Sometimes it seems like we only hear the story of the American manufacturer during Super Bowl ads and speeches from pandering politicians. Marketers and speech writers may be skilled at storytelling, but they do not own those stories.
The tale of your business belongs to you. With a little practice and guidance, you can tell it better than anyone else and create content that motivates buyers to choose 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, press opportunity or social media campaign.
How To Extract Ideas for Content From Your Story
The ideation process can be difficult. You might not think your background is unique or interesting. Use these questions to dig into the issues people will want to hear about:
- What were the biggest challenges you faced when founding and scaling your business? How did you overcome them? What did you learn from the struggle?
- Has your family played a role in the story of the business?
- How has your company impacted the town or city where your headquarters is? In turn how has the area you live in affected the development of your business?
- Did anything inspire you to create the business?
By answering these questions, you can flesh out your founding story and discover insights people will love to read about. Remember to stress the emotional angle. People crave stories where they can feel what the characters are experiencing. Your struggles and triumphs will resonate with potential customers.
How To Share The Details From Your Story
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.
The About Page On Your Website
If your manufacturing website has an about page, 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.
Blog Posts Or Videos
One detail can be an entire story in itself, and a blog post can illustrate that story. A particularly harrowing challenge could be one post, and perhaps 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.
Social Media Campaigns
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. People would most likely love, for example, to see pictures of Lori and Traci’s father when he first started tinkering with antique motorcycles.
Look for any relevant image that offers a glimpse of your journey. Think old logos or tattered swag from the early days.
You can also distribute fun bits of trivia. Try tweeting a few interesting facts about the company’s origins.
Connecting With Journalists And Other Content Creators
Whether it’s a local news reporter, a journalist from a major publication or a niche blogger you haven’t heard of, there are people who will tell your story for you. All you need to do is connect with them and be ready to spill the juiciest details you can.
Help a Reporter Out [HARO] is a great tool for finding and reaching out to content creators who can mention your company in relevant outlets. After these media professionals interview you, they can report on your founding story or at least include some quotes that might spark interest.
If you want to try a method that is specific to manufacturing and the industrial space, consider submitting a press release through the Thomas Network. This method will allow you to reach thousands of relevant buyers and engineers. 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.
Why Telling The Story of Your Manufacturing Business Is Crucial
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.