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5 Key Reasons Why SMBs Should Hire a Marketing Agency

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face a lot of challenges against larger corporations. SMBs often have fewer resources and smaller budgets – making it seem nearly impossible to compete against big name brands. The best way SMBs can get a leg up against their competitors is to hire a marketing agency to develop, implement, and monitor their promotional strategies.

Fortunately, we live in a time where innovative tactics can trump a massive budget – and that’s exactly what marketing agencies are there for.

Now, when small business owners hear this, they immediately think of their pocketbook. Hiring a marketing agency seems like a big financial risk, particularly for business owners working on a shoestring budget.

But the fact is that many SMBs are wasting a lot of time and money by trying to take on the task of marketing themselves. Investing the money with an agency is a better choice for numerous reasons.

Now, before we dive into the details of why it’s smart to hire a marketing agency, let’s talk about the biggest marketing challenges SMBs are faced with.

Marketing Challenges for SMBs

First and foremost, small business owners need to understand and accept the reasons why their marketing strategies might be failing. Small business owners have a lot going on and usually cannot dedicate much of their time solely to strategizing and managing marketing plans.

Generally speaking, here are some of the biggest challenges SMBs face:

The reality is that many SMBs simply struggle to make marketing strategies work. Take a look at some of the statistics from a recent survey published by Fundera:

The fact is that digital marketing is essential for reaching customers these days, especially since the vast majority of initial interactions will happen online. This same report also found that 81% of shoppers will go online to research a product or company before buying. If your SMB does not have information published online or people cannot find you, chances are high that you will lose that customer to a competitor.

The same Fundera survey concluded that SMBs who actively utilized digital marketing strategies – like social media and email marketing – were far more successful. When brands engage with consumers through social media marketing, customers spend up to 40% more on average with each purchase.

The best solution to the challenges that so many SMBs face is to hire a marketing agency that can manage these tasks completely. This allows business owners to focus on other important aspects of running their company.

Now, let’s shift gears into the main reasons why partnering with a marketing agency is the right decision.

1. Concentrated Focus on Leads and Visibility

As previously mentioned, one of the greatest challenges many SMBs face with marketing is a lack of leads and poor visibility.

Finding leads can seem like searching for a needle in a haystack when you don’t know the strategies to do it correctly. Furthermore, most consumers will be unfamiliar with smaller brand names. This means that SMBs face an uphill battle when it comes to establishing visibility, familiarity, and trust with prospects.

Gaining visibility and building strategies for funneling in new leads is the core focus for every marketing agency. These two approaches lay the foundation to build a successful marketing strategy upon.

The key to increasing visibility and lead generation is to diversify the marketing mix to reach different customer bases. But each channel needs to be optimized depending on the customer segment or intention.

This is an extremely overwhelming task for SMBs to do, since it generally involves a lot of content creation, planning, and monitoring. On the surface level, this is why it is best to hire a marketing agency to execute the plan.

2. You Have True Experts on Your Side

Marketing agencies pride themselves on only hiring the best employees – who typically have a wide range of experience with different industries. Marketing agencies can connect you with marketers who specialize in specific areas, whether it be your company’s industry or a certain strategy.

Of course, SMBs can hire an in-house marketer or even a small team of their own. While these marketers may be smart and talented, you will generally be able to access more experienced marketers through an agency at a cheaper rate. As an SMB, you may not be able to attract (or afford) such high-level marketers to work in-house, but you can hire them through an agency.

Full-service agencies have experts that specialize in both inbound and outbound marketing – both of which are equally important for SMB growth. Outbound marketing deals with reaching out to find new leads with strategies like media buying or direct-mail campaigns. Inbound marketing is designed to attract customers that are looking for your services or products already through concepts like SEO and content marketing.

Again, these tasks can be tricky for SMB owners who have little experience with marketing. For marketing agencies, this is often their bread and butter.

Their marketers know the importance of establishing branding for small businesses – they generally have years of experience with helping other companies do so. When you hire a marketing agency, you gain access to experts that know for a fact which strategies will work best for your brand.

3. It is More Cost-Effective

Small business owners know that hiring new employees can be a very expensive process – and not just because of the added salary to the payroll. It costs companies an average of $4,129 to hire a new team member, due to costs in recruiting, onboarding, and training.

Now, partnering with a marketing agency is not necessarily cheap – and you do get what you pay for. Many agencies offer varying pricing structures so SMBs can get the help they need without going over their budgets.

Generally, marketing agencies will offer one or more of the following pricing structure options:

Marketing is a full-time job. Hiring an agency can save a lot of time trying to manage these tasks yourself. Time is money – and by delegating the heavy lifting to an agency, you can dedicate more effort and resources to operating the business.

4. Marketing Agencies Have Proven Knowledge & Track Records

SMB owners are used to taking risks – but when it comes to marketing, you generally want to avoid risks as much as possible. Thankfully, most marketing agencies can often prove their value with case studies from past projects.

Now, it is important to mention that marketing agencies cannot guarantee specific results, such as an exact percentage lift in online traffic or revenue. If an agency makes these kinds of promises, you should probably steer clear as this could be a sign that they will be deceptive of their results to hit their goals.

Honest and trustworthy marketing agencies will have the metrics from past clients to show the value they add to other businesses. This may be metric reports with graphs and analytics from past campaigns – or it could be case studies showing the results of strategies in various industries.

When you hire a marketing agency, they can help support the entire SMB process, including (but not limited to):

To make life easier on yourself, look for a full-service marketing agency. For SMBs, it’s best to have a one-stop shop that can handle all aspects of marketing, including web design, content creation, SEO, PR, email, SMS funnels, lead nurturing, sequences, and more.

5. Marketing Agencies are Partners for Your Success

While every client’s results will vary, the average ROI for marketing strategies is extremely high.

For instance, email marketing has an average return of $40 for every dollar spent. SEO marketing has a $22 return, and mobile marketing’s ROI is around $10.50.

At the end of the day, marketing agencies want to help their clients succeed – and they will do anything to keep you on as a satisfied client. When you hire a marketing agency, it is not an expense; it is an investment that compounds over time.

Remember, most marketing agencies are SMBs themselves. They know the struggles, but they also know how to optimize strategies to grow. They get you. They want to help you so that both companies succeed together.

Conclusion

Digital marketing is not always easy – especially when you run an SMB and already have so many things on your plate. The thing with marketing is that the more you put into it, the more you will get out. Now, not all SMBs have the luxury of being able to afford the time or resources for comprehensive strategies.

Hiring a marketing agency will help you take your business to the next level and grow your brand recognition, audience reach, and, of course, your revenue. They will partner with you to grow your brand and reach those goals you never thought you could accomplish.

If you want to learn more about hiring a digital marketing agency, reach out to our team at Curve Communications.

We are a full-service marketing agency serving both B2B and B2C companies in all aspects of marketing strategies. Give us a call today to speak with one of our agents for a free one-on-one consultation.

The Ultimate Guide to Manufacturing Marketing - Featured Image List box

The Ultimate Guide to Manufacturing Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Manufacturing Marketing

When you market in any industry, the number one priority is the customer.

However, many manufacturing companies struggle to translate this concept into their marketing strategies. More than half of all manufacturing marketers (55 percent) state that their top challenge is overcoming the traditional marketing-and-sales mindset. They’re stuck advertising like they did a decade ago – and that’s not going to give them the results they need in these times.

To meet the needs and expectations of modern customers, manufacturers must embrace the chance to improve their marketing strategies. Learning to market and reach out to customers properly will lead to more qualified leads, increased revenue, and a wealth of business opportunities.

In this guide, we’ve rounded up some of the key elements of strong marketing, as shared by the experts of our online marketing agency.

We’ll tackle everything, from breaking down the manufacturing sales funnel to discussing various methods of content creation, lead generation, website development, and much more.

1. Understanding the Sales Funnel for Manufacturing Marketing

First things first: manufacturers need to understand the different stages of the buyer’s journey, specifically within their own industry.

Stages of buyers journey

Image Source: Sales Funnels Expert

Step

01

Consumers Become Aware of Your Brand

The first step in the buyer’s journey is simple: learning that your manufacturing brand exists.

This is when a customer stumbles into your store, or more likely, comes across your manufacturing website or content. They learn your name and develop an initial understanding of what your brand offers and the value you can provide to them.

Step

02

Your Company Piques Interest

During step number two, your potential buyers take a deeper look at your manufacturing company. They either form an interest in your services/products – or they don’t.

This is your opportunity to showcase exactly how you provide solutions to manufacturing-related problems or needs. Answer questions and make your brand’s selling points clear.

Step

03

Buyers Realize the Value of Your Products

Your brand had a chance to strut itself in step two. Now, it’s time for buyers to determine what your products/services are truly worth to them – monetarily and beyond. This is the key part of the buyer’s process.

Can you truly impress upon your buyer why they need to work with your manufacturing company?

Step

04

Seal the Deal

Last but not least, you convert your interested shopper into a committed buyer. This is done by answering all their questions, clearing up any doubt, and solidifying the fact that you are the best possible solution to their problem.

The sale is completed, and now, you’ve got a customer in the bag.

You might be wondering, “Okay, but what does all of this have to do with marketing?”

Well, as we delve deeper into this topic, you’ll soon realize that almost every part of essential manufacturer marketing fits into this buyer’s journey. Your marketing strategies are the map, and your team members are the cartographers.

Now, it’s time to lead your buyer’s straight into your desired sales pool.

2. Goals for Marketing for Manufacturers

Speaking of your desires, what are your goals for your manufacturing company? Why are you reading this post and trying to improve your marketing tactics?

Let’s take a look at some of the most common ambitions shared by manufacturers. All of these goals have a lot to do with strong marketing – and we’re going to explain why.

Leads

Did you know that roughly 71 percent of manufacturing content marketers list lead generation as their top organisational goal?

For any company, more qualified leads = more opportunities to turn a profit. Your team is hoping to reel in more interested parties with great marketing – and therefore have a chance to convert more prospects into paying customers.

Any custom marketing strategy worth its stuff works to help you generate more leads via content creation, digital advertising, customer engagement, and a whole spectrum of other tactics.

Lead Generation
Revenue Generation

Revenue

This next manufacturing goal seems pretty obvious: bring in more money – period.

Whether you’re finding new customers or simply encouraging old ones to return, marketing should help your company achieve new revenue heights. Smart advertising allows you to appeal to buyers on just the right level, pique their interest, and convince them to spend money with your manufacturing company.

Branding

Another goal shared by many manufacturers is the aim to breathe life into your brand.

Although most of us will agree that manufacturing companies aren’t the easiest to personalize, it’s essential that you humanize your brand enough to engage customers on a deeper level.

A big part of great marketing is cultivating an excellent brand design – one that makes your manufacturing brand appear more credible, trustworthy, and appealing than your competitors’ companies.

Excellent marketing helps with creative branding through custom website design, personality development, smart messaging, and general identity cultivation.

Branding
Scaling

Scaling

If you want your brand to grow (and you should), you’ll need to have a plan for adapting to that growth.

