How To Deliver Impactful Content for Industrial Audiences
Many industrial marketers and business owners feel conflicted about the need to deliver vast volumes of content, while also ensuring that it is relevant to their audiences and delivers results that impact the growth of their business. Are you one of these industrial businesses asking yourself the following?
- How much content do we need to create?
- What types of content do we need to create?
- How do we best plan our approach to content creation to maximize its effects?
If so, this article is a must read to help you plan and deliver impactful content for your industrial and manufacturing buyers.
Content for The Industrial Buyer
The most important thing to remember with industrial audiences is that, when it comes to content, one size rarely fits all. To ensure that you produce effective content that generates sales, you need to deliver the right content to the right people in the places they are looking for it.
In the industrial sector, buyers are doing research and looking for informative content about your products and services; this could be text, images, or video content. And the place they usually begin their research is online with a search engine such as Google or Bing. To create awareness with these buyers, you must ensure that your content is optimized for search. To generate sales, your content must be mapped to ensure you are addressing your buyers needs and positioning the value of your product and services against your competitors.
Mapping Your Content for Your Industrial Audiences
There are two fundamental elements to consider in your approach to content mapping:
Who is your target audience, and what types of content are of interest to them?
There is no point in creating content that your target audience won’t read. For example, you've created a print brochure and your audience is only interested in (or likely to read) online content or watch product videos. Similarly, there isn't much value to be had in writing a professional and complex whitepaper for a target group that would typically only skim short content that focuses on bullet point facts.
Industrial buying is complex and many times there are buyer teams involved in the purchase. This makes it important to understand who these people are, what types of content they are looking for, and in what format they would like to receive it. You need to understand your industrial audiences, key characteristics, demographics, their likes and dislikes, as well as where and how the target audience is likely to consume content.
What stage of the buying cycle is your audience in and what content will move them to the next stage?
With industrial buying teams, the audience can change at different stages of the buying cycle. One person can be responsible for the initial research, another for reviewing the more detailed specifications, while someone else could be responsible for pricing and logistics. Whether your buying cycle involves one or five people, there are many considerations that need to be addressed prior to creating your content, such as:
- What stage of the buying cycle would we position our target audience?
- How close are they to making a purchase?
The answer to these questions will determine your approach to delivering content.
How to Approach Industrial Buyer Audiences
It is essential that industrial content strategies have access to a segmented audience database. You can produce some content that is generic and applies to all. However, content that makes telephones ring and produces sales-qualified leads is specific to each of your audience segments and relevant at each stage of the buying cycle. You can break down the core buying stages as follows:
- Awareness- The target has identified a need or want that you can fulfill. They might be aware of your company, but they are in the investigative phase where they value information.
- Interest- Although still evaluating their options, the target has recognized the benefits your product or service can offer and has expressed an interest.
- Desire and Decision-The target has identified a need for the product or service, so it is just a matter of choosing a provider.
Each of these stages will require a different level of focus because the intent at each stage is different.
Awareness- Your approach in the awareness stage needs to be more discrete. You don't want to throw sales content at your audience. Think about the purpose of your content and how it can help the audience become more informed about the product or service and its benefits.
Interest- At this stage you can mention how your specific product or service could help your industrial audiences to solve a problem. Remember you are still trying to impress with your knowledge of and position in the industry, so be careful not to turn content into a self-promotional sales pitch.
Desire and Decision- This is the time to promote your offering and back it up with testimonials and case studies. If you can tell the audience how great you are through other people and include recommendations, your pitch will be more powerful.
It is easier to create a powerful content marketing plan when you have taken the time to create a detailed road map. The buyers journey becomes far more efficient and effective if you've thought about how you are going to get them there.