As a manufacturing business your products are at the heart of everything you do. With a strategic digital marketing plan, you can target your digital content to achieve your company’s goals, making sure your customers know why your products are market leaders in their sector.
A digital marketing strategy is key to staying on top in 2017. Last year, the number of manufacturers in North America who adopted a digital content strategy grew by 72%, according to the Content Marketing Institute. This is an area of rapid growth for one reason: digital marketing presents huge opportunities for revenue growth.
If your company is yet to join the digital age, here are our top tips on how to achieve content marketing success.
Integrate your business marketing plan with your organisation’s goals
To achieve success, align your digital marketing plan with your company’s overall goals. Get your sales and marketing teams talking, and agree how many marketing qualified leads are needed to generate your sales targets. Extrapolate these figures to match annual revenue targets and make a plan to achieve them.
Your marketing plan outline should also identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your digital campaigns. If you want to promote sales of your new product, do you know what you need to do to succeed? Most manufacturing companies need to build their brand before they can make sales, so this is a great place to start.
Once you’ve agreed your KPIs, document your digital marketing strategy. You might be surprised to discover that last year only 31% of manufacturers had actually written their strategy down and circulated it within the company. But top digital content marketing performers agreed this small step is essential to success. Once everyone is on the same page, it’s easier to work together.
Choose the right type of content for your campaigns
There are so many different ways to get your marketing message out there, whether in articles, blogs, white papers, industry interviews, case studies, infographics or videos. You need to know how to choose the right content for your campaigns.
If you’re not sure how to decide, ask yourself: what is the easiest way to get this information across? If you want to highlight financial information you might pick an infographic; if you want to show how your company uses the latest manufacturing processes, you might shoot a video or commission an animation.
Articles and blogs show customers what makes your brand or products so special, while a detailed white paper might just swing a bulk order at an industry event. Any content you produce should leave your customers wanting to know more about you or your products.
Create an editorial calendar
When you develop a marketing plan, include an editorial calendar that shows when you plan to publish your content, and on which channels. Not only will it be a lot easier to keep your marketing activity consistent, but you’ll also be able to track the responses to each campaign more easily.
An editorial calendar makes you think more clearly about the type of content you post. A mix of different types of content will generate the most leads and boost engagement on your website. It also forces you to think more broadly about your content choices so you keep things fresh and exciting.
Some of your digital content should be linked to your product launches or key industry events, others should target common search terms to boost your site’s SEO ranking. Take advantage of seasonal events or current affairs to capture your customers’ attention.
Extend your reach with social media and targeted advertising
Now you’ve spent all that time and effort planning and writing your content, it’s important that your target audience finds it. Use social media to engage directly with your customers, and use targeted advertising campaigns across different platforms.
In your marketing plan outline, identify which social media platforms your customers are most likely to use. If you’re a B2B company, posting on Twitter and LinkedIn will be important, while B2C manufacturers might focus on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.
Pay per click (PPC) and social media advertising are also effective ways to generate more traffic to your website and introduce your products to a wider range of potential customers. Social media platforms enable your advertising campaigns to target key locations, demographics and interests, making them more effective at generating leads than organic internet searches alone.
Use automated marketing software to measure the impact of your strategy
The last and most essential tip for your 2017 digital marketing strategy is to use automated marketing software to measure the impact of your marketing campaigns. With hard data, you’ll be able to identify the best performing content you produce and figure out which source of leads generates the most sales further down the funnel.
Automated marketing software allows you to track the impact of your marketing in real time, showing you the best moments to interact with your customers on social media, what time of year people are searching for your products, or which pieces of content need to be prominent on your home page.
Data following your customers’ journey will give you the information you need to adjust your marketing strategies and hit your KPIs. Once you try it, you’ll be amazed you ever sold products without it!