Industrial content marketing plays an important role in driving sales for manufacturers and engineering companies. Of course, going from publishing content to growing sales is not as easy as going from point A to point B.
If you are a manufacturer of custom-engineered systems, you know that it is nearly impossible to generate Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) without first having one or more conversations with the right people. To get to that point requires more than publishing a few blog posts and/or sending out emails.
Many of these industrial companies already know their limited pool of prospects who are qualified to buy their equipment and services. They don’t want to wait for these people to find them; they want to reach out to them proactively.
The fact is your target audience of engineers and technical professionals are in self-select and self-serve mode. They want to learn as much about you and your solutions before they’ll engage with your sales team. Industrial content marketing aligns perfectly with how today’s self-educating buyers want to interact with their suppliers.
Raise awareness with industrial content marketing
It’s tough to sell your solution if your audience is not even aware that they have a problem that needs solved. Your content must convince them that your approach is better, more efficient or less expensive than what they’ve been doing in the past.
Your content marketing not only needs to raise awareness of your company, but it must communicate the problems you can solve. Use industrial digital marketing to educate younger and less experienced engineers. Even though these people may not have final buying authority, they are strong influencers because they are they are ones who are tasked with doing the initial research.
Younger engineers are looking for more help from their vendors because they lack the hands-on experience, are time challenged (see below) and internal resources are becoming scarcer. Use application notes to educate these engineers about the latest developments and new applications to raise awareness of your solutions.
Make your technical content earn trust to win mindshare
Trust is the key to persuading visitors to start conversations with your sales team. Such conversations lead to conversions and sales opportunities because they are far more productive than blind prospecting.
Take the time to clearly understand what challenges your audience is dealing with (Not all stakeholders have the same issues). Based on that insight, create a strategic game plan for content marketing where every piece of content that you create has a purpose.
Establish credibility and build trust by bringing your in-house Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to the forefront of your content marketing efforts. One engineer to another is a powerful tool for earning trust and building stronger relationships. This will get your knowledge and expertise to the forefront and differentiate you from the competition when there’s parity in value propositions.
To win the mindshare of engineers, your content must be technically accurate, presented in a logical manner and address their “fear of failure.” Provide proof of concept to overcome the built-in skepticism of content provided by vendors.
Create content assets that saves time for busy engineers
Engineers and engineering teams are more time-challenged now than ever before. Look at these findings from the IEEE ENGINEERING 360’s 2017 Pulse of Engineering Survey.
- 44% of engineers are working on more projects now than they were two years ago.
- 55% of engineers are being required to do more with less.
- 68% are working on three or more projects simultaneously.
Passive reading of your content is not going to help you generate qualified leads. Create content assets that will save time for busy engineers. Think beyond blog posts and email marketing. Create content assets that are not only timesavers but also help Design Engineers spec or “design in” your components. For ideas on this, see “Making Industrial Content Marketing Engaging for Engineers and Industrial Buyers.”
I hope this post helped you get a better understanding of how industrial content marketing is a sales enabler and not just the hottest trend in industrial marketing.