Digital Marketing for Manufacturers

7 Elements of Digital Marketing for Manufacturers

By: Frank DePino | May 9, 2024

Digital marketing for manufacturers modernizes what is still, for many such companies, an old-school, outbound means of promoting themselves and their products. A digital marketing strategy will allow your company to achieve more of its goals in a measurable way.

What kind of tactics should you use?

Digital marketing for manufacturers uses inbound over outbound methods. Here are 7 must-have digital marketing tactics manufacturers can’t miss:

  • Website design
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • SEO
  • PPC ads
  • Social media marketing
  • Measuring KPIs

This guide will explore digital marketing for manufacturers from all facets, including the benefits and strategies a manufacturing company should use. Let’s get started.

Do Manufacturing Companies Need Digital Marketing?

If your manufacturing company has stuck primarily with outbound marketing tactics such as telemarketing, direct mail, print ads, and broadcasts on television and radio, you may feel reluctant to move to digital inbound marketing.

Is it really so advantageous? It is, indeed!

Here are some benefits of digital marketing for manufacturers.

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Better Understand Your Audience

Inbound analytics paints a much clearer picture of which marketing tactics work versus which don’t.

Unless you only use outbound marketing methods like broadcasting, it’s impossible to tell which other outbound tactics were successful.

You can’t count how many people received your print ad or direct mail, for example. Even if they received it, they would have to be interested in its contents and not throw it away for this marketing method to be successful.

Digital marketing is far easier to quantify. The metrics you review tell you without a doubt how many people opened and read your emails, interacted with your social media posts, and otherwise engaged with the campaign.

These metrics indicate the kinds of campaigns and marketing media your audience reacts best to. You can then produce more campaigns in this style for better receptivity.

A manufacturer is showing his products to a customer obtained thanks to digital marketing.

Reach More Customers

Using outbound media is fine if you’re deploying a local marketing campaign. Once you decide to reach broader audiences, it becomes too expensive to continue using outbound media.

Digital marketing for the manufacturing industry makes it far easier and cost-effective to broaden your reach. You can expand first nationally and later even internationally through your inbound marketing campaigns without breaking the bank.

Increase Brand Recognition

Your brand is your strength. It’s how you differentiate yourself from the competition and connect more with customers.

Outbound marketing tactics can introduce your brand to your audience, at least to an extent. Compared to online marketing for manufacturers, though, outbound marketing measures leave something to be desired.

You’ll more clearly convey your brand and further it in the eyes of your audience through digital marketing. You can paint clear pictures of your brand history through storytelling, share evocative videos, or launch an email campaign all about your brand.

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Collect More Leads

Every company strives to increase its lead gen. Digital marketing for the manufacturing industry is one such method you can use.

You’ll attract more leads and improve the quality of the leads you have in your sales funnel. You can qualify leads to ensure that only interested leads reach the sales funnel. These leads are usually readier to buy.

Get on the Same Page as Your Competitors

You should also use digital marketing to get on a more even playing field with your competitors.

According to stats from digital marketing company WebFX, 96 percent of B2B businesses are on LinkedIn, 89 percent use account-based marketing, 86 percent of B2B businesses use their website for marketing, and 56 percent use digital marketing.

If you don’t do the same, you’re giving your competitors a critical edge over you, which will cost your manufacturing company money.

B2B Manufacturer Marketing

B2B and B2C manufacturers alike use digital marketing, but the strategies they focus on often differ.

The marketing tactics we’ll share later benefit B2B manufacturers, as you can increase brand recognition, strengthen an existing brand, generate and qualify leads, and nurture consumer relationships with those strategies.

B2B marketers also face specific challenges, namely allocating appropriate resources and embracing change.

Although making the jump from outbound marketing to digital marketing for manufacturers is quite a big leap indeed, once you deploy a campaign and begin tracking metrics, you’ll realize what your older campaigns were missing.

How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Manufacturing Company

Now that you’ve identified the need for industrial marketing, the question becomes, how do you formulate a winning strategy? Here are some steps manufacturing companies can follow. 

Establish Your Goals

What do you hope to achieve with your marketing campaign? Do you want to build brand awareness, as we’ve talked about? Perhaps you want to increase your leads or connect better with your existing customers.

You can have simultaneous goals or just one to start, but they must be clearly defined before you proceed with your digital marketing campaign.

Create Buyer Personas

Next, you should turn your attention to your audience.

Who is your audience? You can answer this important question by dividing them into groups or segments.

The audience segmentation criteria you should use include geographics such as location, demographics like gender or occupation, and psychographics, which are motivators and behaviors that drive consumer decisions.

Once you’ve segmented your audience, introduce buyer personas for each segment, a major component of digital marketing for manufacturers. 

According to buyer persona resource Delve AI, 44 percent of marketers already use buyer personas. Another 29 percent plan to, meaning 73 percent of all marketers will use them.

A manufacturer is reviewing the performance of its competition.

Do a Competitive Analysis

It’s now time for a competitive analysis. According to Evalueserve, 90 percent of Fortune-500 businesses do competitive analyses, so your manufacturing business could benefit from the same. 

A competitive analysis indicates what you’re doing better than the competition and what you could be doing better.

The steps for conducting a competitive analysis are as follows.

