5 Things Job Shops Can Do To Increase Sales
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- Categories: Industrial Marketing, Marketing Tips
Marketing is a constant on-going effort much like the sales process itself, not a single one-time expense. It is an investment in the present and future of your industrial business. Your online presence and marketing campaigns also need to be managed and regularly updated once you get them rolling. This can be challenging for job shops to stay on top of since you need to focus on keeping your production running and marketing can be quite time consuming while the landscape itself is constantly shifting.
Gone are the days when simply attending a tradeshow or two will gain you the business you need to grow. However, the shift from in-person marketing to online has not only made marketing more affordable and easier for smaller industrial businesses, it has also opened the door for a broader worldwide audience, given all businesses a larger tool set to work with, and immediate access to results of the efforts to see if the message is working or to allow quick changes if it is not. The downside is that also means that there is a lot more competition for your specific customers than ever before.
Past marketing strategies in the industrial sector were pretty straight forward and focused heavily on published advertisements, physical brochures, and tradeshow booths. Basically, you would have a nice brochure created and printed in large quantities (5,000-10,000 or more) then you would distribute them to as many people and places that you could (visiting prospects, tradeshows, mailers, etc.). Applying those same straight forward and simple methods to online approaches and expecting the same results simply will not work. It would be like walking into a stadium that is full of people and handing out one or two brochures to random people… would you expect your phone to be ringing off the hook? That is also the same as putting a website up and not doing anything else with it, or never updating it, or simply having a single link to email you or to your LinkedIN page. It isn’t enough.
Now-a-days you need to seriously beef up your online presence and content creation if you want to remain relevant and truly seen in your industry. You can think of your website like your old printed brochure – but on steroids. You can’t just toss it out there and assume someone is coming across it. Much like the printed brochures, you need to make sure that you are getting them into the right hands. If you aren’t showing up online where your customers are, you can bet that your competitors certainly are, and they will grab that job instead.
This may seem a bit daunting but a bit of creativity and a slight shift in thinking are really all it takes to improve your shop’s online presence and increase your sales… but where should you focus?
1.) Website messaging and your buyer’s journey
If you have a website is it doing anything to drive sales for your shop? Your website is your online headquarters and should be treated with that in mind. Your site is not simply a list of your equipment and capabilities – everyone’s site has those lists. When an engineer or industrial buyer is looking at multiple companies for their next project the ones that speak directly to them and how they can help them solve their pain points will stand out. You need thoughtful, well-written content (product descriptions, uses, capabilities, etc.) that is directed specifically at the engineer or technical buyer. Having a strong, clean, attractive, up-to-date website can also do quite a lot to solidify your company’s brand in someone’s mind – it gives them an immediate impression of the health and quality of your entire company.
Your website should (at minimum):
- Be up to date, comprehensive, and accurate.
- Tell the engineer exactly what the benefits are to working with your company over your competitors. What do you offer them? Specifically, why should they pick your company? What makes you and your company the best choice for them?
- Include comprehensive articles, white papers, dimensions, CAD drawings, images, materials, part numbers, tolerances, uses, volume, and more (depending on what you offer).
- Include calls to action to help urge people to contact you about the service or product they are reading about on the page.
- Include multiple, easy to find, ways for people to get in touch with you – by phone, email, and a contact form or two.
- Contain all of the most important keywords that describe your service and offerings.
2.) Share your knowledge with engineers
Your knowledge center articles, or blogs, are designed to open dialogue between your company and potential customers. You need to have an active blog where you post technical information about your industry and processes, viewpoints, news, and information about your business and employees.
Ideally your company’s knowledge center should be comprised of about 80% about the engineer’s needs and 20% about your company.
Use your blog to:
- Share detailed articles that will help solve the problems your customers face.
- Share accomplishments such as completed projects, new business, new equipment, new certifications, and more.
- Post updates to certifications or continuing education.
- Promote events, tradeshows, or sponsorships.
- Share background on your company, employees, and more.
How often should you post a blog?
Try to post a new blog article once a month. Of course more is better but that is only true in the industrial sector if the content of the posts is interesting and relevant to your target engineer customer.
