industrial

10 lessons on content marketing from in and around the industrial sector

This blog post is by Armand David, Joint Managing Director, Business Communications.

When people point to fun, engaging integrated communications campaigns, many consumer brands take the spotlight; Doritos challenging people to vote for its new crisp flavour, Coke getting people to ‘choose happiness’ or O2’s #wearetherose.

Industrial companies, transforming and shifting the way they deliver their services with the rise of smart materials and the internet of things, need to transform the way they communicate too. They are facing a shifting demographic in their audiences, and need to engage with them beyond their traditional comms and marketing approaches. Indeed, many recognise that these audiences are consumers, just as much as they are an engineer or power plant manager, a CEO or a policy-maker, and that they are active on new channels. As such, more and more organisations have embraced social and integrated communications best practice to deliver stand-out campaigns, whether that’s GE #poweringeveryone or Lafarge’s #lovecement campaign. Engaging, attractive content is key to this.

What else do these programmes have in common? We’ve selected ten best practices from companies in and around the sector to provoke a discussion around how industrial organisations can step beyond the traditional, siloed view of communications into delivering truly integrated, social-led, global campaigns that really engage and delight their audiences.

Better in landscape

Read our 10 steps below or see our full Slideshare here.

1. COORDINATE YOUR CONTENT GLOBALLY:
When GE bought Alstom, it developed a body of content targeted at customers, employees and GE’s wider influencer community globally. This was used across multiple channels to give a very clear picture of the new organisation from day one. It reached tens of thousands of GE’s target audiences via trackable social channels alone.

2. BUILD ONCE, USE MANY TIMES:
Gemalto’s social-led Connected Living 2025 campaign was delivered as an integrated marketing campaign; activated via email, social, PR and other channels targeting decision makers across corporate, telecoms and industrial segments with its vision for a connected, internet of things world. It had a potential reach of over 4m and led to 500+ leads.

3. FIND YOUR STORIES EVERYWHERE:
GE Oil & Gas led a social initiative to tackle a severe global skills shortage. Employees both young and old were interviewed on GE’s social channels using #GEtalent to paint a vibrant and exciting picture of its industrial technology innovation. GE gained 3,500 followers with a potential reach of nearly 6m people, supported by targeted advertising.

4. HELP YOUR CUSTOMERS WITH YOUR CONTENT – DON’T JUST SELL TO THEM:
To deliver GE’s overall message of ‘Powering Everyone’ to all stakeholders, including partners, customers, prospects and policy makers, GE runs a series of reports on the ‘Future of Electricity’, focused on specific regional issues across both developed and developing economies. From financing through to policies and political issues, these ensure GE can help its customers with useful local market insight.

5. ENGAGE YOUR EMPLOYEE COMMUNITY IN GETTING IT OUT THERE:
Gemalto improved brand awareness by challenging staff with an online competition focussed on educating their personal social networks about the company. They shared branded assets and videos which illustrated how Gemalto engineering innovation is changing the world. The campaign delivered 125,000 clicks, 300 leads & 12,000 new social followers.

6. DELIVER A FRICTIONLESS EXPERIENCE:
The VMware Security Disconnect infographic uses a light touch data capture mechanism which, in turn, delivers a personalised experience, that shows local and relevant data based on their data in an interactive infographic. Only recently launched, it is already delivering excellent prospect engagement and lead data capture.

7. EVERY AUDIENCE IS REACHABLE – NO MATTER HOW SMALL:
Arup needs to communicate to a wide range of distinct audiences from government policy makers through to tomorrow’s engineering talent. Its social channels include striking photos on Instagram to wow creative designers and architects as well as informative updates, videos, reports and real-life stories on LinkedIn and Twitter to showcase its work and attract the latest talent to work at Arup.

8. DOES THE WORLD NEED ANOTHER WHITE PAPER?:
Gemalto’s E-Estonia feature story was full of rich visuals and interactive comment, driving thousands more views than typical white paper content and large number of direct Government stakeholder customer engagement on social media – including Estonia’s own Prime Minister!

9. TELL YOUR STORIES VISUALLY:
GE has embraced visual storytelling for translating complex industrial topics into easily comprehensible schematics, helpful infographics, animations and videos, for use across social and marketing channels. There’s no question of its impact on the perception of the brand as a leading innovator in its space.

10. PLAN TO AMPLIFY YOUR CONTENT:
When GE launched a major partnership with the Egyptian Government to deliver power in the region, it ran its first social ad campaign, which secured over 10,000 new followers on Twitter and thousands of engagements from the region. New commercial opportunities for GE opened up as a result of local advocacy on- the-ground driven by the campaign.

Many of the projects referenced here were supported or delivered by Brands2Life, who count Arup, GE, Gemalto, & VMware amongst its clients. If you’d like to discuss your storytelling ambitions with us, please contact our industrial sector lead, board director armand.david@brands2life.com
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