Posts

Content Industrial Buyers Want from Supplier Websites

Manufacturers and industrial companies have shifted more of their marketing dollars to digital marketing channels for a very good reason. Their target audience—engineers and industrial buyers are using digital media to find components, equipment, services and suppliers (77%); obtain product specifications (73%); find product availability information (70%); perform research (67%); and compare products across suppliers (66%). (Source: 2015 Digital Media Use in the Industrial Sector; IHS Engineering360 Research Report).

The chart below shows how industrial professionals are using the Internet for work-related purposes.

work-realted use of the Internet by industrial professionals

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9 Must-Have Content Assets for Successful Industrial Websites

Compiling any kind of list is always risky because we all have our own preferences and there is no way someone else’s list can satisfy everyone. This is my list of “must-have” content assets that I advise my clients to add to their industrial Websites. It is definitely a two-way street; my industrial clients also often request many of these same content assets.

The usual content marketing assets such as product data sheets, application notes, case studies, whitepapers and blog posts are a given and expected if you want your website to be found in search engines (SEO) and engage your target audience of engineers and industrial buyers. Take a look at my post, “Content Auditing and Mapping it to the Industrial Buy Cycle” for more on how and when to use these content assets.

Must-have content assets that persuade industrial buyers to take action

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Making Your Industrial Website Be All It Can Be

Remember the old US Army commercial – “Be All You Can Be?” It was one of the most popular and successful recruiting slogans and the army used it for over twenty years. It was created in 1981 by E. N. J. Carter (he was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service Award for his efforts) when he was with N. W. Ayer & Son, the first advertising agency in the United States. (Source: Wikipedia)

What does any of this have to do with industrial websites? Plenty as it turns out.

I can’t think of a single conversation about website redesign that I’ve had with industrial companies that didn’t start with or include the following, “We want our website to be on the first page of Google for … (fill in your own keywords and phrases).”

Right from the get go, the entire focus of the site redesign is on search engine optimization (SEO). After all, why would you create a site that no one can find? One of the big draws of inbound marketing with content is that it helps a website get found early and often by its target audience. So what’s wrong with that singular focus on SEO?

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Website Content Must Address What’s Keeping Engineers up at Night

Speak to engineers across the board about what keeps them awake at night and you are likely to hear these three words repeatedly:

  • Risk
  • Security
  • Compliance

Does your website content address those issues? The content on your industrial site may be missing the mark completely if it doesn’t speak directly to engineers’ pain points.

If you are in the process of redesigning your industrial website, pause for a moment and think about the site content first. Just like the proverbial chicken or the egg conundrum, the recurring question in redesigning websites is – what comes first, site content or site design?

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How Lack of Marketing Content Can Derail Your Website Redesign Project

What comes first – site content or site design? In the words of Jeffrey Zeldman, the renowned web designer, blogger, independent publisher and the king of Web standards according to Business Week, “Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.”

Are you involved in or responsible for redesigning your company’s website? Is your website redesign project on hold waiting for marketing to deliver content? If so, you know the frustration.

It doesn’t matter whether you work for a corporate marketing department or the owner of a small business website. You spend countless hours, weeks and months working with the site designers developing site maps, wireframes and mock ups – but content? It is relegated to the bottom of the totem pole of deliverables. As a result, your dream web redesign project comes to a screeching halt. Read more