Content marketing is a great way to generate quality leads and get consumer buy in for industrial manufacturers or industrial distributors. When you have all the pieces in place and put in the consistent work to produce the right kind of industrial content, you begin building real value to your customers and potential customers alike.
We've heard this said many times before from industrial manufacturers and distributors looking to start a new industrial marketing campaign...
"we're thinking about starting a blog".
Starting a blog for your company is great. But writing one blog post here and there or every once in a while is not going to do much for your industrial manufacturing or industrial distribution business. Especially with so much competition in that niche. If you're all in with blogging, then doing it consistently is the only way you'll see results.
Blogging is just one piece of the puzzle. If you're curious about developing an industrial marketing strategy using content, then we've put together some tips to help you get started.
1. Produce Quality Content: poorly produced or mediocre content will hurt your brand more than help your brand. We can't stress this enough (and we have been for years). It's not enough to put just your face on Periscope or Facebook live and talk about your product or service. People expect more these days, especially when it comes to online content. When all said and done, your content should be a polished piece able to catch and keep peoples attention.
2. The customer should be center-stage, not your brand. Think of who your ideal buyer persona is and develop content for them. Be good at knowing and adapting to the customers needs and wants, not to the needs of the latest social craze. Create content around your audience, not your brand. Example: Lego's, are pieces of plastic that snap together, the design is simple and generic. Yet the patent ran out years ago, allowing anyone to duplicate it. Despite this they are still at the forefront of the toy industry because they produce amazing content that talks to and grows with their customer base.
3. Keywords: use Google search or another keyword tool, like the Hubspot Keyword Tool, to find the right terms and phrases relevant to your industry. Find the words related to your industry and use them inside your content. If you're not trying to find what people are searching for, it's not worth producing content.
4. Educate: Give away free advice and content. Content that educates a consumer will give your content a bump in search, social and email. Consumers tune out the tell and sell messages that most marketing and sales departments try and push on them. Consumers prefer to be educated when researching a product or service to purchase. If you educate them during this critical "awareness" phase, you'll build more trust with them and they will see you as an industry go-to source. Many times in any industry people are reluctant to give up information for obvious reasons like: they'll steal our ideas. But many times it's deeper than that. People have the mind set that since they spent so much time acquiring this knowledge, they're reluctant to give it up. The reality is that by giving up the information (that you spent so much time acquiring) will only force you to learn more and stay ahead of others in the industry.
5. Great content gets shared: It's no secret that the content that provides value, is educational or has an interesting story gets shared by more people. It is the content that is the star, not the device or platform. Though you might have different buyer personas on each platform, great content will stand out independently whether it's posted on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. Distributing your content is as important as creating it. Use your social media channels to distribute and share your content.
6. Video: the most effective communication tool for your business and industry. Consumers are four times more likely to watch a video about your product or service than they are to read about your product or service. Facebook has gone all in on video and is betting the future on it. If you are not producing video right now, then you are already behind - any further hesitation and you're going to get lost in the fray. The best videos are those created in house, both specifically with your team and with a video partner. When it comes to video and educating your consumers and telling your story, avoid the cheap online services that offer production and animations services right through the web (you know, the ones with the white board and the hands, Slideshare, Animoto). These servies leave a lot to chance when it comes to originality of your story, optimizing video, video SEO and distribution. Look to work with a video provider that can not only produce your video but properly optimize and distribute it as well.
7. Content Distribution: Your website is no longer the only hub through which your content should flow. Think about building out distribution networks and/or have an IFTT network in place. IFTT means If this then that. It allows you to create "recipes" or steps of conditional statements which are triggered based on changes from other web services such as Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Distributing your content to as many networks as you can will only benefit you.
8. Content Curation: Information flows fast these days. If you see an interesting post, video, article or post make a note and come back later and refer to it as a source. Keep a repository of ideas or topics so you have something to consider on the days when you have a little writers block. You can also curate information from other people and use it on your own site as long as you give them proper recognition and citings.
9. Think Long-term: Content Marketing is a long term investment. The content you make are assets that will live in the marketplace forever. Unlike an ad that you buy. You're making content for a specific audience, a niche audience that is looking to be educated on how your company can solve their problem. Making content is an undertaking and will take considerable effort in planning, producing and executing whether it is video, white papers, ebooks, blogs or animations.
10. Use analytics to track and analyze your content: start measuring results from day one and use analytics to drive and adjust actions. Identify what's driving the most traffic, like landing pages, then leverage them for emails. You can track people who visit your website and then remarket to them if they didn't buy.