The availability of raw materials is a cornerstone of the American industrial sector, and clearly vital to its growth, and ssteel continues to be a best product sought by buyers.
But even with the industry’s high demand and longevity, running a business still poses challenges, whether it’s maintaining relationships, building new ones, or generally trying to build a business that will last.
We’re here to help ease some of that burden, though, in this post – hHere are some basic marketing strategy must-haves to grow your business in the steel industry and exploit more market share.
Understand the customers you are trying to reach
Digital marketing allows you to stay in touch with customers and continue to be seen by new prospects – and more and more manufacturers are investing in its technologies.
Indeed, today’s new era of B2B buyers are tech-savvy millennials and they research your services online before contacting you.
Studies show that:
- 74% choose the supplier who was the first to add value and better understand their problems
- 67% rely more on content and search than a year ago
- 80% expect the same shopping experience as B2C customers
Manufacturers can no longer avoid the reach and effectiveness of digital marketing and have adapted their approach to outdated tactics like print ads to generate new customers using their website and digital advertisements.
Provide the online content buyers need
With buyers searching for your services online, your website is an important foundation for your growth efforts. They just can’t find you if you’re not there. (You can see exactly who is looking for businesses like yours on Thomasnet.com with a Custom Market Buyers Report.)
Today, 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less and 33% of people abandon a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load. If the mobile version of your website is not similar in functionality and control to the desktop version, visitors may get frustrated with the poor user experience and turn to a competitor.
Buyers like to seek advice in your industry and educate themselves before contacting you. Present yourself as a trusted leader by posting free resources, guides, and case studies that address common buyer challenges.
Infra-Metals presents all of their hardware specifications organized in a catalog format. This helps their engineers and buyers see exactly what Infra-Metals has in stock and how their materials can meet their project requirements. It just makes the customer’s job easier, which is essential for winning new customers.
In addition to updating your website’s mobile features and content pages, prioritize key components to encourage website conversions. This means including simple solutions on your website for prospects and customers to contact you or submit their information. For example, your Contact Us page offers several options for website visitors to contact you, such as a one-click call button, quote request forms, email address, and 24-hour service CTAs. and 7 days a week. Make sure they are visible at all times.
Continental Steel Contact Us Page is designed for lead generation. Note that website visitors have many options to contact Continental Steel depending on their needs – a basic form, an emergency quote request, a future project quote request, etc.
Regularly track your current lead generation efforts
Before making any changes, it’s important to see the performance of your current marketing efforts (if any).
For most manufacturers, that would mean digging into your reporting tools like Google Analytics and taking a look at key website components like:
- Keyword performance
- Optimized images
- Page titles and descriptions
- Contact buttons
- Mobile page speed
If you don’t know how to analyze your website’s efforts, that’s okay! It may be necessary to hire industry experts to fully assess the content of your website, SEO traffic, mobile friendliness, etc., and understand what all those details mean. All of these reports are important so you can see where to allocate your resources, make more informed business decisions, and prove ROI.
(Bonus! Our Free digital health check can review your steel fabrication website and view a detailed comparison of your website against your competitors.)
Online directories to promote your business in the steel industry
To take your website efforts even further, a digital advertising strategy can promote your steel business to the exact audience you want to do business with. In some cases, you can advertise your business for free with minimal effort.
Enter your company information in online business directories such as:
Take the time to make sure your business name, address, and phone number are consistent across all platforms. This ensures that you bring traffic to your website, that prospects and customers can find you, and that your brand remains professional.
The right content combined with digital strategies like SEO will help drive high-quality traffic from search engines to your website, and adding location-based keywords to relevant pages such as “steel fabrication services in New York” or “steel fabricator and Custom Metals in New England” will help attract buyers who are looking for you in your area.
Many manufacturers include paid advertising strategies such as displaying ads and promoted content to amplify their reach, increase awareness of their steel services, and drive traffic to their website. Managing paid advertising campaigns on search platforms can be expensive if you’re new to it. There are many filters and factors to consider, like the timing of your ads and the job titles you’re trying to reach.
Generate leads with a digital marketing strategy
Is your marketing strategy defined to meet the needs of your buyers?
Today’s business and consumer landscape is changing to become more digital every day. A complete digital marketing strategy for steel industry manufacturers has many components, but you can start with a few website updates. Studies show that 30% of consumers won’t even consider a business if they don’t have a website. Your website should therefore be the foundation of your growth efforts.
Our free eBook The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing for Makers will outline all the steps you need to take to grow your business to 2022 and beyond.
If you have any questions along the way, Contact us to learn how Thomas’ online solutions increase your reach to audiences seeking your steel services and enable your team to generate new leads, sell new business and attract new customers. We’ve been connecting B2B buyers with suppliers for over 120 years and we can manage a free digital health check on your website to show you exactly what you need to achieve your growth goals.