For a long time now, one of the hot manufacturing topics has been the United States’ tariffs on imported Chinese goods. Many manufacturers are scrambling for answers and solutions as President Donald Trump continues to add to the list of taxed goods.
You can actually use the potential impact of trade tariffs on manufacturers as a chance to do some slick marketing.
“What could the tariffs possibly have to do with my marketing tactics?” you might be asking.
These three manufacturing marketing ideas are a lifeline for your customers when they’re calling for help:
3 Manufacturing Marketing Ideas for Tariff Troubles (or Other Trends)
The #1 rule of inbound marketing and sales -- at least in my opinion -- is “always be helping.” If your prospects are talking about the impact of tariffs on manufacturers, it’s probably because they’re affected. Do your services and capabilities offer a potential solution? Now’s the perfect time to gently enter the conversation.
These strategies can apply to other industry trends and news, too. We’ll just use the tariff trouble as our example:
Idea #1: Write a Blog About It
Some OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are hurting today as they try to find sourcing or material alternatives. Others may see a delayed impact and haven’t prepared adequately.
You can help both of these groups with a little education. What’s more educational than an article about how tariffs are affecting manufacturers and suppliers. Make sure you tie it into your potential solution by the end.
Check out this example from Matric. Matric, an electronics manufacturer that produces circuit boards for OEMs, wrote about how the tariffs are affecting electronics manufacturers.
The article has since been updated three times as new information comes out. Why? Because prospects care about it -- this blog post is the company’s fourth-highest-viewed blog post ever.
Make sure your content leads somewhere -- in other words, don’t let the connection die at the end of the article. Consider adding a “Contact an Expert”-type call-to-action button. Put prospects directly in touch with someone who can address their questions and concerns about their supply chain. Then watch your conversion rate take off.
This isn’t a “set it and forget it” strategy. You’ll probably have to come back later and update your blog post as the saga takes more twists and turns.
If your company doesn’t have a blog -- and it should -- you can offer shorter tips via social media or email (more on this below).
Idea #2: Chat About It on LinkedIn
LinkedIn Groups are a great way for B2B and manufacturing companies to connect with like-minded businesses. Depending on your industry, you may find useful Facebook Groups as well, but we definitely recommend starting with LinkedIn.
If you’re not sure which Groups your customers are hanging out in, ask during a quick interview or survey.
Idea #3: Remind Them You’re Here for Them
Target all or a specific, relevant segment of your email list. Email marketing isn’t dead -- so long as you send one that’s actually helpful!
- Remind your customers that you assist with
- Vendor-managed inventory
- Obsolescence management
- Whatever pain point you have an answer for!
Some of your current customers might not even realize you offer these services if they didn’t use them the first time around.
Consult with your sales team. They may be hearing repeat questions/complaints from customers that would make for a great hyperfocused email (or blog post). This is also the kind of stuff you can glean from interviews and surveys.
Be the Solution
Remember, you can apply this quick-on-your-feet mindset to other customer pain points besides tariffs. It always comes back to using “always be helping” as your M.O. instead of the gross and outdated “always be selling.”
You may have noticed our three tips focused on three major aspects of modern digital marketing:
- Blog posts
- Social media
To learn more about how inbound marketing can position you as an authority in your prospects’ eyes, check out the e-book below: