Manufacturing is not typically thought of as a digitally-focused industry. Historically, industrial companies allocated their budgets to traditional offline marketing and advertising in industry publications. Websites are often treated as an afterthought…or worse, non-existent. However, a website is the foundation of a digital presence and is one of the most important marketing tools for a manufacturing or industrial business. Let’s explore four reasons why.
Highlight What Makes Your Company Unique
Does your website match your expertise? Most manufacturing companies have been in business for many years, are proven in the industry, and solve complex problems for their customers. Have you been in business for 70-plus years? That’s a major accomplishment in and of itself – let people know.
Just as your high school yearbook photo isn’t an accurate portrayal of who you are today, an outdated website isn’t likely to be a good representation of your company now. Are you the only manufacturer in Northeast Ohio with a state-of-the-art metal stamping machine that can reduce cost per unit by 40 percent? Let people know. The goal is to build trust, awareness, and show why you’ve been in business for 70-plus years.
If you’ve recently added new equipment, completed an innovative project, or added a new service offering, you need to let the people know. As your business grows, your website should grow through new content, imagery, and video.
Also, consider that when your prospective customers are looking for a partner they can trust, they’re not only looking at your website, but the website of several of your competitors. If your web presence appears outdated, inaccurate, or incomplete in comparison, you may have already been removed from consideration without getting the chance to make your pitch.
Communicate With Your Customers
In today’s world, your website is the centerpiece for interacting with your customers online. Open communication lines are vital to building and nurturing any business relationship. Below are a few quick fixes that will give your customers peace of mind when interacting with your business online.
- Contact Us: Is your contact form integrated with your ERP or CRM platform? (if you don’t have one of those, that’s a different story…) Is someone internally monitoring inbound inquiries? Moreover, is someone responding in a timely manner to those inquiries? Even something as simple as making sure all your phone numbers, email addresses, and plant locations are accurate and up to date can go a long way in the eyes of prospective customers.
- Security: Let your users know you care about security. As a manufacturer, your goal is safety and security on the shop floor. Why wouldn’t you show that same level of care and attentiveness online? Cyber threats are increasing, and you need to be prepared. Something as simple as adding an SSL Certificate to your site will pay dividends.
- Product/Service Information: Do you have all your product data (MSDS, Spec sheets, etc.) up-to-date and easily accessible on your site? What about line cards? Are you planning to rollout a new service next quarter? I’m sure you have valuable marketing collateral (currently in print, maybe even on your desk right now) that you wish was on your site.
Find Skilled Employees
At a time when the industry is facing a talent shortage, a core concern for manufacturing companies is filling those skilled labor positions. In order to recruit qualified new talent, manufacturers must leverage their web presence to dispel the misconceptions and often negative perceptions (outdated culture, lack of growth opportunity, etc.) associated with manufacturing.
Are you building a great culture (or maybe you already have one)? Let people know. Employees today are looking at your site before even coming in for an interview - that’s the new first impression. An up-to-date and compellingwebsite will engage job-seekers that are visiting your site and teach them what it would be like to work for a great company like yours.
Give Your Sales Team an Advantage
Sales and salespeople are the lifeblood of your business. Not only that, increased sales can propel your business to that next level. The right website can equip your sales team with the tools it needs to hit or exceed quotas.
For example, can you currently track your website visitors? Wouldn’t it be nice to see that a prospect you met with yesterday went back to his office and spent 20 minutes on your site, viewing 15 unique pages? How great would it be if a salesperson who monitors website traffic could reach out by phone the same day after finding out his hottest prospect was checking out your site. The results can be game changing. Marketing Automation capabilities like SharpSpring’s Visitor ID can give your sales team the ability to proactively sell.
Look for a Trusted Partner
Just like you want the brand-name, cutting-edge, new piece of equipment, you’d never consider a knock-off. Be mindful of how you’re evaluating the options and partners you seek for your project. Look for a proven, experienced organization with a wealth of examples of successful projects, especially with companies that share your goals and challenges. Just as you wouldn’t buy equipment from some half-rate dealer or brand, use the same logic when vetting partners for your website redesign project. Remember, you get what you pay for (especially in the digital world).
Are you ready to set a good foundation for your digital presence? Contact us today when you’re ready to invest in a new website for your business.
Here are some hand-picked helpful reading as you consider this topic: