Digital Marketing for Engineers Blog

What Engineering Marketers Can Learn from an Organic Traffic Superstar

Posted by John Hayes

Aug 31, 2017 10:02:46 AM

Last week I was at Conex2017 and saw an excellent presentation by Amanda Todorovich, the 2016 Content Marketer of the year, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

Amanda outlined the formula that helped the Cleveland Clinic’s corporate blog grow to 5 million visitors per month, up from zero a few years ago. The approach she used really resonated with me, because many of the tactics she outlined were similar to what ENGINEERING.com has relied upon since we launched our Advanced Manufacturing vertical in 2014.  We’re not at 5 million monthly manufacturing visitors yet, but as the chart below shows, traffic has been growing at a very respectable pace. 

We built this audience by researching and writing evergreen content that our target audience searches for. And now, month after month, those stories rank in our top 10 most viewed, even though some of them are quite old.

In this blog post, I will review the three most important takeaways from Amanda’s presentation, adapt them to the growth of a technical audience –the target audience for linear actuators is a little smaller than people wanting advice on how to deal with signs of ageing – and finally provide behind-the-curtains evidence from our own experience of growing targeted traffic to our Advanced Manufacturing vertical

But, first a warning. It’s a lot of work.

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Topics: Case studies, Marketing to engineers, content strategy, Content Promotion

Can AI Save Engineers From Bad Marketing Content?

Posted by John Hayes

Aug 24, 2017 12:00:58 PM

Technology has made it too easy to create content. As a result, we have too much marketing content for engineers.

From search engines that make research easy, to ever-present smartphones that take photos, to instant sharing on social media, technology has contributed to an avalanche of content. The engineers we seek to reach are trying their best to filter out the irrelevant messages so that they can get on with their work.

Marketers now complain that it is harder than ever to get their messages in front of technology buyers. They are watching their email open rates decline while they pay ever more to distribute their content on social media.

The Marketing world's recent obsession with content has dug us into this hole, but technology may also provide the way to dig ourselves out.  We just need a little help…

I was at Content Experience 2017 in Toronto this week and heard a lot about AI and how it will work with marketing automation. We have a little experience with it ourselves.  As you’ll see in this post, we’ve learned a lot about how to leverage machine learning to improve the experience of content discovery for our target audience.

This post will cover my take on:

  • Why content clutter is breaking the internet for engineers
  • How machine learning and artificial intelligence works to make better content recommendations
  • What this will mean for engineering marketers
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Topics: Branding and awareness, content strategy, Content Promotion

Seven Deadly Sins of B2B Technology Marketers

Posted by John Hayes

Jun 29, 2017 11:08:52 AM

The seven deadly sins – sloth, pride, envy, lust, greed, gluttony, & wrath – few concepts are so thoroughly embedded in the collective conscience.  The sins as we know them can be traced back to 270 AD, which just might predate technology marketing.  

As marketers, we can be guilty of our own sins, from leaving lead generation to the end of the quarter to failing to measure our results.

Based on my experience as a marketer, here is a list of seven deadly marketing sins and how you can deliver some salvation to your remaining campaigns in 2017.

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Topics: Content marketing for engineers, Branding and awareness, content strategy, Content Promotion

Awareness Marketing for Industrial Companies

Posted by Achinta Mitra

Jun 14, 2017 4:33:03 PM

Awareness marketing doesn’t get much attention from manufacturers and engineering companies because it is usually associated with branding in B2C marketing. If you Google brand awareness, it will return 14,700,000 results and the top hit is Wikipedia (no surprise there) which defines it as…

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Topics: Content marketing for engineers, Branding and awareness, content strategy, Content Promotion

Four Internet Mega-Trends that Matter to Engineering Marketers

Posted by John Hayes

Jun 7, 2017 3:30:53 PM

As marketers, we care about how engineers get information. We need to know whether they use email or Facebook, smartphones or laptops, so that we know where to put our messages and how to format them.

And here to the rescue, as she is every year, is Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins. Her latest Internet Trends report was published last week, all 355 pages of it.

In case you are wondering why we should pay attention, here are a few of her forecasts from 2010, seven years ago…

  1. Smartphone sales are growing so fast that they will soon become the primary way for many people to access the internet. (yup)
  2. Digital advertising expenditures will grow rapidly, mostly at the expense of print advertising (ditto)
  3. Digital advertising will be concentrated in Google, Yahoo and Facebook (got 2 out of 3 on that one. Sorry Yahoo.)
  4. Social networking will become a more powerful medium for sharing than email (remember your Dad’s email chains?)
  5. Cloud computing will be a big thing (also true)

If you are curious about how the 2017 mega-trends will impact engineering marketers, read on for my take.

