User Intent – One of Industrial Marketers’ Potent Weapons

targeting user intent for the industrial marketer

I try and walk for 30-40 minutes every morning at the local high school. Typically, I will listen to talk radio via my blue tooth head piece. My “user intent” is to listen to talk radio, not advertising. This morning I had to listen to 13 minutes of commercials before I got to the actual content I was interested in. Almost half my walk wasted on interruptions I was not interested in.

Good thing the track was vacant at the time. I said a few “choice” words. Very frustrating.

I would define user intent as the art of detecting & filling a need.

The same frustration happens when a web user (a future prospect) goes to the web to look for information for their next purchase, whether it be a new car, a new set of golf clubs or a new CNC machine for the plant floor. Your user intent is to find information quickly…without annoying interruptions.

So it is with your prospects.

They are looking for product & service information from your company. Typically, in the awareness and consideration stage. The industrial content that is artfully created to meet your customer’s expectation will connect immediately.

So…how do you fine tune your industrial content to satisfy your prospect’s intent?

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2 Questions Industrial Marketers Need to Ask About Featured Snippets

deer in the headlights for featured snippets

I know, I know…”What the heck are featured snippets?”, you ask.

In my mind, featured snippets or structured data is the largest opportunity out there for savvy industrial marketers to extend their brand into their respective industrial niches.

Hang in there with me…I wade into the weeds a little about structured data for industrial marketers.

I digress.

I had two phone calls this past week asking me about my last post. Apparently, my post got their attention. These individuals called me because they knew me personally, and both had similar questions. Their questions went something like this:

“Your last blog post got my attention. You mentioned the term “featured snippets” and I understand what they are because I see them every day. But I don’t know how to get our marketing crew to take advantage of the opportunity you spoke about in your blog?”

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5 Must-Haves for Industrial Brand Visibility

 

industrial brand visibilityI am as guilty as anyone.

As a marketer I get overly geeked about all the new ways to measure data. When I visit with other marketers that are up to date with current technologies, most are obsessed with data analytics, KPIs (key performance indicators) and all kinds of crazy reports generated by cloud-based marketing automation, Google Analytics and SEO research tools. I work hard to focus on my client’s industrial brand visibility rather than the actual metrics/numbers.

Granted, this information can be extremely helpful when it comes to developing a strategy. but too much focus on the numbers devalues human nature and how your buyers’ actually make their sourcing decisions.

Again, I often look at this data for clues and trends. But let’s face it, in the world of industrial marketing it is rare that you get a large enough data sample to give you any real insights.

So…part science, part art (i.e. creative)

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Topic Clusters…Industrial’s Most Potent Marketing Weapon

 

Topic clusters!

Yep, topic clusters are an industrial marketers’ most potent marketing and lead generation weapon.

Especially for industrial marketers! I will tell you why industrial marketers have a unique advantage in a moment.

The use of topic clusters has been an SEO tactic for several years. But few use it and industrial marketers, hardly at all. At least, not yet.

OK…so what are topic clusters?

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The Cheapest & Most Costly Advice for Industrial Marketing

Anybody that is anybody in marketing certainly knows the name David Meerman Scott. David is probably the best know online strategist in the country. David has written many best sellers including, Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, The New Rules of Marketing & PR, The New Rules of Sales & Service and Newsjacking, to name a few.

David was also kind enough to endorse my own e-book titled, The Essential Guide to Industrial Marketing…The Inbound Way.

As an online marketer, I am always gleaning the thought-leaders for tips and tricks to improve my client’s online marketing efforts.

David Meerman Scott’s most recent post, The Five Essential Skills for Building an Effective Website caught my eye from feedly.com, a blog aggregator app I monitor daily on my iPhone.

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Industrial Branding: You Get What You Pay For!

you get what you pay for when it comes to industrial brandingWe all know our parents had the best advice. As I baby boomer, I still recite my Father’s favorite axioms: “If you want something done, give it to the busiest people”, “The cheapest insurance you can buy are the best quality tires”, “The will to prepare comes before the will to succeed”…and of course the most time-honored quote of all:

“You get what you pay for.”

Still true today.  Thanks Dad.

Often, I am asked to start an online marketing effort including website, content deployment, e-mail, blogs, the “whole shootin’ match” (thanks again, Dad).

But…before they embark on a comprehensive online marketing effort, I always suggest they start by taking a critical look at their company’s brand.

Often the discussion ends with, “I don’t believe we can afford to spend the extra dollars on brand development”…or something very similar.

A well-defined brand message is the most misunderstood and underutilized marketing asset for most businesses, especially for industrial companies.

Why?

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Industrial Marketers Ignore Featured Snippet at Their Peril

 

First, to lay the ground work for my featured strategy, let me remind you of Google’s mission: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

As the keeper of your company’s industrial marketing strategy and website, have you made your company’s products and services “universally accessible and useful?”

Stay with me for a couple minutes…

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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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Achieve 100% ROI for Industrial Content Marketing

The ROI of industrial content marketingOK…as a savvy, progressive industrial marketer you are on the spot.

You have proposed an aggressive online industrial content marketing plan for your company…yet, nothing has been done.

You notice that your competitors are spending more on online marketing. You notice that your most aggressive competitor has added many calls-to-actions (CTA) on many of their product pages to attract interested prospects. Further, you hear through the grape vine that your competitor has hired an agency to develop high-quality, downloadable content on their website. In fact, you have downloaded much of your competitor’s content using an anonymous name and your heart drops as you see the very kind of content that you have been advocating for years.

Next, you hear from your star salesman that he lost a sale to your competitor. Your salesman tells you, “I thought I had the sale, then my prospect told me they found a better solution on the web”  Further, your star says, “They found some great content on the competitor’s website that explained how to install their product and that really made the sale easy for them and a lost the sale for us.”

Your heart drops to, yet, another floor.

The CEO hears the story and asks you to present your industrial content marketing presentation again. The same presentation you presented two years ago that was shelved.

This time you take the advice of one of your best friends, a CEO of a mid-size manufacturer. Your CEO friend says, “Calculate the ROI.  It might be potential ROI, but if you back up your proposal with numbers that are real and documented, they will take the hook.”

Fine. Here comes a teachable moment.

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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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