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.
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.
Your sales guy travels to a potential customer with your top engineer to bid on a large & complicated opportunity. You know the margins on this job could be substantial.
Your prospect has invited a competitor to bid on the same job also.
What does your prospect do after each meeting?
They look up both bidders online.
Your competitor has a well branded website with lots helpful blog articles about your specific challenge. Both the competitors’ salesman and engineer have contributed to many of the blog articles. The engineer has even written and published a white paper about your specific issue.
Considering the pricing is similar, who would you chose to work with?
Moving forward, this is the way business will be conducted. Do not doubt me.
I would argue this scenario happens, almost without fail, every time a sales call is made. That is, industry peers are checking your online presence constantly.
This type of behavior has become ingrained because…we can’t help it. We tend to make decisions on what we see and hear (By the way…your competitor also had several testimonies from respected companies on their website as well).
When a prospect views your online brand and it is outdated and not helpful compared to a well branded site that offers lots of help, they are going to assume the rest of your operations are outdated as well. The age of search, social, mobile & artificial intelligence has conditioned us to think that way.
As I referenced in my last blog article, Industrial Content Marketing Isn’t About Leads:
“How do you market to a person who is seemly unreachable. In fact, proudly unreachable. We see our foundations of command-and-control marketing collapsing before our eyes like an avalanche. There are no more lies. There are no more secrets. There is no more control. For more than a century we’ve built our greatest brands like Ivory (Ivory soap) through an accumulation of advertising impressions. But to survive this final rebellion, companies and brands must be built though an accumulation of human impressions”
Become more human, more relatable, more respected by developing a content strategy that provides your key employees an opportunity to sell themselves and be more human…as well as your company.