Content marketing isn’t just a hot topic, it’s a must-have strategy in the industrial sector. A whopping 93 percent of B-to-B marketers now use content marketing, and 73 percent are producing more content than they did a year ago, according to recent industry reports. With all of that content being produced and distributed, how do you make your content stand out in the crowd and resonate with your target audience? Here are six tips to help you:
1. Understand what your audience wants. Every marketing initiative must start with having a thorough understanding of your audience. Content marketing is no different. If you don’t tailor your content to a specific audience, your efforts will be ignored or quickly forgotten, your valuable resources wasted. So step one is to analyze your audience needs. Are you trying to reach executives? Then produce content that talks about their business concerns such as return on investment. If your primary audience is technical professionals, you’ll want to develop content that educates them on ways to solve the engineering and technical problems they face in their work.
2. Tap into industry trends—uniquely. If there’s hot news breaking in your industry, jump right on it. You can write a quick blog post, initiate a social media discussion, or distribute a press release that offers your company’s point of view on what’s happening and what it means to your customers. You’ll gain the advantage of your content being timely and demonstrate that your company is tuned into the market. But remember, you need to offer a unique perspective. Otherwise you’ll just end up saying what everyone else is saying and your content won’t stand out. Take a stand, be unique, and foster your own voice to attract an audience for your content.
3. Distribute content on channels your audience prefers. Two effective channels for distributing content are e-newsletters and online events. According to IHS GlobalSpec’s “Digital Media Usage in the Industrial Sector” research report, technical professionals subscribe to an average of 5.8 digital publications versus only 1.8 printed publications. In addition, nearly two-thirds of technical professionals said they attended at least one webinar or online event last year. Twenty-six percent said they went to four or more.
Also consider social media as a distribution strategy. Reading work-related content is the most common activity for technical professionals on social media. The most popular social media platform among this audience is LinkedIn, with 74 percent having an account. Distributing your content through your company’s LinkedIn page or through a LinkedIn Group that you host is a good way to connect with your customers and prospects.
4. Use multiple content formats. Produce content in the formats that match your audience’s preferences. Some want to read white papers and articles, others prefer to watch videos, and others want pictures and diagrams. Visual formats such as infographics can grab attention and are gaining in popularity. Most successful content marketers re-purpose content from one format to another. This not only helps you match up to your audience preferences, but saves time and allows you to maintain a consistent voice and message.
5. Make content easy to share. Be sure to include ‘share’ buttons on website articles and blog posts—and don’t be afraid to ask your audience to share. It’s easy to add a sign off that says something like “Did you like this article? Share it with others.” Also, format content so that it can be easily viewed on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, which are increasing in usage among technical professionals.
6. Visually brand all content. A visual identifier, graphic, and consistent look and feel can help your content stand out in the crowd. This goes beyond simply adding your company logo to content. It involves coming up with a distinctive identity that threads through all of the content you produce. It could be using the same colors and fonts, or using images that have unique shapes or styles, or any other graphic approach that stamps that content as belonging to your company. You want anyone who sees your content to be able to say: “That’s from Company X.”
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How do get your content to stand out in a crowded marketplace? What tips or strategies would you pass along to your peers in industrial marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.