As digital disruption engulfs many industrial marketing departments, they struggle with…what to do?
“Should we go in house or outsource our content and digital marketing”?
There is no easy answer. In fact, the whole content and digital marketing onslaught is happening so fast I’m not sure anyone has the right answer. The successful marketers are finding their own successful formulas with a hybrid approach.
One thing I do know, all industrial marketers need to get started with a digital, industrial marketing strategy to find their own way.
For virtually every industrial client I work with, all will need to outsource much of their digital marketing to maintain online relevance. They simply do not have the in house skills to mount a successful online branding & lead generation effort. Frankly, most still do not even know the right questions to ask or the right people to hire.
I recommend a hybrid approach to content and digital marketing success.
First, hire out your web development to a reputable firm. I just happen to know one. Latter…some of the content development duties can be completed in house and some outsourced… as needed.
I have several horror stories about industrial owners that thought they had a great in house web developer until the coder became disgruntled and held the digital assets hostage. By outsourcing the web development to a firm that knows industrial and knows the daily nuances of web development you ensure your digital marketing assets are stable, your security is stable and your website sits on a content management system that plays nicely with your next marketing hire.
Then there is the issue of content. Where do I begin?
This is another skill set foreign to industrial marketers, yet Google tell us we need to deploy helpful content that demonstrates industry expertise. Google also tells us, unless the content resonates with your audience you do not really exist. Your prospect must click and download. Google knows. Boy…a tall order for an industrial marketer.
Allow me to digress a bit.
Let me say upfront that I believe the best way to be successful at industrial content marketing, in the long run, is eventually bring the content development in house where your own staff and engineers create content that interacts directly with your prospects and customers. The companies that have been most successful at industrial content marketing have done just that
With that said, it is possible to get started by outsourcing much of your needed content. First, I would start with a quality copywriter that is focused on your brand message. You HAVE updated your industrial brand message, haven’t you?
Improving your brand theme and writing content that attracts buyers to the top of the marketing funnel will ensure you have some numbers (i.e. contacts) to work with. More importantly, you start to understand the “burn” of your newfound marketing efforts. You begin to realize this is hard work. There is sweat equity involved. You start to create some “muscle memory”. Your internal marketing culture is starting to “get it”. You see results. You have some traction.
Once you create regular blogs and deploy some premium e-books, witness your web traffic double, engage subscribers on your blog, it might be time to find a technical writer to get down & dirty with the engineering crowd. Likely, you will not have one in house, so it is necessary to find a competent technical writer that is comfortable with your industry and products. You need to ensure you have scheduled gatherings once a month to write and deploy the appropriate content and create an editorial calendar.
Possibly, you get lucky and hire a good technical writer to work for you, either part-time or full time. Maybe you get real lucky and one of your technical staff steps up to the plate and starts writing content for your blog. That is the idea situation.
As you can see, a creative, hybrid approach can be implemented to achieve success for your digital marketing efforts.
You will need one last common denominator for digital marketing success.
You need an EVANGELIST that has full & enthusiastic support of the owner, CEO…The Checkwriter.
Do not doubt me.
Ideally, the evangelist will be in house. If not, then you may have to outsource the evangelist role until you actually find one internally. I know of two local companies that outsourced some content and digital marketing tasks. Now each individual is chief evangelist at their respective organizations.
Good luck on your journey to industrial marketing success…online. Some outsourced and some done in house.
A great place to start is to DOWNLOAD our Beginners Guide to Industrial Content Marketing