Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising Strategies For Manufacturers

This is the perfect guiding article if you work in a small team for a manufacturing organisation and have been asked to generate leads from the website quickly. You may have been given a budget for paid media and a deadline. Let’s cover the basics and some tips that will help you build a Pay Per Click strategy, and what platforms you should consider.

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What Is PPC?

PPC marketing is a form of Search Advertising, whereby a company places an advert on a search engine and pays for a click, whenever someone is drawn in by the ad, which directs them to a relevant landing page on a website.

There are many different forms these adverts can take, across various channels and focussing on differing levels of intent. PPC ads can be targeted to specific groups of people who are most likely to engage with a manufacturing company and can help to fill a pipeline of leads, by serving them at each part of the buying journey, from raising awareness of a new solution to generating leads or sales for the same product or service. 

Manufacturers Google/Bing Advertising Strategies

Effective pay per click advertising in manufacturing should start by putting yourself in the shoes of your ideal customers.

When they have a problem, need to purchase something to fix that problem, or are interested in a topic and want to know more, what do they do?

They usually Google it.

By creating adverts on search engines, you can capture the attention of your future customers, in that micro-moment of need. Proposing your solution to them, when they are actively looking for it, can help them to consider your product or service.

Take this a step further, and offer them a way to get a quote, book a call or even enquire about your products/services once they get to your site, and you can directly measure the ROI of the ads. This can be broken down further into search PPC and Display.

Search PPC

Search PPC within manufacturing utilises this process in the most literal sense, by using the search terms that people input in these moments of action, and using them as a trigger for your ad to appear.

For example, say you are the manufacturer of commercial printers, you might advertise against keywords such as ‘flatbed UV printers’ or ‘soluble ink printers’. You can also use more specific terms, such as printer model numbers, or even broader terms like ‘golf ball printing machine’ to capture more traffic that fits the needs and pain points that your business can assist with.

Display Advertising

Display ads work similarly, but instead of showing in search results, they can appear as banner ads on other websites, or as videos on YouTube. As a manufacturer you can still use keywords as a targeting option to ensure ads appear under relevant content but they can also use behavioural targeting, similar website targeting, content targeting, and purchase intent targeting.

For example, the same printer manufacturer could use display ads, and choose to show them to people who have recently watched a video on YouTube about a ‘UV flatbed printer’, or could choose to show them on sites such as ‘Epson’, ‘HP’ and ‘Kodak’.

Pros and Cons

PPC for manufacturing has many benefits, with the key ones being:

  • Appearing under relevant search results which equates to higher conversions than say, print advertising where irrelevant people will see the ad
  • You only pay when someone clicks on your advert
  • You can set and maintain budgets for specific periods
  • Easy to turn up/down as market demand increases/decreases
  • It is quick and easy to change the content within adverts and targeting options for new campaigns 
  • Relatively quick to set up and get running
  • Algorithms strengthen the campaign over time by learning what a good customer looks like and showing them ads more often
  • Very granular data collection to allow for in depth ROI analysis

But there are also a few cons:

  • Managed badly, or without an advertising agency that has experience in manufacturing can result in wasted spend
  • You have to pay for every click that comes in as a result of the ads, unlike with organic SEO traffic 
  • If PPC is your only source of leads, an outage on search engines or your website can mean your business’s revenue stream immediately grinds to a halt
  • Some keywords and markets can be very expensive due to competition, with manufacturing is known to be one of them 
  • There’s nothing stopping your direct competitors from using your brand keywords in their campaigns, but this can be combated by also using theirs

LinkedIn Manufacturing PPC Marketing Strategies

LinkedIn can also be a fruitful platform. Instead of using keywords to target individuals on the network, advertisers can target via profile information. This is particularly useful for manufacturers, as they can target by job role, which ensures only people who are authorised to make buying or purchasing decisions in the industry can see the ad, limiting the amount of irrelevant people that can see the ad. 

For example, a printer manufacturer could target ‘purchasing managers’, ‘print shop owners’ or even ‘operations managers’ with an ad showing a new piece of equipment that they may be interested in booking a demo of.

Aside from job titles, you can also target specific companies, seniority, qualifications, and locations.

Operating in a professional digital space with such targeting is an obvious benefit of LinkedIn. But this pinpoint targeting also makes it highly competitive which means that the costs of running the ads can be high in cost per click. Additionally, these ads take the form of a LinkedIn post, so require imagery before going live, and so there’s often a need for graphic design to get the most impact from your ad. 

Social Media Advertising Strategies for Manufacturers

The benefits of social media advertising extend across the professional platform of LinkedIn and onto other social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. These too can be powerful ways of getting a message across to relevant audiences, however, the targeting of job titles is much more limited and is more interest-based. 

For example, a manufacturer who produces cameras would be able to target people interested in ‘photography’ and ‘cameras’, but this would include a large section of the general public, as well as, say, businesses looking to purchase bulk wholesale amounts, which can result in irrelevant leads. Though this is easily combated with clear copy and calls to action, however, most of the time, manufacturers are best putting their investment into channels where the intended audience is more easily targeted. 

Despite this, if a manufacturer wants to raise awareness of their brand and build consumer trust, then these social media channels are the most populous and can be great for reaching a large audience, quickly. The algorithms that underpin these platforms are also extremely powerful which can be of huge benefit if the audience you need to reach is active and engaged on the channel.

Where to start with PPC as a manufacturer?

It can be daunting knowing how to strategise an annual marketing budget so we’ve created a dedicated service, which we’ve built from successful campaigns with existing manufacturing clients.

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