Construction Heavy Equipment Marketing & Advertising
How can you drive interest and revenue for a business in the heavy construction equipment segment? Businesses in this realm work in competitive, business-to-business focused segments where generating leads and closing sales requires overcoming much greater inertia.
Construction equipment marketing and advertising strategies then have to be effective enough to reduce the time/budget cost of conversion.
If your company sells construction equipment, heavy machinery, or industrial supplies then understanding the roll of digital marketing is crucial to being able to grow. Digital marketing strategies like search engine optimization, paid advertising, email outreach, and content optimization are crucial to growing brand recognition and capturing new leads.
Even despite the Covid-19 shutdown, the industry is expected to grow from $169.3 billion in 2020 to about $205.0 billion by 2025. Other research expects an AGR of 4.3% for 2020-2027 with the biggest expectations for continued growth in the Asian pacific. The pandemic has impacted revenue for traditional construction equipment marketing strategies – meaning that a modern, digital focused marketing campaign might be more important than ever for long-term growth.
So here’s what that means. A forward-looking construction/heavy-equipment marketing plan might benefit from both push and pull strategies.
Plus, marketing in this niche doesn’t necessarily mean hiring an industrial equipment marketing company. It’s possible to grow a marketing campaign in-house; but many businesses find the importance of a full-fledged internet presence too important to only get it half right. In 2021 and beyond internet marketing is set to become the new normal for B2B industrial retail and construction equipment commerce.
But the following strategies can be done either way – and each one offers pros and cons.
This blog is pretty detailed and lengthy, to jump to a section/strategy follow the links below:
- Push & pull marketing
- Which marketing strategies are best for you?
- Long term & short term strategies
- Lead generation & the conversion funnel
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing/ads
- Content marketing
- Hiring a digital marketing agency?
The numbers don’t lie.
Data across the globe and the eCommerce landscape proves that the future of commercial/industrial equipment marketing/sales is online! Here’s just a small smattering of stats from Think With Google that prove it:
- Industrial manufacturing customers who engaged digitally post-purchase were 2X more likely to purchase supplementary products.
- 79% of industrial shoppers who are informed online make a purchase on their first in-store visit.
- 58% of B2B industrial manufacturer purchasers start online research with a product then follow up with a brand.
- For 50% of industrial supply customers, the last point of influence is online.
- Mobile drives, or influences, an average of over 40% of revenue in leading B2B organizations.
Two approaches: push and pull style marketing
Digital marketing in general fits into two broad types: Push marketing and pull marketing.
In push marketing the goal is to bring your brand or products to your customers. To push your brand with aggressive strategies. Pull marketing, on the other hand, involves naturally accruing traffic based on natural interest. The reasoning here is to create high-value content suited for your target audiences and letting them come to you.
“Push” marketing usually involves pushy strategies like pay-per-click (PPC) search ads, display-network pay-per-click ads, social media advertising, email marketing, traditional advertising, YouTube ads, TV commercials and more. “Pull” marketing includes optimizing your business to gain visibility naturally with search engine optimization (SEO), popular/sharable content, viral video, social-media engagement, reputation management, etc.
For businesses looking to establish a fast and immediate cash-flow, “push” strategies based on paid ads are one option. For businesses looking to gain a long-term customer base, “pull” offers methods for organic long-term growth.
For construction and commercial brands, creating a heavy equipment marketing plan means isolating your own key performance indicators (KPIs) identifying your goals, and deciding whether push, pull, or both is the best approach.
Which marketing types are best for your goals?
In digital construction equipment marketing, a “push” campaign might be ideal for instances like:
- When launching a new business or website without a reputation
- During industry off-seasons or slow construction seasons
- For sales and temporary promotional campaigns
- When expanding to a new market or new global segment
- To generate cash-flow or sales quickly
- To help promote brand recognition when competing against a dominant competitor
- For building reputation in a new space before physical supply-chain can be set up
- Targeting customers based on interest, industry, location
- Remarketing for leads that are more likely to convert
Pull marketing on the other hand, is reliably the best way to grow a business passively. It can be more work, but is essentially free and when done right can help maintain long-term growth. “Pull” marketing is great for:
- Long-term B2B growth
- Maintaining dominance in a specific niche or industry
- Building a return B2B customer base or improving loyalty based on professional, high-quality content.
