Many people think that blogging is a “vanity press” where people write about their cats or what they had for dinner. As a result, some serious businesses — like manufacturing companies — make the assumption that blogging has no place in their marketing arsenal. In the age of the Internet, that is a grave mistake that can quickly leave a manufacturer with a dwindling market share and declining sales. Continue reading for 10 Reasons Your Manufacturing Company Should Have A Blog
1. Increase web traffic
Most people, even business people, do their product research on line. Many studies have shown that many people have already made up their minds about the product they will buy before they even speak to a sales rep, having made the decision based on the product’s website. If you don’t drive traffic to your website, you will lose the mind share of these buyers, and that will hurt your sales.
Search engines drive most Internet traffic, and high quality, fresh content will help your site to appear near the top of search results pages. What is content? For the most part, blog posts make up the core of a solid search engine optimization strategy.
2. Keep existing customers engaged
Manufacturing companies often rely on repeat customers, even in job shop and ETO environments. It’s important to stay top of mind with existing customers and give them a reason to come back. Fresh, interesting posts on topics of interest to your customers will keep them returning to see what’s new.
3. Attract new customers
While product specs are important to industrial and distribution buyers, they are first and foremost people, not faceless companies. You must find a way to bring them to your website and embed your product or brand in their sourcing process. When your company ranks high in search results, buyers will check out your website. After judging the quality of your blog posts, they may decide your product specs are worth a look.
4. Show thought leadership
Your blog posts should not be all about your products and your company. They should provide information of value to the reader. One of the best ways to provide value is to show understanding of industry issues. If your customers are in a regulated industry such as aerospace or life science, blog often about new or upcoming regulations, for example. Or write about ideas such as how to cope with an aging work force or how nanotechnology will change the world.
5. Answer FAQs
Even if you have a frequently asked questions page, some of those questions might be good topics for blog posts. This doesn’t mean running on for 1,000 words about your return policy, but it might mean expounding on the advantages of a unique part of your process. However, there is a fine line between explaining the advantages of computer controlled equipment in holding close tolerances and simply pushing your product, so tread carefully here.
6. Describe use cases
Especially with manufactured products, people are interested in learning about other customers and how they use the product. A blog post is a great place to highlight your customers and the innovative ways they use your product. You can also talk about how your team works collaboratively with theirs. By the way, if you use a customer name in a blog, be sure to get their permission.
7. Industry influence
If there is pending legislation that could affect the industries you sell into, take a stance. Throw your blog support behind the trend to re-shoring, or the green packaging movement. Whatever you choose, make sure your blogs are thoughtful and reasoned, not just rants. When people find that you have an interesting and progressive point of view, they will perceive your company as a leader. That can only help sales.
8. Reduce support calls
Manufacturers are always on the lookout for ways to reduce costs. One way to keep costs in line is to reduce the number of live support calls. If you monitor your support cases and notice a number of calls about the same or similar issues, write a blog about how to solve the problem, or steps you’re taking to make whatever it is simpler. If people can find the answer without picking up the phone, they will feel better about your company and its products.
9. Test new product ideas
This doesn’t mean that you should broadcast your R&D roadmap to customers and competitors, but you could test new ideas under the guise of discussing industry trends, new manufacturing methods or ways to address upcoming regulatory changes. If you float an idea for a new product or feature and it lands with a resounding thud, you may just save yourself a lot of time and money on market research and product development.
10. Solidify market position
Companies that rank high on search results are perceived as industry leaders. People like to be associated with leaders, so if your company lands in the top two or three search results you help position yourself as a leader even if your sales don’t yet support that conclusion.