Colorado Manufacturing Companies on the Rise.
The Rocky Mountains are brimming with manufacturing innovation. In 2015 NAM recorded almost 5,000 Colorado manufacturing companies, producing $23 billion worth of goods, and accounting for 5.6% of the State’s employment. Many of the nation's top performing firms are producing their products in Colorado due to a highly skilled workforce and local Universities pumping out competitive innovations. That’s why it isn’t a coincidence industrial startups are popping up in every corner of Colorado as more and more businesses are finding success within its borders.
The strong industry leads to one question, what are the manufacturing front runners all doing to stand out from the crowd? And the answer is a robust, multi-channel marketing strategy. They know that while there are plenty of “good ol’boys” reading trade-rags, the industry has evolved rendering the effectiveness of paid media lacking relevance. The new gap needs to be supplemented with digital and inbound marketing techniques, and they’ve done just that.
These 12 Colorado manufacturers present aspects of a healthy marketing plan. While we haven’t worked with any of these companies to date, we can at least say they show an aptitude for these particular marketing categories. This list is not in any specific order; it’s been curated to show different Colorado manufacturers utilizing digital marketing.
Take a look at what marketing tactics they’re using to break the mold:
RK Mechanical is one of the largest manufacturing companies in Colorado and has a track record of placing on the ‘best businesses to work in Colorado’ list multiple years running. While being well known for their work on high priority construction projects, RK Mechanical has branched out into custom manufacturing contracts, as well.
RK does something not many manufacturing companies do, and that’s maintaining a consistent blog.
A company blog isn’t just for writing about achievements and events - though it is an excellent outlet -, it allows you to expand your digital footprint. With over 57% of the buying process happening online without the guidance of a sales rep, a growing digital footprint is the key to any business’s success. Just take a look at RK Mechanical’s steadily increasing organic website traffic over the past year.
That is over a 5x increase in website visitors per month from blogging efforts since June 2016. When thinking about a sales pipeline more web visits means more leads and ultimately more sales. What manufacturer doesn’t want that?
Hercules Industries is a top producer of high-quality HVAC sheet metal products and equipment. They’ve been in operation in Denver since 1962 accumulating four manufacturing factories across the State. As a company that deals heavily in steel products, Hercules’ prospects have multiple customized variables that require immediate answers when determining if their needs can be met.
That’s why Hercules Industries created their ‘Galvanized Steel Chart’ tool. Through picking gauge thickness and sheet size prospects can quickly calculate their project requirements in terms of sheets needed per pound.
This tool is geared towards increasing visitor to lead conversions. The calculations help viewers create a scenario that matches their own and can be sure that the results are accurate. The calculator's purpose is to eliminate the barrier to purchase as Hercules helps buyers make their own decisions while on their website.
Qualtek is a metal services company out of Colorado Springs, specializing in metal stamping, project planning, heat treating, and finishing services. They’ve made a name for themselves in the local contract manufacturing industry over the past four and a half decades.
Qualtek clearly understands the importance of investing in video marketing. The number of companies utilizing videos to reach their message across the chasm to customers has recently skyrocketed. It’s considered to be one of the fastest growing digital marketing trends in 2017.
It’s a well-known fact that consumer attention spans are dwindling and most written content is quickly skimmed. Adding video options to your content plan allow users who aren’t interested in reading long text to get a full view of what your products have to offer. Qualtek has capitalized on the video marketing trend by creating high-quality videos featuring their metal stamping, EDM, and integration processes.
FHE is a manufacturer of service pressure control equipment. They’ve won the ‘Colorado Excellence Award’ and consistently been placed on the ‘Top 250 Colorado Private Companies’ list. Even more impressively, FHE has been featured as one of the nation's fastest growing companies on Inc’s ‘Top 5000’ list six years running. This Colorado manufacturing company is obviously doing something right.
As you dig into their website, you’ll notice the further you move away from their product pages the more predominant the CTAs become. FHE makes a concerted effort to create a web of interconnectivity between its subpages and the main product pages. Many businesses don’t realize how easy it is to lose viewers when they become lost within the site architecture. A precisely set CTA helps redirect users who might be lost and trying to find the main offering.
Additionally, they offer ungated resources like the FHE product catalog. In an industry that isn’t quite inducted into the digital world being able to download and print a physical catalog makes prospects feel comfortable. The free giveaway acts as an extension of their website giving viewers more time to digest and reflect on working with FHE.
Taking a step away from the ‘traditional’ manufacturers and into the food manufacturing world, Avery Brewing is rocking the Colorado craft brew scene. Their growth has been so strong that they’ve been placed on multiple nationally recognized brewery lists. Essentially, they are known as a must have in Colorado.
Part of the reason they’ve become a household name is due to their willingness to engage in event marketing. A Fourth of July 4k race is simple enough. However, as an event sponsor, Avery has done all the right things to promote brand awareness. Who doesn’t want to replenish after a race with a cold beer and hot breakfast? Not too many people.
Diving further, the event is well promoted on their website. There are three buttons, on the event page, all of which have a different, yet important role. The ‘register now’ button stands out from the other two as a clear indicator to draw viewers towards registration. To some the simple change is minor, but creating standout features, like color differentiators can significantly increase click-through rates and sign-ups.
