Industrial Video, A Case Study: Your Key to 75% Online Visibility

industrial video & online visibility percentageSo…what is online visibility percentage & what does video have to do with it?

Online visibility percentage is how often your website is found on the web for a specific set of topics that are critical to your business.

I used to be in retail management for a chain of 25 high-end men’s clothing stores. (Boy…am I glad I don’t do that anymore!) We used to fiercely negotiate with mall owners for the spots with the best visibility. As you know, men did not frequent malls like the fairer sex, so ease of entrance, was critical in our negotiations. I remember we moved a store in a Chicago mall from one end of the mall to the other just because the store was just beyond a popular sports bar at the entrance of the mall. Our business improved the following year by 20%.

Visibility percentage is critical when it comes to online marketing and the most important metric for B2B industrial marketers.

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Industrial Marketing Strategy-Don’t Forget the Marketing

industrial content marketing interestThe savvy industrial marketers that have been paying attention to their industrial marketing strategy and marketing trends, know there has been dramatic growth and interest in “content marketing”. Just look at the graph below from 2004 (the year I started to present, demonstrating the search volume or interest in the discipline of “content marketing” in the “Business & Industrial” sector.

Content marketing has become the new shiny object. Fortunately for astute industrial marketers, many of their competitors are not adapting well…as I will explain.  

interest in content marketing from Google Trends
From Google Trends-for Business & Industrial Sector-from 2004 to present

But let’s look back just a few years to get some perspective.

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User Intent – One of Industrial Marketers’ Potent Weapons

targeting user intent for the industrial marketer

I try and walk for 30-40 minutes every morning at the local high school. Typically, I will listen to talk radio via my blue tooth head piece. My “user intent” is to listen to talk radio, not advertising. This morning I had to listen to 13 minutes of commercials before I got to the actual content I was interested in. Almost half my walk wasted on interruptions I was not interested in.

Good thing the track was vacant at the time. I said a few “choice” words. Very frustrating.

I would define user intent as the art of detecting & filling a need.

The same frustration happens when a web user (a future prospect) goes to the web to look for information for their next purchase, whether it be a new car, a new set of golf clubs or a new CNC machine for the plant floor. Your user intent is to find information quickly…without annoying interruptions.

So it is with your prospects.

They are looking for product & service information from your company. Typically, in the awareness and consideration stage. The industrial content that is artfully created to meet your customer’s expectation will connect immediately.

So…how do you fine tune your industrial content to satisfy your prospect’s intent?

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2 Questions Industrial Marketers Need to Ask About Featured Snippets

deer in the headlights for featured snippets

I know, I know…”What the heck are featured snippets?”, you ask.

In my mind, featured snippets or structured data is the largest opportunity out there for savvy industrial marketers to extend their brand into their respective industrial niches.

Hang in there with me…I wade into the weeds a little about structured data for industrial marketers.

I digress.

I had two phone calls this past week asking me about my last post. Apparently, my post got their attention. These individuals called me because they knew me personally, and both had similar questions. Their questions went something like this:

“Your last blog post got my attention. You mentioned the term “featured snippets” and I understand what they are because I see them every day. But I don’t know how to get our marketing crew to take advantage of the opportunity you spoke about in your blog?”

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5 Must-Haves for Industrial Brand Visibility


industrial brand visibilityI am as guilty as anyone.

As a marketer I get overly geeked about all the new ways to measure data. When I visit with other marketers that are up to date with current technologies, most are obsessed with data analytics, KPIs (key performance indicators) and all kinds of crazy reports generated by cloud-based marketing automation, Google Analytics and SEO research tools. I work hard to focus on my client’s industrial brand visibility rather than the actual metrics/numbers.

Granted, this information can be extremely helpful when it comes to developing a strategy. but too much focus on the numbers devalues human nature and how your buyers’ actually make their sourcing decisions.

Again, I often look at this data for clues and trends. But let’s face it, in the world of industrial marketing it is rare that you get a large enough data sample to give you any real insights.

So…part science, part art (i.e. creative)

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Industrial Marketing’s Most Potent Trifecta

industrial marketing competitive advantage

When it comes to lead generation, a quality web presence can optimize your industrial marketing dollars if you know about the online marketing trifecta.

What trifecta, do you ask?

Google’s free tools, HubSpot’s marketing automation platform and SEMrush’s online research data.

