It seems as if all you hear about in industrial marketing departments is, “We have to get involved with content marketing…Joe Competitor is eating our lunch with some great content on his website”. (i.e. content marketing: blogs, white papers, ebooks, webinars, podcasts, etc.)
OK…so you assume that Joe Competitor is taking some of your online exposure and leads. It is time to get serious about content marketing or inbound marketing for industrial, as some call it.
Here is why you should outsource your industrial content marketing:
Improve Your Industrial Brand Message:
I have worked with hundreds of industrial marketers since 1998 and I can honestly say that only a handful took their brand message seriously. For the most part, most tried to do it on their own or hired the local graphic artist to develop a new logo.
In the world of search, mobile and social, a consistent brand theme is critical. Get help from an experienced brand agency. I recommend a traditional agency that knows how to differentiate consumer, commodity-type items, like chewing gum or beer. If they have been successful at branding consumer products, then differentiating your industrial company should be a piece of cake…with, typically, unique industrial offerings.
As your content strategy starts to gain traction on the web, your fresh industrial brand will act as a content multiplier, improving that top-of-mind experience for all those prospects lurking in the proverbial weeds.
Wasted Financial Resources & Revenue Opportunities:
I have worked with a B2B industrial manufacturer for over 10 years. The President of the company is a great guy & a talented engineer. The kinda’ of guy you like to go the bar with for a couple of IPAs.
The President knew he had to put more resources into his online industrial branding and industrial content marketing. His first instincts were accurate to upgrade his company’s website. Typical for industrial management…and that is where it ended.
To make a long story, short, he consistently hired marketing managers that were traditional marketers and 5 years behind any knowledge of the digital channel. In the past 5 years, his company has gone through three marketing managers…and thousands of wasted dollars.
More importantly…lost revenue opportunities.
Even if the B2B company had hired an outside agency to execute a content marketing strategy, and it turned out to be a poor fit, they would…at least…know the right questions to ask the next agency in line. They would be a lot farther ahead in terms of building a digital moat around their industrial brand to keep the online competitors at bay.
The Closing Window of Opportunity:
Content marketing for industrial is difficult to do…let alone, get right. The learning curve for an industrial marketing manager or staff is overwhelming. The necessary skills include computer programming, SEO expertise, creative copy writing, graphic design, analytics, etc.
Do you know any mid-size industrial companies with ALL those skill sets? I don’t
As previously mentioned, industrial marketers do not even know the right questions when interviewing a marketing manager to execute a successful content marketing campaign.
My point is…trying to go it alone without the necessary skills to execute, will take twice to four times the amount of time you budget for.
For almost all of the mid-size industrial companies I know, there still is a significant window of opportunity to beat their competition and build that digital moat. I wrote about the concept of content saturation this past July titled, Why Content Saturation is a Bonanza for Industrial Marketers.
Time is money…right?
The Need For Digital Resources:
A great content marketing initiative needs the following digital resources:
- The complete suite of Adobe graphics software; Acrobat Pro, Creative Cloud Membership, Illustrator CC, Photoshop CC, Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe RoboHelp, etc. Do you know any mid-size industrial companies that have invested in this software and the personnel to pilot it effectively?
- A content marketing campaign, to be successful, needs to measure all the great content they deploy by using marketing automation, such as HubSpot. HubSpot, software as a service (SaaS), connects all your online marketing assets…a critical element for success. Marketing automation can provide amazing insight into what works & what does not work. It is sophisticated & complex and must be mastered to achieve success.
- Subscriptions to SEO resources
- Subscriptions to online stock art resources
Still want to execute your own content marketing initiative?
The Right Personnel with the Right Skills:
Content marketing is new & in high demand. There are not a lot of independent marketing professionals that have the skill sets that can help a mid-size industrial hit the ground running. Most of the skilled content marketing professionals are already working at a content marketing agency or a traditional ad agency making the transition to content marketing. Frankly, most creative types have no interest in working for a company that makes custom hydraulic manifolds or carbide taps.
Content Marketing In the Trenches:
Content marketing is so new and has so much data feedback that trail & error is the order of the day. To be effective you need to get into the trenches…down & dirty.
If you deploy a blog post focused on the wrong SEO elements you know immediately…and make mid-course corrections. On the on the other hand, if you launch an e-book that gets picked up by a major industrial publication or even the Wall Street Journal, you know immediately that topic resonated. (It does happen!). Then, you work hard to deploy more of the same content with the same topic.
Trail & error is a major tenant of great content marketing.
Therefore, you need marketing professionals that practice trail & error on a daily basis.
Hopefully, I have convinced you that getting outside help will save your time, money and frustration. Most importantly, if you DO get outside help, you are on your way to creating a digital moat around your business that competitors will find hard to penetrate.
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A passionate marketer attempting to change the way industrial marketers leverage the web as a growth-oriented, lead generation machine. View all posts by Tom Repp