- Promoting brand recognition with client engagement and visibility
- Growing traffic to a web site across organic, referral, and social segments
- Improving sales and revenue affordably, without an expensive ad budget
- Grow equipment sales leads at the top of the conversion funnel
Short term results vs long term growth
This is just another way of thinking about push vs pull marketing. But for heavy equipment/construction equipment marketing and advertising, businesses will want to think about these two things.
Do you want fast results, long term growth, or both?
For FAST RESULTS: Generally speaking, push-based paid advertising marketing gets the fastest results and the fastest revenue (at some cost). But organic marketing strategies like SEO and content marketing are better for long-term growth since they can passively bring in traffic and can offer more permanent results.
This means that PPC ads and social media ads are ideal for the short game and are ideal for marketers who are looking for immediate results or wanting to boost equipment/industrial sales within a short time frame.
For the world of heavy equipment advertising, Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns offer some of the best returns for online businesses (and rapidly as well). The median ROI for PPC can be as much as 23%, and its popularity means it’s now responsible for as much as 1/3 of total online sales. This strategy offers your brand prominent visibility, and with a click-through-rate of nearly 8%, it means that marketers can take advantage of this short-term approach to get more traffic from approximately 4.3 billion daily web searches. Results happen pretty much as soon as the campaign goes live.
For LONG TERM RESULTS: There’s a reason that most marketers agree that SEO is the type of online marketing with the single best ROI. Search engines drive the majority of internet traffic and are crucial to top-of-the-funnel brand building. SEO is the most successful industrial/commercial digital marketing strategy there is!
Social media is important for helping build your brand’s following outside of the SERP. It’s also a good way of driving marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and for customer engagement along the conversion funnel. Plus social media platforms allow construction retail brands to expand their existing content and boost impressions/shares for their on-site content…
Content marketing; Why is content marketing so important? Content is the foundation of almost every other form of digital marketing – without good on-site (and even off-site) content, there’s no way to create matching social media posts, there’s little way to improve SEO, there’s nowhere for PPC traffic to go, and strategies like email marketing have no source material!
Plus, content focused marketing truisms like expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (or EAT) have become crucial in UX focused marketing that’s become the new normal in social media algorithms and Google algorithms like BERT and human-like language processing. Content is one of the single most important marketing elements and it’s crucial to shopper psychology along the online sales funnel.
Lead generation & the conversion funnel
For effective construction equipment marketing and advertising that provides good cost-per-conversion value, it’s important to focus on lead generation that targets marketing qualified leads (MQLs).
Part of this is focusing on digital marketing strategies that help online businesses target their B2B/industrial equipment shoppers all along the ToFu MoFu BoFu marketing funnel. This funnel describes the path which customers take as they go from first browsing to when they finally click “buy now.”
There’s no one single way people enter the conversion funnel, it could be through any channel: including search marketing, social media, email – and more… but each of these offers ways to catch interest and to generate leads. In fact professional marketers can use data to exploit these strategies to focus on the most likely customers in order to improve ROI and conversion rate (CR)!
Digital marketing here means addressing the needs of your customers from the instant they first interact to the point where they complete purchase – as well as at every stage in-between. Make their journey as easy as possible, provide good customer service, and utilize professional digital marketing that’s honest and accurate to smooth their path to conversion.
What does this mean for your company? What does this mean for things like construction or heavy equipment marketing plans? Knowing your audience and understanding your company’s lead-gen model will help determine which path is best:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay-per-click marketing (PPC) on search engines and display networks
- Social media organic marketing
- Social media paid advertising
- Email marketing
- Video/content marketing
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization actually encompasses a wide range of strategies and ranking factors that are known to be used by search engines like Google and Bing.
These include important “off page” strategies that can’t be controlled (like backlinks) as well as important on-page SEO elements. And these on-page strategies can be controlled by business owners and marketers, making them hugely important to SEO. Remember, organic traffic is one if the single most important ROI-driving channels for construction equipment marketing, meaning that on-page SEO can’t be ignored.
As much as half of all website traffic comes from search engines, along with close to 40% of online revenue. Here’s something else to think about: The top 1st result on Google gets more than 32% of keyword traffic, and the first page of search results grabs as much as 91.5% of traffic!