3.) Show engineers all of the cool stuff you are doing
Is video content part of your job shop’s knowledge center strategy? If not, it needs to be. Video is by far one of the most effective ways to share your company’s expertise today. They grab attention, inform, help generate leads, and establish you as a leader in your industry. You can use video both internally and externally for a variety of reasons.
Internally use video for things such as:
- Better onboard new employees with a comprehensive welcome video
- Help get employees up to speed on your processes
- Help employees learn new skills
- Refresh employees on practices and processes
- And more
Externally use video for things such as:
- Case studies
- Job stories
- Employee interviews
- Engineering talks
- Cool processes
- How you solved another client’s pain points
- Company history overview
- And more
Basically, you want to use video to better communicate with your engineering customer, connect with them on a more personal level, deliver a unique experience, help them solve a problem, and share timely industry insights.
4.) Spread the word to the industries you serve
Your customers are always online and you need to be where they can easily find you. Digital ads not only help you gain more visibility but also offer valuable information on how your company can solve your customer’s pain points. Digital ads come in many forms – from PPC ads in search engines, social media ads, online industry directories, and more. Take the time to look at your options and test a few digital ads out.
5.) Be the first company engineers find online
With any online efforts you need to pay close attention to your SEO (Search Engine Optimization); this includes your company website, knowledge center, ads, and more. Your online goal is to drive your industrial business higher and higher above your competitors in the search rankings so when people are looking for a company in your field you are at the top of the list. You can sit back and hope that your site’s rankings go up on their own (called organic SEO) but odds are low that will help you gain the business you want. One of the best ways to improve your SEO is through quality PPC campaigns since they will immediately place you at the top of the search in the sponsored section. Other SEO efforts you need to include are proper titles, descriptions, and keywords/key phrases used on every page of your website and knowledge center.
Bonus tip: Track and measure your results
None of what we are talking about here can simply be set and forgotten about. You have to keep a close eye on all of your online efforts – your website, videos, ads, and more. Most platforms make it very easy for you to measure the results of your efforts. You don’t have to wonder if someone saw your site or video or ad or even what the results of them seeing it was – those days are long past. Now-a-days you can measure every single view, click, interaction, and purchase (if you sell items online). Keep in mind that all analytics do require a little bit of setup, usually a code that needs to be added to your website or campaign, in order to acquire the tracking data… and it is well worth it! The analytics will help you further refine your online efforts, help you know when it is time to expand your efforts, and will help you really define and refine your company’s message to resonate with your engineering customer.
As an industrial job shop, your primary objective is to be that optimized solution provider for your customers by helping them get their job done with the greatest degree of expertise that makes them look good. You are selling your ability to solve a specific problem for an engineer and their team using your particular products, manufacturing methods, and expertise. Make sure your marketing reflects that and you are able to be found where your customers are looking.
Not your “cup of tea”?
If you are reading this and still thinking this is all too much – consider hiring a professional marketing company to run your online presence and ad campaigns for you. Teaming up with a marketing company that is well versed in the industrial industry will help you formulate a solid plan, nail down the right budget, locate the correct placement for your ads or listings, and (most importantly) monitor all of your online efforts on your behalf to better make adjustment so they perform for you.
All industrial – all the time!
With over 30 years of experience, The Rico Group specializes in helping industrial manufacturers and job shops grow their business and diversify their customer base. We know how engineers think and what they are looking for. We know your processes, equipment, and materials. We also know that you have very little time to take away from your production and getting your customer’s orders delivered.
Interested to see what your current digital marketing efforts are really doing for your company?
We offer a free comprehensive analysis of your company’s online marketing to give you insights into what your true digital footprint is and how you can improve it. The report also comes with an in-depth competitor analysis and a free expert consultation to review the report with you and answer any questions you may have.
Get your free report here> http://www.thericogroup.com/FreeAudit/
Also, please grab a free copy of our comprehensive digital marketing success guide to help you accelerate your job shop’s growth. The guide walks you through the process of generating more qualified leads for your industrial manufacturing company.
Grab your free copy now: https://www.thericogroup.com/industrial/
Grow your business with better marketing with The Rico Group.