In my last post, I talked about using content to convert website traffic into leads and customers. In this post, I want to continue with a similar theme and talk about why your content marketing must have a purpose.
With the abundance of content available on the Internet these days, it is difficult to rise above the noise and get noticed. Manufacturers and industrial companies cannot be content with just publishing content, their content marketing needs to drive the sales process.
Telling owners and C-level executives at these companies that inbound marketing with content takes time to produce results will only hold them off for so long. They expect, and rightfully so, that their marketing investments produce ROI sooner rather than later, now would be even better. (See Content Marketing: Think Like a Publisher, Act Like an Investor).
However, creating content that will convert traffic into leads in one fell swoop is a challenge since industrial sales typically have long sales cycles and a multitude of stakeholders are involved in the purchase decision.
Consider these suggestions then to overcome the hurdle – change the purpose of your content marketing from conversion to action. What am I talking about?
- Instead of expecting your site visitors to fill out an RFQ form, get them to sign up for a webinar, download a case study or a whitepaper. This interim action step moves them forward in their decision-making process and helps you collect leads that are more qualified. A note of caution here, just sticking a registration form on your web page won’t cut it. Your content must convince the reader of the value exchange before they’ll part with their contact information in exchange for your offer.
- Don’t just use your content for positioning your industrial company as a thought leader, become a thought initiator instead. Use your content to raise relevant questions and increase their awareness of problems/risks/opportunities to persuade them to take action now. (See Problem-centric Industrial Marketing).
- It’s a fine line between educational and promotional content. If all you do with your content marketing is to promote your company’s industrial products, you are likely to be disappointed. Change the purpose of your marketing content from talking about you to addressing your readers’ needs. Your prospects won’t take action unless your content convinces them that you understand their problem(s) and have a solution. (See Industrial Marketing Content that Helps Buyers).
- Social media is great as conversation starters but all your efforts will go to waste unless you have a clear plan of action for converting those likes, fans and followers into contacts. Use content marketing to develop them into more in-depth conversations that will lead to an RFQ.
Those are my suggestions for purpose-driven industrial content marketing. How do you make your marketing content more purposeful?