As reshoring is bringing production back to the U.S., American manufacturing has seen a large increase. Buyers are spending more on new suppliers, and hiring rates are at an all time high. While the manufacturing industry continues to make new gains, memory of difficult times remains, forcing business owners to make calculated and cautious decisions when it comes to investments and spending money.
One way to instantly generate new revenue streams, is through market expansion. Market expansion if done incorrectly, can be costly. Luckily today’s digital marketing landscape allows you to take significant steps to help grow your manufacturing business in new vertical market segments. Doing so requires careful planning and strategy. Read on to learn our best tips for expanding your manufacturing business in new markets.
Choosing Your New Target Market
The first step to expanding your manufacturing business into new markets is identifying what market this is. This should involve extensive and thoughtful research to ensure you’re setting your business up for success. For instance, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for a medical device company to explore the automotive sector, unless your business already has the capability to manufacture similar parts. This is why your best bet is most likely going to be a related industry. Think of the larger categories that your existing industry falls into, and explore the industries related to them. It is also helpful to consider products you may already use . For example, if you manufacture medical equipment, it might make sense to expand into laboratory supplies.
Ultimately your decision should be based upon market data. How large is this new industry? What will be your cost of goods sold? Who are your competitors? And what will help your customers buy into your business without any industry experience? All of these questions can be answered by doing your appropriate research. Researching the latest search trends can also give you a better insight to what potential customers are searching for. Of course moving into a new market comes with risk, and there are bound to be some discrepancies, but taking the time to do your research and plan ahead, can save your business time and money.
Obtain Your Necessary Certifications
Perhaps one of the most important factors to consider when thinking about moving into a new market is the quality certification. When it comes to manufacturing products and marketing them, obtaining the necessary certifications is critical to your business success. Most manufacturers understand that acquiring quality certifications take a large amount of time and effort to obtain due to having to pass a series of stringent tests and submission of detailed documentation.
This is why it is essential to plan ahead and first identify what type of certification is necessary if you do not already have it, and then plan how you will showcase your certification throughout your online presence. It is important that your potential customers know about your certifications, as this could mean the difference between winning new business or missing out on opportunity. Well known certifications such as ISO or ANSI are significant to buyers, as this ensures trust and proves you produce quality products. There are many ways to display your certifications online such as:
- Your website header or footer
- A dedicated site page
- Company listings
Enhancing Your Digital Presence
In today’s digital age no matter what manufacturing market you’re in, having a successful business starts online. From your website to your social media, the most efficient way to obtain new customers is by maximizing your online presence. Luckily you should already have a good starting point with your current website. Your track record should do the work for you, but it’s important that your content speak to your new target audience.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel, you should use past projects, successes and challenges to relate to your new target market. Utilizing the power of digital content marketing allows you to expand your geographic boundaries to reach more people. So whether you’re looking to go from a regional supplier, to a national manufacturer, a solid digital strategy can help you tackle those hurdles and open up more business opportunities.
You should also make sure that your company can be found on your local and online business directories. Just like searching for a restaurant or Amazon product, many B2B buyers are now utilizing google reviews to make business decisions. Using online directories have many benefits, such as expanding your digital presence to increase the likelihood of winning new business. Secondly, you can improve your search engine optimization by including your company name, address, telephone and website link to provide more backlink value.
Building Content Around Your Target Audience
The easiest way to expand your digital boundaries into a new vertical is through strategic and targeted content. This can be through blogs, social media, landing pages, etc. For instance, if you are a medical supplier on the west coast and are trying to expand your business into laboratory equipment, it would be wise to create content on your website that details your capabilities and knowledge around this segment. Additional blog posts that showcase your expertise, will not only drive customer interest, but also notify the search engines that you are relevant in this target area.
Detailed landing pages can increase your organic SEO, therefore increasing your chances you’ll be found by your new target customer. This is where the initial target market research comes into play. You must know and understand what key terms are most common in your manufacturing industry, in order to know how to reach your target audience. These keywords should drive your content through your webpages to your social media and even paid advertising.
