By Mat Khaloobagheri
Content marketing isn’t about tactics and ephemeral campaigns. It’s about strategies and systems. Marketing an engineering consulting business in Canada is difficult. Unlike product companies, these companies are selling services comprised of concepts with intangible value vs. physical goods. Not to mention, these service offerings are expensive, require extended sales cycles, and rely heavily upon preexisting relationships.
Today, engineering consulting firms likely depend on the following strategies to generate leads and fuel business growth:
- Professional networking
- Event sponsorships
- Credibility and authority associated with the company brand
Referrals are effective, but they’re few and far between. Firms can’t rely on them as a dependable and predictable growth strategy.
Similarly, professional networking, event sponsorships and conferences are useful, but they’re expensive and time-consuming. It’s nearly impossible to forecast the ROI company will see from the time and money that the company invested.
Credibility and authority associated with company brand are absolutely critical. However, it’s difficult to convey firm’s expertise to new leads business has just met at a networking event or in passing at a conference booth.
As an engineering firm, the greatest asset is the ability to skillfully solve complex industry problems in timely and cost-effective ways. That’s firm’s competitive advantage, and ultimately how and why company land new business.
Differentiating an engineering company in Canada in a highly competitive landscape can be a significant challenge, especially when all of the competitors are pitching the same or similar service offerings.
So, how can business standout and make it evident that the firm is different?
Nowadays, Canadian engineering firms have begun to embrace the power of digital narratives. In short, digital narratives are stories published and promoted online that are designed to shed light on viable solutions to complex problems. They’re effective because people are inherently drawn to stories. Stories are relatable, compelling, insightful, and prescriptive. They can be instrumental in how business goes about differentiating the firm and generating new qualified leads.
Yet more often than not, most engineering firms in Canada use the same types of content made up of the same generic claims.
- “We recently received this certification.”
- “We recently completed this project for client X.”
This content helps with credibility and authority, but it makes it nearly impossible to rise above the noise.
Additionally, very few engineering firms have their own content marketing strategies in place. Instituting a successful content marketing strategy involves consistently and reliably generating unique and valuable content. Doing so amplifies firm’s credibility, generates more leads and helps nurture them through sales funnel over time.
Instituting an Effective Content Marketing Strategy
There’s more to content marketing than simply publishing “more content.” It’s about systematically building measurable assets that educate firm’s prospects and help inform clients over time. It requires a proven strategy made up of repeatable systems that are measurable and can be optimized. Without a strategy, business will waste a great deal of time and money, and at the end of the day, business has very little to show for the efforts.
When done well, engineering firm’s content marketing strategy will earn company credibility and trust among prospects over time. It will establish firm as a thought leader. By enabling prospects to sample firm’s expertise with content, business will more effectively nurture them through the sales process and into signing big-dollar contracts. For optimal success, content marketing strategy should become a component of firm’s comprehensive sales process. It’s not a cookie-cutter, one-off, ad hoc solution; it should be tightly integrated into sales system.
When business combines content marketing strategy with traditional sales tactics, a company will be a force to be reckoned with. The engaging content firm consistently publishes will complement firm’s referrals as well as the conferences and networking events company attends. It will tee up more productive face-to-face meetings, strengthen reputation, and foster closer professional relationships based on trust.
With all of that being said, instituting an effective content marketing strategy in Canada isn’t easy. It’s time-consuming and requires the right team with the right skill sets. The reality is, most Canadian engineering firms simply aren’t built to be content marketers.