Top tips for manufacturers to maximise their marketing budget

Manufacturers often have the debate – do we really need to market ourselves?

It’s tempting to think that if you stick to what you do best ie designing and manufacturing good products, then people will buy from you.

In reality, the businesses which did best both during and after the recession were those that continually marketed their business, their products and services. This meant they were able to recover from the downturn more quickly, or indeed, some did not feel its impact at all!

But the hardest thing to work out with marketing is where you, as a manufacturer, are best placing your budget, in order to get most ‘bang for your buck’.

Here are our top five tips on how to maximise your marketing budget:

Tip 1Dragonfly-PR-Fixer-2 – Include Public Relations as a key element of your marketing activity.

It is essential to make sure you choose a PR agency that has expertise in your sector. There are many PR agencies that specialise in local press or consumer marketing, but far fewer who, like Dragonfly PR, have expertise in business to business and industrial markets.  Public Relations is a more cost effective way of reaching a wider, or more targeted audience. Plus, research has shown that editorial is seven times more likely to be read than an advert.

Tip 2 – Use social media, but don’t expect to be ‘all over it’

It’s easy for consumer brands, they can gain thousands of followers through Facebook and Facebook advertising.  They can use Instagram and Snapchat, if they are targeting a young demographic and they can run Facebook competitions that generate literally thousands of entrants.

However, with business-to-business in general and manufacturing in particular, it is important to select your social media channels carefully, so as not to waste time and effort.  Twitter is the obvious one that works really well for manufacturers.  An increasing number of businesses worldwide communicate messages via Twitter and it can help to drive traffic to a website or blog.

Linkedin is great, when used correctly and this means when it is used by individuals rather than companies.  How often have you regularly visited a company page on Linkedin? Exactly!  Members of your sales and marketing team should use Linkedin to network and engage with prospects and share information, this works much better than trying to market through the company page.

The main point with social media marketing for manufacturers is don’t expect too much.  The world has woken up to social media, but it’s definitely not a major income generator for manufacturers at the moment.   Use it as part of the marketing mix, to share information and engage with others.

Tip 3 – Invest in SEO and a content strategy

The mistake that many manufacturers make is that they invest in a website and then leave it.  Make sure that you have an ongoing SEO programme, based around improving your Google ranking.  You should have a blog on your website and a news area, so new content can be added regularly and be optimised to enable search engines to find it easily.  Blogging relevant, informative content, which is keyword optimised, is a great way to improve your ranking.

Tip 4 – Choose an agency that understands how to write a technical article, in an easily digestible format

There’s a real skill in being able to create content that is of a technical nature for manufacturers but in an interesting and user-friendly format.   The great thing about having a PR campaign within your marketing mix is that you can be positioned as an expert in your industry.  If your agency is skilled in this area, they should be able to write informative articles on issues and industry-relevant subjects.  In a very subtle way this gets across your company and brand and gives you added credibility.

Tip 5 – Limit your budget on advertising (either on or offline)

Advertising in trade magazines can appear to be a quick and easy way to get a message across, however for advertising to have any impact it needs to be consistently planned over a period of time.  A good way to spread your advertising, but limit your budget is to appear bi-monthly rather than in every issue.  Online advertising is also more affordable than offline and can help with search engine optimisation.

For a free review of your marketing and PR, call our team on 01709 300130 or email

Call us on: 0114 349 5341