Many manufacturing company CEOs and marketers will think that blogging is not for them. You might think that there's not enough broad appeal for a blog about your product, or that no one wants to read about it. You'd be surprised to know, then, that there are people searching for what you manufacture. So how will prospective customers find you when they search?
One of the best ways manufacturing companies can gain visibility is to blog. Manufacturing blogs inform prospective customers about your product, how it's made, advantages of the product or manufacturing process and can even help refute perceived disadvantages of the product. In our case, we instructed a client to blog about a competing technology, and it won them new business within one month. Here's how.
Benefits of blogging for manufacturers
A few months ago, we met with our manufacturing client and their sales team. We brainstormed all of the questions that customers were asking during the sales process. When we brainstormed content topics, one topic that we identified was the comparison between their product and a competing technology.
The idea behind the blog post was to highlight concerns with properly repairing products made with the competing technology after failure, and then present some alternatives to prospects who may be considering the competing technology.
Our blog post on the competitors' alternative technology serves to not only cover the subject, but acts as a magnet in attracting search users who may search for the competitors' terminology.
This is exactly what happened with one particular lead from a global engineering firm. Our client's prospect searched for the competing technology on Google and our client's blog post was returned as the third link on the subsequent search results page. The post likely piqued the customer's interest and led her to reconsider her first inclination to go with the competing technology. This led her to conduct additional research about our client, and specifically, using their products in a specific situation.
Blogging vs. Paid Search
When you do your own Google search, you likely will have a myriad of paid search ads to the right of the actual search results. These ads surround the organic search results in the center. Manufacturers often pay top dollar for ads in order to increase their exposure, while our client's "free" listing was in the third spot in the search results. That blog post is "evergreen" content that will continue to rank and drive traffic, with no additional recurring cost.
What's striking here is that our client's customer clicked on the free listing about a competing technology before she clicked on paid ads about the technology she originally searched for!
Another interesting thing to note in this lead generation example is the consideration time involved in the research of the product. The first interaction with our client's website came on June 18 when the prospect first read the blog post and began researching our client's product.
The subsequent visit didn't occur until weeks later, on July 2. There is obviously a great deal of research and consideration occurring here, not just a quick purchasing decision. The blog post had a call to action where our client's customer found 2 content downloads, and resulted in 8 subsequent website visits to learn more. The blog was the tool to attract this customer, but the content we wrote (and the freshness of the content) kept the customer coming back.
This is only one example, but as you know, a single sale or purchase order can mean tens of thousands of dollars to your manufacturing company.
This example highlights how inbound marketing techniques serve to drive incremental traffic to your website through sustainable methods. The content you create on your blog and on your website can have a profound effect on lead generation efforts.
Your clients are intelligent, and often self-educated when it comes to the buying process. How will your company capitalize on the many potential customers that are researching your products and competing products online?