There is little doubt that the key to developing and implementing a successful brand publishing campaign is landing on what your message is and how your target audience will relate to it.
Finding that voice, that story, that buzz can be difficult to develop but there is a way to get you started. There are three words that should dictate how you position yourself and what your content should center around. Those words are Interested, Searching and Sharing.
What you use as the basis for your content needs to be something your audience is already A) interested in, B) searching for and C) sharing.
Below are warnings to heed as you get started:
The most basic premise you need to ask yourself before creating any type of content is: Why should they care? The normal person is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day, so the engineers and operators you are trying to reach already have a flooded mental “inbox” (with inbox being a metaphor for mindshare). The content you write must be rooted in topics that they are ALREADY interested in and talking about. What is going to make them stop whatever it is they are doing at the plant and pay attention to what you have to say. I guarantee that a sales pitch is not going to find its way into their mindshare with 9,999 other messages competing for that same real estate.
Whenever an engineer or operator engages on social platforms, they will usually do so with the intent to be educated AND to help educate. When planning out a social media campaign, especially in this industry, make sure you have the right outcomes in mind. If your content accomplishes the “educate or entertain” goal, make sure it’s easily sharable and relatable to the colleagues your target audience may wish to share it with in turn. This is where the concept of “customer facing” content comes into play as opposed to “vendor facing” content. If your target audience feels they learned something or can TEACH something simply by sharing, you’ve done it right.
Is your desired audience searching for the information you are putting out there? If it’s standard, product-centric sales collateral then probably not. They can find that anywhere anytime. Your content needs to speak to the ISSUES, PROBLEMS and SOLUTIONS your audience is researching every day. Remember, buyers now control the purchasing cycle, not manufacturers. It’s important that you not only direct your content to match their inquisitive interest but also place it where it can be found. Sadly, your website doesn’t count as (if you are like most), it functions more as a landing page for your corporation and your product line and less for the causes of your customers. It’s not enough to drive the kind of impactful search traffic from engineers and operators that you need to support your well intentioned content. Instead, think outside “the website” and look for online real estate locations that provide a community and present content around the community’s information needs.
Remember… Interest, Share and Search may be the most meaningful three words for manufacturers in the water market going into 2018.
Image credit: "Search Key," GotCredit 2015, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/