looks like the one they saw on Pinterest.
Create an Engaging Board
Finally, while you’re getting your Pinterest account up and running, create a board that engages people. As a home builder, you can set yourself up as an authority, and as a place of inspiration for those considering building a home in the near future. By creating a board that invites people to contribute, you’ll boost the number of pins your board gets, and boost your visibility on Pinterest.
For example, create a board that asks followers to pin a photo of their favorite room in the home. This invites people to get involved in the conversation, and the more people who pin to your board, the more people who are likely to see it. This boosts your authority as a place for information and inspiration, while simultaneously growing your company’s brand awareness, and reminding people that you’re an engaging, interested builder they might turn to when they decide to build their own home.
Pinterest can certainly be a bit daunting at first. It’s a bit of information overload, and it can be hard to tell what’s what when you first start. But, if you stick with it and continue to post rich, relevant content that those Pinterest users want to read, you’ll grow your following and boost your number of incoming leads in no time at all. For more information on boosting your social media marketing strategy, get in touch with the team at Evenbound. We’re here to help home builders boost their lead generation potential, and break into better markets. See how we helped one construction pro increase their average web traffic and streamline sales in the free case study below: