Nobody Will Fall in Love with Your Industrial Logo

industrial branding, Nobody Will Fall in Love with Your Industrial LogoHear I go again…beating the drum for industrial branding.

Forgive me.

I write often about industrial branding, as recently as November 9; Industrial Branding: You Get What You Pay For!

I will be the first to admit I have always been influenced by a quality brand message. When I first became involved in marketing the companies that created a strong brand captivated me.

“How, in the world, did they do that?”

Then, years ago, I became good friends with Greg Miller, Michigan’s grand guru of branding.

At our weekly coffees at “The Club” (Tim Horton’s or Grand Traverse Pie), Greg further convinced me how many of my industrial friends were not capitalizing on branding and how it could benefit them…particularly in the age of search, social and mobile. We both felt that the web & new technologies were brand multipliers…if done properly.

Every time I approached the concept of branding the typical response was, “We have a good logo and re-did our tag line recently” …or something similar. I would then check out their website, sales literature, brochures, social accounts, etc.

And what did I find?

PABLUM.

Absolutely nothing to distinguish them from their industrial competitors.

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Gated vs Ungated Content for Industrial…My Dilemma

gated vs ungated content-a dilemmaThink hard now…when was the last time you saw some valuable content on the web and decided to download?

You said to yourself, “Man, that looks like great information…just what I was looking for.”

Then you hit the download button and changed your mind because you had to give up your name & e-mail address. You thought, “The content looks great, but I don’t want to open myself up for more harassment.”

If you are like me, you harbored some lingering pangs of distrust towards the company that offered up the content…for “free”.

Research demonstrates that 90% of web-users will ignore the sign-up page for fear of getting peppered with more email. It seems the whole privacy/data collection issue is top-of-mind for consumers.

For those of you that follow this blog you know that I am a huge proponent of marketing automation platforms like HubSpot. All marketing automation platforms make their living…sort of speak…by exchanging personal data for “gated” content. Using forms to gather more information about an interested prospect has been the virtual foundation of most of these marketing automation platforms. Information gathered from forms is the currency many of these platforms promote as “lead generation” and the best way to cost-justify the additional expense of marketing automation.

Now, however, after much thought and research I am leaning towards ungating content as common practice…as I have done on my own page.  (If you download some of my work…enjoy!)

But…like a good economist, “It depends” or “on the other hand”

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Industrial Branding: You Get What You Pay For!

you get what you pay for when it comes to industrial brandingWe all know our parents had the best advice. As I baby boomer, I still recite my Father’s favorite axioms: “If you want something done, give it to the busiest people”, “The cheapest insurance you can buy are the best quality tires”, “The will to prepare comes before the will to succeed”…and of course the most time-honored quote of all:

“You get what you pay for.”

Still true today.  Thanks Dad.

Often, I am asked to start an online marketing effort including website, content deployment, e-mail, blogs, the “whole shootin’ match” (thanks again, Dad).

But…before they embark on a comprehensive online marketing effort, I always suggest they start by taking a critical look at their company’s brand.

Often the discussion ends with, “I don’t believe we can afford to spend the extra dollars on brand development”…or something very similar.

A well-defined brand message is the most misunderstood and underutilized marketing asset for most businesses, especially for industrial companies.

Why?

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4 Steps to Achieve Competitive Advantage Using Rich Snippets

using rich snippets to gain competitive advantageHave you recently noticed when you search for a specific product, a specific restaurant, a specific recipe or a specific definition you often receive a “rich snippet” that gives you EXACTLY what you were looking for in a nicely formatted box? Some call these “featured snippets”, some call them “answer boxes”. As a techie would say, “I use structured data to create rich snippets on my webpages.”

No longer is Google’s search engine return page (SERP) a simple list of blue headlines.

You may have also noticed that voice searches are becoming more accurate than your first attempts a few years ago.  For example, “Siri, where can I get the best car loan rate?” or “OK, Google, where can I get spare electric motors in Kalamazoo?”. If you have not tried this, go ahead and open your Android or Apple device and try it.  (Personally, I like Google’s Assistant as they have a lot more data for artificial intelligence to glean from, resulting in more precise answers.)

Let us explore how you can gain a competitive advantage using rich snippets.

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Industrial Marketers’ “Age of Distrust” Opportunity

industrial marketing and the age of distrust

Let’s face it, there is a lot of fake everything out there…not just fake news. There is a ton of fake marketing. Lying marketers. Lying politicians. Unwanted robo calls. Pop-up ads on your phone you must fight through to get to content you really want to view. Many call it the Age of Distrust.

I saw a recent article at Market Watch that stated robocalls are the number one source of complaints at the Federal Trade Commission.  And…as we all know many of those robocalls are scammers, not just aggressive, “legitimate” businesses breaking the law by ignoring the Do-Not-Call list.

Politics seems to be on the minds of many Americans. No matter your political stance, the behavior of our political leaders is disgusting. Clearly an absence of trust.

Face it, many marketers, many politicians, many salesmen, many others are out to bamboozle you.