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Topics: Content marketing for engineers, content strategy, Content Promotion, mobile marketing

More Content, but Lower Quality from Engineering Marketers

Posted by John Hayes

May 25, 2017 9:09:37 AM

Most engineering marketers are creating more content in 2017, according to our 2017 survey of engineering marketers research report.

All this rush to create content is, not surprisingly, leading to an abundance of poor quality content. This flood of content increases the competition for every post you publish, and the fight for each search term becomes more intense.

The response from some marketers and publishers is to write fewer, longer and more thoroughly researched pieces of content, ones that will be shared on social media, and that will rise to the top of search engines. If your approach is to write more short posts while your competition is writing longer and more detailed posts, you are unlikely to succeed.

As the chart above shows, the top-rated challenge for engineering content marketers is creating engaging content. This concern was also the top concern last year, with 50% of marketers citing it. However, in 2017 it was named a top concern by 62% of engineering marketers.

A related challenge was finding resources for creating content.

The struggle is real my friends. And it can lead to some disappointing short-term outcomes.

What does poor conversion content look like? And how can you avoid it?

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Topics: Content marketing for engineers, Branding and awareness, content strategy, content reach, Content Promotion

Marketing to Engineering Decision Makers – Dos and Don’ts

Posted by John Hayes

May 18, 2017 10:22:12 AM

Engineering marketers frequently say, “We need to reach decision makers with this campaign’” often because their sales teams tell them, “Whenever we get in front of a decision maker, we have a great shot at the sale, so let’s only talk to decision makers.”

As anyone who has run a campaign that targets decision makers knows, this is no easy road.  We recently surveyed over 100 Director and CXO level engineers about their information consumption habits. This research shows how you can reach those decision makers.

Take email, for example. Do you think they read it? Well, they do.

98% of engineering directors, VPs and C-level respondents say that they at least scan the subject line of every email they receive. 98%!  That’s huge. And 39% actually open most or all of the emails that you send. So that may leave you wondering why they don’t engage with your content and become active leads.

That has more to do with them than you.

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Topics: Content marketing for engineers, Branding and awareness, Email marketing to engineers, content strategy, content reach, Content Promotion

Survey and Research reports – Two Birds for Engineering Marketers

Posted by John Hayes

Dec 8, 2016 9:24:53 AM

 

There are lots of expressions in the English language that have a barbaric history. “Holding someone’s feet to the fire” is a particularly nasty example. Today people use it to mean holding a person accountable, but it was a literal expression during the Crusades.

“Killing two birds with one stone” is another example. Now it means to solve two problems with a single act. This post is about a marketing tool that does just that.

 

So what are these two birds? In this case, they are market research and content marketing. Specifically, some of our clients are combining market research – delving into their prospects’ needs – with the creation of a lead generation asset from that same research.

It’s a pretty simple formula that won’t break the bank.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Industry trends and research, Email marketing to engineers, Marketing to engineers, Content Promotion

Three important content trends for engineering marketers

Posted by John Hayes

Aug 10, 2016 1:40:31 PM

 

It’s frustrating to be an engineering marketer.  You create an excellent piece of content, only to see it get no views. This post covers three trends that are impacting the distribution of your content.

 

These trends are spelled out in the Reuters 2016 Digital News Report.  While it does not speak specifically to marketing to engineers, it does highlight broader content trends that we can put into an engineering context.

 

  1. People are increasingly accessing their news through aggregation platforms like Google and Facebook

  2. Smartphones are used by 53% of news readers

  3. Video news is not as popular as expected

 

Read on for my take on why this matters to engineering marketers and what you can do about it.

 

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Topics: Digital media and online marketing, Social Media for Engineers, Content marketing for engineers, Content Promotion

Two Ways to Boost Your Engineering Content Reach on Facebook

Posted by John Hayes

Jul 27, 2016 4:10:41 PM

 

Focusing on distribution is a great way to make sure that you earn a return on your content investment. In
addition to other social media channels, Facebook can be an important part of the engineering marketer’s distribution strategy.

 

Why use Facebook to reach engineers?  Mostly because of the volume of inventory.  That volume can make up for the fact that marketers consider Facebook to be a less valuable audience platform than Linkedin, Youtube or Twitter (according to the ENGINEERING.com 2015 marketer survey).

 

This post breaks down two keys to maximizing your reach on Facebook. 

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Topics: Content marketing for engineers, Sponsored posts and content amplification, content reach, Content Promotion

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