Content marketing is here to stay as a needed asset for any business to succeed. If your company has a YouTube channel, a Facebook page, a blog, or a landing page on your website, you’re already using content marketing.
The term marketing can be scary to those of us in the world of manufacturing and engineering. So often, the return on investment is quite grey and the budgets look huge for little recordable payoff. If you wrap the concept of content in there, things become even more ambiguous and hard to quantify. If there is one thing that folks in the industrial world dislike, it’s non-quantifiable terms and concepts.
So, why do we need content marketing in our industrial businesses? Why should even small businesses invest in developing content and strategy? Through the power of Google, won’t the customers that need/want our product/service just find us with some research?
The reality is that content not only defines your brand (who and what you are as a company), but it also legitimizes your business with Google.
Google algorithms are impossible to trace, but we can try our best to keep the Google overlords happy. That means regular, quality content on multiple platforms.
Some might argue (I’ve had these arguments with marketing directors and CEOs of manufacturing orgs) that it’s easy for a company like RedBull to create content in this manner… they’re an energy drink, pitching a product to an energetic audience. It might seem like common sense to us that RedBull is associated with extreme sports and obscure sporting activities, but that’s only common sense to us because RedBull has made that their brand.
The same type of content and branding relationship can be achieved in manufacturing. Connecting with your audience (current and potential customers) is best achieved through content. Quality content and personality around a brand develops a community, which leads to brand loyalty, and not only sells your product to those looking to buy but also strengthens your word-of-mouth advertising.
In the world of manufacturing, word-of-mouth advertising is priceless.
Consistent, high-quality content is vital to fostering a community around your company and giving your brand recognition in the marketplace.
Where to start?
The glory of content is that it can take many forms… again, the key is consistency and quality.
Many businesses (large and small) have a hard time developing content because they don’t think they are doing anything interesting. How do you create good content for electrical enclosures or a PCB manufacturing service (or insert another industrial business service)?
To start, use your customers. We’re in the industry of manufacturing and engineering… organizations and companies that make stuff or make stuff to help people make stuff. Talk to your customers and develop content that explains what people are doing with your products or services. Turn that info into an interview or a video or even an infographic, and share the hell out of it!
Another way to get started is finding influencers to help you create content. Developing a relationship with those who have an online presence and would use your products/services like your customers can propel sales and strengthen your business’ position in the marketplace.
The last way to get started is to be social. Showing some behind the scenes footage or photos of your company at a trade show or developing a product or even just doing what you do every day in the shop is easy and can really connect customers with your company.
Once you’ve established some good content practices, it’s all about finding which avenue resonates with your customers the most and then investing in it.
Remember the real key is balancing between quantity and quality. Buy a decent camera, take a couple online classes, and/or hire an expert to help you develop your content and distribution. Content marketing is vital to succeeding in the world of manufacturing, but investing in high-quality content is vital to making the best (and lasting) impression with your current and future customers.
Chris’ Video on Content Marketing:
John’s Take on Chris’ Article & Content Marketing!
Chris started with a publishing background and years of experience in science, technology, and engineering publications. He is currently the content guru at Tormach while also operating a content strategy and creative marketing business at TheChrisFox.com.