B2B marketers know that marketing a complex product like an automated manufacturing system - whether it’s integrating already-built solutions, building a new solution from scratch, or recommending a solution to meet a machinery need - is a constant challenge. It’s not as easy as a Pinterest post or a tweet with a relevant hashtag. Instead, you’re marketing to a specific set of buyers. These buyers do months of research, make decisions with a team of people, and want to know the exact reasons why your automated system is better than any other on the market - in extreme detail.
Like many of their peers (and probably you), B2B buyers start their research online. In fact, according to this report from think with Google, roughly 90% of B2B buyers start their research online, and they do an average of twelve searches prior to doing a branded search and clicking on a specific brand’s website. 71% of the time they’re looking for the product, not for you specifically, indicated by generic queries versus branded ones. So, what does this mean for you and the success of your website to convert more automated manufacturing systems leads with your website?
Your content needs to be found.
First and foremost, your site needs to be easily findable by the people who are searching for a solution like yours. That means building a marketing strategy around the goal of finding B2B buyers who are already out researching and looking for an automated manufacturing system. There are a few critical things you need to do to prep your website to be more findable.
1. You need content meant to educate buyers looking for a name for their problem.
We call this the “awareness stage” of the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey consists of three steps; awareness is the first step. In it, the buyer has experienced a pain point and is online looking for a name for his or her problem. For you, perhaps the manufacturer has two machines and currently, employees are manually moving product from one to another to complete the project. It’s time-consuming and inefficient. They’re looking for a team of engineers to build a bridge between the two systems - or so they think. They start researching the problem online. If you offer this service, you are the expert in this arena. You should have content targeting this research stage in the buyer’s journey.
2. Your site needs to be mobile-optimized.
Contrary to popular belief, B2B buyers are researching purchase decisions on smartphones and tablets 42% of the time. That’s a 92% increase from 2014 to 2015, and it will continue to grow. If your site is difficult to use on a mobile device, you will be passed by during the critical researching phase. In addition, Google (the most-used search engine) gives priority to sites that are mobile-friendly; if yours isn’t, you’ll be losing valuable search engine results listings as well.
3. You should have content that’s easily digestible.
Video, infographics, images, listicles, blog posts - these are all examples of highly digestible content that you should be including on your B2B manufacturing systems website. These educational pieces are in formats that a potential buyer can easily absorb. And the best part? You’ve captured their attention for more than the typical 3-8 seconds afforded a page on a website. Now all you need to do is convert the visitor to a lead.
You need educational, downloadable take-aways on your site.
As the buyer continues research on their problem and potential solutions, this is the critical time to convert them from visitors to your site to leads in your database. To do that, you’ll need to collect information from them. This allows you to do two things:
- Follow up with them immediately about the item they took away.
- Continue to nurture the lead if they’re not quite ready to purchase.
The form-fill is the gateway to permissions-based marketing, and it’s the ideal situation for your salesperson to close.
Set your website up for a successful funnel by offering multiple pieces in each stage of the buyer’s journey that will appeal to your ideal customer. Conduct market research, and then answer relevant questions they have during the research process - that is the key to successful conversions.
Trading contact information for a highly valuable download that is pertinent to your buyer’s research is the entire goal behind inbound marketing. Take-aways such as ebooks, white papers, guides, templates, and more - essentially, anything that your buyer will find useful - are valuable to them. Their contact information is valuable to you. It’s a win-win.
You need to continue to nurture the leads.
Your website’s job is not over once you’ve converted a visitor to a lead. Now is the time to really stand out among your competition. There are multiple ways to continue the conversation with a lead that isn’t ready to purchase just yet, but will in the future:
- Periodic educational emails, which helps keep your company top-of-mind and keeps the buyer engaged.
- Custom personalization on your website - which requires a smart content management system and database combo - enables you to personalize aspects of your site, content, calls-to-action, forms, and downloads to people who have visited your site before. It keeps the content new, fresh, and engaging.
- Social media connections through sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and more can also keep the conversation going between your company and the lead’s business and personal accounts. It’s a great way to stay up-to-date on goings-on at their business, as well, for added connection.
Need more information like this? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Check out our Insider’s Guide to B2B Inbound Marketing, which covers how to turn your outbound tactics into inbound marketing lead-generation machines.