As more eyes turn online for decision-making and younger generations enter the industrial workforce, the B2B buying journey is becoming increasingly complex — and increasingly digital. Knowing how to balance industrial digital marketing efforts with long-standing sales processes is immensely challenging. It’s a complicated ecosystem and navigating it requires an effective integrated marketing strategy that unites inbound tactics, lead attribution, and a refined multichannel approach.
The industrial buying journey is elongated, often non-linear, and has many participants. A one-size-fits-all digital marketing for manufacturers strategy won’t work. You need a plan that’s specific to your business.
Industrial digital marketing includes everything from your websites and the content you produce, to what trade associations and publications you’re advertising in, all the way down to the technologies you’re using to connect everything. Let’s break down the major areas in play when digital marketing is being used to increase B2B demand or lead generation.
When your customers search for your products or services online, do they find your brand? When they do, do you provide relevant content that answers their questions?
Search engine optimization is more than having a keyword in your page title. It is critical to understand how search engines see your website and adjust in real-time to account for changes in search algorithms and online rankings. SEO for industrials is part science and part art, but the key areas to pay attention to are:
Like sales enablement, the first step in developing the right content is understanding how customers move through the marketing funnel stages. Begin by creating content that answers the most prevalent questions for those stages. Build a content universe that users can self-guide themselves through to experience your expertise. They’ll appreciate it, as will search engines. To make sure your content is answering the right questions, you must:
Industrial buyers use social media more every year. They use social media to follow family, grow professionally, or engage socially. Any effective industrial or B2B digital manufacturing marketing strategy will consider social media and which prospects are engaging on which channels during their sales journey. While likely not the silver bullet in lead generation, social media can be extremely effective for industrial B2Bs who want to:
Prospects are surrounded by online advertising all day, every day. The key to a successful industrial media plan isn’t always more money. Often, it’s understanding the best channels to reach your audiences and which vehicles will offer the most bang for your marketing buck.
Your search marketing will always benefit from being rooted in the active intent of your target markets. By understanding the search keywords and queries used by your target accounts, you can strategically place content or promotions in front of people actively looking for what you provide. When preparing to start B2B paid search, keep in mind:
By blending machine learning, data science, and automation, programmatic advertising platforms and exchanges can facilitate better targeting and deliver more qualified results of your spend. For most programmatic advertising, algorithmic software handles the placement of ads based on specific targeting criteria chosen by brands, but there are important distinctions that can help you make the most out of your B2B programmatic advertising:
They may be traditional, but having a brand presence within relevant industry trade publications and directories is an integral part of a B2B integrated manufacturing marketing plan. Not only will advertising and sponsored content in trade publications help with visibility and authority, the backlinks from articles and directory listings can significantly improve website SEO. Trade advertising can get expensive, so approach your planning with specific goals in mind:
Generating all the leads in the world won’t matter if the systems those leads pass through don’t facilitate the right types of engagement.
The center of your company’s online presence is your website. The best industrial website design can mean the difference between ranking on Page 1 or Page 10 for key search terms. Make sure when you launch any integrated marketing campaigns that your website destinations are technically and organically sound and you have verified:
One of marketing automation’s biggest benefits is the scalability it can add to your marketing efforts. It’s similar to your current internal technologies like ERP systems and sales CRMs. The right marketing automation platform might be hard to find, but certified experts can help research, identify and launch the B2B marketing automation platform that will get you to results the fastest. When evaluating this type of tool, keep in mind:
The swell of new tech popping up around Account-Based Marketing (ABM) can seem overwhelming. Identifying key accounts and consistently delivering value to those accounts is a long-standing tradition in B2B sales, but the types of data gathered nowadays and the intent that can be identified before a plan is set in motion is like no other time in history. For a modern ABM approach to be successful, explore four foundational elements:
Putting a B2B integrated marketing plan into action includes a lot of moving parts, but when everything comes together, revenue will grow.
Make sure you have the tools and people in place to accomplish your marketing goals.
Build a wealth of content for all funnel stages and align everything under your brand.
Whether with a partner or going it alone, get things into the market and then start to test and learn.
At INDUSTRIAL, we’ve worked with hundreds of manufacturers, distributors, and industrials to move them from just performing a lot of marketing activities without connectivity, to a modern, strategic marketing ecosystem that helps them generate demand and drive more qualified leads to their sales teams. Contact us today to learn how we can help you plan and launch your industrial integrated marketing program.