Dr. Emmett Brown: It works! It works! I finally invent something that works!
Marty McFly: [quietly] You bet your ass it works. – Back to the Future, 1985
If you’re reading this blog post, there’s a good chance you believe inbound marketing works (or maybe you’re a very confused Back to the Future fan). Here at PMG, we are dedicated purveyors of inbound marketing tactics. We live and breathe websites, social media, SEO, and blogs. And at this agency, we hold a special place in our hearts for our manufacturing clients.
Sure, browsing through manufacturing firm websites is a little like watching the beloved 1985 classic Back to the Future today. So many of them are techy and futuristic… by yesteryear's standards. Not to mention they're used well beyond their prime.
When we started working with Steiner Technologies over a year ago, we knew the website needed a full overhaul. Our account team interviewed a few of their past clients to learn more about their interests and preferences. The results were conclusive. While manufacturers love technology, they are still dipping their toes in the water when it comes to inbound marketing. We knew it wasn’t going to be just about making a “cool” website.
Manufacturers want classic, timeless design accompanied by resources that are easy to navigate. Simplicity is key, and a sprinkling of more traditional marketing tactics is critical. When we began this design, we thought back to the DeLorean, with its flashy doors, yet outdated aesthetic. And instead, we strived to create a website that is free of distraction while still upping the “cool” factor. So, without further ado, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s go back to… the beginning of the Steiner Technologies website.
The Flying Skateboards of Reverse Machining
Steiner Technologies has been helping manufacturers prevent operator accidents, while saving time and money, with the Autofacer—a custom-made automatic metal cutting tool—for almost 50 years. The business owners, Andy Nolan and his two sons Ryan and Tyler, realized that their tool wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. So they reached out to Precision Marketing Group to make sure their niche industry buyers and decision makers knew they were still the world leader in automatic back boring – and that new prospects would become aware an ingenious tool like theirs existed.
After partnering with us to build up their inbound foundation for a couple of months, they were ready for the next step—to add a new product line to their offerings to secure their title as the one-stop-shop for all reverse machining solutions. Since this required major changes to their website, it was finally the right time for a redesign on the HubSpot COS.
The Challenge Opportunity: Retiring the DeLorean of Websites
Our website journey with Steiner Technologies started here:
An outdated, clunky website with only a couple of conversion points for sales-ready visitors. On top of that, key areas of the website were not keyword optimized. For example, case studies were displayed as static images; an oversight that made it difficult to raise organic awareness of the Autofacer and showcase its enormous value. Steiner needed a major overhaul on a small business budget.
The goals of the redesign were to develop a lead-generating, intuitive, and easy-to-navigate website that would highlight Steiner’s differentiators, educate visitors, and entice them to use Steiner for all of their back boring needs – all while seamlessly adding their new product line, H. Bilz, into the mix.
After doing some preliminary customer and competitor research to determine the redesign strategy, we saw that Steiner had a unique advantage: none of their competitors were doing inbound.
This opened up the doors to getting first dibs on many industry-related keywords and introducing visitors to educational content that they were most likely not getting anywhere else. Since visitors in this industry were not used to consuming typical inbound marketing content (blogs posts, for example), we conducted a content survey. We wanted to make sure that the content we featured in the redesign resonated with Steiner’s prospects and customers. The results showed that they preferred shorter, more engaging content like graphics,
Even Dr. Emmett Brown Had a Budget
In addition to our goal of building a responsive and intuitive website on the HubSpot COS, we wanted to honor Steiner’s trajectory of creating custom quality tools since 1968. Visitors should immediately get the feeling that Steiner Technologies is a business they can trust – so we rebranded around their timeless logo that was already part of the current stationary their loyal customers recognized.
We added a strong Marty-approved color palette and a variety of fonts that evoked strength,
Resources were limited so repurposing was our best friend.
- We transcribed all case studies, ungated them, and gave each its own searchable
web pageto shine.
- Old videos were chopped and recreated into a welcoming header video that showcased the power and versatility of the Autofacer.
- All content was rewritten and optimized according to a mindful keyword strategy.
- It was important for us and Steiner to remain authentic—so the majority of the imagery used
includedcustom images Steiner already had in their library.
Since it was not in the budget to create new downloadable offers to address visitors that needed a little bit more convincing, we had to make the most of what we had available. Months before, we created a custom calculator that visitors in the consideration stage can use to know how much time they can save by switching to the Autofacer. This calculator was given a makeover and brought over to the new site. Users are able to see how much cycle time they’ll save in real time. If they love what they see, they can submit the form that notifies sales and sends them a copy of their results.
Lead Flows were implemented to easily cover the other gaps for visitors not yet ready to make a purchase. To make sure Steiner’s distributors were always front and center, we used the HubDB to keep sales rep listing information in order and easy for Steiner to manage on their own as sales rep information changed. All of this resulted in a lead-generating machine ready to greet visitors at any stage of the buying cycle and help direct them further down the funnel.
Like Marty’s Automatic Resizing Jacket… We Saw Immediate Results
“I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it.” – Marty McFly
Our biggest priority for this project was to design a website that resonated with manufacturers and engineers. We opted to cut out some of the Biff Tannen flash, in favor of streamlined design and simplistic navigation. The results of our efforts were immediate and have
- To highlight the sale of H. Bilz tools at Steiner Technologies, and drive people to the newly designed Steiner website, we created a 4-part email campaign. The first H. Bilz email did exceptionally well, with an open rate of 20.8% and a click-through rate of 18.8% (2016 Industry Benchmark Median = 8.8%). The click-through rate is really where this email shines. To put that number into perspective, the previous newsletter had a 9.5% click-through rate. This last batch of communication marked a huge jump!
- May, the month of the redesign launch, was the most visited month ever—with a 43% increase in visits over the previous most visited month in history. This increase continued in June, still beating the previous most visited month by 13%. We also saw an immediate 12% drop in the home page bounce rate.
- More visits meant more leads. There was a visible lead increase, especially in Florida, a previously underrepresented territory. The Steiner sales team also saw an increase in direct sales rep requests—allowing them to reach more end users per state.
“It’s early on, but we’re already seeing results where we were told a temporary dip could happen. We’re excited for what’s to come as the website continues to gain traction and our prospects and customers get to experience Steiner like never before.”
– Ryan Nolan, Operations Manager
We also can’t wait to see what’s to come, Ryan! And we’re grateful for the opportunity to bring inbound to this niche industry.
Want to transform your manufacturing website into a lead generating machine like Steiner Technologies'? Or simply want to discuss your love of Back to the Future?
Reach out when you’re ready and we’ll help you find the perfect inspiration for your next website.