Content marketing for industrial distributors can be very challenging. The biggest problem I’ve seen is that there is very little differentiation between distributors serving the same niche. Their competitors show the same line cards and unless they sell online directly, site visitors can’t see prices, nor do they have any idea about the lead time.
Yes, I understand some distributors use this as a strategy to force people to call them, but it usually isn’t very effective. I say that based on my experience working with industrial distributors. Here’s what I’ve seen or heard:
You can see the disconnect here; the only content on your website is product descriptions, features and may be some benefits which come straight from your principal manufacturers. This content is exactly the same as your competition. Your customers have no way to differentiate you other than on price.
Industrial buyers are in self-select and self-serve mode these days, they don’t want to or need to talk to your sales team just to get product information, pricing and lead times. They have access to countless online sources to get that information. Content marketing for distributors can go a long way in setting you apart and bringing out some of the key selling points. In other words, set the table for your salespeople to have more productive conversations that go beyond pricing.
Value added services is a very strong differentiator and will help distributors sell a complete solution instead of just hardware. This doesn’t necessarily have to be about services, you could also talk about how you help your customers make a more informed buying decision.
I can list many more content ideas to add to this list, but you get the picture. I have come across many distributors, both clients and others who are using content marketing to differentiate themselves from the competition. Check online, you’ll find many good examples of well-known distributors that are using industrial content marketing very effectively.
What I’ve described here does require a commitment of time and money, but the payoff can be huge when it comes to generating sales qualified leads. If there is parity in value propositions, good content marketing for distributors that’s relevant to your customers will establish your brand and earn you their trust which in turn will help to sell more of your industrial products.
A real-world overview of industrial content marketing based on our 35+ years of hands-on experience working with manufacturers and engineering companies.
A one-hour live (online) consulting session with Achinta Mitra to discuss your industrial marketing challenges. I’ll try to provide general guidance that you can apply right away.
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Industrial Marketing Today is an integral part of Tiecas, Inc., a Houston-based industrial marketing agency. We’ve been in business since 1987, serving the marketing needs of manufacturers, distributors, and engineering companies from various industries.