Paid advertising isn’t easy for any business but some, like manufacturing and engineering companies, have it more difficult than others. In this article, we look at some advanced PPC strategies companies in these industries can use to capture high-quality traffic and convert them into customers.
Given the technical nature of manufacturing and engineering, you want to get specific with your keyword targeting in Google Ads. For example, if your company produces or sells specialist parts then your customers are going to be informed by the time they make purchase decisions.
They’re looking for fixings made from specific materials, to certain specifications, or electrical components that meet their power requirements.
In terms of product keywords, you’re likely to consider search terms like “ultra thin heat resistant brazing foils” and, at the broader end, you might be targeting “aerospace metal producers” for companies looking for a new supplier. In many cases, potential customers will simply type in part numbers, material properties or specifications without much in the way of contextual wording.
These are the kind of hyper-focused keywords you should build campaigns around in order to capture leads at the point of purchase.
Another strategy is to use trade shows and industry events to capture leads – both online and offline. As your company attends and supports such events, you can promote your involvement and tap into the short-term spike in interest.
You can then build dedicated landing pages for each event to build brand awareness and increase the impact of your presence at the show itself. Next, you’ll create remarketing campaigns to target landing page visitors with campaigns before and after the event with different messages.
With your pre-event campaigns, entice prospects to seek your brand out at the show and engage with you. This is a key opportunity to capture offline leads, putting names and faces to business prospects. And, once the event is done, you can target the same landing page visitors with follow-up messages while you nurture the leads you captured in-person at the event.
In the UK, different sectors of the manufacturing and engineering industries tend to be concentrated in certain pockets of the country. For example, where there is a car manufacturer, many of the parts manufacturers they rely on are often located in the surrounding area.
Clusters like these are quite typical across the two industries due to the need for industrial space and the impact of location upon logistics.
As a result, it’s important to know where your customers are and use the relevant location targeting settings in Google Ads to ensure they see your message. You can also use location names in your headlines or location extensions to make your ads stand out to prospects in your target areas.
Keeping on the topic of automotive manufacturing for the moment, car sales typically spike in the spring and autumn, as new models are released and drop off in the summer and winter.
Monthly sales volume of BMW passenger cars in the United Kingdom (UK) from July 2014 to December 2019 [Source]
It’s no coincidence that many manufacturers in this country shutdown for 2-3 weeks during the summer and, often, again over the Christmas period. It’s not only a question of demand but also an opportunity to service production lines, reassess manufacturing processes and strategise for the next quarter.
Consumer demand impacts manufacturing demand and the more you understand these seasonal trends, the better equipped you are to deliver your message at the most effective moment.
By compiling industry data, you can build models for predicting seasonal trends and detect anomalies when things aren’t following the usual line. You’ve also got legitimate reason to reach out to prospective customers directly to learn more about how their needs change throughout the year and what their concerns are for the months/years ahead.
You can use this data to create more relevant ad messages and increase your bids during the times where demand is highest. Going one step further, you can schedule ads or campaigns to only show when demand hits certain levels and protect your ad spend when interest is lower.
Brand campaigns mean more to some companies than others, especially in the manufacturing and engineering industries. If you’re not winning conversions and customers from branded search then it doesn’t make much sense to pay for this traffic – unless, of course, your rivals are bidding on your brand name and stealing these visitors from you.
However, we find several of our clients in manufacturing and engineering benefit greatly from branded campaigns. In fact, during tests, we’ve seen paid traffic results drop off when we pause branded campaigns and – more importantly – branded traffic tends to generate higher conversion rates.
A lot of B2B companies neglect brand marketing by putting all of their focus on the products or services. There are missed opportunities here for companies to build brand awareness and authority within their industry so that potential customers think of their name when they’re in the market to buy.
So give branded campaigns a fair chance and supplement them with organic search and social campaigns to build awareness.
You work hard to generate traffic from your PPC campaigns and you’re also paying for the privilege. So make sure you’re converting as much of this traffic into leads as possible. Every campaign you run should be part of a lead generation strategy, designed to capture the user’s email address or compel them to create an account – something you can use to reach them directly.
Even when the primary goal of a PPC campaign is to convert visitors into paying customers, you should have a backup lead generation strategy in place so that you can follow-up and continue to nurture these prospects, even if they don’t buy from you on the first visit.
For example, if you’re offering a free PDF datasheet for visitors to download, make sure you’re getting their name and email address in return. Optimise your forms to increase conversions and completion rates, experiment with CTA placement and copy to make your offer more compelling and optimise your campaigns to increase relevance and intent.
Google Ads can be a tricky platform for manufacturing and engineering companies but some industry understanding goes a long way. This is why it pays to hire a search marketing agency that specialises in your industry and knows how to get results. We’ve built up years worth of search and performance data from managing campaigns for our clients in this industry, which allows us to make informed, creative decisions, find new opportunities and react to them faster.
We offer a wide range of PPC services and have lots of experience working with manufacturing and engineering companies. Contact our specialists today on 02392 830281 or send us your details and we’ll call you!
James is Head of PPC at Vertical Leap - he joined us in 2012 and has over 20 years' experience working in digital marketing. His areas of specialism are paid search, Google Shopping and eCommerce PPC. Outside of work he enjoys fishing, camping and motorbiking.
Categories: PPC, SEO
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