But wait. What is content? Why the hype? Is content relevant to industrial marketers? Good questions.
I define content as all the things your company knows about your product and market that are of interest to prospective buyers. Because effective content is content that’s consumed (read or viewed or heard or otherwise taken in), the second part of this definition (“of interest to prospective buyers”) is critical. Undoubtedly, your company has lots of product and market knowledge, but if prospects aren’t interested, they’ll pass it by.
Content is a hot topic now because we communicate and learn using the internet, email and social media. Instead of marketers pushing their messages on prospects, we’re working to attract prospects to us with useful, engaging, sharable information. Education and/or entertainment are the hallmarks of this sharable information (good content.)
What’s useful to industrial products users? Straight up product information doesn’t cut it since it can be seen as promotional and self-serving. The people who use your type of product want to get smarter about using it. So information that helps a user get better results, or save money or time or both is useful and valued.
Here are ideas for content that attracts industrial buyers:
1. White Papers These are educational, non-biased discussions of a topic of interest to prospective buyers, like a new technology.
2. Application Notes These provide specific information on how to get the most from a product – like how to mount it or how to link into communications systems.
3. Case Studies These are problem-solution stories in which a user has a challenge which is solved by your product. The spotlight is on the user and the benefit he/she gets from your product.
4. Research Reports If you conduct research that would be of interest to users and prospects, you could publish a report.
What should you do with this content once it’s created? Well, that gets into content strategy – a good topic to cover in my next blog.
About the Author
Claire Cunningham is a writer with 25 years’ experience marketing industrial products. She can be reached at Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org. Her website is www.Claire-e-cuningham.com.