One of the most significant challenges for industrial companies is finding the right digital marketing channels to generate new, high-quality leads. Especially for small contract manufacturing companies that haven’t previously invested in digital marketing, it’s difficult to know where to start and how much to spend.
With the right research, investment, and a strategy catered to your unique audience of procurement and engineering decision makers, however, it’s possible to start generating new, high quality leads sooner than you might expect.
Paid traffic, generated from search engines, targeted social media channels, and directories where your buyers are most likely to spend their time, can jump-start your efforts, generate positive ROI, and help set the stage for future inbound marketing efforts when done properly.
Where to Invest Paid Traffic Budget to Reach Industrial Audiences
Most industrial companies have some experience in paid advertising, in the form of tradeshow advertisements, print ads in trade magazines, and directory listings on sites like GlobalSpec and Thomasnet. While the audiences are often a good fit, it’s difficult to directly attribute results to these types of broadly run advertisements, especially with a multi-month sales cycle for most contract manufacturers.
Which brings us to the primary benefit of digital advertising. Using the tools provided by Google Ads, LinkedIn, and other platforms designed to reach your target audience, you can narrow in on geography, keyword matches, and demographics in ways that more traditional ad campaigns never could. So where do you invest? Let’s look at the most common options:
- Google Ads – Previously called AdWords, Google Ads is the world’s largest digital advertising platform, empowering businesses to target specific keyword searches on the world’s largest search engine.
- LinkedIn Ads – Social media can be hit or miss for industrial companies. While Facebook and Twitter both offer robust advertising solutions, they don’t necessarily repres, on the other hand,strial buying audience during work hours. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is incredibly robust, with 80% of all industrial decision makers having an account and 65% of professionals logging in at least once a week.
- Retargeting – Using Google’s display network, you can target your existing website visitors, showing ads to people who have visited your site and left without completing a form or calling you. Ads can be targeted to specific websites to ensure they stay in context, or you can blast them across every site they visit to keep your brand top of mind.
The goal of digital advertising is to reach your audience where they spend their time. That means that, for most industrial companies, the directories referenced above can still make sense if your budget allows and the categories in which you list your company is not overly competitive. Keep this in mind as you plan your digital advertising efforts.
How to Budget for and Start Advertising Online
When you get started, have a well-defined plan in place to avoid blindly spending. A Google Ads campaign can be started in less than 5 minutes with a 150 characters of ad copy, a list of keywords and a credit card, but those ads may not perform well without at least slowing to think about where that money should go. Some factors to keep in mind include:
- Geography – Even if you take on contracts from further away, start within 50-100 miles of your facility. Close matches are most likely to convert and will help establish metrics early.
- Keyword Targeting – This is the big one. Which keywords are your prospects most likely to search for? Create a list of between 50-100 keywords to start. A good way to do this is to choose your five top capabilities and services and brainstorm 10-20 keywords for each.
- Write Ads for Each Group – In Google Ads, you’ll create ad groups of each of those five capabilities and services. Create 2-3 ads for each of them. This will help to test which ad works best when you start running your campaign.
- Determine Budget and Time – This is extremely important. Set a reasonable budget to test your campaign. Start small and set a timeframe in which you can test the ads. Don’t let it run, because it’s easy to forget until that $500 bill shows up at the end of the month. A $20 daily budget running for 2-3 weeks just to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t is a good place to start if you’re dipping your toe into the water.
When developing LinkedIn Ads, the same rules apply to all of the above, with two major differences.
- You can target by keywords, but you’ll do better targeting by job title, industry, and company name. LinkedIn gives you the ability to really drill down into the people who will see your ad.
- The cost per click estimates on LinkedIn are going to be much higher than you see on Google. This is okay, though. These ads are more likely to convert because of their relevance. The big difference here is the volume of people who can see them. Google has a larger network to tap into.
Taking the Leap into Online Advertising
If you are serious about investing in online advertising for your manufacturing company, take the time to map out who you are targeting, what they search for, and your initial budget. If you want to do it right and don’t have the time to invest, consider working with Pronto. Our team of digital advertising experts can help set up and run your Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads campaigns with constant daily monitoring and years of experience to optimize and get the most from your efforts.