The days of relying strictly on advertising, brochures, trade shows, and sales calls to sell construction equipment are gone. Dealers looking to stand out from the competition need to take a hard look at content marketing.
The Construction Equipment Market Has Changed
There was a time when a much smaller number of primarily American-based manufacturers and dealers controlled the market. Globalization is playing a large role in changing that. This is a complicated topic so let’s not muddy the waters and simply agree that foreign equipment manufacturers have earned greater market share in recent decades.
Online auctions and procurement companies have added another layer of complexity. Contractors can now buy equipment over the internet site unseen from a non-local company. Did anyone see that trend coming? This Amazon-inspired trend is likely to continue as ecommerce improves and society becomes more and more comfortable with doing business online.
The need for marketing rises as markets become more competitive and the quantity and quality of products increases. The contractor that used to be loyal to one or two local dealers now has other options. Customers with options can afford to be more selective. It also becomes harder for you to stand out.
Why Content Marketing?
Equipment dealers that resist content marketing are missing a huge opportunity to differentiate themselves. The truth is that many are still clinging to the old methods of moving iron: advertise pictures of the equipment, specs, and price and wait for results. It’s still important to advertise your equipment, but remember that a one-legged stool doesn’t stand. Click To Tweet
Even if you don’t have an inclination to provide free advice to the marketplace, you have to admit that those that do stand out from the competition. It goes back to one of the most basic tenets of public relations, which is to be seen.
The Topics are Endless
Let’s assume you’re convinced that content marketing makes sense, but you’re not sure where to start. How do you come up with topics that contractors will actually care to read?The content foundation starts with one reality that every piece of content should build upon: contractors want to know why your equipment is superior to competing brands and how it can help them to make money over the long run. Click To Tweet
The topics will vary based on your specific market and the type of equipment you distribute but here’s a sampling of “how to” topics to get your gears turning:
- How to Extend the Life of the Equipment
- How to Avoid Damage
- How to Reduce Downtime
- How to Properly Transport Machinery
- How to Run the Equipment Safely
- How to Improve Fuel Efficiency
- How to Properly Use the Equipment
- How to Match the Equipment to the Task
- How to Properly Clean the Equipment
- How to Determine Whether to Rent or Buy
- How to Prevent Equipment Theft
- How to Pick the Right Tools for the Job
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. It’s like excavating a quarry; you can keep going down layer upon layer. Once you get into the content marketing mindset, new ideas will flow. It’s also wise to listen to customers questions and develop content based on those inquiries.
What’s the End Game for Content Marketing?
Venturing into content marketing requires an ongoing commitment of time, money, and effort. What happens if other dealers adopt this form of marketing to the point that it becomes commonplace? The benefit of differentiation will obviously diminish, but the good will created and education of your market will not.
Consider also that you’re building a library of resources that will bring value to your market for years to come. And it will help your search rankings by tying your company to its keywords in places where online search engines can find them, i.e. website, blog, trade magazines, etc.
The demand for high-quality content will no longer be an option if the equipment market continues to evolve and become more competitive. Click To TweetYou already operate in a crowded marketplace so that should come as no surprise. What’s an equipment dealer to do? Get into the content marketing mindset now and build a content machine that cranks out strong material over time.
Does your company practice content marketing? If so, what lessons have you learned?
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