As your manufacturing company increases in size and success, you’ll face new challenges – like adjusting to a larger audience, garnering more publicity, and recruiting more employees. Expert marketing will help you break through these obstacles and scale your growth effectively.

Setting Your KPIs

The last marketing manufacturing goal we want to point out is the chance to set your KPIs (key performance indicators).

How do you know what factors indicate your brand’s success or failure?

What elements reveal your manufacturing marketing ROI?

By analyzing the right data for sales, advertising, content production, team management, and more, you will put yourself in a better position to effectively implement custom marketing strategies that drive your brand’s future.

Setting KPI's

3. Challenges of Manufacturing Marketing

Hopefully, you’ve now thought a little bit about what your goals as a manufacturing company are – and how custom marketing can get you the results you seek.

Moving on, let’s talk about some of the obstacles you’re probably facing in your marketing, as well as how you can combat them with the right strategies.

A. Targeting the Right Audience

Addressing just the right audience is a struggle for many industries, but we find it’s especially challenging for manufacturers, who often face large audiences on an international scale.

Unique Challenges Manufacturing Content Marketers Face

Challenges faced by manufacturing content marketers

Not only does your marketing need to potentially appeal to people from around the globe, but it also needs to reach multi-level roles while conveying semi-complex messages.

As you can imagine, it’s not necessarily a simple task.

The solution for this challenge comes down to the discovery process. The goal is to understand who you are as a brand, the value you provide to the industry, the problems you solve, and who you aim to help.

To learn more about finding your target audience, talk to one of our experts at Curve Communications. We’ve developed a time-tested discovery process to pinpoint your most ideal customers – and how we can set up a thorough manufacturing marketing strategy to find more of them.

B. Determining What Kind of Content to Publish

Your next issue is figuring out the best kind of content to create and share. Content is the backbone of your inbound marketing strategy. If you’re not producing the right kind, you’re missing out on a wealth of opportunity.

What does your content production team need to focus on? Blogs? Landing pages? Case studies? White papers?

How Manufacturing Marketers Rate Their Organization’s Overall Level of Content Marketing Success

Chart showing how manufacturers rate their organization’s overall level of content marketing success

As the graphic above indicates, about 68 percent of manufacturing marketers feel their content marketing is “moderately successful.” Another 17 percent think theirs is only “minimally successful.”

Why do so many manufacturers feel poorly about their content marketing?
Our guess is that most are posting the wrong kinds of content.

Think back to the buyer’s journey we discussed at the beginning of this guide. The goal of your content is to funnel your perfect customers from steps one to five. That means creating content that improves their awareness, grabs their interest, and provides real value.

If you’re not sure where to start with content creation, we suggest taking an informative standpoint. Instead of thinking of your content or blog as a sales tool, think of it as an educational opportunity to win over skeptical readers.

We often push our manufacturing clients to produce informative blog posts, e-books, news releases, and guides. Focus on providing your readers with real value – and the sales will follow.

C. Managing Your Website

Manufacturers, both big and small, face the challenge of consistently updating their websites to appeal to consumer taste.

Your website is your hub, your digital representation, and your chance to put your best foot forward. In the outbound and inbound marketing realm, your website is your most valuable asset.

At the end of the day, all of your marketing strategies point customers back to your website. Content, social media campaigns, emails, pop-up ads – they all encourage customers to visit your website.

Your website can’t be some run-of-the-mill platform. It needs to be fine-tuned for easy navigation, customer appeal, and conversions. Investing in expert website design and development is perhaps the best thing you can do to nurture interested visitors into paying customers.

Managing website

For starters, every website today should have:

In most cases, your website is your first chance to impress a buyer. This is their initial interaction with your company – and it needs to be a good one.

D. Properly Setting Up CRM and Marketing Automation Systems

Your team may be facing the challenge of automating your marketing efforts.

The simpler and faster you can make your marketing plan, the more time your team has to focus on bigger projects and business growth. Now’s the time to look into CRM and marketing automation systems, but picking the right one is easier said than done.

At Curve Communications, some of our favorite systems include:

If you need guidance on picking (and implementing) the best automation system, talk to our marketing team. We’re equipped to match you with a system that meets your expectations and budget – and start pulling in qualified leads.

4. How to Do Marketing for Manufacturing Businesses

Now that we’ve discussed common goals and obstacles for manufacturers, let’s get to the real meat of this guide: creating a marketing plan that works.

These are the top steps you need to tackle if your strategy is to take flight. Trust us: skipping even one of these tasks can lead to sub-par results and lots of wasted time and effort.

A. Create a Buyer Persona

The first to-do we want to discuss is defining your ideal customer(s). This is an enormously important part of targeting the right audience and crafting effective marketing messages. The more detailed your personas are, the easier it is to get your marketing plan right on the first go.

Buyer persona

Image Source: Sevaa Group

As you develop your customised marketing strategy, get really specific about your buyers. Before diving deep into the discovery process, ask yourself the following questions:

The more detail you can provide for a buyer persona, the easier it will be to target them with precision.

When it comes to manufacturing marketing, you likely have more than one type of persona you’re attempting to engage with, and that’s alright. Take a hard look at your best customers and come up with some categories.

For example, are you mostly selling to design engineers? MRO managers? Procurement teams?

Don’t assume you already know what your ideal buyer personas look like. Take the time to conduct real research – this will fuel smart, impactful marketing strategies in the near future.

B. Design the Perfect Website

We’ve already touched on the importance of having a mobile-responsive, neat, impressive website, but let us say it again: your website needs to be flawless.

Some even argue that your website plays the most important role in your inbound marketing strategy, above any content or ad tactics.

As you look into custom website design and development services to improve (or build) your manufacturing website, you need to focus on the following elements in order to create a site that markets for itself.

