Content marketing is a central topic in most of my recent conversations with industrial companies. The primary goal is to generate better quality leads from their websites. That is the good news.
The not so good news is that they have a mistaken belief that content marketing is for search engine optimization (SEO). They’ve heard/read that Google loves fresh content, therefore all they need to do is publish lots of content and they’ll be on the first page of Google’s search results.
I agree that SEO is a very important goal of content marketing; after all, your website needs to be found by the right people when they are searching for industrial products and services that you provide. However, your industrial marketing content must do a lot more than just SEO.
Why do I say that? Because search engines don’t convert into customers, people do. Your content must strike the right balance between the needs of your human readers and those of search engine bots. Lead generation and conversions will only happen when your content is relevant and engages your visitors. See my post, “You’ve Got Traffic. Now What?”
Things begin to get very complicated when industrial companies realize that there is much more to content marketing than just publishing content for search engines. Here are some of the common hurdles that I have come across in my conversations with manufacturers, distributors and engineering companies:
- Our Founder/President/Owner has a clear vision of his business but it is in his head. He finds it difficult to articulate it into written words and differentiate our company
- Our in-house subject matter experts (SMEs) know their technical stuff but are not good writers and they don’t have time for marketing
- We are afraid of giving away our trade secrets if we reveal too much in our online content
- We don’t want to give away free information. We want site visitors to call our sales people who will explain everything
- Freelancers don’t understand our customers and they lack the technical background to understand our business
Those are not easy challenges to overcome for a copywriter. A good content marketer must play many roles – he/she must know SEO, be an investigative reporter who asks the right questions for extracting the meat of the matter from SMEs, be a copywriter, an editor, a marketer and be savvy about social media.
If you have such a person on your staff, value and appreciate their contributions to sales and hang on to him/her. If you use outsiders, then be prepared to invest the time to build a relationship with him/her when you do find a good one.
If you are struggling with your own content marketing, you may want to read my post, “Why Industrial Companies and Manufacturers Struggle with Content Marketing” for three different scenarios and how to overcome the challenges. For additional resources, see “How to Coax Content Out of Engineers” or click on one of my many posts listed under Content Marketing.
If you want to outsource your content marketing to someone who understands your technical or engineering business and won’t learn at your expense, then look at Tiecas, my own industrial marketing consultancy in Houston, Texas.
How do you keep up with your own content for industrial marketing?