So how do you take advantage of that? SEO for industrial equipment marketing within a company’s site means optimizing things like:
- Quality-content and keyword density
- Keyword research
- Site meta data like title-tags and meta descriptions, which are hugely important for how websites are displayed in search engine results pages (SERPs)
- Internal linking via anchor-text links
- Site structure & clear UI
- Technical SEO elements like:
- Site performance and Core Web Vitals
- Mobile friendliness
- Crawlability and Googlebot friendliness
- Site security and HTTPS
- Robots.txt, sitemaps, and meta-robots commands
- URL canonicalization
- Image SEO and multi-media content
- Structured data
- And a lot more…
For search engine optimization that’s geared to the absolute best industrial/construction equipment marketing strategy, we can explain some of the most important on-page SEO best practices and factors:
Valuable Content for Humans: The best approach to up-to-date SEO means starting with good content. Crafting your content to focus on user needs will help build your brand as well as improve your chances for ranking.
High-quality and helpful content should be focused on the needs of the users – but Google suggests including detailed content and target SEO keywords to help improve search rankings.
Page Title Tags: Page meta title-tags have always been a big part of search optimization and they’re one of the most important ranking factors. They’re used by Google/Bing to display your page in the SERP.
High-quality optimized title-tags should be written with humans in mind as well as with target keywords. With relevant and accurate keywords, URLs will rank better for those target keywords and click-through-rate (CTR) will improve. Title tags should be unique, and as accurate/descriptive as possible. Best practice is to avoid title-tags that are longer than about 60 characters – or they can be truncated.
Meta Descriptions: Meta descriptions are not a ranking factor for search engines. But they do have a secondary benefit for search optimization by helping to improve CTR, so they can still play a significant role in construction equipment marketing.
They act as a sales pitch or ad to persuade readers to click on your link, and to boost clicks. Good descriptions will include keywords, be descriptive, accurate, and to-the-point. Similar to meta title-tags your meta description can be truncated if it’s too long – 155 characters is roughly the limit.
Internal Anchor Text Links: Common search algorithms use internal links as a relevancy signal – even inside of a website. These links pass “authority” on from one site to another – as well as from one-page to another via complex algorithms. They help search ranking algorithms and indexing bots to understand the site’s layout/UI, its structure, and which pages are important. Plus the “anchor text” in ATLs helps signal to search engines what that page’s content is about – helping them to improve rankings.
Content/Keyword Optimization: Keyword research and keyword optimization are crucial to SEO. Understanding how this plays into search engine optimization is perhaps the single most important step to improving ROI through SEO.
For industrial equipment manufacturers, dealers, and construction equipment retailers, being able to create content that clearly focuses on specific topics is crucial to both user-experience (UX) and search rankings. Avoid vague content – and focus on optimized content marketing strategies that clearly explain what the page’s topic is and what the products are. Focus on SEO keyword that match the intent of the MQLs that have landed on your site.
Here are Google’s Webmaster Guidelines on site content and “keywords”:
- Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
- Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
- Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links.
- Think about site hierarchy and use accurate keywords accordingly.
- Avoid spam, misleading content, or tricks.
- Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
Remember that Google’s algorithm is incredibly capable of understanding language the way a human would, meaning that with BERT AI, their Hummingbird update, or with the subtopics algorithm (and other algorithms) it’s able to understand synonyms, related words, technical terminology, initialisms and more. Plus with latent-semantic indexing – Google is able to associate page content with related words as well – meaning that “striking distance” and “keyword inclusion” are still very important.
B2B Keyword Research & Search Intent: For business-to-business marketing like in the world of heavy-duty construction equipment retail, creating a digital marketing campaign means understanding SEO for your customers. B2B keyword research is its own specific world. B2B clients don’t search or navigate the shopping funnel the same way others do.
The language and search psychology for B2B business decision makers can be very different. Understanding your niche’s technical jargon, specifications, and customer’s needs is crucial to targeting the language that they type into Google or Bing.
Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, and Search Console can help identify high-average rankings, and CTR opportunities – especially for “long-tail” keywords that mean easier conversion/greater revenue.
Understanding “search intent” is also key – since heavy-duty equipment retailers/brands that can best identify the “intent” (or the goals/needs) of their site visitors are more likely to be able to help them move along the conversion funnel.
Keywords containing terms like “wholesale,” “bulk,” “commercial,” “OEM,” and “used” are just a few popularly modifiers common for B2B eCommerce and online shopping. The best strategy is to know what sort of elements and specifics matter to searchers and to include them in your content and brand language:
- Selling points and benefits. Elements like free shipping, wholesale discounts, help/troubleshooting services, product installation, liaison services, product customization, employee training, etc.
- Details like: materials, product/service types, industrial tolerances, part number, region, target industry, manufacturer, ISO identifiers, regulation certification, etc.