Website desigining

a. Easy-to-Manage CMS

Your CMS (content management system) dictates how simple it is to create, manage, and change content on your website. This includes your graphics, code, and overall design.

You need a CMS that’s easy to use so you can consistently adapt your digital marketing strategies within your website’s setup. Look into popular choices like WordPress or Magnolia for systems that make adaption simple.

A website shouldn’t be a stagnant entity but an evolving representation of your brand. A good content management system helps manufacturers achieve this.

Easy-to-Manage CMS

b. SEO

If you want your manufacturing website to rise up the ranks of popular search engine results, you’ll need a solid SEO strategy in place.

Ensure your website is optimized with the right manufacturing keywords, expert content, and a setup that Google favors. Failing to keep SEO in mind as you design your website will make it significantly more challenging to find new leads organically.

SEO

c. Copywriting

As your website design takes shape, the importance of the text on every page cannot be overstated. Not only is copywriting a part of SEO, but it’s also extremely important when it comes to customer perception.

Think about it this way: would you trust a manufacturing company whose website is littered with poorly written, incorrect copy? Or would you go for the brand with attention-grabbing, grammatically correct text?

Don’t just slap some words on the homepage and call it good. Recruit strong copywriters who will help your website pack just the right amount of punch.

Copywriting

d. Easy Navigation

A whopping 94 percent of respondents in a Small Biz Trends survey indicated that easy navigation is the most useful feature on any website. This is especially true on manufacturing websites – people want to find what they need immediately without sifting through lots of complicated information.

Give your website an easy-to-follow setup, a helpful search bar, and any other features that will make it functional for a variety of users.

Easy Navigation

e. Third-Party Lead-Tracing Tools

While giving your manufacturing website a facelift, you need to implement some lead tracking tools. Apps like Zoho, Salesforce, and Quick Base will help you better organise all of the relationships you make with incoming customers.

Immediately plug signed-up users into your email system, create customized dashboards for tracking, forecast sales, and personalize the user experience.

Third-Party Lead-Tracing Tools

f. Active Blog

We discussed how important it is to educate your visitors with expert information as a part of your manufacturing marketing strategy. An on-site blog provides the ideal platform for doing just that.

Active Blog

Image Source: Finances Online

A large chunk of your website visitors will check out your blog before they make any moves toward purchasing. Give them posts that are
full of quality writing, eye-catching headlines, and information that really benefits them.

g. Beautiful Design

This might sound like a no-brainer, but remember: your website needs to be be
aesthetically pleasing.

Just because the site is for a manufacturing company doesn’t mean that it should be bare-bones and boring to look at. First impressions of a brand are 94 percent design-related, so make sure that your website gives your brand the best chance at impressing viewers.

Beautiful Design

C. Planning Different Types of Content

Only about 40 percent of manufacturing marketers always/frequently craft content based on their average customer’s journey.

Ignoring your manufacturing marketing sales funnel is a surefire way to create ineffective content. Your website should be a pedestal for content that plays right into the buying journey – and that means creating different types of content for different purposes.

Let’s break it down. Here are the three basic stages of the buyer’s journey – and the types of content that best fit within each step of the process.

Awareness

The “Awareness” Stage

In this stage, people are looking for answers. This is where you want to provide educational, top-level content, like e-books, blog posts, social content, and general information. You might even produce a few videos to catch their eye in this initial step.

Interest

The “Interest” Stage

If someone has made it to this stage, you’ve caught their attention. This is your chance to draw them in deeper – perhaps with some testimonials and case studies that reveal just how beneficial your products/services could be for their problem.

Decision

The “Decision” Stage

You’ve almost snagged a new customer. Now, it’s time to produce content that really makes the sale. We’re talking about emails with direct calls-to-action, pricing-related messages, and other kinds of content that take them from “maybe” to “definitely.”

Don’t skip on any stage of the buyer’s journey as you create content. Each part of the process is essential and requires specific marketing messages

D. Picking Channels for Content Distribution

You’ve created content for each stage of the buyer’s journey, but you’re not done yet. You need to determine how you’re going to share this content for the best audience engagement and response.

What channels are you creating content for?

Graph showing content created for various channels

Image Source: HubSpot

As you can see from the graph above, social media is typically the distribution channel of choice – specifically Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. YouTube is also highly valued these days.

Unfortunately, there’s no right or wrong answer that we can direct you toward when it comes to picking distribution channels. It all depends on where your target audience hangs out and what kind of content you’re sharing.

What we can tell you is that we’ve seen many of our manufacturing clients succeed with strong distribution on their own website. Creating videos, blog posts, podcasts, and other content for their website has led many manufacturers to directly reach customers on the hunt for answers.

Still, it’s not a bad idea to plan out a few other distribution channels in your manufacturing marketing plan. Consider the best social media platforms for your particular business and progress from there.

E. Measuring ROI

Last but not least, we’ve got one more big marketing topic to tackle: measuring your return on investment.

If you really want to know how successful (and worthwhile) your marketing services are, you need to understand exactly how much revenue you’re receiving compared to how much you’re investing.

ROI formula
Image Source: Wall Street Mojo

For all types of digital advertising, traditional advertising, outbound marketing, and inbound marketing, you want to feel good about your investment. It’s all about balancing the risk with the reward to achieve the perfect setup for your manufacturing brand.

To keep track of your marketing campaigns and their success, you need to be keeping a close eye on your marketing data and CR. You’ll need to have a data-backed understanding of what’s working, what’s not working, and where your greatest challenges and opportunities lie. The goal is to justify every single dollar in your budget.

