How to Get Customers for Manufacturers | Generating More Qualified Leads
Three basic ways to get customers for manufacturers
- Use a highly trained and knowledgeable sales rep to cold call and visit potential clients
- Use tradeshows as a way to display capabilities to new customers
- Leverage the web by outranking competitors for your services
In 2024 we have seen what will likely be a permanent shift in the way manufacturers acquire new customers. The businesses who realized this years ago are going to benefit the most when the COVID-19 episode ends. The businesses that realize the emergency and act quickly and decisively will be the second group to benefit. The businesses that attempt to maintain business as usual will not thrive long term. The opportunity however lies in repatriation of supply chain for tier 1 manufacturers. Web marketing is the best way to take advantage of this American made trend and is in general the most efficient way to get new manufacturing customers.
weCreate specializes in manufacturing marketing and we’ve identified and perfected the means of leveraging the web to help your manufacturing business grow. If you’ll give us the chance to share our experiences with you, you will benefit through an increased understanding of marketing, and if you decide to work with us, you’ll see increased revenue.
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What Does this Shift in MFG Customer Acquisition Look like?
As you likely observed from the three points listed above, the first two points listed are almost entirely irrelevant at this time, with the exception of cold calling. Cold calling with its exhausting nature and limited potential is the only item in the first two points that stands a chance at providing new business. The last point of leveraging the web is the only type of customer acquisition that has proved to have growing strength in the past decade, and the COVID-19 crisis has exponentially increased the strength of that method. The first two points of outbound sales, and tradeshows are expensive and only moderately effective. Web marketing is extremely effective, and costs a fraction of outbound sales and tradeshow setups.
What if I’m the Sales Guy?
I want to make it clear that sales holds a respectable and important role in the process of getting new customers. Web marketing is about feeding hot leads to sales on a platter. You don’t have to work to get them, only to close them.
How to Use the Web To Grow Your Customer Base
- Identifying Your Strengths (sounds trite, but it has never been more important, read on)
- Communicate those strengths through written and visual content
- Leverage “web authority” and keyword data to outrank your competitors for those strengths
Why is Strength Identification so Vital?
Depending on what type of manufacturing you provide, chances are that you have many competitors, both foreign and domestics. One of the classic examples I provide is your “typical CNC shop”, which regardless of your location in the U.S., there are likely hundreds of competitors within a 100 mile radius. If you provide a slightly more niche service like powder coating, you have likely shrunk that number of competitors by a factor of 5 to 10. Clearly if Google needs to sort through 200 companies trying to rank for the same keywords in the same location it is going to be much more difficult for you to rank number one for that term than if you were trying to rank for the more niche service.
The point is that if you have a CNC shop, we are justified in spending our initial time making you a nationwide presence for “Electrical Component Machining Services” or “Swiss Turning”, than trying to immediately make you the statewide rank leader for “CNC machine shop”. Not only are our chances of ranking much higher, but the value of the lead will be much higher when they fill out your RFQ form because they came to you for a specialty. As we build the authority of your site, our potential to rank for more competitive terms increases.
How Does Ranking in Search Help Manufacturers Find Customers?
Expert marketers have access to data that demonstrates some important points:
- Regardless of the manufacturing service, there are potential customers searching for it
- Using keyword data, we can identify the most likely terms that will be searched
- We can use that keyword data to tailor content to rank for those keywords
- That tailored content will generate leads 100% of time (provided the marketer has the knowhow to make that happen).
What Does It Mean To “Rank”?
When a person “Googles” a search term, Google generates a list of results. The first thing you would see is likely listings at the top of results that have a little “ad” symbol on them. Those listings are a pay-per-click service, which means that every time someone clicks on that ad, it costs the advertiser some dollar amount (as low as $.50, as high as hundreds of dollars depending on how many people are bidding for the keyword and placement). A much more valuable position is to be where those ads end, and where the “organic search results” begin. The reason is, that you can be present at the top of search results for hundreds of keywords, and never have to pay for the clicks! What you do have to pay for is the service of getting ranked for those keywords, but once you rank, you can set and forget – or move on to new keyword sets. Think about it this way, if you could pay to have semi-permanent ranking – i.e. generate leads forever – for your main service what would that be worth? If you were receiving qualified RFQs to the tune of 10, 20, 30, or 40 per month for your ideal type of job, what would you invest to make that happen? I believe that if manufacturers would invest enough time to understand this process and what the long-term repercussions are, they would spend as much on ranking as they would on new machinery. The good news is that you don’t need to spend anywhere near that to make your manufacturing business a powerhouse in your industry.
