The machining industry is a unique business segment. The complexity of the equipment that is used, the tools and systems that drive that equipment, and the highly detailed nature of the parts that are made – all make machining a special breed of business.
Here are six tips for how to grow your machining business; whether you are a new equipment dealer, a used equipment broker, a job shop, or a manufacturer, use these tips to grow your business to new levels of revenue and profit.
1. Know Your Audience – create a detailed description of the ideal customer persona that you are targeting. What is the persona’s age, education, interests, and activities? What is their role in the company – owner, manager, technician? What is the decision-making process? What do they read? What videos and podcasts do they consume?
The more you know about your audience, the more effective you will be in communicating with them. Your advertisements, promotions, website copy, emails – everything – should be written with your target persona in mind.
What are the problems that they face every day? What keeps them awake at night? Where do they go to find advice and recommendations?
You can provide ongoing value to your prospects by creating content that answers these questions and helps them solve their most vexing problems.
2. Update Your Website – Here we are in 2021, and many of us still have websites that look 20 years old. Your website is the core of your marketing assets. Virtually everyone that hears from you or considers working with you will visit your website to learn more about you and your business.
How can you come across as an expert in the industry and someone that can be trusted to help choose, install, and set-up a new piece of expensive and complicated equipment if your website looks out of date and out of step?
Ensure that your website reflects you and your business as you want to be seen. Add content to your website that will help it rank well with search engines, but that will also provide direct value to your visitors. Make your website as good as the machines or the parts that you sell.
3. Use Multiple Channels – Your customers consume a lot of content every day. Browsing websites, looking for answers online, reading emails, browsing social media channels, watching videos, listening to podcasts – there are more channels than you can keep up with.
So – what to do? Well, the best solution is to pick three or four channels and do everything possible to make your presence on each outstanding. I usually recommend that my clients start with:
- Blog posts on your website. This keeps your website content fresh, provides your visitors with interesting and useful information, and adds new keywords for the search engines to use when indexing your website. Ultimately, a high-quality website with a consistent stream of new content on your blog will result in dramatically improved search engine optimization and growing organic search traffic.
- Paid search advertising. Commonly referred to as pay-per-click (or PPC) advertising, this is the way that you can put your business at the top of the search results page for keywords that relate to your product or service offerings. A carefully constructed and meticulously managed campaign will result in affordable leads from qualified prospects at the right stage of their journey towards purchase.
- Organic social media. Taking the same content you are posting on your blog and re-posting it on social media channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram will grow your audience and put your content in front of more prospects. Organic social media posting is free, but it will only work if you have a large enough audience.
- Paid social media. This can be done two ways – either with social media advertisements or by taking your routine organic social media posts and boosting them to increase the number of people that see your content. Social media companies have extensive data on their customers, so you can target who sees your content. This targeting reduces the cost and increases the effectiveness of your boosted posts.
4. Be available – When a prospect sees a post, an advertisement, or gets a marketing email from you, they want to contact you to learn more. Make sure that there is a telephone number on your site and your content. When someone calls that number, there must be a customer-oriented person who is knowledgeable about your business available to talk with them.
If you want to come across as a modern customer-centric business, use website chat, text messaging, email, social messenger apps, and other forms of communication as a means to be available to your prospects using the tools that they prefer.
5. Track everything – Use trackable links on all of your digital content so that you can see how prospects are engaging with that content. Ensure that Google Analytics is properly configured so that you can see details about your website traffic – where it comes from, how visitors navigate on your site, what they engage with, and how they convert. Use call tracking software to ensure that you know where your inbound phone calls originate and what keywords triggered the call.
Create reports and dashboards that show the details of all of your marketing and advertising campaigns.
6. Watch, learn, revise, repeat – Digital marketing provides you with a lot of data about how your efforts are performing. But you have to take the time to measure everything, analyze the results, experiment with new versions, and continuously work to improve your results.
The machining industry is an excellent place to build and grow a profitable business. You can take your knowledge, skills, interest, and expertise and leverage them into a company that you love to go to work at every day. Ensure that your marketing is working for you and that you use the same rigor in setting up advertising campaigns that you use when cutting precision parts.