On the surface, marketing and engineering may seem like mutually exclusive activities. But nothing could be further from the truth. At the end of the day you have a business to run, and selling engineering services is your reason for existence.
63% of businesses view lead generation as their top marketing challenge, with 40% finding it difficult to find a comfortable ROI.
However, engineering firms – along with architects and construction companies – face other unique challenges that other industries don’t.
Because engineering is such a highly-technical profession, getting your message out in a way that resonates with your audience requires an extra layer of complexity that many marketing firms can’t deliver.
Identifying the pain points and buyer journey of your potential clients while communicating with them in their language takes a high degree of industry expertise in order to execute an effective content marketing and lead generation strategy.
As well, traditional B2B inbound marketing campaigns designed to capture and generate leads have to contend with the fact that engineering firm clients tend to come in via referrals from their AEC counterparts due to a heavy reliance on industry connections.
Traditional B2B Marketing Programs
Of course, a sound marketing plan for your engineering company will rely on the traditional areas of focus, including:
- Engaging website design
- Content Marketing
- Lead Nurturing
- Social media
But acquiring and turning leads into potential engineering firm clients requires some additional strategies. After all, you’re not trying to sell easy-to-define services which can be easily summarized into marketing bytes.
This explains why 75% of industrial companies are anywhere from neutral to very dissatisfied with their marketing efforts and the fact that only 38% of engineering firms intend to boost their marketing budgets.
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That’s why we need to go beyond the regular B2B marketing with specific methods tailored to your industry.
The RIGHT Marketing Strategies for Engineers
Unfortunately, many engineering marketing campaigns are sadly ineffective. A lack of fundamental awareness of industry-specific challenges along with the cookie-cutter marketing approach taken by most inbound agencies can ultimately end up being a waste of time, money, and resources.
Yet the fact that so many engineering marketing efforts end up with abysmal ROI and poor conversion rates doesn’t mean that inbound digital marketing won’t work for you. On the contrary, it can be highly effective; you just need to have the right marketing strategy.
What do we mean by ‘right’?
It means that you can’t take a “spray and pray” approach to creating and delivering content. Your strategy has to be thoroughly planned and researched before writing a single word of content or marketing materials.
You’ll need to know:
- Exactly who you are going to target
- Which keywords are the right buyer keywords
- What their buyer journey is, along with pain points
- How you can solve their problems
- What types of content will resonate with them
Let’s examine some of the critical components that your marketing campaign will need to successfully deliver leads while maximizing your ROI.
Marketing For Engineers: 3 Essential Strategies
1. Target Architecture and Construction Leads
Image Credit: CNBC
82% of firms get referrals from people who have never worked with them before rather than through existing clients. So there’s no question that recommendations are a vitally important way to get new clients – especially within the AEC industry.
As we mentioned earlier, referrals from architects and construction companies are likely a key means of clients. After all, someone who approaches a construction firm will likely also need the services of an engineer.
As an engineering firm, if you limit your marketing efforts to your potential clients only, you are leaving a vast untapped resource on the table.
Therefore, the constant stream of referrals between AEC players is important to nurture.
However, most businesses will only pass referrals along to businesses who are likely to return the favor. If you don’t have enough referrals to send to an architect, for example, then you’ll quickly discover that their referrals will dry up.
That’s why it’s so important to expand your marketing efforts beyond your own target audience to include construction and architect clients as well. Sure, someone seeking an architect who reaches out to you won’t immediately boost your revenue – but they are a lead that an architect will find extremely valuable.
As time goes by, you’ll be able to generate and then refer a steady stream of leads that your AEC peers will benefit from, prompting them to respond in kind.
Think of this tactic as making an investment in future inbound referrals.
2. Establish Your Authority as a Thought Leader
Let’s face it: many of your potential engineering clients don’t see a difference between one firm and another. As long as you can demonstrate that you are capable, they probably don’t have much awareness of the factors that set you apart from your competitors.
When nurturing them along the sales funnel, part of your job will be to help them develop that brand awareness, ensuring that it aligns with their pain points and shows how their problems can be solved.
This isn’t conjecture, either. 41% of C-Suit executives cite thougth leadership as an important consideration when issuing RFPs.
Start with the understanding that your firm is your brand. Positioning your brand as an authority and your team as thought leaders can accomplish the following:
- It builds trust – your audience will see you as the expert
- Shows you are transparent and trustworthy
- Demonstrates your capability
- Differentiates you from your competition
To achieve this, make sure that you:
- Highlight your firm’s awards and accomplishments on your website, content, and marketing materials
- Position your leadership team as thought leaders – not only will you put a ‘human’ face on your business, but you’ll inspire confidence through their collective experiences, training, and education
3. Speak Your Audience’s Language
When you’re dealing with a sophisticated and knowledgeable audience, your content strategy has to be equally strategic to be successful. But what many marketers get wrong is failing to produce content that the target demographic will find relatable.
For example, a study found that engineers, themselves, develop a 75% higher trust value when other engineers author their content.
Image Credit: engineering.com
Before you can capture the attention of your qualified leads and covince them to take action, you’ll need to build that trust and authority. The easiest way to do that is to make sure you’re creating highly-technical marketing materials and content that ‘speak their language’.
Simply put, you’ll need to generate content that uses industry jargon, abbreviations, and terminology as much as possible. Doing so not only pulls the reader into your content more readily, it subsequently telegraphs that you understand their problems
It’s a basic content marketing tactic, yet one that so many B2B content creators fail to take advantage of.
Remember These Essential Tips When Marketing For Engineering Firms
When putting together the marketing strategy to find clients for your engineering firm, remember that while the traditional B2B inbound methods such as SEO, content strategy, and branding are essential – they’re often not enough.
Your sales and marketing efforts have to go beyond these approaches. Acquire leads to use as referrals, positioning yourself as an authority, and ensure that your content uses the language and terminology of your audience.
By putting these into practice, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your client base and increasing your revenue.
When you’re ready to start generating leads for your engineering company, Jumpfactor is a digital marketing agency specializing in B2B technology and services marketing that can help you increase your revenue up to 5X faster than your competitors. Contact us today!