How to Coax Content Out of Engineers

Keeping a steady flow of content coming out of engineers and in-house technical experts is a challenge.

You know your work is cut out for you if you are a Content or a Marcom Manager at an engineering or manufacturing company.

Engineers are known to be passive participants when it comes to generating marketing and social media content of any kind. What can do you do if you are tasked with maintaining an active industrial blog that needs fresh content regularly?

If you are a marketing department of one, I suggest you do whatever you can to hone your journalistic skills. You will need to become good at:

  • Researching – Do your homework before talking to or interviewing engineers. They love to engage in long discussions with their peers but are not very patient with others.
    I’m a Mechanical Engineer and yet, I have to do my research before interviewing a Chemical, Civil or Electrical engineer because I have limited knowledge about those engineering disciplines.
  • Reporting – Ask plenty of questions just like a good investigative reporter would. I recommend digging deeper than the basic Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.
    My ears perk up whenever I hear an engineer say, “Don’t even get me started on …” (fill in the engineer’s pet peeve). If I probe some more, I usually unearth issues and pain points that can easily fill up 3 to 5 juicy blog posts.
  • Copywriting – It takes practice to translate thoughts and ideas into well-written copy. To write optimized copy, you have to strike a good balance between the needs of your human readers and the search engines bots (Google Gods).
    Clever wordsmithing will not cut it with an audience of engineers and industrial professionals. You have to write copy in a language that this audience can relate to without distorting the facts.
  • Editing – I’m not talking about just fixing typos or checking for correct punctuation. Don’t just rely on Word’s Spelling and grammar checker. It is usually a good idea to have someone else proofread your copy before publishing it.
    Just like a good film editor, your job is to slice and dice the copy until it is transformed into a compelling story – one that will move your readers into taking action. Persuade them to either visit your Web site to learn more, download a white paper or sign up for a webinar.

Read my earlier post 3 Business Blogs with Proven ROI from Industrial Companies to learn how these companies have convinced engineers to actively participate and contribute to their content marketing programs.

If your marketing plate is already full (whose isn’t these days?), consider outsourcing this task. My company offers a blog content creation service that is perfect for busy industrial marketers.

What do you have to do to get your engineers to generate content?

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