7 often-overlooked ways to generate new manufacturing sales leads

All articles | Marketing
Published May 24, 2024 | Written by Megan Clack
7 often-overlooked ways to generate new manufacturing sales leads


As B2B manufacturers seek ways to enhance their sales and marketing efforts to attract new manufacturing sales leads and propel business growth, the unavoidable need for robust lead-generation strategies reveals itself time and time again. 

Tried-and-tested methods like email, content marketing, and SEO have proven their worth in attracting leads. However, to stay ahead of the curve, gain momentum, and plug potential gaps, manufacturing companies must explore often-overlooked avenues that can significantly bolster their marketing and sales efforts.

By integrating these overlooked strategies into their lead generation toolkit, B2B manufacturing companies can build on the foundations of their existing lead generation efforts to create a more comprehensive and effective approach that attracts and converts new, high-quality sales leads.

But first, have you nailed the basics?

Before exploring alternatives and enhancements for your lead generation efforts, it is essential that your existing lead generation strategy adequately covers the fundamentals of garnering sales leads online. 

The lead generation basics that should already be in your strategy include:

  • Search engine optimisation, with your website’s content, performance, UX/UI, and navigation all optimised for maximum user engagement, conversion, and rankability.
  • Engaging content that is relevant to your target buyer persona and their pain points across your website, blog, social media, emails and paid advertising in formats like e-books, guides, case studies and reports.
  • Email marketing that creates an interesting, timely and relevant reading experience for prospects and existing customers without feeling spammy.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) ad investment that gets your brand in front of target audiences visiting Google and various social media platforms, especially LinkedIn.
  • Account-based marketing, where you've identified high-value target accounts that you're actively engaging with through personalised marketing experiences and communications.
  • Aligned marketing and sales efforts that ensure leads are correctly qualified, scored and properly nurtured throughout their buyer's journey through data-driven and automated marketing campaigns.

7 alternatives worth exploring to generate new manufacturing sales leads

Once you’re confident that your existing strategy meets the basics, you can start investigating other options to strengthen what you already have. Here are some often-overlooked lead-generation tactics that can help you generate new manufacturing sales leads.

1. Engage in industry forums and online communities

Industry forums and online communities offer B2B manufacturing companies an excellent way to get their name out in the virtual sphere, stay updated on industry trends, share insights, and connect online with potential sales leads. 

By participating in discussions and providing valuable input, companies can position themselves as thought leaders in their field–not only enhancing brand visibility but also building trust with potential clients who are active in these forums.

These online communities also often feature sections for inquiries or recommendations, which manufacturing companies can actively monitor to identify leads and offer tailored solutions promptly. This proactive engagement can generate direct inquiries and business opportunities while keeping companies informed of industry challenges and innovations.

Equinet's favourite online manufacturing industry communities include:

2. Try your hand at video content

Video content is one of the most effective marketing tools in manufacturing. With the rise of platforms like YouTube and LinkedIn, video content allows manufacturing companies to showcase their factory capabilities, demonstrate their services, and provide insights into their processes. 

Videos can range from virtual factory tours to educational webinars. Such content not only attracts potential clients but also helps build a strong online presence. According to recent research, 90% of manufacturing marketers reported that videos produced the best results for their content marketing efforts—a sign that even B2B video content goes a long way!

90% of manufacturing marketers reported that videos produced the best results for their content marketing efforts​​


Video content can enhance reach and effectiveness when used across multiple platforms like social media, email newsletters, and websites. A well-produced video can drive lead generation by maximising visibility and engaging viewers. Investing in video production can position a company as an industry leader and attract leads.

3. Make sure your Google My Business profile is up to scratch

A well-optimised Google My Business or Google Business Profile is crucial for B2B manufacturing companies aiming to generate new sales leads. This free tool allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. 

An updated and detailed Google Business Profile ensures potential clients can easily find your company's contact information, location, and services. A complete profile can significantly increase the chances of being discovered by companies seeking manufacturing services like yours, especially in their target locations. 