Create Valuable Content
Not only do you want your content to demonstrate your expertise in your new industry, but it’s also important to keep in mind how you can provide value to your target audience. This involves not only a deep education/ understanding of your given market but also creativity in how to present your content. This can be through blogs, web-pages, pictures, videos, presentations, etc. In order to establish trust, your business needs to showcase that you understand your customer’s pain points. You must find a way to show empathy for the problems they face, while presenting yourself as an expert in having the knowledge of how to solve these problems.
Use a Multi-Channel Approach to Expand Your Reach
An effective digital marketing strategy should include multiple channels such as:
- Landing page development
- Social media campaigns
- Email marketing
- Video Advertising
- Paid advertising
- Press releases
There are many benefits to a multi-channel approach such as producing faster results, but the biggest one is creating multiple opportunities to reach your target audience. The more touch points you have, the better chance you have at making them convert. Consider creating targeted landing pages and using campaigns such as social media, email marketing and PPC (paid-per-click) ads to expand your brand awareness. This will also help drive traffic to your site and increase your potential leads.
Using educational and intriguing videos is another great way to engage with your target audience, and build your brand authority. In the manufacturing industry, no matter what you are creating, video is a great way to showcase your capabilities and develop interest in your product. In fact, investing in video advertising can help increase your revenue 49% faster than traditional marketing tactics.
After you have updated your website with optimized landing pages, and created consistent content through multiple channels such as social media, email outreach and blog posts, it may also be wise to invest in paid advertising. PPC advertising always comes with some risk as it requires a larger investment in order to see the best results. That is why it is important to build a marketing strategy from the ground up, to ensure you are not just throwing money at the wall. As your organic SEO begins to increase in your new target market, and Google/potential customers start to recognize your business as credible, this will help support your PPC ads, therefore increasing your number of conversions.
Utilize Your Existing Manufacturing Brand Authority
Perhaps the most cost effective way to expand into a new industry is by taking advantage of your current brand positioning. Your manufacturing business has already built up a solid brand identity and established trust among your current customers, so there is nothing that says you can’t utilize your current customer database to drive more business. This works extremely well for customers who only contract you for certain parts and you’d like to sell them more. Offering more capabilities is a great way to expand your opportunities of making bigger sales, without having to give a hefty sales pitch.
A great way to utilize your existing customers is through email marketing. Since you already have their contacts, you should segment your email lists and target your messaging to reach those prospects whom you already have established a strong relationship with. Your messaging should include all the benefits you can provide them such as: cost savings, consolidating suppliers and product line enhancements. The key is to give them enough information to make them interested without overdoing it, and scaring them away. Email nurturing is a perfect way to do this, as it allows you to reach your customers at the right time to move them down the sales cycle.
Identify The Right Marketing Partner Who Will Position Your Company Successfully
Deciding to expand your business into a new market can be a scary and unpredictable decision. It takes time and careful planning in order to position yourself correctly to win new business. It also poses some risk, as you must identify the new ways to reach your intended audience. The good news is that for the most part you won’t need to start from scratch. In order to successfully expand your manufacturing business into a new market in the most cost effective way, it’s important to harness your current brand authority to build a digital marketing strategy that will drive the best results.
This starts by enhancing your digital presence to ensure you’re maximizing your reach with your target audience and building brand awareness. You must have a strong website and use a multi-channel approach to generate engaging and valuable content that will help establish trust between you and your potential customers.
Sometimes knowing where to start can be the hardest part, which is why it may be wise to invest in a marketing agency who can help guide you in the right direction to ensure you are taking the right steps to push your business forward. Don’t go it alone. Invest in a digital agency like Icovy whose manufacturing expertise and creative knowledge, can help you stand out in today’s crowded market no matter what the industry is.
Contact us today to see how we can help you by developing a full marketing plan and strategy that is designed to grow your business!