Digital Marketing for Manufacturers: Best Practices for 2024

Elevate your company's online presence and drive more leads with these proven digital marketing tips for manufacturers.

6 min read

A team of marketers and employees meeting to discuss digital marketing for manufacturers

Manufacturing companies have tight budgets, limited resources, and a traditional mindset that often overlooks the importance of digital marketing. 

This hesitancy to adopt new technologies and deviate from traditional outbound marketing methods stems from a misguided perception that digital campaigns only produce vanity metrics and have no real impact on the bottom line. While manufacturing companies need to attract customers just like every other business, it can be hard to justify the investment if they can’t prove ROI.

However, in an age where a staggering 90% of all B2B purchases begin with an online search, maintaining a robust online presence isn't just a nice-to-have – it's a business imperative. The good news is that today's digital tools are more sophisticated than ever, offering detailed tracking capabilities that can demonstrate a clear return on investment, debunking the myth of "fluffy" digital marketing results.

If your goal is to drive growth for your industrial company in 2024, investing in digital marketing services is no longer optional. In fact, as the internet continues to redefine how people seek out information and make purchasing decisions, building a powerful online presence is crucial for helping leads find you amidst the noise. 

Let’s explore a few digital marketing tips for manufacturers, providing actionable insights to help you reach more customers, drive conversions, and grow your business in this digital age.

1. Set SMART Goals 

Every successful industrial digital marketing strategy begins with clear, well-defined SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. The more precise your objectives, the more likely you are to achieve them. They give your marketing activities a clear direction and make it easier to measure success and prove ROI to decision-makers. Here are a few examples: 

  • Increase Website Traffic: Increase organic website traffic by 20% over the next six months through SEO optimization and content marketing. 
  • Improve Conversion Rates: Improve the website's conversion rate from 2% to 4% by the end of the year by optimizing product pages. 
  • Boost Email Subscriptions: Increase email newsletter subscriptions by 25% in the next quarter by offering exclusive industry insights and discounts to subscribers.
  • Enhance Social Media Engagement: Increase engagement on social media posts (likes, shares, comments) by 30% in the next three months by posting more user-generated content and industry-related news. 
  • Expand Reach with PPC Campaigns: Generate 100 new leads from PPC advertising on Google Ads over the next two months, targeting specific demographics. 

Expert Insights from GoDelta

We often see manufacturers fall victim to what we like to call “follow-the-leader” tactics. They fall back on legacy marketing and copy and paste competitor strategies instead of finding what works best for their business. Take your time, set goals, and measure success based on your own metrics. Don’t just follow the leader, become the leader by analyzing data and focusing on the marketing channels that drive the most sales. 

2. Research Manufacturing Marketing Benchmarks

Understanding marketing benchmarks helps you set realistic expectations and track progress against industry averages. It allows you to compare your performance with competitors and identify areas for improvement. 

Here are some marketing benchmarks for the manufacturing industry based on recent data from Databox and MailChimp:

  • Email Marketing
    • Open rate: 19.82%
    • Click-through rate: 2.18%
    • Bounce rate: 0.72%
    • Unsubscribe rate: 0.31% 
  • Session conversion rate: 2.29%
  • Session duration: 2m 41s
  • Engagement rate: 58.18%
  • Monthly impressions: 121.2K
  • Monthly searches: 316

Expert Insights from GoDelta

The key to successful benchmarking is to use these figures to inform your strategy, not dictate it. Use them as a guide to understand where you're succeeding and where there's room for improvement.

3. Create a Responsive Website 

Fifty-five percent of all global web traffic comes from mobile devices, so it's crucial that your site performs well on smartphones and tablets. If your site isn't mobile-friendly, you're likely losing out on a significant number of potential customers.

A responsive website adapts to the screen size of the device on which it's being viewed, providing a seamless user experience whether it's accessed via desktop, smartphone, or tablet. This improves the user experience, making it more likely that potential customers will stay on your site, learn about your company's products, and ultimately convert. Google also prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in their search engine rankings, so having a responsive website can also improve a company's online visibility. 

Expert Insights from GoDelta

Like many of our manufacturing clients, you may have dozens of image-heavy product pages. Use lazy loading and regularly monitor for broken links to improve page loading times.

