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7 Steps for Effective Online Marketing for Australian Industry

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Written by Richard Perrin on 24 Mar 2024

Online marketing is essential for businesses to succeed in today’s digital age. However, industrial businesses have been slower to adopt these strategies compared to other sectors. Industrial businesses often rely on traditional marketing methods such as print media, industry expos and conventions, but are often missing out on the immense opportunities presented by online marketing.

In this article, we will examine the importance of online marketing for industry and explain how businesses like yours can overcome some of the marketing challenges often faced in this sector. 

Why is online marketing often dismissed in the industrial sector?

Online marketing is often dismissed in the industrial sector due to the traditional marketing methods these businesses have relied on for years. Many industrial businesses still rely on word-of-mouth marketing, sales calls, conventions and account-based marketing, which may not reach as wide an audience or be as cost-effective as online marketing efforts. 

Moreover, industrial business owners are sometimes reluctant to adopt digital marketing technologies. As a result, they may be hesitant to adopt new strategies and may not recognise the potential benefits of online marketing. However, the success of online marketing in other sectors and the increasing reliance on digital technologies make it essential for industrial businesses to embrace digital marketing strategies.

What are some of the marketing challenges for industry?

Industrial businesses face several marketing challenges today, including increasing awareness of their business and products, attracting their ideal customers and nurturing leads through the sales process. Additionally, the industrial sector can be highly specialised, and businesses may struggle to identify their target customer and effectively reach them through the right marketing channels.

Awareness

One of the main marketing challenges for industrial companies is a lack of awareness of their business and products. Unlike other sectors, a wider variety of industrial products and services are available, and potential customers may not even be aware of their existence. This challenge is particularly relevant to businesses that offer niche or specialised products.

Industrial companies can use effective strategies to make potential customers aware of their business and the products or services they offer, such as search engine marketing, display advertising, direct email outreach, and social media campaigns.

Attracting leads

Once potential customers know about your business, products or services, the next challenge is attracting those leads and converting them into paying customers. Unlike other sectors, industrial businesses often have very high transaction values, so the stakes are higher when it comes to attracting leads. 

Traditional channels, such as print media, trade shows, and direct mail, often require significant investment with a lower and slower ROI. These methods may not effectively target the sector’s nuanced audience, as industrial buyers increasingly rely on digital platforms for research and decision-making.

Furthermore, traditional marketing can struggle to convey the complexity and full value of industrial products and services, making it difficult to engage potential customers. Consequently, industrial businesses must innovate beyond traditional strategies to effectively capture their target audience’s attention and interest.

Nurturing leads

Nurturing leads for industrial businesses presents significant challenges, particularly when relying on traditional marketing methods.  Industrial companies carry a complex buying process, where decisions are influenced by multiple factors such as quality, compliance, and long-term service agreements. Traditional marketing, with its broad approach, struggles to address these specific considerations on a personal level.

Furthermore, the lengthy sales cycles associated with industrial products and services mean that maintaining interest and engagement over time is crucial. However, traditional channels like print ads or direct mail can’t easily facilitate the ongoing communication and education that nurtures leads effectively. They lack the interactive and responsive elements of digital marketing that allow for tracking engagement, immediate feedback, and tailored content delivery. This limitation makes it challenging for industrial businesses to engage potential customers and move towards a purchase decision.

The 7 steps for effective industrial online marketing

To overcome the challenges associated with traditional marketing, industrial businesses must adopt a digital approach that allows for more personalised and targeted communication with potential customers. Here are seven steps to help guide industrial companies’ online marketing efforts.

1. Build a high-converting website

Building a great website is a critical component of online marketing for any business. The website must demonstrate the advantages of the company’s products and services, particularly when those services are new to target customers. Credibility is important, and the website should offer evidence of past successes and customer satisfaction. 

Providing customer reviews, industry awards, or endorsements from authoritative sources can help establish the credibility of the business and its products, inspiring trust in visitors. The website should be easy to navigate and use positive words and images to build business confidence. 

Finally, well-placed and clear calls to action are needed to take visitors to the next level of engagement, such as requesting a quote, scheduling a demo, or booking a consultation, which can convert website visitors into customers. Good website design, when done right, can be a powerful sales tool for industrial businesses.

