In the manufacturing industry, there will always be fierce competition for customers. However, this race will be between those companies who actively focus on generating leads, and those that don’t are sure to fall behind. Therefore, the process of generating a solid lead becomes imperative to the manufacturing industry.

To get your marketing team on point, here are the fundamentals of keeping your sales pipeline full in today’s market.

Don’t Rely On Referrals

While it’s true that referrals are still producing the majority of sales for manufacturers, email marketing campaigns and social media are not far behind. Furthermore, research by GlobalSPEC indicated that 84% of industrial professionals use the internet to find components, equipment, and services. Furthermore, 74% use the internet to compare products across suppliers. These percentages—which are continuing to grow—illustrate just how crucial a strong internet presence can be for manufacturers.

Join the Conversation

All over social media, customers and prospective customers are conversing about products and services by comparing notes, writing reviews, and lending advice. To encourage referrals, share your knowledge, nurture relationships, and join the conversation.

One of the biggest benefits of utilizing social media is the analytic aspect. You can precisely target potential customers based on location, interests, demographics, and by studying the conversations they’re having online.

With the use of digital marketing (think emails or direct messages), marketers can customize messages based on a potential customer’s individual interests. The technique is extremely successful. According to The Direct Marketing Association, the average Return on Investment (ROI) is 40:1.

Customers who bought products marketed through email spent 138% more money than those who did not receive emails. In addition, a staggering 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year after receiving a promotional email (Source: Convince&Convert).

Know When A Customer Is About to Make A Change

Long-term contracts are both a blessing and a curse in the manufacturing industry. Until a product is redesigned, the same manufacturer will likely continue to produce that part for a long period of time.

While this is great for the company doing the work, it can be difficult to break into the market when your competition maintains a contract simply because the product hasn’t changed for years.

In a case like this, the key to generating more manufacturing leads is to know when the competitor’s customer is looking to make a change. How can you do this? You create a solid inbound marketing strategy.

Components of an Inbound Marketing Strategy

In order to capture your potential customer’s attention, you need quality content. The information you have on your site and social pages should be creative, valuable, and informational. When you provide your prospects with answers, you earn their click, and more importantly, their trust.

Company blogs are a great way to increase traffic to your site, improve organic search engine optimization (SEO), and find prospective clients searching for information. Eventually, you want to be known among your prospects as the expert in the manufacturing industry.

Ultimately, your goal is to turn those information seekers into paying customers. To achieve this, try offering additional information (a.k.a. lead magnets) through downloadables such as eBooks, whitepapers, webinars, or free trials in exchange for basic information like name, business, and email.

Companies that utilize content for lead generation see 67% more leads per month that those manufacturers who don’t.

Tailor Your Landing Page

A landing page should relate to the hyperlink that was clicked on in order to view the content. When the information matches that of the searcher’s results, they’re more likely to stick around.

There are essentially two kinds of landing pages that exist:

Lead Generation Landing Page: These are used to garner prospective customers’ contact information in exchange for valuable content, promotions, free trials, etc.

Click through Landing Pages: These are used to attract visitors to specific products or services that your offer. Education is the goal here. When customers understand the products and/or services your company sells, you have a higher chance of a conversion.


Manufacturers who haven’t started an inbound marketing campaign will soon be faced with a very big problem: no business. To avoid the drought, take a thorough look at your web presence.

Remember, social media isn’t just for selfies and inspirational quotes, it’s for joining the conversation. Emails aren’t just spam, they’re a vehicle to promote sales, show your relevance, and display new content. Blogs aren’t just for writers with too much time on their hands, they improve SEO and can create valuable leads.

Learn More

On April 13th, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM, at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, we’re discussing the best technology practices and products for regional manufacturing companies. Over 20 technology solution providers and support organizations will be present for this targeted tradeshow.

Attendance is FREE for regional industries!