Posts

Industrial Blogging – An Underutilized Content Marketing Tactic

Industrial blogging - IMTIndustrial blogging is usually not a favorite subject of discussion with my manufacturing and engineering clients. Probably the most common complaint I hear is, “We’ve been blogging for a while but haven’t seen any tangible results (leads, sales opportunities etc.).”

Another major concern is that it is too time consuming to create fresh and relevant content that will engage engineers and industrial professionals.

These issues with industrial blogging are valid and justifiable, but don’t give up on it just yet. I’ve found industrial blogging to be a strong content marketing strategy for engaging with time-challenged engineers.

That’s been my own experience working with my clients and in my own industrial marketing consulting business. 100% of new leads are now inbound leads and usually originate from this blog. I admit it has taken me several years to build up to this stage (I’ve been blogging since 2008).

Using industrial blogging to win the engineer’s mindshare

Engineers thrive on solving problems and they love a technical challenge. They are keen on gaining knowledge and staying current about their industry. They trust, respect and want to learn from their peers. Those are not just my observations.

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Marketing to Engineers is a Big Challenge

Many industrial companies find it challenging to market to engineers. The biggest complaint that I hear is that engineers just don’t respond to marketing like others do. These companies are at a loss and need to figure out a better way to market since their target audience is primarily engineers from various disciplines.

You’ve probably read that you should market to people and not to a business or a company. Yes that is true and of course, engineers are people too. However, marketing to engineers is different.

Here’s how I see it:

  • Even though the line between our personal and professional lives has blurred, engineers make work related decisions very differently from their personal lives. Risk aversion is the primary emotion that drives engineers to make a buying decision which is then justified with logic
  • Big ticket industrial purchases are rarely ever made by an individual engineer. There is usually a committee of stakeholders. Your marketing may never reach/touch some of these internal decision makers
  • The traditional BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timing) approach to score a lead who is an engineer may not work very well. A design, manufacturing or applications engineer may be the specifier who must “design in” the industrial component before a functional buyer can make a buy decision
  • The commonly held belief that engineers hate marketing is only semi true

Full disclosure: I’m a Mechanical Engineer and have been an industrial marketing consultant for the past 25+ years. I can understand if you think my opinions are biased and are skeptical about what I have said here. So like a good engineer, let me validate my observations with evidence from independent, third-party research findings.

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To Blog, or Not to Blog…That’s the Question Many Industrial Companies are Asking

Industrial blogging questionsManufacturers, distributors and engineering companies have read or heard about all the benefits of content marketing in general and blogging in particular but many are still sitting on the fence. I’m often asked the question, “Should we start a blog?” It is a simple question but the answer is not a simple yes or a no.

Yes, you should start an industrial blog if you haven’t already done so. No, you shouldn’t blog if you don’t have a well-thought-out blogging strategy in place already.

Even though blog strategy comes before content creation, only 19% of manufacturing marketers outsource this function. That was one of the findings from the 2014 B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs.

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