BPT Blog-Know the 3 phases of a successful OEM marketing strategy

Know the 3 phases of a successful OEM marketing strategy

As an OEM (original equipment manufacturer), it’s not enough to simply attract visitors to your site. While this can be a good start, the long lead time and complex purchasing process of your products require a long-term engagement strategy. To achieve this, your content and engagement strategies should address the core concerns at each phase of the process, from seeking RFPs to making the final selection, and even beyond the point of sale.

The best marketing strategy for OEMs to attract and engage customers is through an inbound marketing approach. This involves creating assets that anticipate and support the various phases of a lengthy purchasing process. By doing this, you can provide your audience with what they’re looking for when they need it.

Marketing for long-term engagement: Why it’s essential for OEMs

For OEMs, building strong, long-lasting relationships with customers is key to success. After all, you’re marketing to a niche audience with long lead times and expensive, sophisticated industrial solutions. So, instead of viewing the process as a funnel, think of it as a journey with three distinct phases.

  • Attract prospects to your website to raise awareness of your brand and offerings.
  • Keep them engaged with your brand over the weeks and months leading up to the sale.
  • And once they’re a customer, you want to delight them with top-notch service and solutions to ensure their satisfaction.

Maintaining that satisfaction is crucial, given the hefty investment customers make in industrial equipment. So OEMs can strengthen the relationship even further by connecting customers to solutions and resources.

When the OEM succeeds in building a strong relationship, the cycle begins again through referrals or repeat business when the time comes to expand or replace machinery. This is known as the marketing flywheel, and it’s a powerful concept.

Rather than simply moving customers down a funnel to close with a sale, the marketing flywheel establishes a cycle that moves through phases in a loop: attract, engage, delight. As the relationship is reinforced, the OEM gains strength, completing not just one cycle, but many.

[Read more: The Marketing Flywheel: Has This Approach to Customer Relationships Replaced the Marketing Funnel?]

What do you need to build an OEM marketing strategy?

Using the three phases of the marketing flywheel as your template, here are the core elements and strategies you’ll need.

1. SEO and beyond: Attract prospects to your OEM enterprise

As an industrial manufacturer, it’s important to have a solid SEO strategy to capture as much high-quality organic traffic as possible. Despite the limitations of organic search opportunities in your niche market, it’s well worth the effort. Some 56% of B2B buyers said web search was their first resource to identifying a solution.

To improve your site’s rankings on the search engine results page (SERP) and meet the intentions of potential customers, these tasks will make your site more visible during online search.

  • Website audit (try our free website audit tool)
  • Benchmark against the competition
  • Keyword analysis to identify keyword gaps and opportunities

[Learn more: SEO for Manufacturing Companies]

But don’t stop at SEO. It’s important to saturate other awareness channels to make it easy for potential customers to discover your brand.

Clear the pathways to direct traffic: Take an inventory of any directories, industry guides and trade publications to ensure your enterprise’s listings are present, accurate and up-to-date with functioning links and thorough descriptions.

Level-up on LinkedIn: Take advantage of LinkedIn’s popularity in 2023 by posting content through organic and paid feeds, and enlist your sales team to reach their broad network of contacts to amplify the message.

Get seen through paid search: Consider Google Ads and PPC to get your OEM enterprise in front of the eyes of prospects who are looking for you.

More digital marketing tactics for OEMs at the attract stage

At the awareness stage, potential customers are gathering information and data about prospective OEMs by searching online to build their list of known entities and consulting with peers and outside agencies. Providing content that introduces your company while demonstrating your expertise is what will resonate. Nearly 4 in 5 B2B buyers (79%) said the winning bidder’s online content was a major influence on their buying decision.

  • 101 blogs and eBooks
  • Landing pages that capture your offerings by specialty and industry
  • Blogs and infographics covering the latest trends and the research in your industry
  • Videos that provide a high-level intro to your offerings

2. Be engaging: Meet your audience and their needs

Behind every industrial equipment purchasing decision is a team of decision-makers. As you move into the engagement stage, your content should focus on understanding who these stakeholders are, so you can create content that addresses their concerns and questions.

Typically, there are two types of stakeholders in industrial equipment purchasing: recommenders (or influencers) and decision-makers. Recommenders and influencers include engineers and product designers who evaluate candidates for industrial equipment, while decision-makers are at the management and C-suite levels.

To engage your audience, brainstorm a list of likely stakeholders along with the questions they’ll be asking.

For instance, the operations director may seek information on training their people on the new system, while IT may ask how the new system will integrate with the existing data infrastructure.

Digital marketing at the engagement stage

At this stage, stakeholders have identified the need to invest in industrial equipment and are actively evaluating candidates. Developing content in partnership with engineering and other subject matter experts will be critical to establishing credibility with these stakeholders.

  • Comparison and buyers guides
  • Whitepapers
  • Thought leadership blogs
  • Case studies
  • Product videos
  • Technical guides and brochures
  • Online calculators and decision tools

Leverage your long lead time

Fill the gaps in communication by creating content that invites more engagement and interaction with your enterprise.

  • Online events and webinars
  • Email newsletters
  • Product promotions
  • Drip campaigns to retarget lapsed prospects

[Discover newsletter and email tactics: Why Email Marketing Matters for Manufacturers]

3. Delight with steadfast support

After the sale is made, marketing efforts don’t stop, especially in the industrial equipment sector. There are various phases to cover, from design to installation to training to maintenance. As a result, a new audience, the end users, come into play. While they may have had little say in the final decision, the end users are critical to referrals and renewals. To make the ownership experience as frictionless as possible, you need to make resources and solutions easy to discover on your website.

Content for OEMs to support end users

Your goal at this stage is to create visibility to solutions that keep the line moving. How can you deploy your resources to keep them satisfied?

  • Create landing pages that describe the commissioning and integration process, maintenance program, authorized repair services and frequently asked questions.
  • Produce how-to, explainer and troubleshooting videos that address common concerns.
  • Use infographics to convey complex information in a visually appealing manner.

Remember, by delighting your audience, you set yourself up for future success by encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business.

Launch your OEM digital marketing strategy with Brandpoint

The most effective OEM digital strategy focuses on long-term engagement through an inbound marketing approach. This involves creating content and engagement strategies that address the core concerns at each phase of the purchasing process, from seeking RFPs to making the final selection and looking beyond the point of sale.

Ready to put your vision into action? Partner with Brandpoint to plan, strategize and launch your digital marketing plan tailored for the challenges of OEM manufacturers. We’ll serve as an extension of your department to connect with your audience and nurture your leads. Connect with us today!

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Know the 3 phases of a successful OEM marketing strategy