Industrial Blogging Lessons Learned from Working with Technical SMEs

IndustrMy clients often ask me to write posts for their industrial blogs. This requires me to work very closely with engineers and technical SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) on a daily basis for creating content. I have learned some important lessons about blogging that are specific to this technical and industrial audience.

  • Editorial calendar: This may sound like content marketing 101 but let me tell you why it is so important for industrial blogs. At a recent discovery meeting, I received little to no response when I asked a group of engineers about their customers’ challenges that we could blog about. I was expected to do the industry research and come back with a list of topics. Read more

Is Blogging Right for Every Industrial Company?

The fact that you found this industrial marketing blog and are reading my post, tells me that you have asked yourself that very question and are curious about the answer. There are literally millions of articles written on why you should be blogging and they are easy to find in Google. I see no point in rehashing the same ideas here.

Instead, let me share my experiences in helping manufacturers, engineering and industrial companies launch successful blogs, produce results from them and in some instances, flat out advised them not to start one.

In this post, I’ll talk about some of the more difficult questions you should be asking yourself before jumping on the blogging bandwagon. Otherwise, you may be joining the ranks of countless other industrial blogs that were launched with a great deal of enthusiasm and expectations but were abandoned after only a few months.

Let’s dig a little deeper to understand what it really takes to achieve the four major benefits of blogging.

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Industrial Marketing Company Celebrates 25 Years in Business

April 2012 marks a milestone for my industrial marketing company Tiecas, Inc. We are celebrating 25 years in business! It has been an incredible journey so far. Come along with me as I take a trip down memory lane…

I remember registering my DBA as “Tiecas Type & Graphics” on April 14, 1987 with the Harris County Clerk’s Office in Houston, Texas. I had read an article in Inc. Magazine about a coming revolution called “desktop publishing.” That was the impetus for me to quit my management job with an oil country tubular goods (OCTG) manufacturer and take the plunge into starting my own business.

I owe a big debt of gratitude to the late, great Steve Jobs and his innovative products. I could not have launched my company without the Apple Macintosh Plus, Apple LaserWriter Plus with a PostScript interpreter from Adobe and PageMaker from Aldus Corp.

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Why Your Sales Funnel May Run Dry Without a Business Blog

Happy New Year!

Are you leaving additional sales leads and revenues on the table?

Industrial marketers who don’t use a business blog are missing a key component of feeding the top of their sales funnels. By not using every opportunity to generate high-quality leads, they may be leaving money on the table.

You can find lots of online articles about the advantages of using a business blog for building thought leadership, communities and humanizing your company. A business blog will help you do all that but what about finding new leads and more sales opportunities?

The answer is a resounding yes. A business blog is a powerful online marketing tool for inbound lead generation. A continuous stream of high-quality leads to feed the sales funnel and keep it humming is the lifeblood of industrial marketing.

To prove my point about business blogging for lead generation, here is an eye-opening statistic – marketers with blogs generate 67% more leads. The chart below shows the difference between B2C and B2B companies.

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3 Business Blogs with Proven ROI from Industrial Companies

A business blog is an important and integral component of inbound marketing. While there are plenty of business blogs from B2B marketing consultants (including this one), industry portals and vertical search engines, there aren’t too many from manufacturers and industrial companies.

Manufacturing marketers do understand the value of a business blog for thought leadership, search engine optimization (SEO), lead generation and community building but proving its ROI has been a challenge. As a result, many of them either ignore blogging as a marketing strategy or wait until their competition launches one.

It is easy for us marketing consultants to extol the virtues of a business blog but clients want to see actual examples before accepting our recommendations on blind faith. They need to see verifiable results and not just screen shots in our online portfolios.

I found three industrial blogs that have produced measurable ROI in terms of lead generation and sales – key performance metrics that resonate with the C-suite.

