I was asked an interesting question the other day. As we do a lot of work in the industrial sector, someone asked me, “What’s your take on content marketing for industrial businesses?” Taken aback, I replied, “What do you mean?”
They went on to say that they struggle with content marketing, so they don’t do it. But they wondered if they were doing their business a disservice by not investing time and resources. I took a moment to think about the hundred-odd companies I’d spoken to over the last six months, and the answer was clear – those that were investing in it were all performing better financially than those that didn’t.
If you’re also on the fence about it, let’s explore why this is the case.
Four reasons content marketing is important.
1. It builds credibility.
Content marketing allows people to ‘try before they buy’ in many respects. Chances are you’ve had multiple decades of experience in your craft. By sharing your expertise, your customers can see how knowledgeable and committed you are to your customers. It also lets you showcase how well you can understand and solve their problems.
2. It starts a relationship.
You start building a relationship with your reader because you are already giving value before someone has even bought from you. They get a sense of the kind of company you are and who they will be dealing with. It also allows you to show you can fulfil your promises and deliver.
Take this blog post as an example. At the start, I’ve made you a promise – to explore the benefit of content marketing for industrial businesses. I’ve kept my promise to you by delivering this through the content. This builds trust, which is the foundation of any relationship.
3. It can lead to PR opportunities.
The reality is many of those industry publications you read or are subscribed to are starved for content. Your willingness to produce valuable, topical, and engaging content can create free opportunities to raise awareness for your company, be perceived as an industry leader, and get your name in front of more customers.
4. Google loves it.
Google loves fresh, high quality content. The more you produce, the more reasons Google has to keep coming back to your site and sending people there for answers.
Here are the five steps you need to create great content.
Ok, so that’s why you should do it. But what are the steps to create great content marketing? I mean it’s not like you are in the business of content right – so how do you make sure you have the most success for the least amount of time and effort?
1. Add value
When identifying content topic areas, look at the problems you are solving for customers. Where are their pain points and frustrations? What brings their business to a standstill? What causes the biggest headaches? What mistakes will people who don’t have 5-30 years of experience in the industry make?
2. Answer pressing questions
When establishing content, look at your customers’ frequently asked questions about your products and services. Does it differ for different industries? Also look at the reasons why customers don’t buy from you. What are their points of resistance? Why do they choose not to purchase from you or not to buy right now? How can you turn these objections into content that will help your customers see the value in buying from you?
A word on AI. I get it, AI can seem like a really great way of leveraging your time. After all, who can spit out a 600-word blog post in seconds? But here’s the downside. The content is mediocre and sometimes even plagiarised, with big chunks of text coming off other websites in your industry (believe us, we had a play with it to see!). AI is an excellent tool for ideas and research, but only let it do some of the work, or you won’t get the best results. Be sure to add your own flair and own examples!
3. Mix your content up.
You don’t have to sit down and write a 600-word blog post every time. It could be a 2-minute video. It could be a checklist. It could be a list of questions to help your customers find the right product or service provider. It could be a fact sheet. It could be an interview with one of your team members, clients, or suppliers. It could be a case study. The options are endless.
4. Just start!
Start with 5-10 content pieces and do it in a way that you can spend five minutes spilling out the content and have another team member or agency finish it off. Get them all done and then release one each month. That gives you plenty of content to use and plenty of space to keep creating.
5. Create a system
Once you’ve started and have a few content pieces up your sleeve, create a process around creating more content. Process is the key to consistency. Book time in, for example at 3pm every Tuesday, to do a quick 2-3 minute video or audio recording on a key area of interest. This then goes to someone else in the company to transcribe and spruce up. Choose an image and then upload it to your website and social media accounts.
The key is to make the process as quick and as easy for you so you can get the knowledge out of your head but not get stuck in the nuts and bolts of the content production.
There you have it – why you should be doing content marketing as an industrial business and how to ensure it’s successful. Really struggling to start or find the time or concerned about the quality? Find out how we can manage the whole process for you.