To an engineer, unless your content is pertinent, you are wasting your time
The big challenge in the engineering/manufacturing industry today is engaging potential customers with our products or services before the direct sales approach is needed. The most successful way to engage prospects and turn them into customers is by creating intelligent content that’s of interest to them and that they care about.
Pertinent, well-implemented content, although sometimes challenging and demanding to create, lends credibility to a brand identity and makes a company stand out from the crowd. Content that is just “good enough” won’t extend beyond the written word. By this I mean that truly exceptional content will engage influencers ensuring a wider distribution of the message, as these people will spread the message with an effective endorsement, one which cannot be bought, however big the marketing budget. For businesses to grow and stand out in a competitive environment, content marketing must be a key strategic driver in the overall marketing plan.
According to Mashable, 61% of customers prefer companies with custom online content. For companies in the manufacturing space, limited time and budget restrictions, as well as the need for complex technical information, mean that they have to maximise usage of the content they create. It must be reworked and repurposed to be relevant and timely and most importantly, it has to fulfil the customers’ needs as they progress along their individual buying journeys. A good marketing strategy focuses on the end to end customer journey and offers the best customer experience throughout that journey, bearing in mind there may be multiple individuals involved in different stages of the buying decision. Companies must make themselves relevant at each stage of this process – too pushy too early will lose a sale but equally we must provide superior, intelligent content which in turn makes the customer a smarter buyer.
B2B content marketing remains on the increase and now an astonishing 70% of content marketers claim that they are creating more content than they did a year ago. However, many businesses are getting caught in the hype of what they think their content plan should look like. It would be better if - instead of trying to create complex content strategies, businesses took a step back and made sure to do some of the smaller, basic things well.
Something else to bear in mind is that if content is king, then context is god. When it comes to content, context is the way you're publishing, distributing and promoting your content to your targeted audience. If you're trying to connect in the wrong context, it doesn't matter how great your content is, it’s simply not going to be read, shared or discussed.
Adding to the complexity are the Ad blockers. Although some form of ad blocking has been around for years, Apple has just announced its iOS 9 operating system will now support ad blocking technology creating even more likelihood of uptake specifically for the hand held device user. Given the nature of engineers in being resistant to direct sales messages the ad blockers are likely to be more impactful in the engineering and manufacturing world than anywhere else. Intelligent paid for content will be the only way around this making the need for expert, empowering content all the more pressing.
Businesses, now more than ever, need to be smart and employ professionals who understand their markets, their technology and their customer’s pain points to create pertinent content in order to make an impact and stand out from the crowd.