This article appeared in the September 2020 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.
COVID-19 has, in many ways, completely disrupted the way we interact as human beings as well as the way we go about our daily lives and how we run our businesses. Many manufacturers have been forced to use new processes to meet emerging needs, while others made changes just to avoid losing business.
Sales & Marketing in the “New Normal”
Manufacturers that have succeeded throughout COVID-19 have been able to preserve or create new business by maintaining a quality online presence. The formation of a business relationship, and first impression, is increasingly an online experience. Just like a book can be judged by its cover, many now judge a company by its website. Does yours give an edge to your competition?
What is a quality online presence? Manufacturers should have a technically-sound website and a strong organic Google presence — something which can be boosted by frequent social media updates on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other platforms.
At a minimum, a quality website should consist of a description of services or products offered, an about page, and a contact page.
Most websites are now viewed via a mobile device, so be sure that your content management system is mobile optimized. For optimal engagement, validate that the website looks clean and all links are functional. Ensuring a strong Google presence entails a fast-loading, indexable site with no broken links. WordPress, Squarespace, and Weebly are sites where manufacturers can build websites that are automatically optimized from a technical standpoint. These platforms provide free add-ons that can further help a user increase Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which ensures your site is coded using keywords applicable to your service offering and geography. For example, the SEO Title Tag “5-Axis CNC Machining Manufacturer in Lansing, Michigan” tells Google what you do and where you are.
Maintaining an online presence should not stop at your website. For our purposes, we’ve established accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Publishing blog content and posting on these sites or others will draw in visitors and signal to search engines like Google that your site is updated and relevant — boosting your search ranking in the process. By regularly publishing educational and informational content to a blog or newsletter, you can inform, educate and engage business buyers and sellers and share it with the world via e-mail and social media posts. Over time, this can result in stronger rankings for your business. We did it and, as a result, thousands of buyers and sellers can find us online.
Manufacturers like you can optimize your company’s ability to be found online and create a strong first impression with a quality website and online presence. Not only will an online presence boost recognition and sales, but a robust online presence (or lack of) can be the differentiating factor between success and failure in manufacturing’s new normal.