The 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 MarketPipline.com) 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.
But let’s look back just a few years to get some perspective.
In the “old days”, as an industrial marketer, we were simply focused on the SEO aspects of online marketing and web development. Looking back, that was not really marketing. We would pull a few technical levers and bodda-bing…our clients would show up in Google’s search results.
At that time, it simply did not feel right to me. It felt like slight-of-hand.
It felt more like a technical exercise than a marketing effort.
But…it worked. For a while.
Then Google introduced the Penguin upgrade to their algorithm and turned our business model upside down, along with thousands of other digital agencies.
The long and short of Penguin…it made us all better marketers. For me it was the advent of the “honest economy” as my friend, Marcus Sheridan, calls it.
With the introduction of Penguin, Google was simply trying to produce better results for the web user. In fact, they inspired web developers to EARN their traffic with great, customer-focused, honest, content.
After more than 20 iterations of Penguin and several years, I believe Google has reached a tipping point.
Now, marketers must produce great content that web-users love or face online extinction. No more technical tricks.
“People (i.e. industrial buyers) shop and learn in a whole new way compared to just a few years ago so marketers need to adapt or risk extinction.” – Brian Halligan, founder & CEO of HubSpot.
It is back to basics folks.
Let me give you just a few great quotes from some of the current titans of online marketing. These quotes are all recent…but timeless.
- “The best marketing strategy ever: CARE:” – Gary Vaynerchuck, entrepreneur, speaker & marketing expert.
- “Marketing is really about sharing your passion” – Brian Chesky, cofounder of Airbnb
- “Amazing things happen when you listen to the customer.” – Jonathan Midenhall, CMO of Airbnb.
- “The most human company wins.” – Mark Schaefer, Marketing guru and author of Marketing Rebellion, Why the Most Human Company Wins.
Although these quotes are based on basic human nature as well as good marketing, the online channel industrial marketers must adapt to is still a little murky. It is murky not because they are not good marketers or great businesspeople.
The whole way of promoting your industrial brand has changed. The whole way of selling, the very foundation of most industrial businesses, has changed. The industrial buyer’s journey has been condensed from 7 to 5 to 3 stages…now seconds in some cases.
Add to that, the lack of skills industrial owners and marketers possess when it comes to creating great content. After all, they have never had to be great, creative, marketers. They had to be great salesmen & saleswomen.
Put simply, I see most industrials build fine looking websites, but then the marketing ends. As if…the yellow brick road to sales success suddenly & abruptly ends.
So how does an industrial marketer adapt to the new channel to industrial buyers in the age of search, mobile, social and AI.
Here are six basic steps for the savvy industrial marketer:
- Be human. Stick to the basics of the human experience. The basics of marketing. Take to heart the quotes I have outlined above. Be honest, be passionate, be human, be caring.
- Build an industrial brand that truly differentiates you from your competitors. If you want to dig deeper into a fresh industrial brand grab A Branding Road Map for Industrial Marketers… it is FREE.
- Build a culture of content. This is clearly the toughest. For industrial companies that are used to just producing product and selling, creating top-class content that delights customers is like going from high school to medical school overnight. It is a slough. But it can be done with commitment and passion. The benefit…once you graduate from medical school…you have built a digital moat around your industrial business for a generation leading to a significant advantage when it comes to top-of-mind awareness, lead generation and top-line growth.
- If you going to create great content, don’t forget to promote it. Market it…using today’s most effective channels:
- Email to your subscribers
- Use the most appropriate social media channels. Most effective for industrial marketers is Linkedin.
- Use webinars, videos, online presentations, etc.
- Put your content on a marketing automation platform such as HubSpot so you can manage all your new content. Much like QuickBooks manages your financial assets, marketing automation manages all your marketing assets…both online & offline. With marketing automation, you optimize drip campaigns, email marketing campaigns, blog posts, knowledgebases, webpages, feedback surveys…all from one platform & dashboard.
- Forget about all the highly technical & complicated aspects of SEO. If you produce consistent content that your prospects and customers love, SEO will take care of itself. Be a marketer…not a technical geek.
- Finally, now that you have deployed all this great content your customers love, MEASURE IT. As our old friend, Peter Drucker said, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” If you have set up your marketing automation platform properly… measure, rinse and repeat EVERYTHING related to marketing. In the end you will produce leads and sales. The ultimate payoff for great marketing.
When it comes to developing a fresh industrial marketing strategy, don’t forget the “Marketing” in your industrial content.
For more info on what The Repp Group can do for your industrial marketing & lead generation…CLICK BELOW