White papers are one of the best tools in the content and inbound marketing tool box. These documents give you the opportunity to give in-depth treatments of challenges, trends and solutions in the manufacturing industry.
More than in probably most other industries, manufacturers are dealing with some of the most significant challenges in business. From regulatory requirements, LEED and green expectations, increased material costs and a shortage of skilled labor, the demands on manufacturing businesses are significant. With these challenges, though, are great marketing opportunities to show your leadership in addressing these areas.
To get started, here are some key things to consider:
Step 1: Frequency
Quality definitely tops quantity. If you can provide a well-crafted article that clearly identified the issue(s) at hand and how to address them, you've got a winner! Many people in manufacturing are confronted with a number of the same struggles. If you have found a way to solve or address those issues, or at least to resolve the issue for your piece of the larger process, people will look to your business as a provider and a resource.
Step 2: Logistics
This is high value content - don't give it away without capturing an email address! Create a landing page on your website that entices people to want to download your white paper. Use a form so that people need to provide their email address (at a minimum...name and company name, perhaps phone number should be captured, too). Once they hit submit, they should be taken to a landing page, where they can download the white paper. Email a copy, as well.
Step 3: Marketing Automation
Use marketing automation to continue the conversation. This process helps turn a cold call into a warm lead.
Step 4: Tools
Step 5: Content
Deciding what to write about or carving out the time to write it may be the most difficult part of this process. Start by jotting down ideas of frequently asked questions you receive or how a new regulation is impacting your process or a change to your supply chain due to global incidents (weather, terrorism, accidents, etc.). For some people, talking about the issues is easier than sitting down to write. For these folks, try recording your thoughts...maybe have someone in your business "interview' you about it. This video can be transcribed and edited into a white paper...you could also potentially use this video on your website or as a social media post.
White papers are opportunities to provide a more detailed study of a problem or challenge or improvement that your company has tackled. Your expertise shines through and builds trust among potential clients. By capturing email addresses when you distribute these, you increase your ROI on the time it took you to prepare them. They can help your search engine optimization (SEO) and provide valuable insights to your customers.
Ready to get started?