Measuring ROI is not always apples-to-apples. Do yourself a favor and leave it to the experts!

Conclusion

Hopefully, our ultimate guide to manufacturing marketing has given you some strong launch pads for igniting your own strategies.

If you’re still feeling a little lost, or possibly overwhelmed by all of the information we just threw at you in 3,000+ words, reach out to the team at Curve Communications.

Our traditional & digital marketing agency has extensive experience partnering with manufacturing businesses just like yours. Let us take your marketing plan – and your company – to the next level. You’re ready to go, and we’re ready to make your dreams a reality.

Landing Page Strategy for Manufacturing Company Website - featured image

Landing Page Strategy for Manufacturing Company Website

It doesn’t matter what products or services your manufacturing business offers. Your landing page strategy is the first chance you have to impress customers. It needs to stand out and seamlessly nurture interest into revenue.

A strong landing page incentivizes viewers to take action and jumpstart the buyer’s journey. If you’re not converting any visitors into customers on your landing pages, you need to take a second look at your current strategies.

Today, we want to share some landing page tips we’ve picked from years of working in the industry. These words of wisdom will help you elevate your manufacturing landing page and score more interested leads, right from the get-go.

Before going ahead with the landing page strategy, let us see what are some of the key components of best converting landing pages.

A. Key Components of the Best Converting Landing Pages

1. Attention-Grabbing Opening Line

Image Source: Fairlawn Tool Inc.

To take your landing page to the next level, one of the first things you’ll need to do is create a witty, captivating headline. You only have 8 seconds to make an impression with your landing page – so you need something that’s truly attention-grabbing.

Your goal is to immediately convey what your brand has to offer and encourage users to take action.

2. Engaging Content

Content is the foundation of any landing page. The body text should reveal how you can solve customers’ manufacturing problems through bullet points, brief paragraphs, and hard-hitting facts.

Remember: too much text on a landing page can be distracting. You need to include just enough copy to make a point, but not too much that would overwhelm viewers.

3. Clear Call-to-Action

To have a solid lead generation landing page, you need a strong call-to-action (CTA).

Incorporate a CTA that instantly captures viewers’ eyes. It should have powerful, contrasting colors compared to the rest of the page and quick, punchy text.

Keep in mind, below-the-fold CTAs can generate up to 304% more conversion lift than landing pages that have above-the-fold CTAs. We suggest working your way up to a strong call-to-action rather than throwing it in your reader’s face as soon as they open the link.

4. Trust Factors

Image Source: FireRock

Another excellent landing page strategy is to create trust with each of your visitors.

How do you do this?

Through testimonials, customer reviews, and quotes from real (hopefully recognizable) people).

Social proof goes a long way toward convincing buyers that your manufacturing business is credible. Help customers make immediate decisions on your landing page by showcasing what other customers and authorities have to say.

You may also want to flaunt a few endorsements or third-party credentials to polish up your reputation a little more.

B. How to Develop Your Landing Page Strategy

1. Define Your Landing Page Goals

As you learn how to brand your business through a customized landing page, think about what your goals are. Why exactly do you want to garner more conversions through your landing page? What do you want the page to say about your manufacturing business?

Defining real, achievable goals as you tackle the design process will help you meet your objectives along the way.

2. Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

For manufacturing companies, branding on a landing page is all about highlighting what makes you special. In other words, what is your “unique selling proposition”? What do you have that other manufacturers don’t?

If you want to create a landing page that sells, you’ll need to actively feature your product USP through brand storytelling. The goal is to make your brand appealing to visitors. Incorporate your value proposition in everything, – from the benefits listed on the page to your contact information and testimonials.

A USP isn’t just a brag. It’s a valid point that reveals what your business offers that others don’t. Really think about what your manufacturing customers want and focus on how you will uniquely provide the solution.

3. Create a Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your “ideal” customer. Essentially, your team should leverage exhaustive market research and customer data to come up with the picture-perfect concept of your perfect buyer.

As you design or revamp your landing page, think about what exactly your buyer persona needs from you, not what you need from them. If you can target that customer persona and their motivations, you’ll increase your odds of real conversions in the long run.

4. Create a Strong Offer

Any worthwhile lead generation landing page offers visitors something. This could be access to a webinar, a tip sheet, an e-book, a consultation, a comprehensive guide to manufacturing safety or trends, or anything else.

No matter what your offering is, it needs to be presented in a way that sparks action. Even the greatest offer in the world can fall flat if it’s not presented well. You need to highlight the challenges your offering solves, what the person will gain from it, and why they should care.

Be concise here.

It’s a safe assumption that today’s buyers are impatient. They’re not going to dig through a wall of text to learn the benefits of what you are selling – you need to spell it out for them.

5. Use Psychological Triggers

Selling is all about psychology. Using psychological triggers in your landing page encourages people to act quickly.

For example, when you include a “limited-time offer” or a product that’s quickly going out of stock on a landing page, you implant a sense of scarcity in your customers to act immediately – not later.

Although scarcity tactics can be beneficial for manufacturing companies, a word of caution: don’t come across as too salesman-like or pushy. Simply convey the message that your special offer or a certain product/service won’t be around forever. Give people reasons to act sooner rather than later.

Using phrases like “last chance,” “almost over,” or “temporary” pushes people to act on the fear of missing out – an extremely powerful motivator. There are many different psychological triggers that can be used on a landing page. If you’re working with a digital marketing agency, you’ll be advised on the most ideal one to use for your goals.

6. Check Your Website Analytics and Adjust

Once your landing page is launched, you need to keep a watchful eye on how it performs. Monitor the results to understand what trends are occurring, weaknesses you can address, and consistently improve the conversion rates. The more data you gather on your current landing page, the more you can tweak it to work effectively in the future.

