Whether you’re a manufacturer, service provider or distributor of industrial products, how and where you communicate your company’s value to customers and prospects is extremely important to your ongoing success. Just because your business focuses on the distribution and sales of products manufactured by someone else, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to engage with customers on a regular basis. Oftentimes, this communication is done by your own sales and marketing staff.
The people you hire or promote to your company’s internal marketing positions play a critical role in how your customers discover, learn about and purchase your products. Penned by the right professional, informative and engaging messages delivered to readers of your marketing material and digital content will drive people to your website, inform them of your product offerings, shorten the sales cycle and drive revenue to your bottom line.
For any open position within your company, the identification, recruitment and hiring of the right person is extremely important to your success. This is true for administration, sales, customer service and yes, marketing positions. After all, what could be more important than ensuring the people charged with the care of your brand and company reputation are trained professionals?
Too often employers treat internal marketing positions as entry-level or nonessential and fill them with poorly trained or inexperienced people. This is especially true for individuals assigned to relatively new marketing tactics, like social media and digital marketing.
Trained IT staffers are vital when it comes to keeping your servers, workstations and website up and running. They are not the optimal choice for the development of your company’s digital assets, like the design of your website or online and social media content.
Studies have shown and marketers agree that the best people for the development of digital and social media content are not creative or technically trained writers. The preferred skillset would be found in a reporter, journalist or public relations professional.
Just because your marketing communications manager is creative, it may not mean he or she can write compelling, non-promotional social media copy. If your administrative assistant is able to compose a sound business letter, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can engage someone in a meaningful online conversation.
It is the understanding of how best to research, write, edit and produce highly valuable, newsworthy content for your company website, blog or social media pages that will bring in more readers — and keep them coming back. Delivering a series of informative and intriguing topics via your digital material will help turn prospects into customers. For these reasons, you should strongly consider adding a trained news reporter to your digital staff. Reporters, by nature, are news hounds — they seek out news and uncover interesting topics to cover that will be interesting and informative to read. A good reporter knows the difference between content that will inform, entertain and engage a reader, from content that simply repeats another event or boring opinion.
Are visitors to your website staying only for a few seconds? It may be because your copy is overtly promotional or boring. Can’t get people to follow you on Twitter or to retweet your content? Consider eliminating posts announcing another sale price and substitute a comment on a recent industry trend or important news story. Has your company’s Facebook page gone flat? Resist posting pictures of your company picnic and deliver a review of an industry trade show or how a new industry trend will benefit your customer’s business.
The more interested and informed a reader is by your content, the more likely they will return for more. They will also form a higher opinion of your company and brand, and more readily consider the purchase of your products or services.
Here’s another way to think about this challenge: If you or your company published a magazine for your customers, what articles would you include? Would you talk about recent hires to your team, or supply an informative, well-researched and — written case study about how your customer solved a problem with products purchased at your company? If you said the latter, good. This is the type of content your digital and social media program must deliver on an ongoing basis. And the person most capable of uncovering and delivering consistently interesting content will be one trained as a reporter or public relations professional.
By pulling in more readers to your website, blog or Facebook page and engaging them in interesting content, you will benefit from increase site traffic, the development of informed and qualified leads and help thereby shorten the sales cycle for your business.
Since 1979, Dean LePoidevin has been the managing principal at LePoidevin Marketing, a full-service business marketing agency. He currently serves as president of the Marketing Communications Agency Network, and as the Branding and Social Media Chairperson for an industry association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org