If you haven't done so already this year, now is the perfect time to pay close attention to your marketing collateral, putting what you've got to best use and finding new elements to add to the mix. Think of what follows as an executive summary; to go more in-depth than what's below, give us a call.
If marketing amounts to advertising and communications, marketing collateral is the various media by which that communication takes place. What used to be print based is now complemented by a vast number of digital channels to help you get the word out.
What are some of those channels?
You're surrounded by your brand on a daily basis to an extent that it's easy to take it for granted. Don't. Before you go through the steps below, give thought to your mission statement, your brand voice, your logo, your brand colors, and the many other components that make up your identity, since everything you do should communicate and reinforce those values.
Your website is many vendors' and customers' first impression of your business. As your manufacturing company's public face, it's the locus for your marketing, the focus of your SEO efforts, a reinforcement for your social media marketing, and a key pillar of your market research and analysis. An effective website design is only the first step; ensure that you're diligent about website development and the ongoing process of content management that turns casual visitors into leads, then into loyal customers.
Social media is another area that shouldn't be overlooked. Each industry tends to have a particular channel, or a small handful of them, on which they thrive. Determining where your clients gather and giving them timely and useful information helps to keep your brand and your offerings “sticky” and your customer base engaged.
A white paper is a narrowly focused report that picks a single issue and dives deep into it. Your topic should be specific to your industry, and one with which you're directly involved — or, better still, one to which you offer a solution. A case study can be a component of, or compliment to, a white paper, since it explores a problem faced by one of your clients, the solution you've devised for them, its implementation, and the results. It's more in-depth than a mere testimonial, but it's also much more effective.
There's a wide variety of options for print collateral. Brochures, product catalogs, and other types of branded content serve multiple purposes, whether they're leave-behinds for your sales team, a newsletter that keeps you top of mind for existing clients, or an attractive magazine that's the ideal takeaway item for trade shows and conferences.
By now, you've probably seen a few ideas that look like they'd be a logical fit for your business. But the list above does come with a couple of caveats. Think through your objectives before you start, since something that seems like an intuitive fit for you may not be for your clients, and something that feels like more of a stretch could be just what they were looking for.
Also, don't just expect to pick one item, run with it, and find instant success; an effective content strategy requires the integration of multiple approaches as well as a fair amount of patience to see what's working (and to fix what isn't).
Finally, we don't necessarily suggest going it alone. Many manufacturing and industrial businesses throughout the Midwest turn to Cain & Company when they need B2B marketing services, a fresh set of eyes on their business and their efforts, or a bit of help re-thinking their thinking. We invite you to do the same — get in touch today for a consultation!