Manufacturers are in their own playing field when it comes to branding and marketing. Manufacturer companies mainly market their products business to business (B2B) which makes the marketing strategy different from companies that market from business to consumer (B2C).
Historically speaking, smaller, family-owned manufacturers have generally not been marketing-driven companies because they have relied solely on loyal, repeat and referral clientele. Larger, more established manufacturers outside of relying on the repeat clientele, typically invest at least 3-5% of sales back into marketing efforts because they understand the revenue it can generate for their business.
Unfortunately, nowadays you can't rely on just word of mouth and a handshake. Since digital media is at the forefront for all businesses and the older generation is passing their companies to the newer more digitally savvy generation. These newer generations are taking over companies and will be looking for partners that can support them in multiple ways. One being their branding and marketing presence. Your business is no exception and can begin to capitalize on marketing opportunities for your company.
Contrary to popular belief, marketing is more than just updating websites, graphic design, adding more SKUs to your catalog, posting photos or making your table for a showcase event look good. Your marketing efforts should be strategic, calculated and research-based.
If your business does not have the capacity to conduct marketing in-house, outsource. Good businesses delegate, and by investing in a firm that is experienced in an expertise you aren’t, specifically marketing, your business can skyrocket in a way you never anticipated or could have on your own.
If you are a B2B company, how should you market your brand?
Say you own a powerwash company and sell to major retailers like Home Depot and Lowes. Your product being good on its own is the bare minimum. To be even more enticing to retailers, you can invest in marketing your company so retailers know you are maximizIng exposure of your brand. The more people know about your company and products, the more it will drive potential customers to stores to get your products.
For example, consumers may have questions that the retailer cannot answer about your products. Therefore, video tutorials showcasing how to use the product while simultaneously answering FAQs on your website can bring people back to your company. You can also use your social channels as an asset to debut new products, post customer testimonials and connect directly with your customers. You also may be able to partake in influencer marketing if you build a large enough platform with products that people love and want to purchase. Customers and business owners will be able to refer to your page for more information and you’ll be able to build a reliable rapport with your clientele. The whole goal is to build loyal customers that keep coming back for YOUR products and keep requesting your products at retailers.
Marketing Strategies for Manufacturers
Let’s dive deeper into different marketing strategies. Your team and company are experts in your subject matter. Be a vessel of resources for current and future customers by leveraging the knowledge you possess. Nowadays, the media realm is always ever-changing with trends, technology and strategies. It is crucial that your business can learn and stay up-to-date with the latest media tendencies because everything is almost strictly digital. In this day and age, a brand without a digital presence is not present at all.
According to DemandSage, the digital marketing sector is expected to reach $602.25 billion this year. Since the pandemic, digital marketing only exacerbated due to social distancing and everything moving to strictly online, increasing online traffic opportunities. By 2026, digital marketing and advertising is expected to reach an estimated amount of $786.2 billion, according to Cision PR Newswire.
As a manufacturer, here are aspects of media marketing and development that your business should consider and prioritize:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Video marketing
- Marketing technology
Manufacturers should consider investing in these marketing strategies to enhance their branding and presence.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the best long-term marketing strategy any company can make. Why? SEO boosts website traffic and brand visibility by utilizing keywords and phrases that are researched, giving you insight into what the consumer is seeking information about on either you or your competitors. Practicing SEO techniques enhances the chances of your business being at the top of search engines when seeking keywords related to your business. Google Trends is an inexpensive tool to research information like this. For example, following our same example above, “Best power washer” would be a great keyword to work for. However, SEO does not happen overnight. Be prepared to invest in this every year. That is the only way you will remain at the top of search engines for the keywords you want.
- Content Marketing
Content is considered blogging, video or audio with a goal of sharing applicable written, downloadable and visual media that encapsulates your audience, informing them of your brand, expertise, product or services and answering any questions they may have. With a prominent website and social media presence, you can get customers invested in your products, driving them to retailers that sell your products or your own site. Any content they see on your pages is essentially an advertisement and the most reliable place consumers and businesses want to hear about your product is from the source. Hubspot’s 2021 State of Marketing Report presented that 82% of marketers engage in content marketing.
- Organic Social Media
Globally, billions of people are on social media and as a B2B marketer, it’s a great opportunity to expand your reach, increase brand awareness and promote.
You’d need to leverage social media platforms that make sense for your business that other businesses will see. For example, LinkedIn is GREAT for B2B brands. It is free to create an account and this server can pose as your brand’s headquarters where other businesses can refer to and it can generate buyer research. Posting frequently and using SEO tactics will keep you pertinent to your industry, gain followers and help you grow business partnerships. With over 774 million users, in 2022 the Content Marketing Institute reported over 90% of B2B marketers utilized LinkedIn for organic social media marketing.
Here are the social media platforms we recommend for manufacturers with content ideas:
- YouTube: Tutorials, about/company culture, and testimonial videos
- Instagram/Facebook: Short-form videos, trending videos, testimonials, product launches and retailer mentions
- TikTok: Short-form videos with trending audios if you are really trying to blow up your company!
- LinkedIn: Any company content - this is your golden ticket for B2B connections
Social media marketing on these platforms can lead to growing a brand presence you never thought possible. Organic social media content is a decent way to get new customers and followers to discover your business.
- Social Media Advertising and Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
As a manufacturer, you can leverage social media advertising, and PPC marketing to reach your target audiences specifically on platforms your business utilizes. Digital ads and social media ads will target your tailored demographics and when people click on those ads, it will drive traffic to your website, social channels or to retailer websites that sell your products.
Google Ads is another effective strategy to implement. For example, if someone searches for “the best power washer,” on Google your company will come up first on top of the search results as a “sponsored” result. In addition, your product(s) will appear first in the Google Shopping search results tab. The best part of PPC is you would only pay for the advertisements when people click on the ad. This type of advertising minimizes risk of paying extra for advertisements that are ineffective while increasing your return on investment.
- Video Marketing
People have grown accustomed to media consumption and now have short attention spans, so short form videos are the best way to reach them. As a third party, after you sell your product to the business, video and video tutorials may be the best way to communicate with your audience on FAQs, how-tos, new product launches and more. All will trace back to your site or social media.
Marketing is a huge, if not the most important, tool necessary to grow your business. Do you want to grow relationships with retailers? Buyers? Start capitalizing on these opportunities in-house or seek consultations from a professional marketing agency.