Looking to strengthen your industrial creative content but don't know where to start? Cain & Company has helped enough companies in manufacturing and industry launch their online presence that we've learned something important over the years: creating content doesn't have to be hard. Here are five easy tips on how to generate content ideas for a manufacturing or service business.
It wasn't that long ago that blogs became the cure-all for practically every marketing need. While social media may have stolen some of the spotlight from blogging, customers still like a good blog; it builds your credibility and authority in your niche, making customers more comfortable with their buying decision. What's more, Google absolutely loves blogs. Why? Quality content. You don't even need to blog daily; just set a schedule on which you can consistently create and deliver quality content, then stick to it diligently.
Your product is never just a product. It's a solution. Since your customers approach you in hopes of finding a solution for their particular problem, it's better to show them than to tell them. Because of their structure and content (outlining the problem, showing the solution offered by your product, describing the implementation, then tracking the results), case studies can show powerful proof in ways that a product description, or even a testimonial, cannot.
Informed customers will often want detailed information on your products. While it's best not to be coy about this information, it's often better if you let your sales team answer higher-level questions and leave the big picture to a spec sheet (for off-the-shelf products) or brochures (for those of us with bespoke manufacturing capabilities or for anyone offering a degree of product customization). Brochures are also especially helpful if the decision-making process is shared among a number of stakeholders.
Savvy customers research, compare, then research some more. It's entirely possible that by the time they reach your website, they're suffering from paralysis by analysis. A clear and concise product guide delivers two benefits: you can compare your own products, or you can compare your products against your competitors', helping to narrow choices and build confidence in a purchasing decision. These guides can include or be used to complement your spec sheets, giving you new ways to repurpose and extend the life of your existing collateral.
By now, the tips we've given you probably sound labor intensive. Since many of our clients emphasize low-waste or no-waste practices in their supply chains and manufacturing, let's take a moment to consider a no-waste content funnel. Repurpose your content. A good blog post can be sliced and diced to create captions for Instagram, can be mined for a good pull quote for Twitter, and be excerpted for Facebook. But this works in the other direction, too; a series of related blog posts, with some judicious editing, can be combined with a case study and the spec sheet for a relevant product and used as the basis for an eBook. Rather than looking at these industrial marketing ideas as a series of discrete objects, think of the ways in which each part can be made to harmonize with and reinforce the others.
There's a sixth tip that ties our first five together: remember who you're writing for. You already know your need; you need qualified leads and the means to close them effectively. Your customer understands this and already knows what's in this for you; they want to know what's in it for them. So, the biggest favor you can do for your customers is to solve problems for them. If your content does that, they'll feel more comfortable trusting you with the bigger problems addressed by your products and services.