This is Part Three of our four-part series: Tips for increasing leads at your manufacturing company and we will review Advertising Strategies to try.
Click on any topic below to be taken to that section.
Part 1: The Essentials
- Your Website
- Google Search
- Reputation Management
Part 2: Increase Exposure
- LinkedIn Communications – Educate about challenges
- LinkedIn Communications – Provide guidance on how your solution solves problems
- LinkedIn Remarketing – Remind
Part 3: Advertising
- Targeted Google Ads
- Display / Awareness
- Google Remarketing
- Visitor Tracking
Part 4: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Using Ad Knowledge for Keywords
- Other Factors of Success
Part 3: Advertising
Get found for searches for your products
We have discussed how it can be difficult to reach your target market of buyers, engineers, managers and facilities support folks, especially when educating them on your products and services if they don’t know you. In Part 2, we talked about utilizing LinkedIn to contact people individually. In Part 3, we’ll discuss how you can effectively utilize Google Ads to reach the right customers.
Google “owns” about 90% of the search market. It is far more efficient to reach searchers where they are than trying to lurk on Bing or other tiny search engines. Google’s search covers Advertising, Local Listings, SEO (Part 4) and Directories.
It is fairly easy to learn about your competitors online and discover what their market capabilities are. This information is usually found in the case studies and the company’s approach to advertising. You’re also likely to find other companies selling similar products via searches on Google. It is a basic but effective way to study your competition.
Google Search Ads are effective, but they do cost money every time someone clicks on your ad. To ensure the right people are clicking on your ads, it’s important to have a proper setup with good keywords and well-thought-out ad copy.
- Google Ads can convert 50% better than organic search
- Ads lead Google Search results in about 65% of all buyer-intent searches
- Most B2B buyers are more than ½ way through the buying process by the time they speak with a representative (Accenture, 2018)
- 67% of purchases for industrial manufacturing were influenced by digital (Google 2018)
- 77% of executives report using a smartphone to research a product or service for their business (IDG Global solutions)
Capturing the Visitor
Having a budget and an ad campaign is really just the start. Many manufacturing websites are poorly designed or outdated. It is an overlooked marketing function that can work for your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We often hear, “My website brought in no business so we ignore it.” A car will not drive without gas (or electricity), a person may not work without food and a business cannot succeed online if it ignores customer expectations from a website.
46% of buyers will leave a website if it is not immediately clear what the company does, and 37% will leave because of poor navigation or design. Furthermore, if a visitor has to expand a page to read it on his cellphone…well, that’s not going to happen.
So, starting with a good website that says what you do, why you do it, who you do it for and how to contact you is really Priority #1 before advertising. Your website does need to be state of the art, but it should be clean, informative and professional. Always put the user first and imagine what your site looks like to them.
Ad clicks should not necessarily go to the Home Page, as users are often looking for something specific. If your ad says you have something, the user should go right to the product or service they want based on the keyword. Don’t waste a potential sale by sending the lead to a generic Home Page.
A great thing about Ads is that you can choose the first thing an interested person sees on your site by sending them to a specific landing page. Each landing page should be well marked with company branding and a business name, location (if it is important), a visible phone number and an alternative form of contact, such as an email address or submission form.
Google Ads Search formatting is pretty straightforward with restricted text lengths and optional lines of information. New Dynamic and Responsive ads are also options to try. Usually, an advertiser does not create the “killer” ad on the first try. Be prepared to set up a few ads and experiment with different calls to action, changes in your features and benefits, new images and more.
Similarly, display (graphic) ads are well defined by sizes and allow for flexibility in appearance. The use of products, people, catch phrases, logos, calls to action and more should be tested to see which ones work best.
Display ads are most effective when placed near logical content related to the product or service. Google allows for targeting by interests, topics and even keywords. The more restrictive the settings, the fewer ad impressions may be seen. However, over-saturation is often wasted as ads that are not related to content. Or, the ads may appear on websites that generate unrelated clicks.
Display ads on mobile devices can be tricky, as Google will try to push your ads onto apps. Also, the display ads are just about “finger sized” so it is super important to track device performance for clicks and conversions. Mobile ads should be monitored closely for performance or perhaps even shut off given your budget and interest in testing.
As we noted in Part 2, Remarketing is one of the most powerful tools a manufacturing company can use to reach those who have found your company’s website or those you have met personally. Many platforms utilize remarketing using pixels or cookies to identify computers who have visited your site, even specific pages on the site.
By implementing Remarketing for Display Ads and Search Ads, these additional spots can act as a reminder to both previous visitors or with “like audiences”. Google’s analysis of visitors who click on your site can be used to position ads to those with similar interests who have not visited the site yet.
Like in manufacturing, you cannot improve unless you measure. Google Analytics provides free tools for monitoring visitors to your site, where they go, how long they stay and if they submit forms or purchase online.
By tracking traffic month to month and year to year, you can gain an understanding on the site’s performance, traffic patterns and visitor usage. If people are not staying on pages or not seeing what you want them to see, it is a great way to know where changes need to be made.
Return on Investment
After the site is settled, keywords selected, ads posted and traffic is coming…a smart marketer looks at return on investment (ROI).
ROI = Income generated by the Ads / Costs
As I noted above, initial ROI may not be great, so setting a maximum number of clicks to a landing page will help in timing new tests and comparisons. If your budget is large enough, consider setting up parallel landing pages to test visitors at the same time.
Google allows for multiple ad testing and a variety of keyword, location, audience and other options that should be evaluated for ROI.
Call tracking and visitor lookup can also provide excellent information as to the use of your site. Call tracking can provide reverse lookup capabilities to see who is calling your site, their frequency and the length of calls.
Visitor tracking provides reverse-lookup of visitors by IP address. It is most effective for larger businesses who manage their own IP, but even a sample of visitor information can advise sales of prospects or repeat visitors.
Don’t miss your new business opportunities! Call us any time to discuss ideas to help your manufacturing company succeed online.
If you have a great website design and are taking advantage of LinkedIn, dominate Google search and advertising, it’s time to look at Part 4: Search Engine Optimization. In this section, we discuss how to improve your website’s performance for organic search, aka “SEO”.