Most Americans, and your customers, can recognize the filth. I believe Americans are pretty good at separating the truth from the bamboozlers.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that all industrial marketers are taking liberties with their sales and marketing tactics.  But, I am saying that sales and marketing as an extension of our whole culture is filled with bamboozlers, opening opportunities for the “good guys” to trumpet a brand message of honesty & transparency and stand above their competitors.

In the final analysis…in an Age of Distrust…you only have one thing to sell and that is your company’s trust & transparency.

Enter the web & technology.

In the age of search, mobile, social, video and AI (artificial intelligence) trust & transparency is the foundational currency that will propel your industrial company to new heights and give your industrial company a competitive advantage.

I realize that to build trust you need more than a great web marketing strategy. You need great people, great products, great culture, etc.

We all know that building a culture of trust is extremely difficult. But in my mind, it is the foundation for growth in a changing, and increasingly distrustful, economy.

In today’s environment building a web strategy around trust is simply “table stakes”.

My friend, Marcus Sheridan calls it the Honest Economy at a TEDx talk.

As Marcus did with his pool company, ANY industrial company can build a culture of trust and transparency by following Marcus’s basic formula of:

They Ask.  You Answer

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Voice Search for Industrial Marketing: 3 Steps to Recognition

voice search for industrialVoice search for industrial on a mobile device is taking over your industrial marketing.

“Siri, show me websites for CNC bed mills”

“Alexa, show me instructions for vibration analysis for my large electric motors”

“OK Google, where can I find a used Falk speed reducer near me”

I am sure you have used voice search to find the “nearest pizza joint”, “fine Italian dining”, or “green outdoor sling chairs”.

Have you tried voice search for your industrial products or services?  Go ahead, pull out your smart device and ask about your own industrial products and services.

According to Google’s CEO 20% of all queries from mobile devices are voice activated. According to independent studies, 95% of voice recognition searches are accurate.

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Marketing Automation for Industrial: Dominate with These 2 Components

As everything in life, there are no easy short-cuts that will ensure quality leads land on your loading dock. Most everything in life worth achieving is a long-term effort.

So it is with content marketing & marketing automation for industrial

My customers and prospects often ask me the quickest way to generate leads using web-based tactics. I remind them there is NO QUICK WAY.  However, there are two components that will offer a SURE WAY to improve your brand image, top-of-mind awareness and, ultimately leads.

YOU MUST HAVE A CONTENT MARKETING & MARKETING AUTOMATION EVANGELIST

Yep, a sure-fire evangelist that knows your industrial market.  An evangelist that knows both traditional marketing as well as new media marketing. Why? Because as good as the web and new media can be, it is ALWAYS better integrating the old marketing tactics that work with the new stuff. (i.e. SEO, industrial content marketing, marketing automation, A/B testing, analytics, PPC, social marketing, etc., etc.)

Now…an evangelist can come in many forms.

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Industrial Marketers Ignore Featured Snippet at Their Peril

 

First, to lay the ground work for my featured strategy, let me remind you of Google’s mission: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

As the keeper of your company’s industrial marketing strategy and website, have you made your company’s products and services “universally accessible and useful?”

Stay with me for a couple minutes…

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How to Find Hidden Treasures in Industrial Content Marketing

Have you ever watched those TV shows where folks find old, dusty, ugly, items in the attic and then find they are worth thousands after being analyzed by an expert? Turns out the item was right under their nose for years. The recipients of good fortune often talk about the many times they wanted to take the item to the dump or rummage sale.  Now, to their surprise, they have an extremely valuable item…still old, dusty and ugly.

So it is with long-tail keywords for the industrial market.

Old dusty, long-tail keywords such as “15 infinite variable swing lathe” or “electric motor vibration analysis” or “quench oil coolers” or “Falk 5DTC gear reducer” can be extremely valuable.

Let me explain how you can be the recipient of good fortune as well…

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Achieve 100% ROI for Industrial Content Marketing

The ROI of industrial content marketingOK…as a savvy, progressive industrial marketer you are on the spot.

You have proposed an aggressive online industrial content marketing plan for your company…yet, nothing has been done.

You notice that your competitors are spending more on online marketing. You notice that your most aggressive competitor has added many calls-to-actions (CTA) on many of their product pages to attract interested prospects. Further, you hear through the grape vine that your competitor has hired an agency to develop high-quality, downloadable content on their website. In fact, you have downloaded much of your competitor’s content using an anonymous name and your heart drops as you see the very kind of content that you have been advocating for years.

Next, you hear from your star salesman that he lost a sale to your competitor. Your salesman tells you, “I thought I had the sale, then my prospect told me they found a better solution on the web”  Further, your star says, “They found some great content on the competitor’s website that explained how to install their product and that really made the sale easy for them and a lost the sale for us.”

Your heart drops to, yet, another floor.

The CEO hears the story and asks you to present your industrial content marketing presentation again. The same presentation you presented two years ago that was shelved.

This time you take the advice of one of your best friends, a CEO of a mid-size manufacturer. Your CEO friend says, “Calculate the ROI.  It might be potential ROI, but if you back up your proposal with numbers that are real and documented, they will take the hook.”

Fine. Here comes a teachable moment.

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