If you’re starting a new industrial service-based business, a solid marketing strategy will get you off the ground and noticed. Some of your business may come from professional bids, and digital marketing will help you establish yourself from your competitors.
A solid industrial marketing strategy should include digital channels as well as traditional tools, including referrals and bids. Establishing an online presence helps to showcase your expertise and builds familiarity among your potential customers. When they can easily find you online, they will recognize your brand when your bid crosses their desk. This, in turn, can help you build your client base.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What is industrial marketing?
- Things to consider when developing your industrial marketing plan
- Industrial marketing must-haves
- Getting started
Ready to get new manufacturing deals and repeat business — all in one place?
What is industrial marketing?
Industrial services include manufacturing, engineering, construction, maintenance, shipping, and other services that involve transforming raw materials into other products. While strategies of industrial marketing are similar to those of other B2B companies, there are additional considerations involved.
Buyers and people who make purchasing decisions for your clients will likely do online research before making a decision to hire a vendor. A strategic marketing plan lets you build a consistent digital presence so these decision-makers can find you before they call.
Things to consider when developing your industrial marketing plan
Your business plan likely includes core components you can use to build your marketing strategy. While fleshing it out, consider the following:
What are your goals?
The first step in any plan is to define your goals. Don’t rely on broad goals like “increase revenue.” You want to build your plan around goals that are actionable and achievable. You could decide that you want to establish yourself as the expert in your niche. Or your goal could be to expand into a new market and land clients in a different niche.
Once you’ve established your goals, set a task list with defined targets and dates to help you reach them by implementing your marketing strategy.
Who is your target market?
Next, define your target market. If you want to build your marketing strategy around the goal of moving into a new niche, then your target market would likely include industrial buyers in this niche. You could use this information to decide where to run your messaging and to find ways to expand your mailing list.
To determine your target market, consider:
- Who are your current clients?
- Who are the customers of your biggest competitor?
- What is your brand personality and how does it influence your target audience?
What value do you provide to your customers?
In your business plan, you likely indicated a unique value proposition: what you do better than the competition and/or how you can solve problems for your clients. Use this information to develop your messaging, then include it on your website and your published content. Plus, identifying your niche will also help you build your marketing strategy.
Industrial marketing must-haves
Your marketing strategy will include creating project bids and proposals that help you stand out among the competition to win high-value projects and on-call contracts. Using these digital tools helps potential clients learn more about you when they’re doing online research, and it builds your reputation as an industrial provider.
Your website is the first place prospects will go to learn about your company. Make sure that it looks professional and that it is optimized for mobile viewing. Some of your clients will be looking for you on phones or tablets. Your site needs to be responsive to these devices.
Utilize some basic industrial search engine optimization (SEO) principles on your website to boost your website’s performance in search engines. Using keywords and phrases in various locations on your site helps Google and other search engines establish your website and place it on the first page of search results.
At a minimum, your website should include a Homepage, a Contact page, a list of services, and an About page, which tells your company’s story. Constant Contact’s Website Builder can help you create a responsive site that engages potential customers.
Your industrial marketing strategy should include email marketing. Results from Ascend2’s 2019 Digital Marketing Strategies Survey indicate that email marketing is one of the easiest and most effective marketing tools you can use to reach customers as part of a B2B marketing strategy. Plus, email is easy to automate, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time implementing this part of your strategy.
Since you’ve defined your target market, use this information to craft strategic email messages and regularly reach out to your prospects. Use email blasts to share news with your client list and to promote your services. These messages shouldn’t be overly sales-oriented, so keep them light and informative.
If your business isn’t on social media, you are likely missing a large portion of industrial buyers. Your competitors are probably on social media, and you should be as well. Social media not only helps build brand awareness but also lets you interact with people in your network.
The volume of social media platforms might seem daunting but focus on one or two to start and build your strategy from there.
- LinkedIn: Since this platform is primarily used for business networking, it is a good place to start creating your social media presence. Join industry-related groups and regularly contribute to discussions.
- Facebook: One of the most popular social networks, your clients are likely already on this platform. Post consistently on this platform to stay visible and engage clients.
- YouTube: For industrial services that involve complex processes, like manufacturing, YouTube is a good place for creating engaging and informative videos that educate your clients.
- Instagram: This platform is good for your company if you can create a lot of visually appealing content.
Encouraging current customers and other people in your professional network to refer your business to others is an easy way to grow your client base and increase revenue. Take this concept further with a referral marketing program.
Referral marketing involves offering an incentive to people who refer business to you and then tracking the results. Paying attention to the quality of referrals can help you tweak your incentives or targets to attract customers who are a good fit for your business.
This type of program lets you tap into a broader base of clients beyond your own network. It can also build brand loyalty among your supportive clients who in turn promote your business.
To start creating your industrial marketing strategy, look through your business plan. Identify your unique value(s) and your target market. Then start creating your website and brainstorming ideas for digital marketing.
Generate ideas by listening to current clients. Identify their frequently asked questions and answer them through your ads. If you don’t have clients yet, go to networking events and look at message boards in your industry or a trade organization. These boards can help you find ideas for content and ways to structure your website.