One of the greatest challenges of developing a marketing campaign for an industrial company is the content. Accurately conveying the intricacies of your products or services while keeping a diverse audience of buyers and engineers engaged isn’t easy.
That’s why so many manufacturers avoid content marketing. They’ve either tried it before and had difficulty developing content that checked off all these boxes, or they are afraid to try. But there are ways to plan for and produce content that engages your target audience while staying true to your business and its key differentiators.
Let’s take a closer look at the types of content that resonate for industrial audiences, and how to build it in a way that is accurate to your offerings.
Identifying Core Needs and Problems in Your Audience
As a manufacturer, you likely have two primary audiences to which you are promoting your services:the design engineers who spec your parts into their designs, and the procurement managers who will ultimately make the order.
The content you produce will need to target one or both of these audiences, identifying and speaking to the specific problems they have. So, it’s important to keep their interests in mind:
- Engineers – A design engineer is interested in form, fit, and function for their designs. They want to know more about material selection, edge types, case studies of previous projects, tolerances, equipment used, and how you solve specific problems in manufacturing in your space.
- Procurement – While the above topics are important, because they showcase your expertise, procurement is more interested in your ability to deliver on time, at the volume needed, and at a price that is competitive with other potential providers.
When preparing content for these audiences, the best way to start is by mapping out specific questions or problems you receive in sales or consultation calls. Your sales team can often provide many of these questions, establishing a starting point for your content marketing efforts.
How to Write for Industrial Audiences
Once you’ve established the topics on which your audience has questions, it’s time to write the content. How do you produce content that directly addresses their questions and concerns? It’s not just about the subject matter – style matters, too. Here are some things to consider:
- Keep it Concise – Industrial audiences are in a hurry, often on mobile devices. They need to know the basics quickly. Keep your content succinct and concise. Address the primary concern with specific detail. Long, meandering blog posts or emails won’t be read.
- Focus on Facts and Figures – Be as specific as you can be. Use numbers to illustrate your points, link to specific examples, use case studies from your business when applicable (and possible), and refer to past projects or situations. Engineers in particular want to see the data that backs up your assertions.
- Avoid Excessive Jargon – While it’s important to speak the same language as your prospects, avoid jargon that may be specific to your industry. Referencing key certifications, industry standards, or manufacturing processes is important, but getting highly technical when discussing key components or machinery may not connect with prospects who are generalists at a larger manufacturer.
The goal is to provide content addressing the initial concern or question your prospects have, while establishing your company as an expert on the topic. This can be difficult if you’re working with a writer who isn’t as much of an expert in the field, or who isn’t able to accurately convey key technical points about your services, so take the time to get the tone and style right from the start, and future content will benefit from those efforts.
How to Drive Engagement with Your Industrial Content
High-quality content that addresses the primary concerns of your industrial audience in simple language that demonstrates expertise can establish you as an expert they can look to online.
Once you build true authority through your content, it becomes a powerful selling tool that can put you several steps ahead of the competition online.