Writing technical blog posts is not the most popular topic of discussion for many manufacturers and engineering companies. In my experience, industrial blogging is an underused content marketing tactic for many of these companies.
The two most common objections that I hear are:
- Writing fresh and relevant content regularly for industrial blogging is too consuming and we just don’t have the in-house resources
- We’ve been blogging for some time now, but haven’t see measurable results (leads, sales opportunities etc.)
Both are valid complaints, but don’t throw in the towel yet because the benefits of technical blogging far outweigh the effort it takes to keep it stocked with new posts.
Benefits of industrial blogging
You are probably already familiar with the benefits of blogging, but let me give you the key points just in case:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Drive more traffic to website
- Generate better quality leads
- Brand awareness
- Thought leadership
- Educating your audience
- Earning trust
- Creating true competitive differentiation by highlighting your expertise
- Setting the table for sales
As you can see, the list is pretty long. Want proof?
- Marketers who prioritized blogging received 13X more ROI than companies that did not in 2019 (Source: HubSpot).
I understand if you are a little skeptical about those stats since they are a bit general and not specific to industrial blogging.
Examples of successful industrial blogs
As they say, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” or if you prefer the shortened version, “the proof is in the pudding.”
Let me give you three cases of very successful industrial blogs. In the first two, I personally know the two men who made blogging a key part of their company’s content marketing strategy and in the third example, the company was a client and I was part of the team that wrote blog posts.
I can tell you it wasn’t easy since I have first-hand knowledge of their journeys before tasting success with industrial blogging. They’ll also readily tell you that the effort was well worth it.
I have been blogging since 2008 when I launched Industrial Marketing Today for branding and thought leadership of my own company, Tiecas. After publishing over 300 articles, we largely depend on this blog for SEO, high-quality inbound leads and building up reputation as an industrial marketing expert.
The disconnect between expectations and reality in industrial blogging
I do see a disconnect between what companies expect from their blogs and the reality of this industrial content marketing strategy.
It is not a quick fix for slow sales, and neither is it a one-off campaign. Successful industrial blogging takes a team effort, it takes time and yes, it takes money. That is not an easy sell to the upper management.
You have to take baby steps and show them proof of concept with the site statistics such as traffic, users, average time spent, and the number of pages viewed per session. Start there, and then move on to the number of top of the funnel (ToFU) leads generated (Content downloads, registration for webinars and maybe even contacting your sales team).
Use the full power of industrial content marketing to nurture ToFU leads and convert them into qualified sales opportunities for your sales team to close and score wins. Implement Marketing Automation and a CRM system so you can track the complete journey of every lead and measure ROI and prove blogging’s impact on sales. This is will also help you better align Sales and Marketing. Now you’ve attained industrial marketing nirvana!
How often should you publish industrial blog posts?
This is a common question, unfortunately there is no definitive answer. It really depends on many factors including competition for SEO, your industry and target audience.
I have read research studies that show that the organic traffic goes up substantially if you publish new posts 2 to 4 times a week. This chart is from HubSpot.
The next chart shows the impact of blog post frequency on site traffic. I saw this chart in a post published by Michael Brenner on his blog.
Most industrial companies I have talked to, couldn’t maintain that high a frequency. I have produced good results for my clients with publishing two new posts a month, every month for at least 6 to 9 months.
What should be the length of blog posts?
This is another question with no definite answer other than to say, “Depends.” I have seen word count range from 300 to 5,000 words. It used to be you needed a certain length to get the right keyword density for SEO. The general rule of thumb was a keyword density of 0.5 and 3%. While it is still important, it is a somewhat outdated idea, so take that advice with a healthy pinch of salt.
My advice, write for your human readers in mind first and let the search engines follow. Use the number of words you feel you need to use to convey your complete message without restricting yourself to some imaginary word count. Then ruthlessly edit your draft until you’ve taken out all unnecessary words and sentences.
Try to keep your posts to at least 600 words long, mix it up with longer posts of 1,000 to 1,500 words occasionally and if you have something longer like 5,000 words, turn it into a pillar post or break it up into smaller parts with a hook at the end for your readers to come back for the next installment.
Challenges of writing technical blog posts that are engaging
As I said at the beginning of this post, industrial companies do have legitimate complaints about industrial blogging. Most companies just do not have the in-house resources to write new blogs posts consistently and regularly. Either that or they are not willing to commit to the time and money because they are not yet convinced.
Keep in mind that writing good posts is much more than just copywriting. You need to do your keyword research, interview in-house Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), draft copy, have your posts reviewed by your SMEs, publish, and promote. You have to repeat that process every time you need to write a new post.
Before you can create posts, you need to spend time to develop a blogging strategy, identify your audience (personas), understand their challenges, and come up with explicit calls to action. Passive reading of your posts won’t help you.
If you are facing the same challenges, you are not alone. See this chart from the report Manufacturing Content Marketing 2020 published by the Content Marketing Institute.
After listening to the challenges faced by my clients, I recently launched a new service, Technical Blog Post Writing for Industrial Companies. Take a look at it and see if this could be an option for you when it comes to writing technical blog posts that engineers and industrial professionals will find relevant and engaging.