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
For construction supplies, earth moving, material handling/heavy equipment, etc. – online advertising hinges on one main strategy: paid ads. The pay-per-click model is one of the most successful advertising strategies there is. And its unbeatable ROI makes it one of the most popular!
PPC’s main advantage is that it can drive lead-generation and sales pretty much immediately. On Google and Bing, PPC ads include both “search” ads (the ads shown at the top of search results in the SERP) and “display” ads (which appear like banners or image ads on third-party partner sites). Often marketers bid for key search terms, where their ads will be displayed in search results, or they pay for ads to appear in user feeds, videos, web-pages, and more.
So what does PPC mean specifically for heavy-equipment advertising? The construction machinery and equipment industry in the U.S. accounts for more than $30 billion. The whole of the construction/industrial equipment industry is rapidly shifting toward eCommerce/online. Data from Construction Executive makes it clear:
“Grainger expects that 80% of their revenue will come from e-commerce by 2023. Fastenal’s e-commerce revenue has grown 27% year over year and now makes up 35% of their total sales.
“Across 300 B2B distributor businesses, ecommerce sales has grown by 11% year over year, bringing the total north of $700 billion in revenue.”
Plus, Volvo has come right out and explained how a multi-channel digital marketing campaign (that focused heavily on “PPC and banner ads”) has helped them achieve success since 2012.
Plus – according to Google – on average businesses generally get an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads for a 2:1 ROI! Traffic through PPC advertising yields 50% more conversions than organic, making it ideal for intensive industries where the cost-of-conversion is high (and lengthy).
Google PPC ads offers a range of “bid strategies” that can be ideal for B2B, commercial, and heavy-equipment advertising. This includes goals like: driving website traffic with “conversion” focused ads, brand awareness with impression focused ads (like vCPM). The Google Ads platform offers bid strategies suited for everything from maximum conversions to target return on ad spend (ROAS), max ‘clicks’, brand interaction and more! All of these can be ideal for leading clients and buyers along the shopping funnel – or engaging with a shopper that’s ready to buy.
Email lead generation
Email prospecting is a popular method for driving website traffic and is very successful – especially for B2B markets like construction equipment and heavy machinery. 1 in 3 marketers claim that email marketing offers them the best results, second only to SEO.
Professional email marketing is particularly suited for the professional-networking and client relationship building needed for big commercial machinery sales.
This strategy is based on sending emails to would-be customers and building brand recognition through email content. It’s one of the biggest and most successful strategies there is. Here’s how much ROI email outreach offers online businesses: 31% of B2B companies say email newsletters are the best way of generating leads. Email is super effective for B2B construction/heavy-equipment advertising, since for commercial businesses it’s the third most influential source of information for commercial audiences (behind word of mouth and industry luminaries)! Nearly 9-in-10 business professionals prefer email for business communication, and more than 50% say email is their most effective channel.
Email lead gen as part of your construction/heavy-equipment marketing plan means:
- List building or collecting email addresses for prospective clients and buyers.
- Writing and optimizing email content for the highest open rates and CTR.
- Automating email sends to industry focused audiences using specific software.
- Following up on responses.
- Navigating legal requirements for global/international commercial marketing.
- Understanding audience funnel behavior for your target clients.
- Channeling responses into your CRM.
Read our other post on the benefits of email marketing to understand how it works and why!
Social media marketing
Industrial B2B companies don’t often think there’s value in social media marketing – but there is a lot!
Social media ads now claim close to 40% of annual digital display ad revenue with one of the largest audiences in the world. Plus, B2B platforms like LinkedIn offer great construction equipment marketing strategies with the ability to get in touch directly with potential leads and decision makers.
For a full construction/heavy-equipment marketing plan, social media is a key part of the conversion funnel: particularly for brand recognition and top-of-funnel leads. Social media serves as a complete world where brands can expand their existing content reach, put themselves in-front of extra eyeballs, and engage with clients they couldn’t reach otherwise (millions even!).
The pros of social media marketing are ideal for gaining qualified leads in industrial equipment marketing – up to 2X worth! Plus, social platforms offer both paid and organic conversions.
Finally, most social media sites offer a bunch of different advertising options:
- Photo/video ads that can appear in user feeds (common on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn etc.)
