Tom, do I really need to get involved with social media to market on the web?
I get this question all the time. So, I thought that I would address that thorny subject head-on and also support it with a recent article from the authorities, Search Engine Journal.
The short answer is “Yes”!
As briefly as possible, let me explain by making a basic assumption.
If you are to dominate your online industrial niche, you must be ranked on the first page of Google for your company’ specific keywords…right?
Of course, we call this search engine optimization or SEO.
Although Google’s algorithm is one of the most closely guarded secrets in the world, SEO authorities keep tabs on what Google’s techies say at conferences and also perform many case studies that give industrial marketing folks some pretty good signals on the importance of social media for the savvy industrial marketer.
Based on my experience in industrial marketing, I have found that a great deal of your online industrial lead generation is worthless.
So, when industrial owners or industrial marketers ask me about online marketing, I do my best to manage expectations and let them know that their online marketing efforts are similar to their offline, traditional marketing efforts.
“Mr. Owner, how many of your direct mail pieces produce great leads?”
“How are those cold calls working for your sales group lately?”
“Did you get a good return on our trade show investment, in terms of lead generation?”
I think we all know the answers to those questions, given the industrial buyers’ changing behavior.
I am not sure if it is because most industrial owners are digital immigrants, but they expect their online marketing efforts to render different results than their traditional marketing and lead generation efforts.
I often remind them of John Wanamaker’s famous quote about advertising: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”
So…when I found this marketing research from my fellow marketing friends at Straight North in Chicago concerning B2B leads, I thought I would pass it along to my readers.
That is, most industrial owners and B2B owners are between 45 and 70 years old and not up to speed with the digital channel. Many industrial owners and marketers lack the skills to create online content to attract leads…a skill that Google, and your buyers, now require.
Although out of the industrial market a bit, here is a podcast from my friend Bruce McDuffee about a niche construction company in St. Louis that increase their online leads…”because no one is doing it”
The approach described in the podcast mimics the same process we use at The Repp Group.
Listen to Bruce McDuffee from Manufacturing Marketing Institute and his guest and find out how to increased online leads by 700%…
Discussions about industrial marketing strategy often begin with, “Do I need to update my website”. “I have heard a lot about content marketing for industrial. Do I need to do content marketing?” “What about mobile?” Or, “How can rank better with Google?” Etc. etc.
If you read this blog often you know that I am a huge fan of David Meerman Scott, best-selling author of the New Rules of Sales & Service, a must read of the savvy industrial marketer.
David Meerman Scott’s recent interview at The Microsoft Partner Network breaks down my typical responses to the questions above. Before you update your website, before you decide to do a blog, before you optimize for search engines, before you update for mobile…before you do anything, take these two critical steps.
Understand what your industrial customers really want. (Do not assume you already know what they want. Interview them to find out.)
Create content that helps them get what they want.
WOW…as an industrial marketer officer you know things are changing. You agonize…“Would my marketing world please stop spinning?”
You would like to ignore the recent news from Google that voice search is exploding. Not possible, since you just used voice search to shop for bike rakes: “OK Google, find reviews for the best tray style bike rakes”.
Machine learning and voice assistants are taking over and as an industrial marketer you need to be prepared. Voice search for industrial is here.
As an industrial marketer, where do you begin? How do I survive?
This was a real shocker for content marketing evangelists such as me and some of my content marketing partners.
Schaefer continues, “Depending on what study you read, the amount of available web-based content (the supply) is doubling every 9 to24 months. Unimaginable, really”.
No doubt…we are all amazed at the amount of quality information available for just about any topic on the planet. Schaefer continues, “The upward trend of content consumption is not sustainable because every human has a physiological, inviolable limit to the amount of contend they can consume.”
I agree with Schaefer’s basic assessment. However, I do not believe it holds true for the industrial market.
Let me explain:
Basically, good content is found using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. If you create great content for your prospects, what marketing value does it provide if not found by your audience? So, generally a good marketer will build content around critical keyword phrases for their business.
For example, a Parker hydraulics store might specialize in custom hydraulic manifold building. This unique product separates them from other hydraulic suppliers or other Parker dealers in the region. Therefore, the content marketing minds get together and decide to create an online e-book titled, How to Specify & Buy a Custom Hydraulic Manifold. The wizards also create a landing page with the keyword phrase, “custom hydraulic manifold” in the URL address, as well as title tag and meta description tag. They also promote the content on their blog, as well as other channels like email and Linkedin industry groups.
I guarantee the landing page and downloadable e-book will be at the top of Google in a week for the keyword phrase, “custom hydraulic manifold”. Can you say, “lead generation”? Can you say, “branding…with a long reach”?
There is no content shock for the content built around, “custom hydraulic manifold”. Or, put another way, the content saturation level for “custom hydraulic manifold” is extremely low. In fact, there are ONLY 233 pages on the web with “custom hydraulic manifold” in the title tag. (For the industrial market, I consider anything below 10,000 pages easy pickings.)
In fact, I would call it a CONTENT VOID.
Low hanging fruit.
For the millennial engineer looking for helpful information, this content is highly sustainable as a lead generation tactic. It hardly has a “physiological, inviolable limit”
If the Parker dealer focused on helping their plant floor engineers in their daily challenges and “flooded the zone” with helpful content over a period of a year or two, the dealer could build a sustainable “digital moat” around their business because they would “own” the first page of Google for “custom hydraulic manifolds.” They would soon be a trusted advocate for the engineers that actually purchase these products.
Because Google rewards the web pages and content that has longevity and garners the most clicks. Not only that…your marketing efforts live on the web forever, creating sustainable, top-of-mind branding and lead generation benefits.
Content Shock for the industrial market? Far from it.
I would call it a CONTENT VOID.
Will you fill that void?
For more info on what The Repp Group can do for your industrial marketing & lead generation…CLICK BELOW