Some people feel that the whole content marketing hype isn’t for everybody. After all who will want to read ‘boring’ content about heavy industries, their functioning, and machinery when the most common articles lapped up on the internet are about celebrities and cats! Beyond the shallow and quick reads that often comes on our Facebook feed, there is a world of professionals who value content that is crafted with knowledge and experience. To them, the content isn’t boring but valuable and the person/company creating becomes an interesting catalyst who can become a seller or partner.
As someone working in the heavy industry, your aim will be to market to professionals in other companies – in short – Business to Business or B2B marketing. Here are a few statistics that put the industry, in general, into perspective according to the most recent trends published on Hubspot
- Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts.
- 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep
- B2B researchers do 12 searches on average prior to engaging on a specific brand’s site. 72% of marketers say relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic
Even if you are skeptical about content marketing, these statistics will make you curious to try it out to see if it’ll generate the leads. And that’ll bring you to the next question on where to start and how to go about it. Can you do it yourself or will you need an agency to do it? The thought of an editorial calendar giving you sleepless nights? Before you get on those topics, here are a few details about how content marketing can help your business.
1. Content could be the first building block of your professional relationship
Most people who continue to bat for offline say that there is nothing like a personal meeting and a handshake that the client will remember. Even then, considering the conversion rate and possibilities that professional social networks like a Linkedin offer, it makes a very compelling case that a virtual handshake is not only possible but can lead to effective next steps in the lead gen ladder. The proof is in the pudding.
- 80% of B2B marketing leads from social media come through LinkedIn
- 92% of B2B marketers use the platform over all others
- 46% of social media traffic to your company site comes from LinkedIn
Check out the full infographic here. It will make you sign into your Linkedin account right away and stir things around.
We’ve personally sent out emails to CXOs on LinkedIn and got a response 3 out of 4 times to land a direct meeting with them!*
2. Content widens your pool of opportunities
If you want to gain insights into your potential customer’s behavior and preferences, there is no better place than Google to get started. Obvious too, since more than 90% online searches begin with Google. Create your AdWords account and start using the Keyword research tool to see what terms in your industry have a high search volume. This will give you an idea of general trends and what competitors and clients could be looking for. Next, check out what type of content comes up with keywords that are important to you. Now all you need to do is create authoritative content that can rank close to the No. 1 spot for those key terms and you’ll have targeted organic visitors come to the website.
Creating content that is being searched for is a way to step up and grab a low hanging fruit for any B2B marketer.
Now that you are ready to take on this new beast, here are tips from pros that can help you get started:
a. ‘Boring’ heavy industries actually have a lot of opportunities
Have you seen the number of articles that discuss tips for weight loss on the internet?
It is almost like they are solving an epidemic. You may have also read several lists of the 13, 17. 21 or 56 places you should see before you die. You see, these topics are interesting. But these are also simple. Which is why you have half the world writing such topics. On the other hand, it isn’t easy to write about heavy industries without the proper knowledge or expertise and also a passion for writing. These combination of skills are hard to come by which is why you may see very little well-written content out here. And therein lies an opportunity for you to step up quickly and fill the gap. You’ll get to rank for a lot of your most important keywords which may generate better leads.
b. Solve client problems by writing content on specific topics
You are an industry expert so you must be well aware of the problems that professionals in your industry face. The key here is to ask what are the top problems faced by your clients. How do they connect typically find you? Where do they engage online in conversations?
Once you have a map of these things, you can chart out specific content, especially like listicles that your clients can discover during their online search and by that extension, discover you. Here’s an interesting example.
FarmIndustryNews put together an article titled 10 biggest causes of machinery breakdowns (and how to prevent them). A targeted article like this isn’t for skim reading. It will be read by both farmers and machinery manufacturers. Farmers are more likely to subscribe to such targeted content. The database collected by FarmIndustryNews becomes a potent ground for potential leads for any farm machine manufacturer. Imagine such articles written by industry experts – from your company. Won’t that be a great way to build your brand?
c. Aim for targeted traffic and not just traffic
Though we know that Google is now smarter, the internet still has many sites that promise you 40,000 visitors a month for a small fee. Such schemes have to always be looked up with caution. The traffic may look great on reports but won’t do any good if you don’t get qualified leads from it.
