When it comes to modern marketing strategies, blogging is perhaps the most unfamiliar for manufacturers. Many companies prefer to stick to “safe” topics, like product plugs, new hire updates, press releases, and service advertisements. While it is true that keeping your consumer base informed about your business is good practice, focusing too heavily on these topics will ultimately limit your audience to a very small group—most likely, just your employees and a handful of evangelical customers.
Blogging is most effective when it serves as a resource that readers will find valuable. To engage a wider audience and increase your marketing effectiveness, your blog should be more than a scrolling marquee of the latest updates about your company. There are several ways to do that, like providing how-to guides, answering frequently asked questions, and describing recent projects.
Still, your blog can be leveraged to do much more, empowering you to establish your company as an influencer and a leading voice of authority within your industry.
Should Manufacturers Write Opinion Articles?
Manufacturing is a highly specialized, professional industry. Shouldn’t our company blog be this way, too?
Not necessarily. There’s no reason your business blog has to appear as robotic and emotionless as the machinery you produce. In fact, data shows that humanizing your company is integral to fostering a sense of connectivity and loyalty with your customer base.
Your company blog is a platform on which you can discuss the latest trends, newest innovations, and the biggest problems facing your industry. A blog allows you to be a little more conversational than you would be on your website pages, giving you an opportunity to demonstrate your passion for—and familiarity with—the latest developments in your sphere of influence. It gives you added incentive to stay informed about your industry, to ask questions, and make comparisons that you may not have thought of otherwise. It also gives you ample opportunity to touch on issues that may be of interest or concern to your customers. Doing so will differentiate your business from the competition, providing your readers with a more approachable and human voice that inspires trust.
Demonstrate Company Core Values in Action to Establish a Company Identity
Discussing and demonstrating the core values that define your company identity is a fundamental part of establishing the humanity behind your business. You will get a bigger customer response from blog content that demonstrates your company values than you will from continuous product plugs. You can then increase marketing productivity by mining new promotional ideas from their feedback. You can also connect with the community surrounding your industry and leverage opportunities to create a positive impact.
For example, National Manufacturing Day is an annual celebration held each year on the first Friday in October. It was implemented as a way to engage the public and shed some light on one of the manufacturing industry’s biggest issues: The skills gap.
Each year in October, OEMs, technical schools, and colleges across the US do their part to connect with local students and educate them about opportunities within the manufacturing industry. Businesses who choose to partake have the opportunity to not only do something positive within their local community for the sake of their industry, but also to promote that positive action across their social media accounts or gain attention with local and national news organizations. Manufacturers are encouraged to register their events and share any updates via the hashtag #MFGday17 on Twitter to further spread the message and ramp up engagement.
Events like Manufacturing Day are prime examples of what blogging and social media marketing can truly accomplish. Companies who participate in and promote the event by hosting student tours, making donations, or simply sharing relevant information via the hashtag will be able to connect with like-minded manufacturers across the country. Not only does this kind of activity raise awareness about critical issues, but it can also help generate new leads.
The things you value say a lot about the way you do business. Your customers might not go out of their way to find a manufacturer who cares about the skills gap, but they may be swayed by a company that openly discusses their passion for solving problems. At the end of the day, businesses are run by human beings, and human beings like to work with honest companies dedicated to their communities. Customers seek companies with whom they can identify ideologically; they are more likely to convert from a one-time customer to a loyal brand evangelist if they see your company culture and values reflect their own.
It’s Not Bragging, It’s Follow-Through
There are plenty of good reasons to contribute to charitable events or raise money for a good cause. Taking steps to improve local communities can have a huge impact on workplace culture by boosting morale and productivity. Donations and fundraisers market your company’s name in a way that is both public and positive. Most companies won’t hesitate to do good works—in fact, many of our clients are great companies who do wonderful work within their local communities and industries. However, we practically have to hold their feet to the fire to get them talk about it!
We get it: Real heroes don’t ask for praise.
This may be true on an individual level, but when it comes to social media marketing, you don’t benefit anyone by keeping quiet. The internet thrives from open communication, and your message can’t spread if you don’t talk about it. Blogging about charitable events, fundraisers, donations, site tours, or whatever else your company is doing to address issues in your industry is a reassuring demonstration of your commitment and follow-through.
With the right content, your company blog can be a leveraged tool for building a loyal audience around your business. Staying up to date on the latest news within your industry and providing a fresh perspective will draw in readers who can then be converted into loyal brand evangelists. An insightful, informative blog can establish your brand as a leading voice of authority and, given time, will establish your business as a serious influencer in your market. So pick up a pen and let your inner passion loose on the page—whether it’s an analysis of the latest industry trends or a recap of your company’s charity softball game—and see what a difference human-centric writing can make.
Having a hard time discovering your inner author? Contact us today to learn about our blog production opportunities and let an expert be your guide!