As a small manufacturer attempting to leverage digital marketing tactics to generate new leads, you need to know your audience well. Specifically, what type of content are they most interested in reading on your website, and for what will they freely exchange their information?
Many manufacturers and industrial sales managers are wary of this exchange. They wonder the exact same question – what could people possibly be interested in enough to offer up their personal information? While the industrial space may not be the flashiest sector, there are many resources that can be quite enticing to potential prospects in procurement and engineering.
Dividing by Audience
Too many manufacturing websites offer general content for their target companies, without thinking of the individuals in those companies that will be influencing or making decisions.
To ensure your content is relevant and will be downloaded, it needs to be catered to the specific personas of your ideal prospects – specifically in procurement, engineering, and executive
leadership. This means creating content around the types of information these individuals are looking for:
- Procurement – Purchasing managers are most interested in cost and deliverability. What can you show them that will showcase your expertise and abilities over a rival supplier?
- Engineering – Design engineers are highly influential in the supplier selection process, but they focus less on cost and more on function and the available tools at your disposal. Do you offer design support? How do you handle tooling? What machines and secondary services do you provide?
- Executive Leadership – Ownership and executive-level decision makers often come at the selection process from both angles, wanting to ensure you are a reliable, potentially long-term partner who can support on the engineering side and remain competitive in terms of cost.
By knowing your audience, you can create content that is relevant to each of these individuals.
What Your Downloadable Content Should Look Like
There are three different forms of downloadable content you can create to answer the common questions from the above personas. They include:
- Educational resources – These include eBooks, selection guides, and white papers about your processes and what you can offer.
- Evaluation tools – Charts, checklists, and indexes that provide in-depth information about your services and products to help in the decision-making process.
- Product Specific Resources – This includes anything specific about your products or services needed to ensure a good match, such as CAD files, equipment lists, or compatibility charts.
Many manufacturers have a lot of this content already sitting around, either in print format or as a PDF readily used by the sales team on a case-by-case basis. In formatting and uploading this content to your website, you can provide additional information that convinces otherwise anonymous users to exchange their information.
Building a Library of Downloadable Content
It’s rare that people will visit your website without a purpose. They are either researching potential suppliers, looking you up after a sales call, or starting the initial research process as a new product goes into development.
Whatever their reason, there is never a bad time to capture their information and start the sales conversation. That’s why it’s important to have content that addresses all of the potential stages in the sales cycle. Here’s how to get this content up as quickly as possible.
- Gather all existing resources – Pull together all print documents, PDFs, and other resources you already have on hand. This takes less time and fewer resources, allowing you to start capturing information as soon as possible.
- Format technical information – You may not have an existing equipment list in a PDF, but getting such a list should be simple with the help of your team. Technical information that requires little research or writing can be gathered and put into a simple PDF for download.
- Gather common questions from sales – Ask your sales team for the most common questions asked by prospects. These questions are the perfect place to start when writing eBooks and white papers, building checklists, or creating other downloadable educational content that people will be interested in. They also serve as valuable sales support tools.
By tapping into all these already existing resources, you can start generating a library of content that will meet the needs of your prospective leads, all while supporting your sales cycle and encouraging people to provide their information.