The ‘add to calendar’ button is crucial because everybody forgets! Just because you get a list of people to sign up for an event doesn’t mean they’ll show up. Adding an event and a reminder to their calendar is the perfect way to follow up without being a pest. Lastly, the ‘share this event’ button creates a social conversation between attendees and the outside world. Each share has the potential to bring in new participants creating a chain effect.
Diversified Machine Systems is a manufacturer of 3-axis and 5-axis CNC machining centers. They’ve designed and produced machines for every industry from aviation, automotive, and marine. By just looking at DMS’s website you can tell they’re a customer oriented company.
They’ve pulled together a comprehensive resource center to help inform buyers along their decision process. A LiveChat popup allows visitors to ask company representatives direct questions with quick turn around. And their social media presence is very impressive for a non-consumer-facing manufacturing organization, reaching 35,000 fans between their active networks.
All that being said, DMS’s most important marketing weapon is their landing pages.
A landing page creates an opportunity to capture leads who aren’t quite ready to buy but are still looking for more information. Without a submission form viewers come and go from your site without a trace. HubSpot reports that companies with over 40 landing pages receive 2x more leads than their next closest competition, and 5x more than those with only 1 - 5 pages.
It's simple math. The more landing pages you have, the more opportunities there are for a website visitor to convert into a captured lead. Nobody is after the same information when they start prospecting a business, so you’ve got to diversify your landing page offerings to match up with desired resources.
Alpen is a manufacturer of thermally efficient commercial and residential windows and doors. Making it onto the ‘Top Made in Colorado’ list for two years running, they are considered to be gurus of innovative product design.
Alpen has one of the nicest designed websites of the companies on this list. They’ve taken the time to research UX and UI trends in order to create a site that’s not only easy on the eyes but just as easy to navigate. Each page is laid out in a panel format with short and decisive leading text that guides visitors to the next segment in their buying journey. The content is just the right length making it easily digestible, yet still informative.
Many manufacturing companies often forget that their website is their digital representation. If it isn’t clean, sleek, and up to date then there’s a potential to lose clients. Whichever channel you sell your products through, direct, OEM partners, resellers, or private distributors, there’s always another person on the other end of the transaction evaluating the full picture of your organization.
Aleph Objects, a Loveland Colorado based manufacturer of desktop 3D printers aims to break the mold of the 3D printing market. Aleph has their sights on developing a high-performance 3D printer that is easy to use and provides people with the freedom to build how they want to build.
Aleph Objects’ website is on par, if not better than most manufacturing organizations, although it’s what’s happening in terms of off-page content generation that sets them apart from their competition.
With over 47,000 backlinks, 70% of which being ‘Follow’ oriented, Aleph Objects blows their competition out of the water where referral website traffic is concerned. They’ve cracked the code of receiving links from outside sources. With Aleph’s largest product, LulzBot being open source, they’ve created a feedback loop of thousands of interested fans sourcing their material. Often on-page SEO is given more weight by marketing professionals, and off-page SEO is put on the back burner. However, regarding importance, they both hold significant weight. When a website ignores their off-page optimization, they’re losing out on high converting referral traffic and a key ranking indicator in search algorithms.
Never Summer Industries’ factory has been manufacturing Colorado skis, snowboards, wakeboards, and longboards for over 20 years. They are one of the last remaining ski manufacturers in the entire United States, let alone Colorado. Never Summer is the producer of their own skis, and popular local brands like Icelantic, Fat-ypus, High Society and Rocky Mountain Underground.
So, Never Summer dominates the Colorado slopes, but what else do they do right? Well, for starters, they leave little room for competitors to outrank them for relevant SEO keywords. When looking at some closely related brands from across the State, the closest competitor has a keyword universe less than half the size of Never Summer.
To be that controlling over a keyword category puts Never Summer in a position to capture the most organic search traffic possible. As the majority of consumers move to online purchasing, Never Summer’s only issue with sales will be how to resolve their production bottleneck to make room for their countless leads.
Geotech Environmental Equipment is a Colorado manufacturing company that produces equipment used for sampling, monitoring and remediating groundwater and soil pollution. One would think that creating a social user based competition in the manufacturing industry would be difficult. Though, somehow, Geotech has been able to find a way to create such a contest with terrific feedback.
The rules are simple. Take a picture using Geotech equipment in a real life situation and submit it for a chance to win a $100 gift card. It looks like the competition took off, spreading their brand to all the right social circles. Since the end of 2013 they’ve posted a winning picture every single month.
A social competition creates low-cost brand ambassadors. Every single one of these submissions was willing to share Geotech Environmental Equipment for the low price of ‘possibly’ winning $100. As they share their involvement more viewers from the targeted audience become involved. Presumably, Geotech is targeting users like Geologists to use their equipment. When a geologist shares or is tagged on a social site with their submission their friends see it as well. More than likely, these friends have similar interests and will share an excitement about environmental topics. Thus creating a chain effect of brand generating equity.
Every company can improve their marketing efforts, but these ten have shown to perform in specific categories exceptionally well. If at any point during this list you thought to yourself, “I’d like to see my organization perform better in that marketing segment” then let’s talk. Matrix has decades of experience working with and for manufacturing companies around Colorado. Not to mention we’ve held an office in Denver for 15 years.
Are there any Colorado manufacturing companies that you think should be on this list? Since Colorado has many booming industries chances are I’ve left out tons of top notch operations. Let me know in the comments below who makes your ‘Top Made in Colorado’ list.