Manufacturers of premium products are important to our economy in so many ways. Not only do they design and build essential components, parts, devices, machines, vehicles and more, but their production in itself represents economic health. Where there is creativity there is invention and where invention meets investment and demand, differentiated products solve big problems. Premium means proprietary. And with proprietary design and build comes a very special story behind each manufactured good. Why does it exist? What does it solve? How does it work and why is it better than a cheaper substitute?
Manufacturers who make great products have this marketing challenge every day.
Unfortunately, communicating these differentiators, while important, often takes a back seat to ‘features’, ‘specifications’ and ‘price’. And manufacturers who once focused on innovation, new markets and growth, find themselves working primarily with existing – often waning – accounts, or responding to price and spec-driven RFP and order taking. Lost in the process is the zest for the product. And certainly, lost is the story behind the differentiation – the why to go along with the buy – and slowly, manufactured products and sometimes entire brands start to sink.
Fortunately, the solution for marketers in manufacturing is an easy one. You know your premium products are superior, you have an appreciation for each and every differentiator and can communicate it with ease. By communicating this with rich content and materials, buyers will be much more informed in the decision making journey. Product descriptions are no longer enough. The following content strategies must be deployed to help communicate your premium message and protect the brand:
–B2B Blog, with keyword-rich technical content. Did you know that Manufacturers who blog almost every day can see 1200% more web traffic than those who don’t blog?
–Case Studies, proving how and why clients have utilized your products and services successfully. Case Studies can even bring new use cases to the market, enabling new market growth.
–Whitepapers, which document the mechanics and the science behind the product. Helping your engineer client base better understand the product is essential. –Guides and eBooks. Don’t you want to be able to say “we wrote the book on this”? Plus, these are typically downloadable content assets, creating new leads.
–Video. Buyers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a video or film. Enough said.
All of the above strategies can be defined in two words: Inbound Marketing. Inbound is build on the philosophy that ‘Outbound Marketing’ is broken. While many will point to the ineffectiveness of cold calls, etc. we defined some economic reasons why Inbound is superior – it simply balances the information asymmetry, enabling a more informed buyer who can appreciate your differentiators.
Upon considering an investment in Inbound Marketing, do some simple math. Calculate the total amount of expense associated with sales and advertising – all outbound efforts to include promotion and events. Next calculate the total expense associated with the development of content, video and sales materials – information that can both support the sales process and deliver results in an automated fashion – true leverage for your business. If your spending is lopsided, take the steps to bring balance to your budget. Balance investments in content, materials and automation via Inbound Marketing and everyone wins: your customers are better informed, your sales teams have more leads and better sales tools, and lower variable costs improve margins and help the bottom line, which is ultimately everyone’s goal.