Essentials of a marketing strategy for the steel industry
The availability of raw materials is a cornerstone of the American industrial sector, and clearly vital to its growth. Steel remains a best product purchased by suppliers. Here are some basic marketing strategies that are essential to grow your business in the steel industry and capture more market share.
Understand the customers you are trying to reach
Digital marketing allows you to stay connected with your customers and continue to be seen by new prospects – and more manufacturers are investing in its technologies. This is because the new era of today’s B2B buyers are tech-savvy millennials and they research your services online before contacting you. Studies show that:
- 74% choose the vendor who was the first to add value and insight to their issues
- 67% rely more on content and search today than a year ago
- 80% expect the same shopping experience as B2C customers
Reports show that manufacturers can no longer avoid the reach and effectiveness of digital marketing and have adapted their approach to outdated tactics like print ads to generate new customers using their website and digital ads.
Is your marketing strategy defined to meet the needs of your buyers?
Plan a basic marketing strategy for the steel industry
A key part of any marketing strategy today is having a website. To see if you have a solid platform to reach more buyers and set up a marketing plan, start with a competitive analysis of your website.
Go to your reporting tools like Google Analytics and examine key website components like:
- Keyword performance
- Optimized images
- Page titles and descriptions
- Contact buttons
- Mobile page speed
If you don’t know how to analyze your website efforts, that’s fine! It may be necessary to turn to industry experts to fully assess your website content, SEO traffic, mobile usability, etc., and understand the meaning of all these details.
Thomas’ Free digital health check can review your steel fabrication website and show a detailed comparison of your website against competitors.
Optimize your website to deliver the content buyers need
With buyers looking for your services online, your website is an important foundation for your growth efforts. They just can’t find you if you don’t have a presence. [See exactly who’s searching for you with a free Custom In-Market Buyer Report]
Today, 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less, and 33% of people abandon a website that takes longer than 4 seconds to load. If the mobile version of your website is not similar to the functionality and control of the desktop version of your website, visitors might get frustrated with the poor user experience and turn to a competitor.
Buyers like to seek advice in your industry and educate themselves before contacting you. Market yourself as a trusted leader by posting free resources, guides, and case studies that address your buyers’ common challenges.
Infra-Metals presents all of their hardware specifications organized in a catalog format. This helps their engineers and buyers see exactly what Infra-Metals has in stock and how their materials can meet their project requirements. It just makes the customer’s job easier, which is essential for winning new business.
In addition to updating your website’s mobile features and content pages, prioritize key components to encourage website conversions. This means including simple solutions on your website for prospects and customers to contact you or submit their information. For example, your Contact Us page offers several options for website visitors to contact you, such as a one-click call button, quote request forms, email address, and 24-hour service CTAs. and 7 days a week. Make sure they are visible at all times.
Continental Steel Contact Us Page is designed for lead generation. Note that website visitors have many options for contacting Continental Steel depending on their needs: a basic form, an emergency tender, a tender for a future project, etc.
See more examples:
Other ideas for promoting your business in the steel industry
To take your website’s efforts even further, a digital advertising strategy can promote your steel business to the exact audience you want to do business with. In some cases, you can advertise your business for free with minimal effort. Enter your business information into online directories such as:
Take the time to make sure your business name, address, and phone number are consistent across platforms. This ensures that you bring traffic to your website, that prospects and customers can find you, and that your brand stays professional. The right content combined with digital strategies like SEO will help drive high quality search engine traffic to your website, and adding location-based keywords to relevant pages such as “steelmaking services in New York” or “fabricator”. ‘New England Custom Steel and Metals’ will help attract buyers looking for you in your area.
Thomasnet.com has brought California Heating Equipment (CHE) over $ 5 million in business and opportunities with major aerospace manufacturing companies. We are currently working with two major aerospace companies on more than $ 3.6 million. manufacturing dollars, which is a direct result of our Thomasnet.com. Currently, we have attributed the 200% increase in CHE sales primarily to our Internet Marketing program that we developed with Thomasnet.com. “
Learn more: How to Market Online to Defense Industry Buyers
Many manufacturers include paid advertising strategies such as displaying ads and promoted content to amplify their reach, increase awareness of their steel services and drive traffic to their website. Managing paid advertising campaigns on search platforms can be expensive if you are just starting out. There are many filters and factors to consider, such as when your ads are showing and what job titles you are trying to reach.
Thomas makes it easy to advertise to the buyers you want to do business with. Our platform hosts more than 1.2 million B2B professionals who source industrial products and services. Steelworkers have the opportunity to announce a new service in our email newsletter (read by over 300,000 B2B and MRO buyers!) or show how proud your family business is video advertising.
️ Thomas Done: Suppliers who advertise with videos (like the one below) on their Thomasnet.com business profile get a 32% increase in engagement and bidding, with some seeing increases of up to at 70%. You can have a video produced for free (like the one below) with the purchase of an adware program.
In the newsletter announcement by e-mail example below, Uber Freight chooses the audience (e.g. agricultural, construction, etc.) to whom it wants to promote its service at a discount. The ad prompts qualified visitors to their website to submit the form and convert to a lead!
Today’s business and consumer landscape is changing to become more digital every day. There are many parts to a complete digital marketing strategy for manufacturers in the steel industry, but you can start with a few website updates. Studies show that 30% of consumers won’t even consider starting a business if they don’t have a website. Your website should therefore be the base of your growth efforts. Our free eBook The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing for Manufacturers will outline all the steps you need to take to grow your business through 2022 and beyond.
If you have any questions along the way, Contact us to find out how Thomas’ online solutions increase your reach to audiences seeking your steel services and empower your team to generate new leads, sell new business and attract new customers. We’ve been connecting B2B buyers to suppliers for over 122 years and we can handle a free digital health check on your website to show you exactly what you need to achieve your growth goals.
“The partnership with Thomas has allowed us to develop customer relationships that have allowed us to remain more stable as the economy grows. We were able to create a whole new business for our company because of Thomas, ”said Ken Carlton, vice president of Corrugated metals.