Meeting The Needs Of Your Buyers: Blog vs eBook

To effectively reach buyers and generate valuable leads, it’s critical to employ a dynamic, multifaceted digital marketing strategy — and that means creating a robust content marketing campaign.

Content marketing is a crucial tool for collecting valuable user details. It is a means of trading information; users provide data — their business, goals, their contact information — and in exchange, you provide insights and actionable advice in checklists, educational eBooks, or in-depth whitepapers.

Industrial Content Marketing

Providing this type of content not only helps you get a better idea of where users are in their buying journeys and tailor content, but it also establishes yourself as a knowledgeable thought leader in your industry.

Two of the most popular versatile content marketing offerings — blog posts and eBooks — can effectively gain leads and keep your company top of mind among industry professionals. While it's critical to offer a mix of different types of content, it's important first to have a solid understanding of the difference between each to determine which one is right for your audience.

Industrial Marketing Blog Posts

Short-form and easy-to-read blog posts are ideal for presenting top-of-funnel content. Users in the beginning stages of the buying process aren't looking for detailed product or service information; they're taking stock of different brands and comparing companies' resources and offerings.

Content Marketing Blog.jpg

Blogs provide the ideal vehicle for organically promoting your business, since offering useful industry advice and information will help set you apart from competitors. Plus, keeping a regularly updated blog shows that you're committed to staying abreast of new trends and innovations.

Blogs provide an excellent opportunity to ramp up your SEO efforts by increasing your website visibility and improving your rankings. Even posting just once a month on relevant topics can be highly effective in driving traffic to your site and developing brand awareness. Requiring no special design or technical skills, creating blogs is quick and straightforward. 

Blog Examples For An Excellent Content Marketing Strategy

Air Innovations is a manufacturer of environmental control systems. To help improve the company's content and SEO strategies, Thomas Marketing Services created a "Knowledge Base" section of the Air Innovations website that is similar to a blog. 

Creating quality content Air Innovations boosted organic traffic to its website and landed a number one search result on Google for keywords related to what they offer. Ranking for business and industry-related keywords not only bring traffic to your website, but the right traffic — aka buyers, procurement professionals, and engineers.

Read the full case study.

Air Innovations - Environmental Systems Manufacturing blog

Engineering Specialties, Inc. (ESI) is a metal stamping and automated assembly company. ESI made a massive push in its SEO efforts by building out a pillar content strategy focused on its core business area, "metal stamping."

With a pillar blog titled, "What Is Metal Stamping?" as ESI's foundation, the Thomas team helped create secondary content that would link back to the main blog to create a cleaner path for search engines to crawl. Utilizing an inbound linking strategy makes your content more digestible and helps elevate your domain authority.

Read the full case study

Pillar Content Structure

Manufacturing eBooks

Ideal for presenting more in-depth information or explaining complex concepts, eBooks allow you to showcase your brand’s expertise and industry experience. Usually serving as a “gate” between you and website visitors, eBooks offer valuable content — whether in the form of case studies, troubleshooting guides, or Q&As — in exchange for users’ contact information before downloading.

Content Marketing eBook.jpg

Be sure not to ask for too much in return, though; if you're offering a relatively simple one-and-a-half-page checklist, for instance, you shouldn't require users to provide a large amount of information to access it.

A well-written, engaging, and directly useful eBook helps position you as an industry expert and is more effective for building credibility than a short-form blog post. Be sure to follow through on what you offered users in exchange for their information; visitors downloading ebooks seek specific information or resources and will take note of thoughtful, helpful content.

Designers' Tip: 17 Free Marketing Apps And Tools

Although eBooks are relatively inexpensive to create, they require time for research, writing, and careful proofreading. Putting out subpar content will harm your reputation and put off visitors, so it’s critical to take the time to craft an engaging, well-developed eBook. And if you’re looking to offer a sophisticated, visually appealing eBook, time and resources must also be allotted for design elements.

eBook Examples For Increasing Lead Generation

Renown Electric provides solutions to the electric motor repair and service industry. Since partnering with Thomas, Renown identified a high-traffic product page to not only help with their SEO strategy, but they also included a module with a related offer in the side rail for lead generation.

The product page explains everything there is to know about the "Vertima Balance Hydraulic Rope Equalizer." Paired with the eBook, "Five Benefits of Hydraulic Equalizers," Renown received high-quality visitors to the product page while also turning those visitors into leads.

Read the full story here.

Renown Electric eBook Example Renown Electric Landing Page Example

Learn More About Content Marketing

While you may be immediately drawn to blogs, or know that your target demographic will respond positively to eBooks and guides, it’s important to offer various types of content. This will keep your site feeling fresh and current while allowing users to access valuable resources at any point in their buying journey — which is critical for attracting site traffic and generating new leads.

Need help creating a content marketing strategy, or looking to enhance your current offerings to meet the needs of engineers, procurement professionals and MRO managers? Download our Content Marketing For Industrial Companies eBook, then contact us to learn how to put your content to work in a marketing campaign.

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