- Stories ads that are usually vertical video styles ads (available on Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
- Messenger/mail ads for individual users
- Album/carousel style ads which feature a grouping of products for eCommerce businesses
- Re-marketing options for engaging with highly-interested, high-value clients that have already engaged with commercial brands
- Precise data and ultra-accurate audience targeting for region, industry/career, company, education, live events, gender, biographical info, interests, etc.
- Chat boxes and comments to engage directly with commercial audiences
- Streaming, video posts, story posts, multi-media album posts, etc.
With social-media PPC ads it’s entirely possible for you to gain B2B leads. Your competitors already are! Data from IDC says that 75% of clients use social media to make buying decisions – and 84% of executives do the same! More than 3/4ths of B2B shoppers claim they are ready to strike up a conversation on business-to-business platforms like LinkedIn.
Plus social ads platforms let companies in industrial equipment marketing/advertising choose their own specific goals/key-performance indicators (KPIs):
- Ads to target more site visits/traffic
- Ads to target more form fill-outs/signups
- Ads to target more impressions/brand recognition
- Ads to target greater revenue
- Ads to target more conversions
- Ads to target low-cost conversions
- Re-marketing ads to target shoppers who may be stuck in the conversion funnel
- And more!
Content marketing & content optimization
Content is king – everyone knows that – and the reason is that content makes up the building blocks for all other digital marketing channels.
SEO, paid-ads, social media content, etc. – they all rely on pre-existing content to build on a brand’s philosophy, public-image, and language/style. You can’t even start on these marketing channels without having foundational website/brand ‘content’ to create them with. Likewise, traffic growth can’t happen without content-full landing pages your target audience can actually land on.
Content is even more important for industrial construction equipment marketing – where the barrier to conversion is so much higher.
Content is also a known (and important) ranking factor for Google/Bing algorithms, wherein the core guiding principle for content includes new concepts like “EAT” and “needs met.”
EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness and reflects 3 main qualities that people should be able to find in your content. No matter what. Likewise, “needs met” should be the take-away for everyone who visits your site – in construction equipment every site visitor should have their “needs met” as much as possible. Every hypothetical question answered, every concern addressed, and every next-step laid out for them easily. The concepts of “needs met” and EAT come from Google’s search quality rater guidelines – and represent exactly the type of content Google strives to deliver to its users.
Likewise Google outlines content best practices in their Webmaster Guidelines:
- Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
- Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words.
- Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
- Don’t deceive your users.
- Avoid dishonest tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
- Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
Should you hire an industrial equipment marketing company?
Maybe the final consideration for any brand or retailer when coming up with a construction/industrial/heavy-equipment marketing plan is: is it worth it to hire a digital marketing agency?
Past a certain point it absolutely makes sense.
Of course not all companies find it necessary to hire an industrial equipment marketing company or digital marketing experts – many can handle it in-house. But for most companies it can be more than worth it to save their own time, have accounts professionally handle/adjusted, and to take advantage of experts with years of experience.
Additionally a professional agency will not only have experience working with other similar companies, they’ll also know what mistakes to avoid – saving on ad expenses and multiplying ROI. Agencies will also have staff with certification in Google Analytics, Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, Facebook Blueprint, and more – plus if you look for an agency, look for one that’s a Google Premier Partner.
The down-side of course is the cost of hiring an agency – but more often than not, ROI far outweighs the costs.
An agency can also:
- Re-write, optimize and implement meta-data/content changes across your site
- Perform technical site audits to uncover major issues
- Create a campaign focused on your specific KPIs, goals, and brand philosophy
- Monitor analytics data and use it to make fine-tuned adjustments
- Monitor for algorithmic updates, mistakes, “manual action” penalties, etc.
- Provide monthly regular updates and performance reporting to keep you in the loop
- Do expert keyword research for low-competition, high-value keywords for both SEO & PPC
- Give client liaison services, suggestions, and co-operation
- Perform nearly constant site/traffic monitoring
- Create ad campaigns from scratch: accounts, campaigns, ad-groups, budgeting, etc.
- Provide Quality Score optimization
- Monitor keywords, negative keywords, bids, ads, and landing pages daily
- Give budget recommendations, forecasting, and ongoing bid strategy
- Test ad copy, landing pages, and keyword match types
- Create email marketing lists from scratch
- Reduce lead abandonments and site exits
- Create email marketing campaigns/copy
- And more!
Contact us to learn more about construction equipment marketing & advertising strategies that can help your brand grow.
Fill out the form below to get in touch with our team – or check out our case-studies to see what a good heavy equipment marketing plan can do.