Industrial Marketing Technical Content Essentials
A strong technical content strategy is key for industrial marketing and convincing the modern b2b buyer that your product or service is worth anything. Marketing to technical professionals in the manufacturing industry is deeper than branding. Industry professionals are skeptical, analytical, and experts in their fields. Quick, catchy headlines and superlatives don’t mean a thing if you can’t back up your claims with relevant proof or data – quickly. Because purchase decisions are often large and long term, buyers need a variety of compelling and up-to-date content that addresses their exact pain points.
To truly market to others in the manufacturing industry, your content must eliminate confusion on complex products while appealing to those with technical backgrounds. It must also emphasize your brand image, demonstrate value, establish strong connections, and reinforce what you want others to know about you- to start.
Because of this density, technical content for the manufacturing industry must be sharp, brief, and useful. Essentially, you must sell without selling. There are a few essential marks to hit when developing a strong technical content strategy, and first, it’s critical to determine your b2b buyer personas.
Determine Your Top 3 Buyers
Your first step in manufacturing marketing is understanding the buyer journey for both outbound and inbound marketing practices. That begins with a quick evaluation of your target audience. Think about your top 3 typical buyers to answer these questions:
- What do they do? Are they decision-makers? Managers?
- What do they want? What do they worry about (that relates to your product)? How can you help them reach their objectives?
- What are some demographic characteristics? Young or old? Are there any generational differences? What level of information does each demo need from you?
- Where do they go for information? Which search engines are they using? Do they prefer email, publications, trade shows, or mentorship?
It may seem like homework, but you need to tailor your industrial marketing a bit differently to move past those in the decision chain. It must address the viewer’s needs more than what you want to present. Let me give you a quick example:
|Buyers in the Chain||Primary Age Group||Journey Position||Primary Motivators||Where they get Information|
|Procurement managers||Younger groups and millennials||Often up-front research. Negotiations.||Quality research for informed decisions. Want to demonstrate a good judgment of needs and products purchased, and cost control||Online search, videos, trade publications, product vendors websites, sales reps (who are granted an audience)|
|Design engineers||Younger educated, mid-older experienced||Personal research or referred by Procurement||Mechanical integrity and utilization.||Vendor technical content online or in print. Personal discussions with product vendors.|
|Maintenance||Young-Mid groups||Often replacement.||Timing and longevity of the product. Want to demonstrate efficiency.||Online search, online instructional videos, trade publications, vendor websites, in-house engineers, procurement.|
|Operations managers||More mid-older||Financial and efficiency supervision||Want to demonstrate consistent improvement on key numbers and metrics. Profitability.||Primarily internal|
This list is probably oversimplified, but it works as a quick example. As you can see by the yellow highlights, these are the main subjects you must feature in your ads and communications. You should not try to cram in every motivator for every Buyer. The trick is to create ads and communications that speak solely to the primary motivators of a particular stakeholder, then utilize the unique channels they get their information from to get it in front of them. Yes, it will require more ads to be developed – more channels to utilize. But if you look at the ROI of marketing done correctly, you’ll be happy to put in the extra work and increase sales.
Remember, your ideal customer is a moving target and likely uses multiple search queries and devices daily. Understanding the preferences and personalities of who you’re trying to reach- like how they search for you, their preferred social channels, which trade shows they attend- helps your content effectively communicate with them at any step of their buyer journey.
“Industrial B2B buyers have been migrating online more than many manufacturers realize—even before COVID-19. New buyers, engineers, and decision-makers are Millennials who grew up with the internet. They’re completely comfortable with it. Where older decision-makers have also been moving online. Somewhat forced. They have become more dependent on it.”
-Ron Marshall, Red Crow Marketing
Technical Content Essentials
Technical content is not limited to product descriptions or demonstrations, just like content marketing is more extensive than blogging and social posts. Although these elements are important, many moving parts go into marketing for manufacturing industries. Each company may require a customized case-by-case approach to overcome the challenges of manufacturing marketing.
Because you better understand the top individuals or companies that influence the buying process, the content you create will be the driving force behind better-qualified leads. Whether it’s product-specific content, like product demonstrations, spec sheets, ebooks, and case studies, or company-specific content, like factory tour videos, reviews and testimonials, and company history, your technical content must be available on-demand, optimized for any platform or device, interactive, and visually appealing. Here are some essentials to consider:
Turn Engineers into Industrial Marketing Authors
Corral your subject matter experts into producing content, or pair them with a writer to gain well-written, balanced pieces. As you are well aware, industry professionals see right through the fluff. Anything published should be 90% educational and only 10% promotional. If your industrial marketing content comes from a knowledgeable source, it can offer the technical data that buyers need and spotlights your company as an authoritative source.
Written Content to Educate
Ebooks, blogs, case studies and testimonials, product demos, spec sheets and brochures, newsletters, white papers, trade magazine articles- no matter the type of content or its material, it should outline the technical aspects of the product or service. Jargon and industry-specific information are needed to support critical specifications and features of a product, like equipment speed or electricity consumption. This is where you flex your technical muscles- 1,000 words or more with facts and data to supplement your website.
Video Content to Demonstrate
Use videos to showcase production facilities and shop floors. Are they modernized and well maintained? Is there an optimal workflow? Technical tips? As trade shows slowly make a resurgence from the impact of Covid-19, videos like these reach viewers at any point of their buyer journey and encourage direct engagement. Take a look at the example above from Link Electronics, where a quality video educates, promotes, and connects with viewers.
Video content should be an average of 1-3 minutes long and varied. Facility tours, company highlights, educational concept animations, augmented reality, data visualizations, machine demonstrations, and more are just a handful of options to incorporate into your content strategy. For some more inspiration, here are a few other great professional industrial videos you should watch.
Social content to engage/promote
As we know, diversified content is key. ‘Content’ isn’t always about the text. At the same time, B2B sales aren’t known to have much focus on social media either. But it is important to include in your content strategy. Your company’s social media presence is not to sell but to help establish value and authority. Buyers regularly use social media for news here and there or just some downtime and expect a digital presence to show that you are current.
Some great content to include in social media posts are awards, short videos, company causes, collaborations, company culture, contests, and so on.
Invest in the Industrial marketing Process
Developing more robust technical content is not a substitute for traditional marketing tactics like sales, media, and brand evangelists. Those are still vital to promoting your industrial brand. Ultimately, boosting your technical content is an important component of your industrial marketing strategy. General overviews of a product are not going to cut it for most manufacturing professionals. For those that require more thorough information, technical marketing is the surest way to attract qualified leads, showcase your expertise, and convert potential buyers. The more you invest in the process, the more you’ll see out of it.
Red Crow Marketing
Written by Red Crow Marketing Inc. in Springfield, MO.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 417861-5290 for more information.