The 7 Things Your Competitors Are Doing That You Aren’t

Tim Kelsey | Internet Presence

In 2015, the manufacturing industry contributed $2.17 trillion to the US economy and was responsible for 12.3 million jobs across 250,000 companies, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. The vast majority of these businesses are considered small, as only about 3,700 of them have more than 500 workers. What all this means is that your business needs reliable advertising and marketing to ensure it's not lost in the crowd, and that it can compete with imports from China, India and Mexico. Here's what your competitors are doing.

Online Presence

Many small manufacturers do not have websites even though it's a vital part of advertising their product to potential buyers. Even worse, some manufacturers have websites that are reminiscent of the 1990s, where garish colors and clipart prevailed. Make sure your website looks professional and incorporates your product’s key selling points.

Supply Product Descriptions

Manufactured products need to have adequate product descriptions so that retailers or buyers can use them if they choose without having to edit them. In addition, many retailers use third-party content creation companies, and the writers they hire do not have access to information about the product other than what's on the website.

A good product description makes it easier for others to sell your product for you. Even if you create screws or internal components for use in end-products, buyers will want to see exactly what you offer and view the full specifications.

Create Great Photos

Photos sell products online. When you’re selling something in a physical store, the images on the box have to look professional and appropriate, and the same is true for online sales. A good photo can make a big difference as to how well your product sells, and as many retailers will use that photo, you want to portray your product in the best possible light. In addition, buyers want to see the shape, color, and other details of your product so that they can make an informed buying decision. You may have exactly what they’re looking for, but if they can’t see that through the photos on your website, they may move on to someone else.

Use SEO

Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website so that it can easily be found by Google and other search engines. If there are particular keywords that people often use when searching for your products, you want to make sure your website is optimized for those keywords. Good content also helps, and appropriate product descriptions are ideal for helping you rank high in search results, as are photo metadata and meta descriptions.

Be Active on Social Media

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are useful ways of conveying your message. In recent years, numerous B2C businesses have become active on social media in order to reach customers through the modern equivalent of word-of-mouth recommendations. In addition, even if you do not create a B2C product, you can still interact with potential customers who may wish to modify the actual end-product or use your product in their own manufacturing businesses.

Don't Over-promise

One of the biggest problems with products is that consumers get them and are then disappointed as they don't quite do what they're supposed to do. This feedback is passed on to buyers and retailers in the form of returns and complaints. Avoid over-promising and remember to create realistic usage scenarios for your products.

Made in the USA

Many consumers want to buy local, so make sure you mention if your product is made in the United States. The Made in USA label requires that the last substantial transformation of the product took place in the United States. Other manufacturers also want to use components made in the United States so that they can say that their products were substantially made in the United States.

Focus on What Makes You Unique

Ultimately, you need to highlight what makes your products and business distinctive. If you offer support to veterans or employ a particularly high number of interns and train them, you need to highlight that, as it makes the company appear more relatable and responsible. Another detail to mention is if you regularly donate to charity or actively support one. Advertising is about creating an image of your company and products that people can identify with and feel good about purchasing.

Tim Kelsey

As a marketing specialist, Tim works closely with our clients to help them build and strengthen their online presence through a wide range of digital marketing channels. He and his team are Google Certified experts who excel at helping small businesses get the most out of their digital marketing investments.