Manufacturers, distributors and engineering companies have read or heard about all the benefits of content marketing in general and blogging in particular but many are still sitting on the fence. I’m often asked the question, “Should we start a blog?” It is a simple question but the answer is not a simple yes or a no.
Yes, you should start an industrial blog if you haven’t already done so. No, you shouldn’t blog if you don’t have a well-thought-out blogging strategy in place already.
Even though blog strategy comes before content creation, only 19% of manufacturing marketers outsource this function. That was one of the findings from the 2014 B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs.
Industrial blogging strategy
Ironically, this is the function where I’m asked most often for help. Clients want and need my 25+ years of experience and expertise in marketing to engineers and industrial buyers. They’ve been burned before with other consultants and marketing agencies that had very little experience with industrial marketing and tried force-fitting general B2B marketing strategies and tactics. They don’t want to go through the same cycle of spending money on unproven marketing ideas.
Two of my old posts will provide you general guidance on blogging strategies. Read these articles:
- Is Blogging Right for Every Industrial Company?
- Winning the Engineer’s Mindshare with Industrial Blogging
Writing industrial blog posts
Another big deterrent for industrial blogging is the time and resources for actually creating the content. Since this an ongoing drain on their resources, it is very common to outsource this function. Of the companies surveyed in the same CMI report, 49% outsourced writing and 39% used outside resources for content distribution and syndication.
The problem they face with outsourcing industrial content creation is again a lack of understanding of their customers and the industry. Just publishing blog posts won’t help you generate more qualified leads that turn into sales opportunities. Passive reading without conversion is useless. See Purpose Driven Industrial Blogging and Content Marketing: Think Like a Publisher, Act Like an Investor.
It takes more than just copywriting; it takes a good understanding of white hat on-page SEO techniques that are approved by Google, ability to extract technically correct content from busy in-house Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and ruthless editing to create cohesive blog posts that will persuade engineers and industrial professionals to take action. Blog posts by themselves may not be enough. You may need to surround them with other valuable content assets that are needed for lead nurturing and conversion.
Even though it may be easy to find content creation resources for outsourcing, it is difficult to find someone who is qualified to produce the results you want from your industrial bog. And this kind of expertise doesn’t come cheap.
You’ll find plenty of posts here on industrial content marketing. You may benefit a lot from reading my article, Industrial Blogging Lessons Learned from Working with Technical SMEs.
Here’s a shameless plug – get in touch with me if you need expert help in developing an effective industrial blogging strategy and writing blog posts that convert engineering and technical readers into qualified leads.