As a manufacturer, you should be using content marketing, an incredibly powerful tool, to guide prospects into your sales funnel. Your prospects are searching for information on product attributes, such as:
- Replacements and Equivalents
Effective digital content will not only improve your sales, it can also lower support costs and improve your margins.
What exactly is content marketing? According to HubSpot, it is “the process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing content to reach your target audiences.”
Content marketing allows you to communicate and post your knowledge, expertise, and insights where your potential buyers go when they need the products and services you sell – online.
When creating your online content, you’ll need to develop buyer personas – representations of your ideal customers based on your existing customers’ actual data. The most common personas in the manufacturing industry include:
- Purchasers and Buyers
- Maintenance, Repair, and Operations Managers
- Design Engineers
Once you have created your personas, you can publish and promote your content, speaking to their specific needs and interests through the following channels:
Website Pages: Your website is a prime venue for your digital content. At Seroka Industrial Branding, we have found that consistent branding driven with high-quality content drives sales and decreases support costs. As you think about your various audiences’ needs, consider how you present and organize your content to make sure that each audience is well served and can quickly find the information they need to evaluate and recommend your products.
Blogs: Blog posts are an effective way to communicate your insights and demonstrate your knowledge about your industry and how your products solve customers’ problems. A well-authored blog will help you to build brand authority and credibility. Posting content consistently will increase site traffic, improve search results, and help you convert leads.
Social Media: This is where your buyers are hanging out, researching companies that sell what you sell. When they enter keywords or key phrases into Google (e.g., fluid film bearings), the results will lead to websites of companies that manufacture fluid film bearings and social media platforms discussing them, such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
If you’re not showing up on search results and your competitors are, your brand is invisible and therefore does not exist in the minds of buyers.
Video: An ideal way to promote your brand is through product demonstrations, tutorials, case studies, interviews, “about us” segments, and a resource library. Many buyers and prospects prefer to watch versus read for this type of content. Publish videos to your website, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
Infographics: We are visual creatures, and often the best way to communicate content is through easy-to-understand infographics. Infographics combine keywords and phrases with visuals to deliver your key messages.
You may wish to take an hour or so to do a quick search of your competitors to find out what they are up to online. Statistically, you’ll likely find that few have a high-quality, consistent content marketing effort in place.
Your competitors’ digital marketing apathy is good news for you and your brand because if you build and implement a consistent and robust content marketing strategy today, you’ll overtake your competitors rather quickly. Your prospects will view you as an authority in your industry based on the engaging content you publish that speaks to their interests and answers their questions.
Yes, there are times you do need to pay to play, but it will enable you to measurably broaden your reach while giving people concrete reasons to click and visit your landing page or your website to take the next step in the buyer’s journey. Plan for this as you’ll want to keep them engaged along the way to give them plenty of meaningful reasons to contact you.
Where to go from here
If you’ve been remiss about creating and publishing high-quality content, I hope I’ve convinced you to reconsider. An easy way to start is by authoring articles to post to a blog on your website. If writing is not your forte, contact us. We can help.
If you’re already posting content but do not have a sound strategy for creating, distributing, and sharing it, contact us for help in those areas as well.
Don’t wait too long. Your prospects are searching for what you sell every day. And every day you’re not visible, you lose an opportunity to make a sale.
Contact us today to get started.