Your Online Efforts Failed, Here’s 7 Common Reasons
Manufacturing and machine shop owners regularly say, “I tried the Internet, and it did not work.” Many of you reading this have said the same. However, that is outlandish to say; the Internet and digital marketing is the present and future. It is the tool used by businesses to grab more market share, especially from those neglecting an online presence. You can either work with technology or fail attempting to work against it.
KriXis Consulting would like to focus on manufacturing and machine shop owners who have failed using the Internet. We are going to address seven reasons many decision-makers feel this way, and bulk them into two major categories: strategy and underestimation. This short article will improve your future decision-making, and should open your eyes as to why your previous efforts let you down.
Lack Of Strategy
As with almost all business decisions you need to have a strategy, digital marketing is no exception. As an owner you can either develop this on your own, work with a professional, or outsource the work entirely. Working with an expert makes the most sense, however, no matter which approach you decide to take the below points should be taken into consideration.
You know your business better than anyone else, and I’m sure you know your perfect customer. You know his/her personality, likes and dislikes, and even their favorite pair of jeans. Locally this perfect-customer is currently a paying client. Outside of your area, he/she has never heard of your business.
The Internet allows you to instantly be on a global scale. You are no longer limited to those select few perfect customers in the surrounding area. Knowing your perfect-customer right off the bat will allow you to start a strategy to only attract business from those who fit the criteria of exactly what you work best with. Taking this approach allows you to attract these individuals from all across the country. Building the profile helps a web developer build a website geared towards this individual.
Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) is an easy to use, and highly effective tool when developing all strategies. The image below shows the simple setup for the analysis.
Taking the time to have a few brainstorm sessions to fill out this chart will allow your manufacturing or machine shop to have a clear picture of what you excel at, along with visualizing areas you lack in.
Business owner’s fail online, or think they fail due to setting unrealistic goals. Marketers sometimes promise the world in their pitch, but you need to stay grounded.
After understanding your perfect client and creating a SWOT analysis, you will have a better understanding of what is realistic. Anyone working with your machine shop should also have the above two categories covered. The scenario below should simply put this into perspective:
3,000 people are searching for “cnc machine shop” within your state.
- 1,000 people are looking for new employment.
- 1,000 people are looking to sign a contract within the next year.
- 500 people are looking for a service that you are not capable of.
This leaves 500 people ready to looking for your services and ready to do business, but . . .
- Only 100 people are actually making that search, they just average searching 5 times during the month.
You are now left with a market of 100 potential customers.
- The numbers 1 & 2 spots on Google are going to receive over 30% of that 100, at least for initial traffic. Reaching number 1 can take over 6-months of services to reach.
- If you are not on the first page of the search results, only 16% of searchers will find your manufacturing or machine shop.
That initial 3,000-person pool is now down to 16. Of that 16 maybe 3-4 are the customer you want to work with. For the first 5-months you may only be looking at 3-4 leads per month from your online marketing. Your digital marketing goals need to be long-term.
Creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Many manufacturing or machine shop owners are sold by the “bells and whistles” that marketers have to offer. You need to remove this train of thought from your initial digital marketing ideas, and focus on creating an MVP.
The initial design for your online efforts should be investing as little time and money as needed in order to create a campaign that is effective. You need to understand how people will move through your website, and how to get them to act on your call-to-action.
Once an effective minimum viable product is created you can add the bells and whistles which can now add more value to your machine shop marketing. Here’s an easy way to look at this:
You and another manufacturing business owner are about to drag race. You’re building a 700-hp hotrod, the transmission can’t handle the power, but you do not know this yet. Your competition pulls up in a base model Chevrolet Cobalt. The light goes green, your transmission snaps and the Cobalt slowly, but easily won. You need to go back to the drawing board, but now the Cobalt can add a supercharger, bells and whistles, knowing they built something that works.
Underestimating The Work
Some people think having a website, and posting a few pictures here and there is all they need. Then call the Internet a hoax when people aren’t beating down their door for business. Others are somehow still oblivious to the entire digital world, and figure in time if they need to that they can quickly make the change. Both of these thoughts are destined for absolute failure, which is why you need to understand time needed to be invested for results and the different potential strategies.
There is no overnight success in digital marketing. Your manufacturing or machine shop will not appear at the top of the first page of Google for quite some time, especially if you are just making a website for the first time. Do not convince yourself or be convinced otherwise.
Search engines, such as Google, look at the age of your website’s address, so if you are just starting out it can take up to 6-months alone for Google to consider you a credible website.
You also need to factor in creating a website that search engines (and customers) find useful. People have templates and general layouts, but being like everyone else will not put you ahead. Taking the time to develop your own effective and unique layout and content will require a combined effort from your marketer and yourself.
Bright Local polled digital marketers and search engine specialists to gather information on timetables for seeing results:
Our research has shown that within the machining and manufacturing industries broad terms such as “CNC machining” and “machine shop” would be considered competitive. However, we aim to market our clients towards a niche since these are more likely to convert into customers. The image below shows the data regarding less competitive sectors.
Bright Local’s research has shown that businesses with some optimization lessen this timeline, while businesses with poor optimization adds to this timeline.
Digital marketers are equipped with a wide-array of strategies to help you reach your online goals. Each have pros and cons, and some work better in certain combinations. Marketing budgets, short-term and long-term goals, and commitment level play a role in what strategies are best for your manufacturing or machine shop.
Many business owners jump at the first strategy they encounter before fully understanding their options, or what to expect from the particular strategy they chose. The list below briefly touches on common strategies:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – A term many are familiar with, but do not understand that this is a more long-term investment. On-page (website) SEO work can help give a quick boost in rankings, however, many other factors are a part of long-term rising in the rankings, and they need to be working together.
- Local Search Engine Optimization (Local SEO) – This strategy focuses on having your business appear in the search results for a particular geographical area. This is great for the increase in individuals searching on mobile, but relates back to knowing what your perfect customer. Local SEO also has an impact on your overall SEO.
- Pay-Per-Click Campaigns (PPC Campaigns) – These automatically have you show up on the first page, but as an ad. You are charged each time that they are clicked, with prices based on the competitiveness of that particular word or phrase searched. These need to be carefully worded and targeted since they can quickly eat up a budget without showing an ROI. PPC also requires landing pages to be created specifically for the ad being clicked, a step that cannot be left out.
- Social Media Strategies – Many people feel that the manufacturing and machining industry does not play an active role in social media, this may be somewhat true now, but is currently changing. However, social media is an essential pillar for overall SEO. Using a well-planned social media strategy can give the boost you need to rank #1 on Google.
Each of the four common strategies is attached to links if you are looking for more information. Lack of knowledge is a reason for failure in many aspects of life, showcasing your business online is no different.
Knowing A “Family Friend”
This is perhaps the biggest pitfall that I hear of. People know someone in the family or close to the family that is good with computers.
These people are cheaper or willing to just help out, that should be a red flag, you get what you pay for. They can do more harm than good to your business.
Do you want to have your company not shown in the best possible light?
Do you want someone that is teaching himself or herself on the fly?
You did not see any results from their work, but you need to ask yourself, were you really expecting to?
Reasons For Failure Overview
If online efforts for your manufacturing or machine shop have appeared to fail, review these above common reasons. If you are looking to launch your first digital marketing campaign I would suggest using the above information as a checklist to help ensure success.
You may have additional questions and concerns regarding marketing your business online, and we would be happy to answer them. You can look at the complete list of services offered by KriXis Consulting and contact us in order to help create a plan best suited for your needs and budget.
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