Does your manufacturing company really need a website or digital marketing? [Part 1]
If your company manufactures and/or distributes industrial products such as machinery, equipment parts, chemicals, or other industrial raw materials, you’ve probably been torn by the idea of investing in a modern website and digital marketing.
On the one hand you’ve been told that every company needs to have a website, because it’s the future (and the present). On the other hand, you just don’t see how investing in a website and digital marketing is going to help you make more sales. You’ve been doing business the “old fashioned” way for years (or decades) and things are fine as they are. In any case, you already have a website that you built about a decade ago and it should be good enough.
You’ll be surprised to hear that I totally agree with you. Well, not about the need for a website and digital marketing. But I totally agree with the way you’re analyzing the whole situation. You want to understand whether investing in a website and digital marketing is going to help you make more money, and that’s exactly the right way to look at it. The only reason to invest is to get a return greater than your investment.
So how is investing thousands of dollars in a website and digital marketing going to help you make more money?
I’m glad you asked!
How a website will help you make more money
Remember all that stuff about not judging a book by its cover? Well, it’s not true. People absolutely do judge not only books, but companies and people by their appearance and image. First impressions play a major role in the decision making process, and a negative first impression is very hard to recover from.
For most potential customers or business partners, your website will be the first impression they get of your company. A modern, user-friendly website with informative content will send the message that you are the type of company they would want to work with. An old, outdated website that’s difficult to navigate and has content from the 1980s is not going to be very effective in convincing them to work with you.
Every potential customer that gets turned off by your antique website is money lost. But just think how rewarding it would be to get even one new client on the basis of the positive impression your new website made. Even your existing customers and partners will look at you with a bit more respect when they see your new, modern website. In fact, that’s exactly what happened to one of our clients (in chemical sales and distribution) who got heaps of compliments and praise after they unveiled the new website we built them.
Website Content – Sales
Customers today do a lot of online research before making a purchase. Studies reveal that buyers will complete 80% of their buying process through online research before ever speaking to a sales person. When they do finally speak to a sales person, they have answered most of their basic questions and are very close to making their final decision (great news for your sales team). All this means that you need to provide potential customers with the information about your products they are searching for. Your website serves as the home for that information.
The more useful information potential customers get from your website, the better the chance you have of being their final source of purchase. But if you don’t have the information they’re looking for, they’ll look elsewhere for it — probably on your competitors websites.
Website Content – Customer Service
In addition to informing potential customers in preparation of a sale, the content on your website can also serve your existing customers while saving you time and money. In-depth support and how to articles and videos and a thorough FAQ page can drastically reduce the time your staff needs to spend on customer support questions and issues.
When potential customers do visit your site and read your content, you’d expect them to contact you to start the purchasing process. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as that. If the customer is still in the researching phase of their buyer’s journey, they won’t contact you until they’re ready. But you don’t want to simply hope that they’ll remember to contact you, instead of your competitors. No!
Before they leave your website you want to try and get their contact info — at least their email address — so you can reach out to them to keep your company on their mind. The way to do that is to offer them something of value to them in exchange for their info. It could be something as simple as a tip sheet (ex. 7 Ways to …), or a special report or ebook, which they can download. They get a useful piece of content; you get a lead to place in your sales funnel for followup. That followup can be done manually or via an automated email sequence (ie marketing automation).
Search Engines – SEO
Another byproduct of your new website is the effect that it will have on your visibility in Google search (and other search engines). I’ll deal with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in much greater detail in Part 2 of this series. But in short, the more optimized and informative your website and content is, the better chances you have of appearing in a higher position in the Google search results for your keyword phrases. And being found more in Google could translate into more potential customers.
So will investing in a modern, optimized website with informative content help you make more money? I’ve given you 5 reasons why the answer is yes. But there’s a lot more where that came from! In the next couple of articles in this series I’ll discuss the potential benefits of digital marketing for your manufacturing business including SEO, PPC, social media and online sales prospecting.