2. Identify your ideal customers

Identifying ideal customers is important for industrial businesses because it helps them to ensure that their marketing efforts are targeted towards the right people who are most likely to be interested in their products or services. It can be achieved through tools that allow businesses to create customer lists by drilling down into ideal job titles, company sizes, revenues, and other criteria based on their target market.

At Paramark, we use software to create a target customer list of companies and even people in those companies to reach out to and gain more awareness and opportunities for the products or services our clients offer. By identifying and targeting these ideal customers, businesses can effectively generate more sales and revenue.

3. Email outreach to your ideal customers

Email outreach can help your business increase sales and revenue by generating more leads, engaging with customers directly, and providing a low-cost marketing strategy. Compared to other forms of marketing, email outreach is affordable, enabling your business to reach out to your target audience with minimal cost.

Email outreach holds particular effectiveness for industrial businesses as it allows for detailed, technical information to be conveyed succinctly and directly to those who have the most to gain from it. In industries where the products or services are highly specialised, emails can provide comprehensive explanations, case studies, and testimonials that showcase the value and applicability of these offerings to prospective clients’ unique needs.

When reaching out to potential customers, be mindful of privacy laws. This means adhering to anti-spam laws when sending unsolicited emails and ensuring that the data collected about a person is only used for the purposes for which it was disclosed. 

Businesses that fail to adhere to these regulations can face fines and reputational damage, ultimately affecting their sales and revenue. However, when done correctly, email outreach can be a powerful tool for industrial businesses to acquire new customers and maintain existing ones.

4. Build awareness with a top-of-funnel ad campaign on social media 

Besides email outreach, social media platforms can also be a valuable tool for industrial businesses to build awareness and attract potential customers. With the rise of social media in recent years, more and more people are turning to these platforms for entertainment, product research, and information.

A common misconception amongst industrial companies is the belief that social media platforms are irrelevant to their business model, as their ideal customers aren’t on social media. However, this is far from the truth. The majority of Australian adults use both LinkedIn and Facebook. Over 55% of the population and 80% of the population in Australia have active LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, respectively. With the right targeting and messaging, social media ads can reach decision-makers at your target companies on these platforms.

Industrial businesses can leverage social media by creating top-of-funnel ad campaigns on social media. These ads should focus on creating awareness and interest in the company’s offerings rather than directly promoting products or services. By targeting specific demographics and interests, businesses can reach a wider audience and pique their curiosity about what they have to offer.

The customer list developed from earlier email outreach campaigns serves as a critical asset for reinforcing and expanding the reach of social media ad campaigns. By understanding the profiles and interests of existing customers, businesses can tailor their social media advertising to attract similar demographics, thus ensuring a higher engagement rate. Additionally, this list can be used to create custom audience segments on platforms like LinkedIn, allowing for more targeted and personalised ad experiences.

This strategic use of customer data enhances the effectiveness of advertising efforts. It fosters a sense of familiarity and trust among potential customers, making them more receptive to the business’s messaging and offerings.

Social media allows for more interactive and engaging content formats like videos, infographics, and polls. This can help businesses showcase their expertise, industry knowledge, and unique selling points in a visually appealing and attention-grabbing manner.

5. Reach in-market customers through Search Engine Marketing

Besides social media, businesses can also reach potential customers through Search Engine Marketing (SEM). SEM primarily comprises two critical components: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

PPC is a model where businesses pay a fee each time their advert is clicked, offering a direct method to appear atop search engine results for specific keywords. SEO is the process of optimising website content and structure to rank higher in search results naturally. Together, these components work to increase visibility and attract more traffic to a business’s website.

Paid results, Local Search and Organic Results concept illustration. SEO optimization for SERP - search engine results pages concept vector illustration. Paid, Text-based ads and organic search result

One of the fundamental advantages of SEM is its capacity to connect businesses with individuals actively searching for products or services in the market. When potential customers initiate a search query related to a business’s offerings, SEM ensures that the business’s ads are prominently displayed. This immediate visibility during the critical decision-making phase significantly increases the likelihood of converting interest into a sale. Since these users have already expressed a clear intent through their search queries, they are far more predisposed to purchasing, making SEM an invaluable tool for reaching in-market customers at the most opportune moment.