Here are a few responsive web design tips to consider: 

  • Use Grid-Based Layouts: Grid-based layouts allow for a structured and organized appearance. They help balance the design elements and make the website consistent across all devices. 
  • Implement Media Queries and Breakpoints: Media queries and breakpoints allow your website to adapt its layout to different screen sizes, ensuring it looks good on all devices.
  • Prioritize Responsive Images: Tailor your images to fit well on all devices. This ensures that your visuals look good and load quickly regardless of the screen size.
  • Utilize a Viewport: The viewport meta tag controls the width and scaling of the layout on mobile browsers. Always use it to ensure your website adapts correctly to different devices. 
  • Start Mobile-First: Starting with a mobile-first approach can help ensure your website is optimized for smaller screens, which can be scaled up for larger ones. 
  • Test Your Design: Always test your design on multiple devices and browsers to ensure it's truly responsive.
  • Keep Load Times in Mind: A website that loads quickly is crucial for a good user experience. Optimize media files and streamline code to keep load times down.
  • Make Navigation Simple: Simplify navigation to improve user experience. A complex menu might work on a desktop but could be unwieldy on a mobile device. 

Use this website grader tool to see how your manufacturing website is performing and get suggestions for improvement. It analyzes factors such as page loading speed, mobile responsiveness, SEO optimization, and more.

4. Develop a Content Strategy for Industrial Buyers

Finding potential customers who are interested in your company's products is often a common challenge for manufacturers. Content marketing helps attract qualified leads, establish your brand as an industry leader, build relationships with potential clients, and improve search engine rankings

Expert Insights from GoDelta

Don’t overlook the power of influencer marketing, even for B2B. Every business today can benefit from having a “celebrity” or thought leader within their company who can promote their products and services across digital channels. Empower your employees and encourage them to develop their own personal brand and authority within the industry. Encourage them to create a micro website, post on social, attend webinars, and speak at industry events.

As the skilled labor shortage continues to be a major issue, content marketing can also help manufacturers with recruitment and retention efforts. Manufacturers can develop content that advertises job openings, shares company news, showcases company culture, and highlights employee success stories. This content can be shared on social media, company websites, and email marketing campaigns to make your company more attractive to potential employees and customers.

Here’s a great example of a company blog that a fire and security company uses to attract top talent. 

With 40% of B2B buyers consuming three to five pieces of content before contacting a rep, having a solid content strategy in place is crucial. Here are some tips to help you develop an effective content strategy for industrial buyers:

  • Segment your Target Audience: Before creating any type of content, it's important to identify who you want to reach. In the manufacturing industry, there may be multiple decision-makers involved in the buying process. Research and understand their pain points, interests, and challenges to tailor your content accordingly.
  • Utilize Different Types of Content: Mix it up, and don't limit yourself to just one type of content. This will appeal to different types of buyers and keep them engaged. Case studies, product brochures, data sheets, and how-to guides are particularly effective in the industrial sector. 
  • Provide In-Depth Information: Industrial buyers are looking for detailed information when making purchasing decisions. Make sure your content is informative and provides practical solutions or tips that they can apply in their own business.
  • Use Keywords Strategically: Incorporate relevant keywords throughout your content to improve SEO and make it easier for potential buyers to find your content through search engines.
  • Showcase Your Expertise: As an industrial seller, you have a wealth of knowledge about the products or services you offer. Use this expertise to create content that positions you as a thought leader in the industry.
  • Include Visual Elements: Visuals such as images, charts, and graphs can help break up text and make your content more engaging. They can also serve as visual aids to better explain complex concepts or data.
  • Make it Shareable: Encourage your audience to share your content by including social media sharing buttons or asking for their feedback in the comments section. This will not only increase the reach of your content but also create a dialogue with potential buyers. LinkedIn is an effective social channel for manufacturing companies and is often used to connect with industry professionals and share valuable content. 

Mastering Digital Marketing for Manufacturers in 2024 

Digital marketing for manufacturers might seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Start with the steps above, and check in on key metrics and goals a few times during the year. Even these minor steps can increase your audience, improve your sales goals, and prove to leadership that digital marketing is, in fact, working.  

Get in touch if you’re looking for more hands-on support with your industrial digital marketing strategy. Our team specializes in helping businesses in the industrial sector develop and execute multi-channel marketing campaigns that drive sales and revenue.  

Get actionable marketing and product insights from The LATEST

Learn more about digital marketing and SEO services.