Manufacturer lead generation is vital to the success of any manufacturing business. With the rise of digital marketing technologies, lead generation can be better targeted, more effective and less expensive than ever before.
Consider that the cost of inbound marketing platforms has decreased significantly in recent years and is within reach for even the smallest manufacturers. It is now possible — and essential — to have tracking capabilities so you know where your leads come from, how to determine which are the best leads, and which ones eventually convert into sales through the long buying cycles in industrial sectors.
While marketing automation technology is extremely valuable for manufacturer lead generation and sets a foundation for determining your marketing ROI, it does not create more or better leads. It helps you work with the leads you gather, but it is still up to you to create lead magnets to attract leads. In other words, simply having the right system isn’t the answer; you still have to do the work.
With that imperative in mind, here are five simple things you can do to improve your manufacturer lead generation. The costs are minimal but these will involve a commitment of time and, perhaps, education. But there is a lot of value in these activities.
1. Open Up Avenues for Conversational Marketing
AI-powered chatbots can be used on your website and on social media to automate conversations to screen customers for their preferences and streamline how far along they are in their customer journey. If you are not familiar with this emerging trend, here is the key point: You can collect actionable feedback and customer information in a manner that the prospect prefers as opposed to traditional clunky forms.
We understand that conversing with a chatbot may not seem like a great experience, but customers are happy to do so if it helps get them to their preferred destination.
2. Show Off Your Expertise
Use your in-house expertise to develop long-form blogs or white papers for your website, which you can distribute through newsletters, email and social media. In many cases, you will need a writer to capture the information and compose the article, but this is an investment that has a long-term payoff for manufacturer lead generation.
Things you, your staff or freelance help can create to generate leads include:
- Case study
- White paper
- Educational course
- Product brochure
- Social media campaign
Also, appeal to the nervous buyer: Tactically, this means including on your website customer references, reviews, expert opinions, awards, and other validation as part of your appeal. Show you are a safe solution.
3. Share Content on Social
Now take that content and distribute it via social channels. It’s important to have a genuine and appropriate voice for each social channel, so this also might involve tapping into staff members or outside expertise. But social media helps keep your brand on your prospects’ radar.
Also, don’t underestimate the value of sharing content on your personal social accounts or asking your team members to do so (but don’t require it). It’s not going to be a key strategy, but leads sometimes come from unexpected places.
4. Make Your CTAs Stand Out
B2B website CTAs — marketing-speak for Calls To Action — are meant to empower or entice the reader to take a desired outcome. The factors to consider for your CTAs include:
- Design elements – Consider the color, font and size in order for it to stand out.
- Location – There is a flow to how people read web pages; CTAs on the right side of a page tend to get more clicks than those on the left.
- Word choice – For example, a CTA of “Get Started” implies more action to follow and it doesn’t imply the use of a desktop mouse (many industrial buyers access websites via mobile devices). There is a reason you no longer see “Click Here” on B2B websites.
5. Leverage Current Contact Lists
Just as your current customers are your best source for revenue growth, your current contact list is your best source for developing qualified leads. Among your options for leveraging your database:
- Segment your contact database, such as:
- By prospects, current customers, and past customers
- By personas, such as engineers and finance professionals
- By transaction history or product lifecycle
- Build campaigns with the buying process in mind:
- Offer special deals or a loyalty program
Whatever you do to improve your manufacturer lead generation, maintain and nurture whatever relationship you have. Out of sight is out of mind in many B2B relationships.
Listen to the Podcast for More on Manufacturer Lead Generation
For more insights into manufacturing lead generation, tune into Episode 16 of the Industrial Marketer podcast.
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