7. Continuously Optimize Your Website

Image Source: NTS Unitek

A landing page is important, don’t get us wrong. It’s the first impression your manufacturing brand can make on a buyer.

However, a landing page is only as good as the rest of the website it represents. If your website is convoluted, difficult-to-navigate, and full of outdated content, even the shiniest landing page won’t save you in the long haul.

As you redesign your landing page and optimise it for conversions, try to do the same for other parts of your website. Ensure it loads quickly and offers users exactly what they need.

In Conclusion

As you can see, creating an amazing manufacturing landing page strategy requires a great deal of thought, research, and purpose. It’s not something you can just slap together, especially if you want your site to generate a large number of potential leads and conversions.

Focus on identifying exactly what your manufacturing brand has to offer. Give your visitors something in exchange for their information, whether that’s free content, special promotions, or even just more reasons to trust your company.

At Curve Communications, we’ve been creating manufacturing landing pages with years of success. Get in touch with our team of web designers and copywriters to learn how to make a page that really works on your brand’s behalf.

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7 Important Factors for Effective Small Business Branding

As a small business, you probably hear the word “branding” thrown around quite a bit. You know it’s important, but what exactly is small business branding?

At Curve, we explain branding as something fairly simple: who your company is, what you represent, and the unique value you offer. However, small business branding isn’t as straightforward as we’d like it to be. There are dozens of aspects to consider, and all of them must work together seamlessly to form a cohesive brand image.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the top factors that play a role in your company’s branding.

This article will help you understand who your brand is at its core – and what it showcases to its target consumers.

1. Unique Brand Identity

The first overarching concept to discuss is your brand’s identity. Who are you? How are you conveying your image, goals, and morals to your audience?

When learning how to brand your business, there are many elements that play a part in your unique identity formation.

A. Name

As the old cliché goes, there’s power in a name. The more expressive and inventive your name is, the more your brand instantly stands out from the competition.

Your small business needs a name that reflects the core of the company. Think about your founders, geographical location, and the words most associated with your industry. Don’t be a copycat – make sure that your brand name is noticeably different from those of your competitors.

B. Logo

Image Source: Smashing Magazine

When you hear the brand name Nike, Apple, Facebook, and Pepsi – you can picture their logos instantly.

Your logo is the visual representation of your brand image. Using a strong logo consistently gives your company a recognizable presence.

As you design your logo, ensure that it’s something you’ll be proud to use for many years to come. It should be eye-catching, versatile, and easy to identify. If the logo is difficult to understand, hard to resize, or downright complicated, you’ll have a rough time establishing a unique identity in a memorable, instantly-recognizable manner.  

C. Tagline

Image Source: Ebaqdesign

Many people refer to a tagline as your brand’s “slogan,” and they’re not wrong.

What do the catchiest, most memorable taglines have in common? Well, most are straightforward and hard-hitting. You won’t find many super popular slogans that are more than four, maybe five, words long.

At the same time, your tagline needs to be totally original and encompass a big part of what makes your brand special. Your slogan is arguably as important as your logo – so don’t just slap something boring underneath your name and call it good.  

Even though a tagline is short, developing the perfect string of words to represent your brand takes a lot of critical thinking, time – as well as a fair amount of trial & error.

D. Color Scheme

Image Source: Venngage

If you know anything about art or design, you know that different colors hold different connotations. You also know that there are hundreds of variations of each color – one company’s “red” isn’t always the same as the next’s.

When picking your key brand colors, ensure that they stand out and truly align with your brand’s image. Additionally, pick specific hex colors, not just general shades. You’ll want to keep your brand colors consistent on all platforms, advertisements, and messages.

As you can see, your brand identity isn’t tied to just one element, but to many. At the same time, each of your identification features, from logo to color palette, must work together to present an image that’s recognizable and cohesive.

2. Create a Brand Personality

Another one of our top branding tips for small businesses is to focus on your personality, not just its image.

How is a brand’s personality different from its image? To make it simple, let’s think about “image” as the way your brand looks and “personality” as the way your brand sounds.

Image Source: Box 221

Every brand has a unique voice. Some exude fun excitement – others convey an air of sophisticated competency.

You’ll need to embark on a bit of a self-discovery journey to determine exactly what your brand’s voice and personality sound like. This isn’t always easy, but it’s essential to form a defined brand identity.

To help you start thinking about what your personality might be, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

– What is our overarching brand mission?
– What are the most important concepts and goals for our company?
– What qualities/descriptors match our business or products?
– If our brand were a person, what would they look and sound like?

Another one of our recommended branding strategies is to research your audience’s personalities. Learning what they like and dislike, their motivations, as well as how they communicate will help you establish a much stronger brand personality.

After all, your brand’s attributes should match up well with your target customers. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to make any sort of impact with the right people.

3. Original User-Generated Content (UGC)

On to the next best way to brand your business: gathering free content from your followers and buyers. 

Image Source: Old Navy

You’ve probably seen businesses – big and small – share Instagram pictures, Facebook posts, and reviews from their best customers. This is a fantastic way to boost brand awareness quickly and organically.

User-generated content effectively brands your business as a company that’s credible, real, and liked by actual people. Maximize this content’s power by sharing it on your own social media pages and website. You might even want to consider creating a unique hashtag just for your UGC.

Not only will sharing this content draw in more users, it will also make your current followers feel special as they step into your spotlight for a hot minute.

4. Engaging Content

A monumental part of what makes a small business successful is its content. You’ve heard “content is king” – and we couldn’t agree more.

