Marketers and speech writers may be skilled at storytelling, but the tale of your business belongs to you — the manufacturer. With a little practice and guidance, you can tell it better than anyone else and create content that motivates buyers to choose working with you over other companies.
Take the case of Lori and Traci Tapani, co-presidents of Wyoming Machine, a sheet metal fabrication manufacturer. The women inherited the company from their father, who is now retired and enjoys restoring antique Harley Davidson bikes, among other hobbies. Their situation is rich with details they could expand on: being female leaders in a male-dominated industry, the nature of running a family business, the transition from machining to metal fabrication, and much more. Each aspect of their story is a potential blog post, web page, video content, press opportunity or social media campaign.
The ideation process for creating content can be difficult. You might not think your manufacturing brand is unique or interesting, but your brand includes everything from why your company was founded to how you answer customer service phone calls.
Use these questions to dig into the issues people will want to hear about:
By answering these questions, you can flesh out your story and discover insights people will love to read about. Remember to stress the emotional angle. Highlight your struggles and triumphs that will resonate with your audience. People crave stories where they can feel what the characters are experiencing.
Each answer to the questions above should provide an idea for a potential piece of content. The next step is deciding how to format the fragments of your story and where to place them. Below are a few options.
If your manufacturing website has an About Us page (and it should), consider using it to host a general overview of your story. A few paragraphs should be enough to explain what your company is and how you founded it. Feel free to mention brand values and industry accomplishments. If your business has a history of significant changes, use a timeline to highlight milestones.
Remember to include at least one photo. Most sites have a picture of the founder or CEO, although you can also include images of your team. Potential customers should be able to see the people they are contemplating working with.
Read More: The Must-Haves On Your Company About Us Page
One detail about your business can be an entire story in itself, and a blog post can illustrate that story. A particularly harrowing challenge could be one post, and a time of transition could be another. You can also convert blog posts to videos or create original video content. No matter what the medium is, the principle of storytelling is the same.
Consider submitting a press release through the Thomas Network. This method will allow you to reach thousands of relevant buyers and engineers who may already be searching for you. Think of the strategy as a version of a traditional press release that will target people who might be lower in your marketing funnel, those who have knowledge of the field and are closer to purchasing a manufacturing service.
Videos don't always come to mind when it comes to increasing you brand, but they are becoming an effective tool for manufacturers to strengthen their brand and get more leads. Many manufacturers and industrial companies have turned to videos to share customer success stories or give a shop tour. When done effectively, videos can elicit emotion in different ways than traditional advertising can. Emotional appeals aren't just for consumer brands — see examples of manufacturers who use emotion in their marketing here.
The key in all effective marketing is to use messaging that speaks to buyers' challenges. Use real videos and imagery of your manufacturing business and your employees so buyers can understand who you are at a personal level. Many manufacturing companies add videos to their Thomasnet.com Company Profile. It's a solution that combines the power of online advertising with video on the leading platform where buyers do their jobs every day.
Learn how you can create video content for free with Thomas.
Are you familiar with #ThrowbackThursday? If you have an old photo that reveals something interesting about you or your company, post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram during a Thursday and use the aforementioned hashtag. Look for any relevant image that offers a glimpse of your journey. Think of it like a "Then and Now" post.
You can also distribute fun bits of trivia to keep your posts engaging. Tweet a few "Did You Know?" facts about the company’s origins your customers might not know about. Remember that social media marketing is an ongoing initiative. Schedule more than one branding post and mix them into your other posts for lead generation.
When people search for manufacturers, they wade through a sea of options that often appear similar. If a client encounters your company and several competitors with comparable pricing and services, your story can be the deciding factor. By sharing your journey, you can build trust and credibility that converts valuable leads.
Need a little guidance telling your story and spreading the word about your company? Contact Thomas Marketing Services to connect with industry experts who have a proven record of helping manufacturers grow their businesses. We'll help share your manufacturing story on the right channels to increase your brand awareness and get more leads.