First, let explain what each component of this grand marketing trifecta is.

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Topic Clusters…Industrial’s Most Potent Marketing Weapon


Topic clusters!

Yep, topic clusters are an industrial marketers’ most potent marketing and lead generation weapon.

Especially for industrial marketers! I will tell you why industrial marketers have a unique advantage in a moment.

The use of topic clusters has been an SEO tactic for several years. But few use it and industrial marketers, hardly at all. At least, not yet.

OK…so what are topic clusters?

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Industrial Content Marketing…The Universal Truth

the truth about industrial content marketingOK…there are a few more than one, but in my mind, there is one key element of success when it comes to small & mid-size industrials attempting to leverage the web for branding, lead generation, etc. In other words, industrial content marketing.

The one universal truth is this:

If the leader is not FULLY on board with content marketing, it is doomed.


Sorry to be so dystopian (the opposite of utopia).

However, if the leader fully understands the full implications of industrial content marketing there can be shades of utopia in his future.

I speak from, up-close & personal, experience in the mid-size industrial marketing. I guess my 10,000 hours of dedication to the craft of industrial content marketing makes me an expert, according to bestselling author, Malcolm Gladwell.

Most owners of mid-size industrials understand there needs to be a change in the way they go to market. The web is literally “eating their lunch” as buyers use the web to source just about everything.

If the leader’s branded sales materials are not there to greet a new, demanding, web-enabled buyer, then his company lost any hope of expanding his prospect and customer base for the purpose of lead generation and top-of-mind awareness…via his largest pool for prospects…the web.

So, the leader needs to embrace the change and as Jack Welch (former CEO of GE) says, “Change before you have to”.  And from Peter Drucker, “The greatest danger in times of turbulence (the web has clearly created turbulence) is not the turbulence…it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”

So, how does a business keep up with with all the web turbulence?

As I said, it all starts with leader’s attitude about growth.

If the leader is committed to growth and understands the turbulence the web has created in his channels to market, then his formerly detached attitude concerning the web will be displaced by an unbounding love of the opportunities the web has created for his company and employees.

NOW…he is ready to lead an industrial content marketing initiative.

Along with his changing attitude about the web and change, comes four other KEY elements a leader must understand for online success.

Understanding your corporate brand…your online foundation

First, if you are an industrial supplier and your brand mentions something like “best service”, “expert service”, “finest products”, “we represent premier brands”, etc… you are following…not leading. If these examples are similar to your brand message…in today’s world of search, social, mobile & AI, you may be dressed for the big game, but not competitive.

I am not even going to attempt a long discussion about industrial branding. It is a broad and deep subject and has as many facets as branding practitioners. However, I will voice my opinion. You need a brand message that tells a story…a story that connects with your buyers and bypasses the typical pablum about “best service”, “best price”, etc.

Your brand needs to connect in a more human way.

If you have decided to join the ranks of early adapters for industrial content marketing, start with your brand first.


Typically, I suggest my customers talk to Greg Miller at Maxwell and Miller agency in Kalamazoo. If you want, you can start with a publication we collaborated on, A Branding Road Map for Industrial Marketers. This e-book will give you a flavor of the best way to create a fresh brand for our industrial company. If nothing else, it helps get the creative juices going so that you can look at your company from a fresh perspective.  A more human perspective, that connects beyond the typical price/service/quality ad copy.

Find a trusted marketing partner

I have often said that in the age of search, social, mobile & AI it is difficult for a mid-size industrial to afford a quality web marketing effort.

If the leader has bought into the industrial content marketing concept, typically there are two conventional roads to follow…neither expressways to success.

  • Hire additional market personnel
  • Hire an outside agency to specializes in industrial content marketing

The first alternative typically does not work because the industrial owner/manager does not even know the right questions to ask a potential marketing hire. Because this discipline is so new the employer is thinking old marketing versus new media marketing. These are two difference disciplines. I have seen on multiple occasions…the new hire does not last 6 months. Primarily because the employer did not know what to look for.

If you are going to hire a marketing specialist to guide your new marketing effort, then hire a more experienced marketing person who comes from a traditional marketing background, yet has adapted well to new media marketing. Typically this individual comes with a bigger price tag.

Then, I also see industrial owners hire the kids with marketing degrees and they don’t really understand the human aspects of marketing & industrial sales. They know the high-tech stuff, but not the high-touch, human stuff.

