Marketing for B2B companies has always been challenging. The vast majority of marketing techniques and avenues are targeted at the mass of consumers. Old-school outbound marketing techniques are especially consumer-focused with little to no ability to reach the managers and c-suite executives that make the sourcing decisions that matter. So it’s no wonder why inbound marketing has become such a hit among manufacturing companies looking for an effective marketing strategy. As it turns out, those managers and c-suites use the same search engine for their product and software research as they do when looking for a mattress or a new water bottle.
This means that factors like SEO, informational blog articles, and a well-designed website matter a great deal. Your goal is to create a collection of places, resources, and landing pages that will pop up as legitimate search engine results to your target audience searches. Of course, B2B conversions are also more complicated than consumer-level interactions because the conversion process itself is really the partnership between two businesses. In many cases, the original researcher may be an assistant to a decision-making manager or have to consult with another deciding person before making a final decision.
For this reason, the research phase tends to be longer and B2B buyers are always looking for a lot of corroborating proof that your manufacturing company is reliable and has worked well with other businesses like theirs in the past. This is where testimonials become your powerful marketing asset. Here are five different ways to use the happy reports from previous customers to win the business of new customers.
1) Local Acclaim On Your Homepage
The research phase in a manufacturing company’s conversion funnel is a long one because there are a lot of things about your company that a lead will want to know before their name on a recommendation to use your company. Of course, the faster you can make this process for your leads, the better. Some will need to put together a pitch to a higher level manager or executive before a decision is made which means choosing the contents of their report and the suggested manufacturers they write down very carefully.
Your goal is to help leads feel good about your company quickly and back that up with real facts and examples of how reliable and appreciated a partner you can be. The best way to do this on the very first page your leads see is to drop a few short and sweet positive testimonial statements on your homepage. Don’t go for the long ones here. What you’re looking for are positive comments no more than about ten words long that exude enthusiasm and gratefulness from a previous customer. Testimonials on your homepage say two things. The first is that you have real researchable industry experience and the second is that you’re very proud of happy customers and are likely to strive to get more.
2) Positive Reviews On Your Product Pages
Modern customers, even in the B2B realm, rely on reviews. We as a culture have grown accustomed to them being there and tend to distrust a product with no reviews or only a few five-star reviews. This means that reviews on your product and service pages is a great way to add credibility to your product pages and to show off how your items and services were used happily by other people before your current reading leads. Even if you don’t deal with consumer-level and typically take on reviews, it’s entirely possible to use a collection of detailed testimonials on each product page to give the impression of public reviewing because it is still effectively a positive experience shared by a legitimate customer.
3) Video or Long-Article Testimonials
Another approach is simply to go with the traditional testimonial. These are often done in front of a video camera with the customer either sitting in their favorite chair or walking the office talking about how great your products were, how your innovative product supply solved problems they were experiencing, and how happy they are to have a deal with your manufacturing company actively ongoing.
You can also choose to turn these experiences into blogs by transcribing interviews with the customer to text-based documents or asking your previous customers to write their own vivid word pictures of what it was like or is currently still like to work with your manufacturing company.
Both approaches can be used in a number of locations and ways in your digital marketing strategy and each one used is a great display of how well you treat your customers and how happy they are to help you pay for improvements.
4) Case Studies of Your Past Products
Another thing that researching B2B leads are going to want to know is what it’s like to work with your company not just from the inside as testimonials, but from the outside as an observer watching improvements. Here is where case studies come into play. Go into detail and do an analysis of your own projects with previous companies. With permission, you can turn one of your previous projects into a thrilling mini-documentary that showcases whatever the project is from beginning to end.
Case studies are best done in multimedia with text as the carrying medium, spiced up with images, and with a video at the top or bottom for non-readers. Here is another opportunity to ask previous clients to say nice things about you on the record because their statements will fit perfectly into the copy you’re writing and pictures you’re posting about the project your manufactured goods helped them to achieve. Be vivid and give every possible.
5) Positive Mentions on Customer Websites
The final truly superb way to generate B2B leads with testimonials is to somehow convince your previous customers to say nice things about you on their websites which can act as a referral. The perfect place for this may be on their own product pages in which a detail mentions working with your company and how much fun it was. Alternatively, it could be on their front page, their ‘about’ page, their ‘partners’ page or any number of other locations. The key is that other companies link to yours and show genuine happiness at working with you. This will guide later businesses and business decision makers to see an opportunity to work with an enjoyable, cooperative, and capable manufacturer.
For more expert advice in B2B marketing and lead generation, contact us today!