These Results Are Common from Web Lead Generation (Search Engine Optimization)
- We have literally taken businesses from the brink of shut down, to stable profitable businesses
- We have generated multi-million dollar leads
- We have multiplied the size of businesses
- We have completely transformed companies’ expectations of their future
What Are The Main Benefits of Using the Web to Grow Your Customer Base?
The first benefit is that there is really no other method by which a small shop can look bigger and more qualified than a large business. You can create your own reality. If in physical terms, you wanted to be bigger than the biggest company in your industry, you would need a larger workforce, building, customer base, better certifications, better sales people, better trade-show setups, and more. The price tag on this list would be in the millions for most manufacturers. Most manufacturers – large ones included – have done a dismal job of showing their real strength on the web, and since that is how customer acquisition is being done today, they have given YOU an opportunity to show them up. The great news is that the price tag on this is a real laugh compared to the cost of being physically larger.
What’s the Cost?
I wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to get to know you and your business a little better, so let’s chat first! Give me 15 minutes of your time to go through your business details with you on a screen share call and you’ll have a quote and a brand new outlook on the future of your business.
Three More Lead Generation Ideas for Manufacturers
While organic search engine optimization is the process of getting ranked higher in google search results for the terms that will bring you business, there are many other ways of showing up in search results to get business. One of the most common “shortcuts” to ranking your own website, is to use websites that already rank for the terms that you want to rank for. For example, if you wanted to show up at the top of search results for “CNC Machine Shop in Pennsylvania” you would really have your work cut out for you. Why? Because there are hundreds of machine shops in PA that have ranking for those search terms, and when you consider that there are only 10 spots on a page of search results, you have to conclude that there will be some pretty stiff competition. Now keep in mind that a company like weCreate can overcome those obstacles and get your website to rank, but lets say we wanted to take a shortcut for short-term results.
Step 1. Google a search term you’d like to rank for
Step 2. Identify non-competitor websites that already rank for the term you wish to rank for
In this case the top two organic search results are machineshopweb.com and yelp.com, both of which are examples of opportunities for shortcut ranking. Why does this matter to you? We know that there are hundreds of monthly searches for terms like “Machine Shops in Pennsylvania” and a percentage of these searches are being performed by individuals actively looking for services. If you can be listed on the sites that show up for these terms, you increase your likelihood of being contacted by the person performing the search. In addition, as you show up on more of these types of sites, Google will begin to directly refer to your website as the source of information.
Step 3. Cost-benefit analysis and outreach
Most sites like the two listed above require some sort of an investment. Machineshopweb.com has free options (and if you are a machine shop, I highly recommend that you sign up now). They also offer a very reasonable option to have a banner on the homepage for around $1,500/year. Considering they show up for these types of terms for most states in the country, they can provide your company with a lot of exposure for this price. Yelp.com has various pricing structures as well, and most commonly has featured listing options for a few hundred dollars per month.
Other options for listing your company
There are many sites out there that provide similar listing services, and depending on your keywords and services, there may be other options. Some sites can offer additional services to listing your site and driving traffic. For manufacturers in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia, there is a new option for promoting your company, hiring, selling machinery and materials, and connecting with other manufacturers called Tristate Manufacturer’s Marketplace. The traffic to this site is growing quickly, and they are discount priced to quickly populate the site with new manufacturers. I recommend you get into this one fast, because companies are listed in the order they come in. For many manufacturing categories, you can get top placement even at the free level. You can read more about the Tristate Manufacturer’s Marketplace and Directory Here
What is a reasonable investment for using directories as a means of manufacturing business development?
In most cases directories are relatively inexpensive, ranging from a couple hundred dollars per year to a couple thousand. If you set aside 4 or 5 thousand dollars per year for placement in the best directories for your industry, you will almost certainly see a return on your investment quickly. Spread a wide net, and do it consistently.
What if I don’t have time to find the right directories and place my company
As the experts in lead generation for manufacturers, weCreate has partnerships with listing sites, and a comprehensive plan for helping your company rank organically as well as in directories. Part of every manufacturing lead generation campaign involves weCreate doing the physical work of placing your company where it needs to be. Please reach out to us today so we can walk you through our process and get you started on the past to long term growth.