There are a hand full of agencies that are experienced in the industrial content marketing. They tend to be very expensive and even if your budget can afford that approach, it is difficult to budget and maintain a sustainable content marketing effort…which is required for online success.

With a shameless plug, I suggest hiring an independent marketing guru (I just happen to know one) that can align your company with the necessary contractors to get the job done.  See…to compete in today’s online world you need to have a branding expert, a web developer, a graphics specialist, a SEO specialist, a data analyst, a social media expert and a great technical writer.

The typical mid-size industrial company simply cannot afford all these skills sets. So, it makes sense to have an “Executive Producer” that hires top talent on an as-needed basis. This is just about the only way a small or mid-size company can compete…in a quality way…online.

Get involved with an online marketing automation platform

Online success requires you deploy tons of marketing assets and track all of it…much in the same way your accounting or ERP software manages and tracks your physical & financial assets. I have written previously about this subject and believe, more than ever, online success requires a great marketing automation platform.

Get Your Sales Group Involved

This a very broad & deep subject as well. Do your best to understand the relationship between your fresh marketing efforts and your more traditional sales efforts. Make sure your sales team is involved and they know you have their best interest at heart.

It is critical.

Rather, than writing at length on this subject, I suggest you read a nine-minute blog post from HubSpot titled, How to Integrate Sales Development with Inbound Marketing to Multiply SQLs. HubSpot is not only the leader in mid-size marketing automation software, but they are also leaders in the relationship between marketing and sales. Base on HubSpot’s financial success they know this subject as well as anyone.

Below is an example of a client that has successfully outmaneuvered larger, national competitors in terms of visibility on the web. The owner is fully engaged and understands each key element of success outlined above. His great content and improved positions on the search engines has translated into improved top-of-mind awareness, lead generation and even improved hires for my client.

This graph is from SEMrush, a leading tool for digital marketers. This graph clearly demonstrates the superior position of my client (in Green circle) for multiple keywords related to their industry. Two of the domains in this graph are two of the largest companies in my client’s industry and the purple domain is the leading non-profit organization for this industry…a site visited by thousands of practitioners in the industry for updates, specifications, certifications, guidelines, etc.

We are currently working with this client to dramatically improve their search positions using a concept called topic cluster or pillar pages.

Once we launch the pillar pages on my client’s site, I fully expect this graph to show even greater distance between my client and competitors.

I will follow up and show you the results in another post in a couple months…sort of a before & after

Are you a leader?


For more info on what The Repp Group can do for your industrial marketing & lead generation…CLICK BELOW


Personal Branding for Industrial Can Be a Huge Advantage

personal branding for industrial I have been an unyielding advocate of using online content to spread your brand message using the least expensive channel available…the web. Nobody realizes more than I there are still a ton of doubters in the industrial community. It is still difficult for me to believe there is even debate about the benefits of content marketing for industrial. Building your industrial brand using helpful content to help educate your prospects and customers using a channel that, virtually, reaches every potential customer on the planet is a no-brainer.

But…I digress.

In today’s environment of marketing rebellion (i.e. prospects do not listen to promotional stuff anymore), building a strong personal brand using content from your key employees is critical as well.

I believe we are at a tipping point, of sorts, in the industrial market. Allow me to explain.

Think about it. When you visit a new prospect or interview a potential vendor, what do you do beforehand?

You look them up online…right?

Then why doesn’t your industrial company provide the visibility prospects and customers are begging for?

That goes for your top technical and sales employees as well. They need to be as visible as your corporate brand.

Picture this.

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Industrial Content Marketing Isn’t About Leads

“No more fancy metrics or acronyms that I don’t understand. I just want results…I want leads.”

This is exactly what a customer told me couple years ago, only six months after we had started an impressive website rebuild along with industrial content marketing.

Another large industrial supplier called me one month after launching a fresh brand and website with all the SEO elements built into the site and wanted to know why they were not showing up in search results for critical keywords. (I never promise quick results when it comes to web marketing and search engine placement).

Talk about short-term thinking!

I can’t tell you how many executive meetings I have attended where the following narrative was expressed; “We will only get a budget for the web project if we can guarantee lots of leads.”

In the age of search, social, mobile and AI (artificial intelligence) short-term thinking creates fatal blind spots for the industrial marketer such as illustrations sited above.

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