By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent at Sonnhalter
“Content Marketing” has been a buzzword for a few years now, and quite frankly, it can be a confusing term to translate to your everyday marketing strategy. But for manufacturers, it all boils down to one simple sentence:
Be a resource.
You have a product, your competitors have a product, but now more than ever, your current and potential customers need information. Just like you, they are dealing with a skill gap. Just like you, they need to establish a way to transfer knowledge and training to a new generation of workers. Be there to help, and sales takes care of themselves.
For generations, John Deere has published The Furrow. Currently, Lincoln Electric has garnered justified publicity and acclaim for taking what was The Stabilizer and updating it as Arc Magazine. And there are more examples.
For all their marketing and CRM uses, the real purpose of both is to be a resource. Both companies have chosen to make best practices, product information and collective knowledge a matter of public knowledge, and in so doing, they have engendered customer loyalty and established themselves as “industry experts.” They have become the resource. They have transcended the marketplace of products and become the leaders in the marketplace of ideas.
The key to an effective program is to make the same essential information accessible in multiple formats and repurpose it as much as possible.
As an example, take a newly developed solution and:
- Develop a press release
- Write a white paper
- Host a webinar based on the white paper
- Take the questions from the webinar and develop short videos for posting on social media
- Use the video links as the basis of an email campaign
- Use responses to the email campaign to feed your lead generation system
- Write a success story about a company that implements the solution, showing gains in productivity or cost reductions
So, the same essential information has now been repurposed seven different ways, generating leads and exposure all along the way.
And best of all, when a customer you never even knew about searches for information on that solution, they find you.