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Content Marketing for Engineers: The Converging Needs of Buyers and Sellers

Marketing surveys of industrial buyers and sellers show that content marketing is the key to bringing them together online.

There’s good news for industrial companies using their websites to generate leads. Two recent marketing research reports of buyers and two surveying sellers show a convergence in what industrial sellers want to happen with their websites and what industrial buyers look for when using the web for business-related buying. The common thread: Content.

What Sellers Want

In an Engineering.com survey of more than 100 engineering marketers, 44.4% of the companies surveyed said the biggest marketing challenge of 2016 is “needing more leads.”  Other challenges cited included:

When asked what their top marketing priorities are for 2016, 61% of the industrial companies said “lead generation” and 55% said “branding/awareness.”

Similarly, the Ascend2 2016 State of Digital Marketing report found that for 58% of the company’s surveyed, the most important digital goal this year is “increased lead generation,” followed by 48% who said “increase conversion rate,” and 44% who said “improve brand awareness.”

What Buyers Need

Fortunately, the goals of industrial sellers line up well with how industrial buyers use the web.

In Losasso’s 10th annual Metalworking Trends Survey, metalworking industry buyers have confirmed what many of you already know.  Technical buyers have taken control of the sales process.  Many do all their product research online before ever contacting a company or salesperson for a quote.

In fact, 64% of the metalworking buyers surveyed say they use online sources first when evaluating new metalworking equipment, tooling or software for purchase.  The remainder say they contact a sales rep or distributor or review product information in a trade publication.

Similarly, an IHS Engineering 360 report, 2015 Digital Media Use in the Industrial Sector, reveals that 89% of engineering respondents said they use search engines for work-related purposes, while 75% said they use supplier websites.

When asked how they use the Internet for work-related purposes, 77% said they use the Internet to “find components, equipment, services and suppliers.”  Much of their other work-related Internet use also centers around activities that generate business for sellers.  See chart below.

IHS Engineering 360 Report

Source: IHS Engineering 360 

Industrial companies are using their websites to look for customers and customers are using the Internet to find suppliers, products and services.  Now, it’s just a matter of bringing them together.

Take a look at the chart above again and you’ll find out how: content marketing.  Industrial companies wanting to increase leads need to develop content that satisfies what their potential customers are looking for. 

That’s most easily accomplished by talking with your sales and customer service departments.  What questions are asked most frequently related to product information? And, what resources are frequently sent out, ie brochures, catalogs, data sheets, etc. that could be made available on your website?

With buyers driving the sales cycle online, the key to increased lead generation is to develop website content that provides buyers with enough information about your company and products to put your company on the shortlist for an RFQ.

Contact Pilot Fish for assistance with your content marketing efforts.