Online Lead Generation for Manufacturers: Blow Past Your Competition

Staying ahead of your manufacturing competitors when it comes to lead generation and new sales isn’t as hard as you might think.

It's like the two hikers in the African savanna who encounter a lion. Immediately, the first hiker sits on a rock and begins to put on his running shoes. The other hiker is incredulous and says, “You think you can outrun a lion?” The first hiker replies, “No… I just have to outrun you.”

The good news is that these days it doesn’t require deep pockets or an extensive staff to outrun your competitors in the area of online lead generation. This was made abundantly clear from a recent survey of manufacturers.

In fact, if you do a few basic things well (which we will show you), you might be able to replicate the lead generation results of one mid-sized manufacturer… who since 2012 has grown their quality lead pipeline by 925% and their customer base by 360%... just by following the online lead gen blueprint featured below.

Manufacturers and Online Lead Generation in 2018

Our team recently surveyed the websites of 100 manufacturers of varying sizes to determine how well they were using their website for lead generation. (You can download the complete report here to assess how you and your competition are doing.)

We evaluated these websites using 14 best practices for maximizing the effectiveness of a company website – with respect to being found online and generating leads.

What we discovered was that a lot of manufacturers are seriously behind. For example, only 15% of the manufacturers we surveyed were doing one of the key lead generation tactics on their website.

Conversely, there are a handful of manufacturers who are getting the most out of their website… and reaping HUGE rewards (more leads and customers year over year, just like clockwork).

We wanted to highlight one of these manufacturers who was doing it right to show you what is possible for ANY manufacturer who desires to follow suit.

What Online Lead Gen Success Can Look Like

The plastics manufacturer “doing it right” isn’t particularly big (under 200 employees). They have, however, been methodically maximizing their online presence… and reaping the rewards of their 24/7 automated online sales machine (their website).

This manufacturer is a great example of what is possible when you use your online assets effectively.

Since 2012, they have seen steady growth amounting to a whopping 360% increase in new customer levels, generated almost exclusively through their online efforts.

Perhaps more impressive is the fact that this increase continues to happen month after month, year after year. Wouldn’t it be nice to have such a steady flow of new customers?

Online Lead Gen for Manufacturers: Customer Growth Example

Their sales team spends time closing business, not trying to generate business.

As you can see below, this manufacturer has seen an astonishing 925% increase in lead levels since 2012. This increase has happened year after year (about 50% YoY).

Online Lead Gen for Manufacturers: Lead Growth Example

Their efforts have been so effective that they have stopped needing to pursue some traditional (but more expensive) lead generation efforts, like tradeshows.

Click here to download the “blueprint” used for lead generation by the above manufacturer, and others reaping more leads and customers online.

What Exactly Are They Doing?

This B2B manufacturer wasn’t perfect in the manufacturing survey. But, they were doing most things well. In particular, they are getting the most out of 4 key areas:

  1. Problem Solving Content – Creating informative resources that help target prospects solve the problems they regularly face. Like magnets, this content has attracted a lot of the right prospects. Note: this is problem-centric content... not product-centric.

  2. Lead Generation Configuration – Leveraging the above valuable, problem-centric content to acquire a prospect’s email address. This is done in part by “gating” the content behind a form, offering the content in exchange for a work email.

  3. Website Optimization – Making a few tweaks to the website (page titles, URLs, H1 tags, etc.) to make content easier to find and use for both people and search engines.

  4. Utilizing Social Media – Using social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and others to extend the reach of your content, attracting even more targeted prospects.

Sadly, only 10% of the manufacturing companies included in the study were doing all 4 of the key areas of lead gen well. But, those who were following the online lead generation success blueprint were soaring ahead of their competitors.

Click here for a complete list of all 14 areas needed for effective lead generation.

More Cost-Effective Lead Generation

With the vast majority of people now accessing information online, it has become easier and more cost-effective than ever to obtain leads and new business… and distance yourself from your competitors.

To learn how your manufacturing company can follow the blueprint used by the poster child manufacturer featured above, download our free resource, Content Marketing 101 for B2B Manufacturers.

Content Marketing 101 for B2B Manufacturers - Get the Guide

Patrick McDaniel | Paid Search & Social Strategist
About the Author
Patrick McDaniel, Paid Search & Social Strategist

Patrick McDaniel is PMG’s Paid Search and Social Strategist. He likes figuring out how people work – in between facts and figures on organic search rankings, lead gen and engagement techniques, you’ll find hints of psychology and buying behavior in his writing. He loves helping readers understand how to reach and connect with their best prospects!