The engineer, the mix of tradesmen and scientist, business and intellect. How often do you find yourself stunted by a language barrier? Technical terms, scientific processes and complex testing methods are hard for buyers to understand.
Hmmmm. What if there were a way to simplify your marketing messages...Newsflash. There is!
Inbound engineering marketing strategies make your services easy to understand. Plus, they build brand exposure, promote your services, and create new business opportunities.
Here are 6 engineering marketing strategies that will transform your business:
1. Develop Buyer Personas
Buyer Personas are your target audience’s complete customer profile. It's the beginning of every marketing engineering marketing plan, and should never be overlooked.
Different types of engineers have different customers. Civil engineers will have a different target audience to a geotechnical engineer.
Also, a geotechnical engineering company may provide goods to different types of customer. Such as construction site managers or construction company directors.
If you're aware of who you need to target your content at, you have a better chance of reaching them. Buyer personas break down simple information like discipline and industry. But consider psychological factors like temperament and goals.
It's a blend of psychology and demographics. You have to work with your buyers to determine what they want. So you could conduct surveys or schedule interviews.
Either way, your end goal is the same. And that's to know what your client wants and why they're struggling to get it.
2. Equip Yourself With An Engineering Blog
Blogging has always been a booster for leads and conversions. But your content has to solve industry questions that your prospects want answers to.
Blog regularly, if your content is worth reading your prospects will want more of it!
Blogging is difficult in the engineering industry. It's hard to find engineers who combine the technical knowledge and literary prowess to write in-depth blog posts. Then there's time. How many of your engineers have time to write and complete their own tasks?
Remember, the content that goes onto your blog represents your company. Your customers will judge your writing skills and the relevance of the content you provide. So if it isn't your area of expertise, consider employing a writer or outsourcing your content.
Either way, it's going to come at a cost. So consider where your priorities lie and choose accordingly. You must ensure they know enough about your industry and offer them your knowledge of complex subjects.
ExampleThe Institute of Civil Engineering Blog: Granted, this blog isn't at the forefront of web design excellence, but you don't need glitz and glamour to get a point across.
The articles are well-written and well-informed. The ideas are simple and easy to understand. But that's all down to targeting, if you look at the institute's target audience, you'll see they want to inspire the younger generation to embark on engineering careers.
Are you going to do that with complicated ideas and language. Of course not, you'll intimidate people. Keep it simple and make your blog posts easy to digest.
3. Promote Your Content With Email Marketing
Are you finding it hard to convince prospects with email marketing? Getting low open rates or not knowing your ROI can make it seem like a waste of time. But you should pay attention to the marketing manager tapping your shoulder and pestering you about budget and lead generation.
Marketers know how to persuade people and add creative flair to your services. You should also consider that as an engineer, your services may be high-value or you may sell in bulk. High-value investments require a lot of tlc, people don't invest large amounts of money in something they know nothing about.
A successful engineering company should always have an email marketing plan. A series of thoughtful, relevant, and engaging newsletters provides your customers with important content and free resources.
Target Your Emails
You should use targeted content to gain authority in your engineering speciality. Offer unique content that advises and engages your readers. Keep in touch with all your leads and contacts, just because someone isn't buying it doesn't mean they're a lost lead.
As I just mentioned, when buying in bulk or buying expensive items, customers conduct extensive research and shortlist the company that provides the most useful information.
Therefore, every single email you send should have a purpose with a clear call-to-action. You don't have to pressure people to buy from you, but make sure you have a measurable goal.
Send quality emails 1-2 times a week. If you bombard your prospects with marketing messages they'll think you're spamming them. Pestering people doesn't work, they'll unfollow and unsubscribe from your email list.
4. Use Sponsored Content
Sponsored content can form part of your engineering marketing strategy, but approach with caution. We endorse partnerships, but you need to get it right. Partnering with the wrong company can damage your reputation and nobody wants that.
Sponsored content is where you blend your product into somebody else's publication. For example, IBM teamed with The Atlantic (News & current affairs publication) to publish a 4-part series on sports data.
The aim of the article is to show the impact technology is having in sport and how data can entertain readers.
Sponsored content works because it steps away from the norm of invasive advertising. It makes marketers think of better ways to show content.
You should consider ad targeting and publication audience. Publication readers may already have an interest in your product or be more easily persuaded to consider it.
If you develop catchy content that hooks readers, they won't see you as a pushy sales writer trying to generate more business.
There are pitfalls with all forms of advertising. But sponsored content can knock your reputation if you get it wrong. Some buyers see native advertising as deceptive and unethical. And it's safe to say that some businesses have got it wrong.
For example, in 2013 The Atlantic (same publication) posted sponsored content from The Church of Scientology.
The partnership itself ignites worry for the reader. Why would a worldwide news and commentary site team with a religious organisation if they weren't promoting its values? The two don't match up.
The article didn't hold any value for The Atlantic's readers either, so it was a pointless exercise which they were condemned for.
Sponsored content is difficult to get right. You need to let your audience know it's sponsored. In contrast, you need to remember that the content must tie in with the editorial style of your chosen publication.
There has to be a perfect match between two organisations, if you can get that right then sponsored content can work for you.
B2B marketing is about delivering high-quality content to generate leads and authority in your industry
5. Engineer Your Social Channels
Your engineering marketing plan should contain a social media strategy. In an industry that isn't known for outlandish flair and outward creativity, social media can give you something extra.
You must consider the style, tone and design of the content you post, as well as its format. Engineering is a visual profession, you need to be able to see an end product before it hits the shelves or is unveiled at a grand opening.
For that reason, it's no surprise than videos and images suit your content feed. Engage your customers so they discuss, submit comments, and share your video.
Include the content in your blog, or withdraw it from your blog. Push your industry insights and specialist engineering knowledge to other industry peers. This will increase your authority on social media channels and increase company interest.
NASA's social media presence is impressive. They have 14 profiles listed on their website, with 2m Pinterest followers! Whilst it may be ill-advised to tell a business to focus on every channel, it certainly shows commitment.
Remember, NASA's budget and resources mean they're never short of content to post on various social media platforms. Find your platform and build your presence, don't get disheartened if you struggle to build a following. Keep trying different methods and see what works.
If you're interested in learning more about social media, click the download button for our essential guide to social media marketing!
6. Invest In A Chatbot
This one is more of a processes technique than a marketing technique. But it's so impressive we wanted to share it! (And plus, the best marketers always find a way!).
In commercial culture chatbots are usually what you encounter when you need customer service. But the potential extends further.
In fact, robots could drive industry 4.0 forward, taking control or annoying repetitive tasks. This frees up time for human workers and managers who can focus on bigger tasks.
Chatbots can communicate big data results, be an interface for AI and build relationships with engineers.
Here are a few benefits:
- Team performance tracking
- Task allocation
- Access photos and progress updates
- Daily report publishes
The scope extends as well. They're amazing!
A chatbots primary function is to collect information. Information = marketing material.
What's The Next Step?
So, what’s the best engineering marketing strategy for the company you own, run, or work for? Well, you have two options. You create one, or start a journey with a professional marketing agency!
Engineering marketing strategies get results. Ask yourself what an engineering marketing plan can do for you, and what benefits inbound marketing can offer.
If you're still unsure, read our guide to inbound marketing and find out how it can help increase your engineering company's leads.
Editors note: This post has been revamped and updated for 2018. At Red-Fern, we love keeping our content accurate, it ensures our articles are relevant and fresh!