The internet gives businesses of every size, from every industry the opportunity to market themselves to customers all over the world. While this opportunity may be available, digital marketing lends itself better to some industries than others do. Digital marketing for an engineering firm can be challenging. Engineering is an exact science; content marketing is not. Developing relevant content, and reaching the target audience with that content is not always cut and dried.
So does digital marketing for engineering companies make sense? It actually does. Digital marketing is now the primary source for many consumers searching for products and services. If your company is not maximising online presence, you are potentially missing opportunities.
Here's 7 vital tools you'll need to generate new business for your engineering firm through your website:
1. A strategy to attract traffic
The first step in any internet-based marketing campaign is getting people to visit your website.Tools like keyword-focused blogging, search engine optimisation and social media tie-ins are the essential tools you need.
It may not always be possible to reach a large enough proportion of your audience organically, so you should explore using targeted advertising such as PPC, retargeting or social media advertising to put your message in front of potential clients who fit your ideal demographic.
2. Content that speaks to your audience
Once your potential customers arrive on your website, what are you going to say to them?
Your content shouldn't just talk about how great your products and company are. On your website, it should be benefit led, to meet the needs of your readers, or solve a problem they're having. You should also use your website and blog content to deliver hard to come by information, answer common questions or analyse the issues that impact your industry.
No matter what kind of content you choose, be sure to keep it focused and relevant to your potential buyers.
3. A good user experience
What is the experience like for your visitors? Does it feature intuitive site navigation and a responsive design that fits screens of all desktop and mobile devices.
Search engines are beginning to be aware of UX issues. A recent update to Google’s search algorithm penalises sites that aren’t friendly to mobile devices.
Beyond this problem, if your users have a problem with your website, they can easily visit your competitors. In fact, according to ExactTarget, 2014's Mobile Behavior Report, 27% of consumers will leave a site if it is not mobile-optimised.
4. Clear calls-to-action
As well as clear website content and a good user experience, it's also vital to think about what you want your customers to do on your website? Don’t leave them guessing; spell it out for them. Give them a clear path from researching and gathering information to choosing a vendor (ideally your company) and completing the project.
Calls-to-action are ideal for signposting your website visitors to landing pages:
5. Landing pages
Developing relationships with your potential customers is the primary purpose behind all of your marketing efforts.
Via a landing page, you can offer something of value beyond freely available content. Ask your readers to give you their contact information in exchange for e-books, white-papers or other premium content.
This exchange of information is invaluable for your future marketing efforts because it enables you to build a relationship with that prospect - nurturing them with relevant content to move them through the sales cycle until they are ready to buy.
6. Website analytics
How can you know if your digital marketing efforts are working? By making proper use out of your website analytics.
Website analytics let you see what content gets the best response from your readers, any potential leaks where a lot of website visitors are leaving your site and also any performance issues that may be impacting your results.
While content marketing may be inexact, quality analytics reveal meaningful, actionable numbers that you can use to increase your impact.
7. A strategy to follow up on leads
Now that your website has helped you gather a list of actionable leads, what comes next? You need to have a process in place to convert your leads into sales. This is where automated e-mail workflows come in to nurture your contacts with relevant content at each stage of their decision making process.
As well as automation, there will always be a point to make personal contact with your leads, so make sure the trigger for this is clearly defined and you have a clear process for that first connect when the time is right.
Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson