As a manufacturer, keeping your website and other various platforms up to date is the key to success in the digital era.
1. Your Competition Has a Website
If your current and prospective customers cannot find what they need on your website in a fast and efficient manner, they will turn to your competition. As a manufacturer, you must compete with other local businesses as well as national and global manufacturing companies. Rival companies use their websites to gain an edge with varying tactics.
For example, according to the North American Content Marketing Institute, 87% of manufacturing websites use videos on their websites to attract and engage customers. So, if your website does not include any videos, you are falling behind the current trends.
2. Websites Are More Effective Than Offline Promotions
Manufacturing companies use offline marketing techniques such as print advertising, billboards, and radio ads more than any other industry. However, these methods are not effective. 85% of manufacturing businesses pay for offline marketing, but only 34% of them consider their strategies effective.
On the flip side, 68% of manufacturers used search engine marketing (SEM), yielding a 52% success rate. Updating your website, so it is search engine friendly will allow customers to easily find you. Most of your clientele will likely just run a Google search using general terms. If your website does not include these search terms, you lost an opportunity for a new customer relationship.
3. Customer Communication
If your customer has a question or even a complaint, let them reach out to you directly via your website. Comments and conversations can be private or public, depending on the customer’s preference. In any industry, mistakes are inevitable. If a customer posts a negative review, politely respond offering a resolution. Your transparency, active communication, and prompt response time display great customer service.
4. Build a Database of Customers
Let your customers create personalized accounts on your website. They can review their order history and simply reorder past purchases with a few clicks. With their permission, you can use their email addresses used for their account information to build a database through third-party platforms like Constant Contact. Then you can send weekly email updates out to entice additional purchases.
5. One Website is Not Enough
Not only do you need to keep your main website up to date, but you also need a social media presence. Your customer base uses social media, so you have to create profiles using these platforms as well. 89% of manufacturing companies use Linkedin, 83% use YouTube, 80% are on Facebook, and 78% have a Twitter account.
Your website should include links to all of the social media platforms your company uses. These alternative media outlets do not need to have all the detailed content that is included on your website, but they need active posts and interaction with clients.
If a customer sends you a message on Facebook with inquiry or problem but never gets a response, you could lose their business. If a prospective client stumbles upon your Twitter page but sees no activity in the last six months, they may wonder if you are still in business - leading them to find a competitor instead.
6. Increase Your Sales
According to a content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi, 85% of manufacturing companies say that sales are their goal for online marketing techniques. Set up your website to effectively give your customer a call to action. Actively update discounts and promotions to entice your clientele into placing an order and making purchases.
Allow the customer to buy something directly from your website. Whether they want a standard product or custom order, your website should allow them to easily navigate through a simple purchasing procedure.
If their purchase is too in-depth to do online, you can format your website so your customer can make an in-person appointment, phone consultation, or online chat to further the discussion. All of these will lead to a sales increase on your bottom line.
7. Start a Blog
An active blog page gives readers a reason to constantly visit your website. As a manufacturer, use your blog content as educational tools about your products and services. Using a conversational tone can humanize your business and let customers relate to you on a personal level. Compared to companies that do not have a blog, you will generate 67% more leads each month.
8. Monitor the Interests of Your Customers
Use website analytics tools to track the habits of visitors on your website. You may think that you know what your customers want, but analytics may tell a different story.
Example: Product A has the highest profit margins for your company. The production costs and cost of materials are both low, and the price tag is high. Your inventory and purchase history show this to be one of your top selling products. However, your website analytics may show that only 20% of visitors click on the product. Therefore, you should actively update your website to create new ways of promoting your most profitable products.
9. Track the Clicks and Traffic Within Your Site
Example: You may discover that Product B gets searched or clicked on by 90% of people visiting your website. The implication of this number would be that this is a top seller, right? But you discover this is your lowest selling product.
The analytics show that your customers are interested in this product, but for one reason or another, they did not purchase it. You’ll need to update the price or marketing strategy to sell more of this peak interest product.
10. Generate Higher Profits
Actively and effectively keeping your website up to date will engage your customers and, in turn, lead to higher profits. Due to high production and labor costs, manufacturing companies will quickly go out of business if you cannot sustain profitability.
Most modern manufacturers simply don’t have the time or resources to maintain their website and digital presence. If you’re struggling to keep up, let us do the work for you. Get in touch with Revel today.
By Andy Maciejewski, Partner + Meat Connoissuer