Where to begin? In the opening day of Marketing for manufacturers, Jack Mallen-Cooper answers that question for you, with a list of suggestions to get manufacturers thinking on what’s worth sharing about what they do.
Do you really want to tell others about your business, but don’t know where to start?
It’s a common issue, especially with innovative manufacturers who have channelled all their creativity into their products.
It can also be tempting to be too inward-looking. You’ve seen the product day in, day out for years, so why would it be interesting to read about? But put yourself in the position of someone who has never seen it before – to them, it’s interesting.
And it’s not just innovative products that make good stories – there are many ways to tell your story and effectively promote your brand to your target audiences.
To help time-poor manufacturers, here are some thought starters, on what could make a good story:
- Innovation, practicality and money saving – everyone likes to hear about these.
- New technology, automation, precision, time saving – the benefits to the reader are nice and clear.
- Safety, in both new and refurbishment projects – anything that improves the workplace environment
- Improvement on previous methods
- Testimonials and Case Studies. These reflect well on your customers and further cement the relationship by showing how they are enhancing safety, efficiency and new technology by using your product. (Note: an interesting client, an industry leader, a household name or an emerging industry will all further extend the success of such stories – but are not a prerequisite. It’s still worth talking about smaller applications, too)
- Reliability landmarks – product achieving outstanding service (eg, 25 years in service and no breakdowns)
- Outstanding design and production capabilities – relating to both product and service
- Size of projects, sometimes, but small can be interesting where the technology or application is out of the ordinary
- Vital function in a key industry – if your company makes a product or component vital to a process people use every day, that makes an interesting story.
- Specialist function in a new, interesting and environmentally harmonious industry (such as waste-to-energy, recycling, wind power, new design to suit particular industry such as entertainment, IT, public services)
- Feature topics coming up in industry media – including safety, quality maintenance, automation, materials handling and lifting equipment. Writing a story directed to a media feature is a great way to make sure the editor can immediately see the relevance of your material. It puts it higher on the list for the editor’s consideration.
- Educational and industry authority topics for relevant industry media – this is where you provide guidance in the area of your specialist expertise. In doing so, you position yourself as the industry expert and trusted supplier in the area.
- Exhibitions and events – probably less likely during a pandemic, but they’ll return. When they do, they are a great reason to do some pre-publicity (where to find you, what you’ll be displaying) and post-publicity (what you learned, what feedback you received from key stakeholders)
…and that’s just the start. If you have a product or service, or perhaps knowledge in a specialised area, and you haven’t spoken about it recently, it’s worth a story. And in a couple more years, it’s worth talking about again – there will be new people to reach, and there may be updates to talk about.
Jack Mallen-Cooper is a Senior Consultant at Whyte Public Relations.
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