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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Embrace 3 Goals to Crush Competitors Using Featured Snippets

Just imagine what your industrial brand would look like in a couple years if you achieved the following goals:

  • Became an online thought-leader for your industries’ most important topics
  • You reach #1 page rank in Google for each of your company’s products, services or industry topics
  • For each of your company’s most important topics, your company’s content was featured at the top of Google’s return page in featured snippet format or as some call it, Google’s answer box (See example below)

Google's featured snippet

Let me show you the why & how.

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4 Steps to Achieve Competitive Advantage Using Rich Snippets

using rich snippets to gain competitive advantageHave you recently noticed when you search for a specific product, a specific restaurant, a specific recipe or a specific definition you often receive a “rich snippet” that gives you EXACTLY what you were looking for in a nicely formatted box? Some call these “featured snippets”, some call them “answer boxes”. As a techie would say, “I use structured data to create rich snippets on my webpages.”

No longer is Google’s search engine return page (SERP) a simple list of blue headlines.

You may have also noticed that voice searches are becoming more accurate than your first attempts a few years ago.  For example, “Siri, where can I get the best car loan rate?” or “OK, Google, where can I get spare electric motors in Kalamazoo?”. If you have not tried this, go ahead and open your Android or Apple device and try it.  (Personally, I like Google’s Assistant as they have a lot more data for artificial intelligence to glean from, resulting in more precise answers.)

Let us explore how you can gain a competitive advantage using rich snippets.

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How to Find Hidden Treasures in Industrial Content Marketing

Have you ever watched those TV shows where folks find old, dusty, ugly, items in the attic and then find they are worth thousands after being analyzed by an expert? Turns out the item was right under their nose for years. The recipients of good fortune often talk about the many times they wanted to take the item to the dump or rummage sale.  Now, to their surprise, they have an extremely valuable item…still old, dusty and ugly.

So it is with long-tail keywords for the industrial market.

Old dusty, long-tail keywords such as “15 infinite variable swing lathe” or “electric motor vibration analysis” or “quench oil coolers” or “Falk 5DTC gear reducer” can be extremely valuable.

Let me explain how you can be the recipient of good fortune as well…

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When You Do Industrial Content Marketing…Do No Evil

I was in the car today and made the mistake of answering a local number that was not identified by caller ID. Sure enough, I had to put my nasty hat on and tell them to “get lost”.

My wife and I switched from Android to iPhone last month at the assistance of my wife…actually my wife’s friends, as well as my own kids. (Domestic tranquility is bliss.)

I noticed that several of my favorite blogs were now populated with extremely annoying pop-up ads on the iPhone versus my old Android. I will fix that!

It seems like every website you visit now has followed you around like some sleazeball stalker and then displays ads for the last watch you were looking at on Amazon, that last automobile you were researching or those magnificent golf clubs you had your eye on. Creeps me out.

Technology is great. Your car works better because of technology. Your medical care is better because of technology. Industry is more productive because of technology.  And so, it goes.

But marketing is suffering because of technology & marketing automation…and big-data is the culprit.

Now marketing professionals can slice & dice customer data and push data and annoying ads to millions of customers and a meager 1% conversion renders a healthy return on their investment.

I hear it almost daily from my marketing friends, “But…it just works”. To me it is evil.

If you know me and read this blog you know that I am a believer in using the web, big-data and marketing automation to gain a competitive advantage over your industrial competitors.

BUT….

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Industrial Marketing Strategy & Insights in the Age of Google

industrial marketing strategyI recently met with two Presidents in the same week. One was a mid-size manufacturer of machine tools. The other was the owner of a third-generation industrial supplier.

Almost in lock-step they both, passionately, howled, “Tom, our trade shows, cold calls, and e-mails blasts just don’t work as they used to!”

Both went on to admit they are woefully behind when it came to using the web to brand and market their businesses. They both wanted to know if the web could improve lead generation and customer retention…i.e. industrial branding.

Both, wanted to know if there was some recent marketing data on the buying habits of their customers. Frankly, neither executive had any idea of where to begin and wanted some solid marketing data on what others are doing in their sectors in terms of web marketing.

I was aware of two recent studies that would provide guidance and intelligence for these two industrial executives as they re-tooled their respective industrial marketing strategies.

I viewed this opportunity as a teachable moment to instruct both on the value of industrial content marketing. I told both, “Tell you what, I know of two excellent studies and I will publish them on my blog right after New Year’s. I knew both were subscribers to my blog so I instructed them to keep an eye on their inboxes as they will be notified when I publish my post.

So…if you are looking for some critical intelligence concerning your industrial marketing strategy here are two recent reports: One from GlobalSpec.com titled, IEEE GlobalSpec Releases Findings from Its Annual Industrial Marketing Trends SurveyThe other from Engineering.com titled, How Engineers Find Information 2018.

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Further Evidence of the Opportunity for Industrial Content Marketing

industrial content marketing-making the caseFirst, if you are not serious about retooling your industrial marketing strategy to create sustainable lead generation and top-line growth, you don’t need to bother reading this post or follow up on the valuable links below.

If you are serious about creating top-of-mind experiences for your industrial prospects and sustainable lead-generation, then spend 10 minutes to educate yourself from two of the most reliable resources on the web, Forbes.com and Search Engine Land about the need for industrial content marketing.

For those you that follow me and read my blog, you know that I have been consistent concerning the opportunities for the savvy industrial marketer. The articles below provide further evidence that my customers are on the right track when retooling their online strategy & taking advantage of opportunities in the industrial market:

Can you say, “OPPORTUNITY”?

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Your Industrial Customer Marches On & You Fall Farther Behind

industrial content marketing is falling behindI have found smart phone apps such as Google News, Feedly, Flipboard & others extremely helpful when it comes to keeping up with industrial marketing strategies & trends.  For example, I monitor my favorite blogs & authors with Feedly, Also, apps like Google News, Flipboard can be customized to my exact interests.  For me, some of the feeds/categories include “industrial marketing”, “industrial content marketing “.  When I discover an article that I want to read or reference at a later date, I save it to www.getpocket.com, one of the handiest tools on the web.

For me, this system is an invaluable time-saver.  In fact, this past weekend I caught up while waiting for my wife outside the dressing rooms at Macy’s. Told ya’ it was an invaluable time-saver

Anyway…

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Show Me the $: Industrial Content Marketing & Your ROI

show me the ROI of industrial content marketingMany times, I get the question, “Can you show me the ROI of improving our digital presence”?

To be frank…probably not.  Sure, larger organizations with tons of capital can afford to have great software and great talent to build a measurable online strategy that will, in the end, render a real ROI figure.

But to be honest, it is not reasonable to expect that kind of culture change and granular metrics from a mid-size industrial company.

It can be done, and I have seen it done. But it is a rare leader that can pull it off.

Given the following three market dynamics, I think a better question is, “What happens to my business if we don’t pursue a more aggressive digital presence…more specifically, industrial content marketing?”  

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Industrial Content Marketing: Is it Time to Stop?

should you stop industrial content marketingLet’s keep it brief & refer to the authorities at my ol’ stand by for great marketing information, Search Engine Journal.

I have done several industrial content marketing campaigns and have struggled with every element listed in this blog article from Search Engine Journal; 5 Signs It’s Time to Stop Your Content Marketing Campaign.

Based on my experience in the industrial market, Aaron Agius’s “5 Signs” are dead on.

Bottom line…

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