Having social media is great, but the companies are not in control of audience reach which is why they should consider investing in a blog. 

 

The other day we came across an article by ThomasNetRPM which examined why industrial companies should consider utilizing Twitter. The answer was a big “yes.” As an industrial organization that utilizes the digital world avidly, we couldn’t agree more. The online world is filled with possibilities for knowledge, marketing, interpersonal relationships, talent acquisition, and a variety of opportunities for business. When we spoke to several fastener industry professionals at the North Coast Fastener Association’s Distributor Social, many saw the online world as something equated with attending a social event. Rick Rudolph of Rick Rudolph Associates said that the fastener industry “[is] a people business,” where relationships are important. He also believes that customers and affiliates get a chance to know more about you when you have an online presence. Social media contains “social” for a reason, and that is to maintain open conversation and relate to both customers as well as affiliates.

While social media is a great place to connect and distribute information, the users of social media are not in control of who sees content.  The social platforms rule who sees what and why. It’s not fair (or even always free), but it’s  business and they are playing the field. “Don’t build your house on rented land,” a phrase media marketers are all too familiar with hearing. One minute there is an excellent audience, the product of time and money invested over years, and the next moment it’s all gone.  This is why having a blog and website where to build a loyal audience is necessary. 

“A loyal audience leads to revenue,” says Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Cleveland-based Content Marketing Institute, the host of Content Marketing World conference. He encourages that “instead of communicating through someone else’s channel, we create and distribute our own amazing information and build audiences who are more likely to buy.” One thing equally as valuable as money is time and when a customer or potential customer offers their time through opting in to your email list, even if they are not buying now, they may by in the future. 

You might be considering the ways to gain subscribers. If these considerations involve talking about your company or your products, stop right there. While it is good to share information about your successes or your newest products, save that for the press releases. Instead, for a blog, consider what you really know about and decide to offer a new perspective: yours. If you want to discuss the company culture, use examples from your company, but focus on why it works, your methodology and how you can improve moving forward. Speak to your audience, and put yourself in their shoes asking, “Why should I care?” 

There is a company that has been around for over 120 years providing information and yet only mentioned their own brand maybe 15 times. Can you guess the company? It is John Deere, the Illinois-based manufacturer of farm equipment. John Deere first began publishing its magazine, The Furrow, in 1895. In discussing what its audiences needed to know and wanted to learn about, John Deere was able to gain success.

Indium Corporation is another example of an excellent blog for the industrial sector. Indium is a “premier materials supplier to the global electronics, semiconductor, thin film, thermal management, and solar markets,” recognized for their blog. Indium speaks “from one engineer to another,” providing insight on trends, technology, workforce experiences, and a variety of aspects affecting the engineering profession today. 

Being involved within the industrial sectors, we know how important and appealing a lot of the information we seek every day can be. However, all industrial information is not relevant to every sector. This is why identifying a target market is so important. In doing so, marketing and sales can make sure they are aligned in the best interest of customers and potential customers. Blogs are also an important tool to educating and attracting the right workforce. As Indium’s Director of Marketing Communications Rick Short so rightfully said, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So EVERY product is sexy, to the right person.”

Find the right cause and let the inspiration fly! What are some of your favorite blogs to follow? What do you like about them?

 

Sources:

Digital Media, News