Regularly updating your Google Business Profile with new content and responding to customer queries and reviews promptly can enhance your company's credibility and trustworthiness, which can help attract more sales leads. Positive reviews and high ratings on Google can also influence potential clients' decisions, making them more likely to choose your services over competitors.

4. Experiment with A/B testing

A/B testing is a method used to optimise marketing efforts by comparing two versions of a marketing element (like a landing page or ad) to see which version generates more sales leads. For instance, testing different headlines or calls-to-action on a landing page can reveal which version generates more conversions, helping to refine and enhance lead-generation strategies.

Also known as split testing, this method can be applied across various marketing channels, from email campaigns to social media ads. By analysing the results, you can gain insights into what resonates most with your audience and tailor your content accordingly, ensuring the information you put out there is always in step with your audience's preferences and expectations.

This iterative, data-driven process of testing and optimising ensures that your marketing efforts are always aligned with your target audience's preferences, leading to higher engagement and more effective lead generation. Implementing A/B testing as a regular practice can significantly enhance your overall marketing strategy, ensuring sustained growth and improved lead quality.

A/B process step-by-step diagram

5. Rethink in-person events

In-person events have made a strong comeback and remain vital for generating sales leads in the manufacturing industry. Participating in trade shows, conferences, and industry expos allows companies to demonstrate their expertise, gather market intelligence, network, and build relationships that can lead to new business opportunities. 

To maximise the effectiveness of in-person events, you should invest in well-designed booths, engaging presentations, and, where possible, interactive demonstrations. If you want to take things a step further, you could explore hosting your own convention featuring engaging talks from experts within your company. This could also serve as a good customer retention strategy by inviting existing customers to enjoy a day of insightful knowledge-sharing and networking made possible by your company.

Additionally, leveraging tools like pre-event email campaigns and post-event follow-ups can enhance lead-generation efforts further. Collecting contact information and following up with attendees promptly ensures that the connections made at these events are nurtured into potential sales leads.

6. Fine-tune your retargeting efforts

Retargeting is a key tactic for maintaining brand visibility among website visitors. By deploying retargeting ads across social media, search engines, and other websites, manufacturing companies can keep their brand in front of potential clients who've previously visited their site but haven't engaged further. This strategy enhances brand presence and motivates visitors to revisit your website.

To fine-tune retargeting efforts, it's crucial to segment your audience based on their behaviour and interests. Creating tailored ad content for different segments ensures that the messaging is relevant and engaging, increasing the likelihood of conversion. Additionally, retargeting campaigns should be monitored and adjusted regularly to optimise performance and achieve the best possible results. By leveraging data and analytics, B2B manufacturing companies can refine their retargeting strategies, ensuring that they effectively capture and convert sales leads, ultimately driving growth.

7. Lean into your (covert) success stories 

Working 'behind the scenes', as B2B manufacturers typically do, warrants a degree of anonymity that can limit businesses' outspokenness about their work and customers. In an industry where discretion is important, promoting your success by explicitly naming your satisfied customers and what you specifically achieved for them is often a no-go. So, how do you then show the world your proven capabilities without outright demonstrating what you've done and for whom? You find the universally-relatable success story.

Prospective leads want to know that you understand their problem and have the expertise and ability to solve it. They're more interested in knowing the value of your solutions and how they can be applied to make their lives easier, not necessarily what you've done before for 'customer X'. By identifying the story of success in what you've already achieved, you can abstract your message away from naming names but still reveal how you've created value with your service offering.

Concealing customer-sensitive specificities while spotlighting the impact of what you delivered and the problem you solved allows you to create hyper-relevant content, like case studies, without worrying about contract breaches or reputational consequences. It's an elegant way to circumnavigate an industry-wide challenge and tell the story that will resonate most with more prospects and drive more sales leads.


Giving your manufacturing company's lead generation strategy that extra bit of flair can prove to be beneficial for taking your marketing and sales efforts to the next level. By building on the basics with often-overlooked strategies, like engaging in industry forums, fine-tuning retargeting efforts, and maintaining an updated Google Business Profile, you can increase brand visibility, refine your approach, and effectively attract and convert high-quality sales leads interested in your manufacturing business's offering.

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Published by Megan Clack May 24, 2024
Megan Clack