It is a known fact that for content to engage and convert, it must be relevant.
Needless to say, industrial and B2B marketers are constantly looking to improve the relevance of their content but are not always successful, as recent studies have shown. This is true no matter where the content is used – Websites, email campaigns, webinars or marketing collateral.
What does relevant content mean to site visitors who are engineering, manufacturing and industrial professionals?
I’ve seen some unusual applications of online content. And I have used some of these tactics to help my industrial clients make their content more relevant in engaging with their target audience and converting more of them into qualified sales leads.
Relevant content will and/or is…
- Save them time – Engineers like everyone else are being asked to do more with less. Design engineers in particular are handling more projects and are under tremendous pressure to bring their designs and prototypes into production faster. You’ve got a winner if your online content makes it easier for them to find relevant information with the least number of clicks.
A manufacturer of electronic components provides cross-reference guides to help the site visitor find an equivalent part from their linecards when someone is searching for a part with similar design characteristics of products from another manufacturer that may have discontinued that part because of their End Of Life (EOL) procedure, a very common practice in the semiconductor industry.
A manufacturer of valves, actuator and controls provides an online parametric search application to help engineers find the correct part number by supplying key parameters such as Valve Type (ball, butterfly, tow-way, gate, globe etc.); Size; Valve Flow Coefficient (Cv); Working Pressure and Temperature; Media Handled: Valve Body Materials; Wetted Parts; Valve Actuation and Standards (ANSI, ASTM etc.).
- Long on details, short on fluff – The first thing an engineer wants to know about your product is, “Does it meet my design specifications?” In this case, product features are the benefits and become more important than selling them on the solution. Don’t bury product specifications deep within your site.
A manufacturer of a full line of Butterfly Valves includes detailed specifications, materials of construction, dimension drawings (links to CAD drawings), maintenance & installation manuals and technical data for every valve in their product line. These pages are accessible without registration or customer log-in. (The qualified lead comes from being designed in. See below).
- Help to get designed in – Research shows that when a CAD drawing is specified into a design, the actual product gets purchased 80% of the time. 58% of industrial buyers expect to find CAD drawings/plans on a supplier’s website (Source: ThomasNet.com). Offering CAD files provides the customer tangible benefits – saves them time in having to redraw standard parts each time, reduces costs if they have to outsource CAD work, cuts down on errors, provides access to the latest modifications without having to store them on their local computers or refer to outdated CDs, provides support and maintains loyal customers.
A manufacturer of pre-engineered metal buildings and components provides CAD drawings for Trim Details, Steel Details and Panel Properties to architects in order to integrate the manufacturer’s products into their designs and be included in the Bill of Materials (BOM).
A manufacturer of industrial automation parts gains new customers from custom design work by offering an online and downloadable version of their CAD Configurator.
- More how-to, less copy – Engineers and technical professionals prefer to see how things work instead of reading long descriptive prose about it. A picture in this case is worth more than a thousand words!
A manufacturer of safety relief valves includes on their site 3D animations of how to disassemble and reassemble their valves.
An industrial automation parts manufacturer uses videos and animations instead of text for application notes to show their parts working in various scenarios (both internal and external views are provided).
The examples I’ve cited here show that relevant content doesn’t always have to be in the form of white papers, webinars or downloadable guides in order to engage with industrial prospects and convert them into loyal customers.
Are you using content in other interesting ways to convert your site visitors into qualified leads?