Are today's manufacturing firm websites set up for lead generation success? After partnering with a variety of B2B firms from the industrial sector for over 15 years, PMG has seen it all. And, of course, we work with our own clients to help them attract and convert leads across a number of channels – the website chief among them.
But the manufacturing industry as a whole gets a bad wrap when it comes to marketing. Although there are plenty of MFG companies who are deploying inbound strategies and redesigning their websites to support their brands, facilitate a better user experience and create new sales opportunities, several large-scale reports have shown that many others are still falling far behind. And they don't know where to start.
That said, our own marketing team wanted to investigate this trend ourselves...
Enter the PMG Manufacturing Firm Website Study.
Over the summer, PMG conducted a thorough study of 100 randomly selected manufacturing firm websites. We approached this study by first identifying 14 marketing best practices that all manufacturing firms should follow to maximize their website traffic and lead building potential. Then we took the time to assess each website individually and determine how well they met our predefined criteria.
The results were compelling, to say the least. (Feel free to download the study here and see for yourself.)
The Importance of Customer Case Studies and Testimonials
One of the best practices we included in our study was incorporating customer case studies and testimonials into the company website. Why, exactly?
According to a 2017 DemandGen Report, case studies are at the top of the content food chain for buyers, as 78% prefer to consume this content format type when researching purchases (note: that's also an increase from 2016). Moreover, BigCommerce reports that 72% of buyers attest that positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more. Plus, we've seen on client sites, as well as our own, that lead-to-customer conversion paths typically include a case study or "Results" page pitstop.
Case studies and customer testimonials are powerful marketing and sales tools because they provide social proof of your work, and they can reinforce the benefits of using your product. Particularly in industries where the product or service is difficult to understand, a well-executed customer story can serve as a tipping point for prospects who need that extra bit of insight to fully grasp how your business will make their jobs (or lives) easier.
In a nutshell, customer case studies and testimonials are the elements that will tip the scales in your favor when a sales-ready prospect is narrowing down the decision between your business and your competitor. So can you believe that 78% of the MFG sites we assessed don’t include them?
Consider this... when you or people you know search online for information about consumer products, vacation spots, restaurants and bars, vehicles, hotels (you name it), you take into account really great (or really poor) reviews, right? B2B customer testimonials work the same way. Particularly if the testimonial is from a respected industry professional, publication or company, public affirmation that your product solves a common problem will go a long way. Putting success stories on display is an easy way to reassure customers that your work is the best!
Quick Case Study & Testimonial Tips
Your prospects want to know how you’ve helped people like them – so go ahead and tell them! Here are a few tips that can help you get started:
- Customer testimonials don’t need to be long or complicated. Simply publishing a quick two-sentence blurb on a product page or About page from a satisfied customer is sometimes enough to do the trick.
- If you have a client who found a resource on your website particularly valuable, you can also include a brief quote on the lead generation landing page to encourage conversions.
- Have a long-time customer who’s been buying from you for years? Ask them if they’d be interested in helping out with a Q&A piece or sharing their experience through a case study. More often than not, they’ll be happy you asked.