In preparation for this week’s AEM Marketing Council Meeting focused on CONEXPO-CON/AGG, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the types of content equipment owners can access online. Compared to other businesses, dealer and manufacturer websites are uninspiring.
Most websites offer a wealth of product information, but comparatively little content on how to reduce equipment maintenance costs or repair machines. Perhaps dealers don’t want to give away their secrets and manufacturers don’t want to admit their machines break. In either case, both manufacturers and dealers are missing an opportunity. Maintenance content could be used to build relationships and loyalty so that when a machine needs parts or service there is only one OEM or dealer to do the job.
New research conducted by the CEB Marketing Leadership Council shows that buyers progress nearly 60 percent of the way through the buying process before they ever contact a salesperson. By the time that happens, you may be out of a deal. Content can play a key role in nurturing relationships over time. Let your website be an extension of great customer service. Educate and train your customers on equipment maintenance and your brand stays top of mind.
Here’s a nice example of maintenance content from Caterpillar.
Are you ready to be a leader in content?
Trade shows attract quality audiences with one in every two attendees planning to buy during the next year. Marketers can reach these ready-to-be-influenced prospects with content.
Some companies value their content as much as the products they sell. As a service content can explain the benefits of big data or sell soda. It works as a trade: You give me your contact information and I will let you download my content. But like a chameleon content takes on different textures and tones. At Content For Biz we provide content writing services for B2B companies. Part of our mission is to help clients think differently about content. So, rather than describe content as a commodity using the product, service, trade triad, let’s use animal, vegetable or mineral to classify it. Know what your content is before content writing begins.
This is foundation content. It is the closest thing to being “written in stone” at least for the time being. It is inert, nonreactive, yet identifying. Mineral content can be a statement of fact, approach or philosophy. A mission statement, a description of your blog’s purpose, even a white paper can be considered mineral content because it is mined with a beginning and end. Each year companies should establish 3 high-impact ideas to create their content around. These are the gems – the sparkle that makes you different, effective and efficient.
This is outgrowth content. It is created to grow an audience, nurture leads, and offer a harvest of how-to’s or what ifs. Like a garden it is cyclical, changing by the season. Vegetable content may consist of blog posts, email marketing campaigns, press releases and website copywriting. This kind of content supports the marketing effort throughout the sales cycle. It is picked and easily digested by the customer. Vegetable content can make its consumer smarter, more aware and decisive.
This is active content. It is instinctive, perceptive and needs to be fed often. Social media is its arena, but also events, newsletters, apps or webinars. The creator of animal content knows which way the wind is blowing. A strong business sense is required to move in the right direction, on the right path. Animal content appears as a peer, not a pest. A friendly approach creates a climate where conditions favor both buyer and seller.
The identifying, outgrowth and instinctual nature of content makes it more like a river chiseling its way through a canyon than a faucet filling a glass of water. If you want to think differently about the content you publish, give us a call.
Think of a well-packed suitcase. The size limits its capability, but not its function. Constraints can be good especially if you need to carry your bag from place to place or when you need your content to travel well in all conditions and across channels. By that I mean gaining attention amidst the flurry of headlines, tweets, posts and images that fly past us each day. We are all confined by time and space. So my thought is to use it wisely. Like the suitcase, you need to pack your content well.
Many people won’t believe that you can pack for a weeks-long trip in a carry-on bag. But this video shows you how to do just that – pack light and right. The same holds true for your content. You can say a lot with few words in a quick channel (think twitter) when the words are chosen for a particular audience or experience.
You may find that at first the pant legs and shirt sleeves are hanging outside the bag. But with the proper fold and sequence of garments the secret to the process becomes apparent. Writers are your content packers. They know how to structure and edit content.
The next time you need to inform, educate, entice or engage an audience, hire a qualified content writer to create and spread the word. In the digital world your content can travel fast from network to network, blog post to website, or image to email. Whatever route it takes, pack it right.