  • Determine your competition, starting with direct competitors and following up with secondary or indirect competitors. Pay attention to substitute competitors as well, which target the same customers but sell a different product.
  • Study your competition by reviewing their product roster, how they sell (online exclusively vs. brick-and-mortar store), pricing, and current marketing and promotional tactics. You also want to learn about their partnerships, organization size, and current reputation.
  • Identify your competitors’ greatest strengths and weaknesses, comparing your own manufacturing business against the same criteria. Some criteria you might compare include product quality, partnership quality, and pricing.
  • Find your competitive edge, which you can do easily after evaluating the comparisons between you and your competitors.

Know Your Product

To properly promote your product and sell it to customers, you need to know it inside and out. If you don’t yet have all the details and specs, now is a great time to study up.

Define Your Brand Positioning

All brands bring something to the table, so what does yours do? Once you understand more about what your audience wants and what your brand can do, it becomes simpler to answer that question.

Your competitor analysis will also help you understand what makes your brand unique, which is why it’s a major component of digital marketing for manufacturers.

Measure KPIs

Your marketing campaign has gone live. To determine its success, you should review pertinent metrics.

Here are some KPIs to focus on:

  • Email open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Customer Acquisition Cost
  • Lifetime Value of a Customer
  • Return on investment
  • Social media engagement
  • Lead growth
  • Sales growth
A manufacturer is experimenting with 7 new digital marketing tactics for his company.

7 Effective Digital Marketing Tactics for Manufacturing Companies

Now that you know what a digital marketing strategy for manufacturers entails, it’s time to put it into practice. Here are 7 tactics to utilize.

1. Website Design

What does your website design look like?

According to marketing resource Hook Agency, 38 percent of website visitors will abandon a website they deem unattractive.

More so than just the looks of your website, you must focus on its loading speed. HubSpot cites a study that found that conversion rates for a website drop by 4.42 percent for each second longer it takes your site to load.

We have plenty of exemplary website design examples on our blog for you to examine and emulate. This post spotlights the best in B2B website design.

Some web design best practices to follow are:

  • Use the colors of your logo or brand across your website.
  • Prioritize clear, easy-to-use navigation with uncluttered menus.
  • Implement contrasting colors for CTA buttons so they stand out.

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2. Content Marketing

Digital marketing for manufacturers includes content marketing. Product sourcing company Thomas reports that manufacturing marketers believed content creation to be the biggest priority in the early 2020s at a rate of 76 percent.

That was followed by website enhancements at 73 percent, social media management at 47 percent, and the customer experience at 44 percent.

Manufacturing companies should embrace most forms of content marketing, including:

  • Blog posts
  • eBooks
  • Industry research
  • Videos
  • Comparison guides
  • Buyer’s guides
  • Case studies
  • Spec sheets

You can write blog copy or make videos introducing new products or share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your company such as employee interviews or factory tours.

3. Email Marketing

Your newly designed website should begin attracting more traffic than it did before the redesign. However, without measures in place to capture the contact information of the site visitors, the traffic will naturally taper off and might not return until your next campaign.

You can use lead magnets and opt-in forms to generate an email list. Once you have a contact list, you can begin sending your various audience segments targeted content to drive them further through the funnel.

Automation can simplify this, as you can send drip emails and follow-ups at specific times without having to sit in front of your computer.

4. SEO

Now that your manufacturing company has embraced digital marketing, it’s easier for leads and customers to find you. What will make it even easier is rising in the SEO ranks.

Whether you’re focusing on local SEO for now or broader SEO, here are some strategies you can use to increase your SERP:

  • Publish engaging content consistently
  • Increase your site loading speed
  • Create internal links
  • Optimize your images
  • Use title tags, alt tags, and meta descriptions
  • Incorporate keywords throughout your website (naturally, no keyword stuffing)
  • Optimize your website for mobile
Seller SNAP is an example of Pay Per Click ads.

5. PPC Ads

Online marketing for manufacturers must have an advertising component.

Many businesses gravitate toward pay-per-click or PPC ads because of their proven outcomes. PPC ads can bring more traffic to your website, leading to more conversions and sales.

As the name pay-per-click indicates, you pay when a user clicks on your ad. You’re typically only spending cents, sometimes up to $1 at a time, which helps you control advertising costs. 

6. Social Media Marketing

Your marketing plan needs to cover social media.

The key is finding your audience and the platforms they use the most. Manufacturing companies should strive to increase their presence on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn especially.

Promoting your business on social media is more nuanced than reposting blog content. You should create engaging, original content based on what your target market wants to see on social media.

You should also share relevant, valuable content from other authority sources if you believe your audience will find the content interesting.

Your manufacturing company may consider pairing with an influencer if you feel like your company needs a representative.

7. Measuring Successes

Digital marketing for manufacturers is about trial and error. Some tactics that you thought would definitely work might not pan out, while other techniques you were iffy about produce bountiful results.

Getting on the path to success starts with measuring KPIs to see where you’re falling short. Once you begin improving upon your current and future campaigns, you’ll have more success in the form of higher ROI, more leads and customers, and a healthier bottom line.

Elevate Your Luxury Brand Today

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Seeking to elevate your luxury business? Let Mediaboom guide you. Secure your exclusive, free consultation with our luxury marketing experts today.

Working with a Digital Marketing Agency for Manufacturing Companies

Does your manufacturing company wish to make the jump from outbound to inbound marketing? We can help at Mediaboom.

Our digital marketing services for manufacturing companies will help you find your target audience and create pivotal, tailored campaigns that speak to your audience segments.

Contact us today to learn more or begin discussing what we can do for you.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals, building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.


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