Image Source: Smart Insights

Consumers nowadays don’t just like content – they expect it. Content creation is a fantastic way to brand your business as an authority within the industry.

As you write, video, share, and promote, remember this: content is most effective when it is highly relevant and evocative. You want to create content that delivers strong messages and gets your customers to act.

As the statistic above indicates, much of the content online is simply clutter. Don’t let irrelevant content cloud your brand message – stick to the stuff that really matters.

5. Social Listening

If this is the first time you’ve ever heard of social listening, pay attention. You’ll quickly realize how essential it is to branding your small business effectively.

Social listening involves tracking your social media platforms and watching for mentions and conversations that reveal what your customers are thinking. This gives you the opportunity to understand your audience on a new level – as well as learn how they view your brand.

Typically, the social listening process involves:

– Monitoring all mentions, from competitors, social accounts, keywords, etc.
– Responding to and understanding reviews from customers (positive and negative)

Image Source: Sprout Social

Keep in mind that social listening isn’t really about how many mentions your brand is getting – that would be “social monitoring”. The concept revolves more around understanding perceptions of your brand, as well as consumer moods and sentiment.

Doing so helps you brand your business in a way that appeals to more customers. You can correct it when a message hits poorly or improve on weaknesses people seem to discuss frequently.

6. Showcase Expertise

Our sixth tactic for learning how to brand your business is fostering your authority.

You want to brand your company as an entity that knows its stuff. Whether you’re advertising products or intangible services, your customers need to understand that you have expertise in your particular field – and are the right person for the job.

How do you cultivate brand expertise? With the following tactics.

A. Blogs

Image Source: Marketing Partners

If you have a company blog, people will read it. They’ll want to learn why they should trust your brand and its products/services – and a blog helps you do that with ease.

Work on publishing regular blog posts that reveal your brand’s level of expertise. Adopt a consistent tone and work toward cultivating a blog library focused on your most important keywords. The goal is to create a resource center that people can turn to for trustworthy advice, information, and direction.

Believe us: this will work wonders for your small business’s brand image.

B. Social Media Posts

Image Source: Oberlo

As you probably know, social media is essential for any company that wants to grow in 2020. Showcase your expertise by tapping into the power of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms.

Remember that your social media marketing campaigns aren’t just created to entertain – they’re supposed to help establish your brand as a credible and relatable company. Interlink all of your social media profiles and consistently publish helpful information to grow your brand.

C. Videos

Image Source: Finances Online

Never made a video for your brand before? Well, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon, because more and more of the internet is now consumed by video media – with no sign of stopping

Consider posting videos to your social media accounts or even creating a YouTube account. This is your chance to present real brand representatives and lively media in a new way.

Host video interviews. Create how-to shows. Answer queries in a live Q&A. Video provides a wide range of opportunities to grow your brand’s respectability – you just need to tap into them.

D. Podcasts

Although they barely existed a decade ago, podcasts are now a part of a booming auditory industry. Reach consumers as they listen in their cars, jog with headphones in, or distract themselves on a plane ride.

Image Source: Nielson

Podcasts are often heralded for their informative attributes. By recording an intelligent discussion that people can listen to, you’re fostering brand credibility.

Consider hosting your podcast with your top employees and invite other experts from your industry. Impressive guests and interesting topics will only boost your perceived expertise amongst followers.

7. Consistency

Image Source: Fresh Sparks

Consistent branding strategies give you something called “brand equity,” AKA the value of your company’s products/services that allow you to charge extra simply because you produced it.

For example, many people are far more likely to buy a YETI cooler over a generic, nonbranded cooler because they know and respect the brand. Therefore, YETI can charge far more for their products than the average cooler company due to their strong brand equity.

If you want people to pay for your products and support your brand over others, consistency is key. Pick a few strong strategies and stick to them, rather than hopscotching all over the place.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has taught you a little bit about how to brand your business effectively, regardless of its size. The more purpose and thought you put into your branding efforts, the stronger your image and personality will become.

Contact us today if you have any questions about branding. We’re more than happy to help with any of the tactics/factors mentioned in this post.

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Will Social Media Ever Rule the Internet?

social media internet marketing

Without a doubt, social media has changed the way we live in
the world. It has become a tool for us to meet new people, access information
and demand political change in this day and age.

Did you know that social media platforms are used by one-in-three people in the world and by more than two-thirds of all internet users? That’s a lot of active users!

Social media’s influence amongst the world’s internet users is undeniable. So yes – while it’s true that social media may rule the internet and our social lives, our question is, is social media is king when it comes to online marketing for businesses?

Not quite. While social media is still an undeniable part of the modern marketing mix, it’s important to understand that it isn’t the whole picture.

So, use social smart but don’t get caught up in the hype! Here are 3 reasons why social media will never rule the internet marketing game.

1. Believe It or Not, Your Ideal Audience May Not Even Be on Social

Just like no two businesses are a carbon copy of one another, no two audiences are, either. So before investing your time and money into social media, it’s important to take a look at who your target audience really is and where they spend their time online. That way, you can allocate your resources in a way that makes the most sense to you and your business.

Because even though one-in-three people are on social media, what those other two people?! The truth is, while social media has become a popular place to be over the years, the social media landscape has become much more complex than it was 5 years ago. Sure, your target audience may be on social, but on what channels? What are the predominant demographics and psychographics that make up those channels? And most importantly, how do these people prefer to engage with brands on those channels?

For example, Reddit is a common place to find young, educated men discussing things that matter most to them. But do these people like to be engaged with by brands on Reddit? Not at all! Reddit is a notoriously difficult place for brands to engage with others, to the point of declaring outright that Reddit hates marketing. On the other hand, for overall level of brand engagement, you can’t beat Instagram – is the number one place to be!