Consider an eco-friendly packaging producer trying to reach companies looking to reduce their environmental footprint. With traditional advertising methods, such as print ads or trade shows, the ability to connect with these specific in-market companies is more hit-and-miss, relying heavily on broad targeting and hoping the right decision-makers notice.

By contrast, using SEM, the eco-friendly packaging provider can strategically place ads for searches like “sustainable packaging solutions” or “environmentally friendly packaging suppliers.” When a business actively seeking to switch to greener packaging options searches for these terms, the provider’s ad appears at the top of search results, instantly connecting them with a highly relevant and already interested audience. This precision targeting ensures that the eco-friendly packaging business’s marketing efforts are focused on those companies that are in the market for their specific solutions, thereby significantly enhancing the chances of converting interest into sales.

6. Set up an email nurturing sequence for potential customers

Once you have captured the interest of potential customers, you can increase the chances of success through email nurturing. This involves sending a series of targeted emails to potential customers over a period of time.

Once you’ve sent a proposal or quote to a potential customer, the email nurturing sequence becomes a pivotal tool for closing the deal. The first step in this sequence should include a follow-up email, sent a few days after the proposal, to confirm receipt and enquire if the prospective client has any questions or requires further clarification. This demonstrates attention to detail and customer care, two critical factors in building trust. Subsequently, the sequence could feature emails that provide additional value to the potential customer.

This could involve sharing case studies of similar businesses that have benefited from your services, whitepapers that discuss industry trends relevant to the prospective client’s needs, or video testimonials from satisfied customers. Each email should gently guide the potential customer towards making a positive decision, addressing potential objections and reinforcing the benefits highlighted in the proposal. By strategically scheduling these emails to maintain engagement without overwhelming the recipient, you can effectively nurture your relationship with a potential customer, keeping your offer top-of-mind until the customer is ready to proceed.

7. Set up remarketing campaigns

Remarketing is a powerful tool that can help keep your business at the front of a customer’s mind long after visiting your website. By utilising Google Ads or social media retargeting, you can display your ads to customers who have previously shown an interest in your products or services. These ads remind the customer that your business is there, waiting to be contacted when they’re ready to make a purchase decision. 

To make your remarketing campaigns effective, it’s essential to segment your audience and tailor your ads accordingly. For example, you can create separate campaigns for customers who have visited specific pages on your website or those who have submitted an enquiry. By targeting each group with personalised messaging and offers relevant to their particular interests or needs, you can maximise the chances of converting them into paying customers. 

Moreover, remarketing campaigns can also address any objections or concerns that potential customers may have had when they first interacted with your business. By showcasing positive reviews or testimonials from satisfied customers, you can build trust and credibility in the minds of your audience.

Does it work?

In an increasingly digital-first world, even sectors traditionally reliant on direct sales and trade shows, such as the industrial sector, are realising the immense potential of online marketing. It enables these companies to reach a larger audience, enhance brand visibility, and effectively communicate their unique value propositions.

Digital strategies like content marketing, SEO, and email marketing allow industrial companies to demonstrate their expertise, build trust with potential clients, and cost-effectively drive leads. Furthermore, with the ability to track metrics and analyse data, online marketing offers unparalleled insights into customer behaviour and campaign performance, enabling continuous refinement of strategies for better outcomes.

At Paramark, we’ve helped industrial companies significantly increase their client base and sales through our targeted digital marketing campaigns. Our team understands the unique challenges faced in the industrial sector and tailors our strategies to address them, helping companies build their online presence and grow their business.

If you’re an industrial business looking to grow your revenue online, it’s critical to consider the opportunities offered by online marketing. From creating a strong website to identifying your target customers, our team can help you achieve success with proven strategies and expert guidance.

Richard is the founder of Paramark. With over 15 years of website design experience and a passion for Search Engine Optimisation, he enjoys explaining complex marketing strategies in simple terms.

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