Businesses are finding success by shifting their sales and marketing messaging to match what is going on in the economic and social climates. These days more than ever, it’s important for businesses to keep their communication to customers and prospects clear and consistent.
Many manufacturers operating during the COVID-19 crisis have come up with creative ways to adjust their messaging to address their customers' immediate questions, needs, and concerns. Let’s see some examples of how manufacturers and industrial companies today have shifted their marketing messaging and lead generation efforts.
How Manufacturers Are Using Their Website
While some manufacturers have shifted their production focus for critical items, others are operating “business as usual.” Still, marketing efforts should not cease — especially when it comes to website updates.
Here are a few examples of manufacturers who are using their website to communicate with customers and prospects about their initiatives during the COVID-19 outbreak period.
Website Pop Ups
Both American Alloy Fabrications and TVI Valves created pop ups on their homepage communicating their business response to the pandemic. They ensure the website visitor immediately — and clearly — understands the supply chain impacts and commitment to employee and customer safety.
If prospects are searching for partners to supply critical supplies, a pop up on your homepage with the right information immediately lets them know what to expect. Remember to add options for your website visitors to contact you.
Blogs And Product Pages
Paulson Manufacturing is a manufacturer of personal protective equipment and keeps their blog and online product catalog up to date with detailed information about their critical goods, their response to the coronavirus pandemic, and how their business is directly helping to combat the outbreak.
Jason Mills’ website has pages specifically designed for what customers are looking for. Check out their product page for their healthcare textiles. Note the photos in the product catalog and the detailed descriptions — “inherent antibacterial fibers, proprietary water repellent finishes, extreme load bearing fabrics” — that help the customer decide the best product for their needs.
Related Resource: How To Create An Online Product Catalog
Creating this content helps you get found online by users looking for their products and services, because Google ranks new and relevant content higher on search rankings. Learn more about SEO basics for manufacturers here.
Check your website product data for accuracy and list your products’ performance and capabilities on relevant pages so prospects can find the critical materials they need. Ensure your product landing pages are dynamic and effective for prospects to easily search and compare products quickly, make purchases or submit request for quotes online.
Website Chat Functionality
Talking on the phone might be one of the most traditional communication channels. But manufacturers may see an uptick in online queries as sourcing activity for North American suppliers surge and the need for online business increases. While many customers may still prefer traditional methods, everyone is different and it’s important manufacturers have varied options for prospects. Thankfully, the digital transformation of the industrial world has made it possible to expand communication and platform options.
Some website visitors prefer to have immediate answers and may not have the time to search for information. You might want to consider adding a chat function to your website so that those website visitors will be able to ask questions and receive immediate answers. See how Rodon Group uses a website chat function on their homepage to guide visitors to what they need whether they are just browsing, need to submit a quote, or would like more information on mission critical capabilities.
How Manufacturers Are Promoting Their Content
Your website is the foundation for all your communication efforts. But don’t just let your content sit on your website without promoting it. If you want to increase your reach and target specific buyers, consider using paid advertising efforts like PPC or online display ads. There are options for every budget — check them out here.
When done effectively, paid advertising can help you increase traffic to your website and grow your contact list with the exact audience you want to do business with. Let’s go through other options to promote your content and how they can work together in an effective strategy to reach prospects searching for critical goods.
Refine Your Email Strategy
Emails are essential for any successful lead generation strategy as it allows you to directly reach a broad or targeted audience with promotional or informational messages. You’re likely already using emails to communicate to customers and prospects, but if you’ve taken a step further to segment your email list according to who they are and their needs, you’re already ahead of competitors.
The effectiveness of your email only goes as far as your audience. Segmenting your email lists to customize messaging helps produce high quality engagement. It’s more than the simple personalization of “Hi [customer name]” — it’s about crafting the entire email around their needs. Would you send a prospect in the aerospace industry content about your agricultural solutions?
With more people doing business online, now is the best time to leverage your website to grow your email list:
- Require the email field on your online Request For Quote/ Information form
- Include links to your social media platforms on your website pages
- Include Email Us and Subscribe to Our Newsletter” calls-to-action on your website. See how APM Hexseal does this on their blog pages in the example below.
Update Your Social Media
You’ve most likely heard it before — your customers and prospects are on social media. So it makes sense to be active on your social media platforms.
Note how Engineering Specialities, Inc. (ESI) uses LinkedIn to reach prospects searching for critical parts to assemble ventilators and N95 respirators. The link takes visitors directly to ESI’s Contact Us page, which has more information that reaffirms why prospects should work with ESI especially during this time — like a Thomas Registered badge and COVID-19 badge.
Publish Your Content On Thomasnet.com
Thomasnet.com advertisers can contact Thomas if they want to adjust their advertising programs to focus on specific industries, services, or products that they want to engage with.
Here are additional resources to get you started on shifting your online marketing messaging to reach more prospects:
- Need coronavirus supplies and critical items? Register for our April 16th webinar, How Thomas Can Help You Source - COVID-19 Supplies & More.
- Are you a manufacturer helping to supply critical items to combat coronavirus? Let us know here. We’ll update your Thomasnet.com company profile to help speed up product sourcing.
- If you don’t have a Thomasnet.com company profile yet, sign up for free here. You’ll then be able to upload press releases, guides, social media and more — all of which boost engagement and help generate sales.
- There’s an increasing shift to online selling during this period. Meet your customers’ demands while solving your data challenges with an effective online product catalog. Learn more here.
- Many manufacturers and other businesses have volunteered to address the shortage of supplies to combat the coronavirus pandemic but some supplies are taking a long time to produce. Here’s what you need to know about the Defense Production Act.
- Curious to see how your current online presence compares with competitors? Request a free online analysis of your website here.
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