What if the target audience is on the older and wealthier side? Then advertising in newspapers, magazines or even television may get you better results than anything social media could offer! And if you have the budget for it, then a 360 marketing campaign (which incorporates traditional and digital channels) may be the way to go!

The bottom line is that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Study your audience, know where they live online and develop a marketing strategy that’s right for your business and audience.

2. Being Conversational & Relatable Takes Precedence Above Selling

While it’s true that some businesses have found success with selling their products on social media via social selling, the fact of the matter is that for most businesses, finding buyers on social can be a hard sell.

Though this comes with good reasoning.
For one, people’s motivations around why they use social media rarely have to
do with wanting to seek out products or services to buy. More often than not,
people go on social to discover something novel or interesting. They may want
to catch up with people who are in their close network, learn something new or
may just want to have a fun conversation!

When brands understand this key point, the name of the social media game often shifts away from direct response to more brand awareness-based efforts. Above all, businesses who use social media as a way to showcase their brand and its voice, values and personality have a much better chance at making a positive lasting impression (as opposed to someone who punched right and went for the hard sell).

via GIPHY

This doesn’t mean that you can’t find successful conversions from traffic generated from social. The key is that, again, it isn’t the whole picture. When you warm up your audience with your brand personality, post after post, they get to know you a little better. And once they get to know you a little better, they are in a much better position to hear your pitch (and take out their wallets). But of course, a foundation of trust should be a key component of your social media strategy, and a big part of that trust-building is having a clearly defined brand so that your business comes off as much more personable, conversational and relatable.

3. You’ve Got Your Audience’s Attention! Now What?

There is a 3-second window that marketers have in order to get their message across to their audience – 3 seconds! We’re all desperately fighting for the same thing, and statistically speaking, one of us will eventually break through the noise and captivate our audience’s attention (hurrah!)

But then… what happens next? People click aaaand – is your
website optimized for mobile? Is it optimized for conversions? Do you have an
engaging offer? Are you picking up the conversation where it left off? Are you
telling an engaging story?

The truth is, we’re all so desperate for our audience’s
attention that once we finally get it, it can be easy to overlook the obvious
like how to sustain the interest and engineer an experience that inspires
people to take the right type of action.

Ultimately, with so many moving parts that go into successful social media use for businesses, a key take away is that social media should be a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. Social media is not a business model, it’s one important part of an overall marketing mix you have at your disposal as a business owner. Sure, it may be an important pillar within your overall business strategy, but if organic social media is the only type of online marketing you’re doing, then you may need to step back and take another look at your strategy.  

Pro tip! Having your social media followers subscribe to your email list, via your newsletter or content offer, gives you the most control over your social media following as a business owner – take control of your destiny!

Social Media May Rule Our Lives, but It Doesn’t Rule the Online Marketing Game!

If you’re not pulling out your phones and checking your
account to scroll through your feed on the daily, then you are very much a
minority. Most of us are entangled in the social media world whether we like it
or not. Whether it’s for discovering news, trends or finding the latest meme,
there’s no denying the power social has in our lives – online and off.

But when it comes to social media for businesses and how much weight you should give this tool when it comes to your overall marketing strategy, it’s important to put things into perspective. Social is not the be all end all like some people believe it is. It should always be seen as a means to an end when it comes to your business and not an end in and of itself. Considering how you’ll supplement your social strategy and seeing how it fits into the overall big picture of your business will be critical for your success if you want to get the most out of this very powerful tool.

Needing guidance on how to get the most out of social? Curve is here to help! We’re always looking for ways to make your life easier as a business owner or marketing manager. If you’re wanting to get the most out of your social media marketing but don’t have time to join the conversation, Curve can help you build your brand and tell your story. Call us today for a 30-minute discovery call!

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How to get your blog started

Our founder George has a few tried and tested ground rules about blogging for business.

Regular blogging for your #brand sets you up as an industry leader and can help set you apart from your competition.

Being an established authority in your field, whatever niche that may be, has its benefits. When you are seen as an expert in your industry, the stronger your brand will become.

1. Don’t just start a blog to start a blog.

2. Understand why a blog is necessary.

3. Know what you and your company hope to achieve from the blog.

These blogging tips are taken from my book Buzz: How To Grow a Business Using Grassroots Marketing.

Here is a link to the book: https://www.amazon.com/Buzz-Business-Grassroots-Marketing-Learning/dp/096843224

Vikram Vij, Vancouver Chef

Social Media Strategy and Events

Many of Curve’s clients value social media and the organic buzz it can create. But how do you create a campaign that actually drives engagement and brand presence?

In our experience, social media campaigns with a multi-pronged digital approach produce stronger engagement and more widespread results.

One of our clients, award-winning Vancouver-based chef, Vikram Vij, needed a campaign strategy that allowed him to connect with his growing following. So we developed  and managed Canada’s first-ever live cook-a-long consisting of an interactive livestream and a cross-platform social media campaign.

Vikram Vij, Vancouver Chef

The unique digital event engaged thousands of families nationwide who wanted to share updates, ask questions and cook along with Vikram Vij. The interactive element of the event gave home cooks and families the chance to tweet at and converse with the chef.

Read more about the event here.

Create Content, Derive Value

Everyone says “content is king,” and we couldn’t agree more. Here at the office, our CEO George Affleck is a big fan of content superstar Gary Vee. Click through below to see how to get the most value out of your content marketing strategy.

This slide share is a great example of how to get the most out of the content you create. Start with one long form piece of content and turn that into bite-sized micro-content to share on social media, where people are quicker to scroll through.