Here’s proof that business blogging is an effective inbound marketing strategy for manufacturers, engineering and industrial companies. Read more

B2B Lead Generation Using a Business Blog

In B2B lead generation, quantity versus quality is probably the biggest challenge faced by industrial marketers. In order to satisfy the demands of the C-suite, the marketing department usually provides easy-to-measure metrics like traffic, page views, time spent and number of leads captured. The focus here is definitely on quantity.

On the other hand, the sales team is probably complaining about the quality of B2B leads generated by your marketing team. They want better qualified and sales-ready leads. People in sales are not very interested in spending time nurturing suspects and prospects, that’s marketing’s job. And the tug-of-war between sales and marketing continues.

Business blogs for lead generation

Even though business blogging is not widely used in B2B marketing and especially in industrial marketing, it can be very effective as a tool for lead generation. A good business blog can drive a steady stream of pre-qualified leads that are as good as referrals. Read more

Optimizing Your WordPress Business Blog

Probably the biggest benefit of creating a business blog is to engage with your readers, build deeper relationships and convert most of them into paying customers. However, none of that can happen until you drive lots of interested traffic to your business blog.

Optimizing (SEO) your business blog is critical because it allows your target audience to find you in search engines and attract traffic. An invisible blog doesn’t draw a crowd and neither will you have the opportunity to engage with them.

Organic or natural search engine optimization (SEO) has always been shrouded in mystery, bordering on voodoo. It seems the secrets of SEO are known only to a few high-priced consultants. However, you can do it too with some help. See my earlier post, “Do-it-Yourself Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Your WordPress Blog.”

I don’t deny that effective SEO does take experience, expertise and time to produce results. So no one should expect a DiY solution to achieve the same kind of results as a paid SEO expert (ethical one!). Start with some baby steps and fine tune as you learn more.

In this post, I’m going to focus on a powerful DiY SEO tool for WordPress blogs. It is called All in One SEO Pack (AIOSEO) and you can download it from here for free. After you have installed it, log into your admin panel, go to Settings > All in One SEO (See screen shot). Read more

Do-it-Yourself Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Your WordPress Blog

Instead of an industrial marketing strategies post that I typically write, this is more of an implementation post. I have listed some easy, do-it-yourself (DiY) SEO tactics to optimize your WordPress blogs for search engines.

Just building a business blog is not going to help you drive traffic or generate leads. You need to optimize it for search engines in order for your target audience to find your B2B blog (see my earlier post, “How to Use a B2B Blog to Win Customers and Influence Prospects”). Before you dive into the deep end of do-it-yourself (DiY) SEO, you should be aware of the two types of optimization tactics and they are:

  1. On-page or on site optimization
  2. Off-page or off site optimization (mainly link building, which is a topic for another post)

In this article, I’ll be focusing on a few DiY on-site optimization techniques for a WordPress business blog.

What is On Site SEO?

On-site SEO refers to changes that you can make within the code of your blog. You have full control over this SEO technique since you can add, edit code and content at anytime. Read more

How to Use a B2B Blog to Win Customers and Influence Prospects

I admit my headline is a play on Dale Carnegie’s bestseller, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” This timeless classic, one of the first bestselling self-help books published in 1937 and sold over 15 million copies globally is still relevant today.

As a B2B marketer, we want to reach our ideal prospects and communicate with customers to maintain top-of-mind awareness throughout their buying cycle. A B2B blog is the perfect online tool to accomplish that.

If you are still not sure about the benefits of using a business blog, head over to HubSpot and read these articles:

Assuming you are now convinced and have your own B2B blog, here are six basic steps for making it the hub of your online presence to win customers and influence prospects. Read more

7 Strategies for Using Content to Market Industrial Products

I am a big fan of Content Marketing or as some people like to refer to it as Inbound Marketing. It is heartening to see that content is at the center of most discussions about the state of B2B marketing today.

However, industrial marketers face a challenge when it comes to producing a steady stream of fresh content to keep their target audience engaged. What do you do when the bulk of your marketing content, with the exception of case studies is product focused? How do you shift the focus from you or your company to your prospects and customers?

Here are seven content marketing strategies that you can use to engage your prospects and move them forward in their buying cycle. Read more