Traffic need not come from extremely in-depth reads. It can be a light but relevant lead that can attract attention. It can be a practice happening in the other corner of the world but something that can be replicated everywhere. eTrading in heavy industries isn’t a common practice. But what if someone did this successfully. It’ll be a model others may want to emulate and should know about.
Once in a while, go light and do something that is beneficial to the industry as a whole. Remember, if you raise the tide, all the boats will rise.
d. Bring in your expertise – present advanced data and content marketing
Once you have traffic coming in attracted by relevant content, it is time to get out your real weapons – your expertise that shines in the form of data. Data can be collected from your own experiments, collated from data available online, or with the help of independent market research experts. Data attracts attention. It showcases trends and is something that professionals take into account during their decision making.
Data need not be boring. Here are some interesting ways to share data:
Infographics: The visual representation of data is one of the most shared entities on the internet. Presenting several facts in an easy to understand manner, infographics, if well done, can easily go viral and attract attention.
Blog: Blog posts on data allow you to create long-form content – something that is highly sought after in professional industries. The key to writing blogs that work is two-fold – first, blogs with evergreen content that will hold true for the next few years and second, a blog with futuristic content that will put you in the shoes of an innovator and light the way.
e. Guest posts to put you in the position of an influencer
Every industry has its set of trade magazines and newspapers that everyone connected to the industry glances through. Getting visual space in such a medium will put you in the spotlight and get you attention from your clients too. It puts you in a thought leader position who is building the company brand by sharing useful perspective with the readers. Ideally content creation is a 60-40 game. You should spend 60% of your time creating content for guest posts while 40% of you time creating content for your own site.
The catch here is that you can’t stuff your content with keyword-rich links making it look like you are ‘trying too hard’. Add links where it makes sense in the article. If not, just leave a link in the author text. Even then, link to a specific inside page on your website which directly relates to the product or service you’ve written about in the guest blog.
f. Tools to generate ideas
Sometimes, content marketing ideas don’t just ‘come to you’. You’ll have to dig in deep into the internet to find answers. These tools are closer than you think and many of them aren’t even paid.
The Title maker: The person who invented this tool did a load of good for all of us in the content world. Type in ‘heavy industries’ in their search bar and watch a magical set of blog topics appear for your term. Some of them like ‘Where heavy industries are headed in the next five years’ is a great starting point.
Twitter: Popular belief is that a lot of professionals in the heavy industry may not be on twitter. Try a search using the #heavyindustry #tag and you’ll be surprised at the number of results that turn up. There are many people not only talking about it but also sharing news, thoughts and perspective. You can scout for a topic from the trending content and create one on your own.
Quora questions: Where does the world (or a large chunk of it) go to ask questions? Well, Quora, of course, after Google. And here’s where questions get asked and answered. If you see questions by potential clients, do take the initiative to answer them within quora and also create a blog post about it.
Blog search: Use the blog search engine to find topics about a niche industry to get a hang of blogs that have been written. It can be a great starting point for you too.
g. White-papers for download
Another extension of your expertise and skills comes in the form of offering white papers for download. The most popular white papers are how-tos and success case studies. Both of these are attention magnets for potential clients and can be a good source to generate leads. They need not be boring either. See these examples of top 5 B2B whitepapers
But authoritative white papers can’t do the trick on their own. You need to couple it with a well-written landing page that drives home the point on just why there is no way any professional can keep away from downloading.
h. Do a skyscraper
The skyscraper technique of writing content involves standing on the shoulder of giants and by that extension growing tall yourself. This technique involves you researching the best written material about a particular that is relevant to your industry, assimilating the knowledge and then writing something that is undeniably superior in quality (and quantity in terms of number of words). You now have most comprehensive content on a topic and automatically more readers wanting to read it.
There isn’t any industry that is boring, too technical or too difficult for which content can’t be written online. With an equal investment in time to write quality content and effort in propagating it, content marketing can become a successful B2B strategy.
It is important to give yourself some time to reach a traction point. Until then you need to be consistent in putting out content as per a well chalked out strategy. The other thing to remember is constantly measure metrics to see which content is working and what isn’t.
And sometimes, it is important to get a little bit of expert help so that you can concentrate on giving valuable inputs while the experts can craft internet-perfect content for you. How about doing that right away? Connect with us (for a free consultation) (link)