What Is Industrial Marketing? (With Examples)

Today, marketing has become synonymous with a business plan because of its competitive strategy and financial success. It uses techniques that work best for each business, its customers, and its leads to get people interested in products or services. Many different marketing types are depending on the platforms you use and the campaigns you invest in. They are generally categorized under B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing or B2B (business-to-business) marketing.

industrial marketing iconsWhat Does Industrial Marketing Mean?

In its simplest format, industrial marketing is known as B2B (business-to-business marketing) and promotes goods and services from one business to another. Today, industrial marketing is generally done with online tactics and involves many complex components.

Data shows that industrial buyers are typically 70% of the way through their purchase decision process before reaching out to a supplier. That's because today's B2B buyers are mostly millennials who are digital natives and do all their online research anonymously online first. Industrial marketing begins with research into these target audiences and prospects to understand how to meet their needs, what types of content, and where.

Manufacturing customers want to see detailed product information, your company history, where you do business, and reviews/testimonials that endorse your company. They expect the content they're researching to be available on-demand, optimized for any device, interactive, and highly visual. Does your website provide everything a prospect is looking for? If you answered yes, that's great! You're ahead of the game. But if you're not sure, that's okay — you can only go up from here. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore the power of digital marketing and the opportunities it provides.

Here are a few ways you can use industrial marketing to grow your business — you may be surprised you're making some of these efforts already, but there are still ways you can improve.

What Are Industrial Marketing Ideas To Grow Your Business?

Content Marketing And Videos

The purpose of a manufacturer's website is to engage industrial buyers by providing the content and functionality buyers demand, resulting in quality, pre-qualified leads. Ideally, it should be working as a sales tool for you and generating leads.

You may already be including a lot of informative content on your website in the form of your product information, specifications, certifications, applications, capabilities and equipment. You should also include your company history, reviews/testimonials to help prospects validate your company, as well as detailed content that potentially gives buyers a positive perception of your company. Rather than just create a standard About Us page with all this information in text, consider diversifying your content with videos.

Increase Business Revenue Through Video (With Help From Thomas!)

Instead of just writing paragraphs of content or posting pictures of your shop floor, videos can effectively promote your brand too — marketing doesn't have to be all about writing. Different people consume content differently so it makes sense that video content grows revenue 49% faster than those who don’t, but it's important to keep your online content fresh.

If you last updated your site a year ago, think about doing it again. The Google algorithm searches for many factors, so an updated site but it is important if you want new buyers and customers to find you online. Keeping your website design fresh and your content new will help boost your brand and visibility.

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SEO To Increase Website Traffic

SEO stands for search engine optimization and how the search engines — Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., — use a formula to determine the results for a user’s search. It is very important to your industrial marketing strategy and goes hand-in-hand with new content on your website. By providing detailed product information in a search-engine friendly way, prospects are more likely to find your website for specific search terms. And when they get to your website, they still search very specifically — sometimes even including part numbers in their searches. Here's what else you should include in your advanced search features on your website:

    • Performance characteristics
    • Pricing
    • SPEC documents
    • Local search SEO

If you’re specifically targeting customers in your area, be sure to include local keywords in your content. Terms like “cnc machining in Southern Illinois” will let B2B customers and search engines know where your service area is. 

Additional Resources:

An Online Product Catalog

Industrial buyers want to find the products they are interested in quickly. That's why website functionality is a part of industrial marketing. With a customer-centric approach becoming popular in business, advanced website functionality can make all the difference between your website and your competitors. With more businesses shifting to a direct-to-consumer model, they are upgrading their website to include a robust product catalog.

When a buyer or an engineer goes to a website, they are looking for exact product information to purchase and/or specify products into their design. With an interactive product catalog, product manufacturers can provide information of all of their products and their variations, as well as make it easy for users to quickly and efficiently filter their way to what they're looking for. With a highly powered catalog, configurable options and downloadable 3D CAD files make your customers job easier — and yours too. Think how many engineering hours you'd be saving, while simultaneously improving customer service. 

An interactive product catalog can also streamline the buying process by integrating ecommerce for direct online purchasing. As long as your data is accurate, you can drive sales around the clock. The functionality of an online product catalog ultimately replicates various aspects of your business from customer service to purchasing. It makes you as the manufacturer more accessible at any given time to meet preliminary prospect demands. Ultimately, your platform should have real-time functionality, support your distribution partners, and reduce customer service and engineering hours.

Additional Resources:

Advertising Campaigns

Just as there are different types of industrial marketing, there are also various advertising formats. There are search ads, display ads (you likely see a lot of these in your regular day-to-day internet activities), social ads (yes, that video you saw on Facebook was likely an ad), and more. Advertising campaigns are important to marketing because they promote all the above efforts to a broader and targeted audience.

Advertising on Thomasnet.com gets your manufacturing business seen on the platform where more than one million procurement professionals and engineers source industrial products and services every day. Complete your free profile to get seen by those B2B buyers.

List Your Business Too 

“About half of our new custom work comes from Thomasnet.com leads. We could not have competed for — and won — all the new business we have without our strategic Thomasnet.com program."

Alli Cravens, Sales and Marketing, Granger Plastics

Additional Resources: 

Email Marketing Campaigns

Similarly, emails let your subscribed audience stay in the loop about your company, products, offers, and resources you recently published. Research shows that only 25% of leads you receive are immediately sales-ready, while 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy. Nurturing those leads with email campaigns and content resources pushes them closer to the buying stage while keeping your business top of mind. Emails continue to be one of the top marketing channels to stay connected with customers. According to Campaign Monitor, emails have the highest ROI for small businesses.

Additional Resources:

Get Started With Industrial Marketing

There are many other additional industrial marketing components, including PPCsocial media, testing, and reporting. And since it's not a one-and-done job, some businesses either hire an in-person marketing professional or an industrial marketing agency to help when resources are spread thin. If you're beginning your first industrial marketing plan and unsure how you go about it, contact us for insight. We have been connecting manufacturers and B2B buyers for more than 122 years. Our industrial marketing team is supported by degreed engineers who can help differentiate your company and grow your business. 

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