In the past, manufacturing companies could have a simple website that was basically a digital business card—it simply listed who they were, what they did and their contact information. After all, their customers were Business-to-Business (B2B), so much of the marketing and sales process was conducted in person and through outbound sales.However, times have changed. We live in a digital world. With the Millennial Generation moving into the positions of purchasing influencers and decision-makers, the company website is now a primary marketing and sales tool to attract visitors and convert leads into customers.
Today’s buyers are more educated than ever, and according to Forrester, 74% of Business Buyers conduct more than half of their research online before they purchase. The bottom line is that your website needs to be more than a few pretty pages. It is the foundation of marketing in today’s connected world.
Many manufacturing companies face some unique marketing challenges as they actually have two customers:
- The wholesale/distribution/retail buyers of the products
- The actual end consumers of the product
Think of this as a B2B2C (Business-to-Business-to-Consumer) relationship.
With this in mind, here are five things that your B2B buyers want to see on a manufacturing website:
- They want to be able to find your products easily in the same fashion as the actual end consumers. Visitors expect your products to be organized into categories and even subcategories. And the categories can’t be just one dimensional—they need to be organized by how people naturally search.
- They want detailed information about your products. Just as your printed catalog probably has very detailed information about each product, all of those details need to be listed on your website under the product description or even as separate product attributes to allow for more advanced filtering and faceted searches.
- They want you to make it easy to market and sell your products. This means that for each product, you should have a product specification sheet in pdf format as well as multiple high-resolution images. More than likely, they will want to use your images and pdfs on their own websites. Make it easy for them to sell and market your products.
- They want you to have a blog and/or videos about how to use your products. Your wholesale and distributors are your sales team. They probably get asked a lot of questions about how to use your products. Again, make it easy for them to point back to your manufacturing website with high-quality how-to blogs and videos so that you, the true experts of the product, can answer end consumer questions.
- They want a stable, responsive, high-performance website. There are many ways to build a manufacturing website, but in our opinion, the best platform is Hubspot CMS if you only sell to Wholesale / Distributors or Big Commerce if you also sell direct to consumers.