Chemical manufacturing is a huge B2B market. In the United States alone, it’s a $33 billion industry, and in 2021, the worldwide revenue of the chemicals industry was around $4.73 trillion, with Dow as the world’s leading chemical company.
Chemicals are an essential part of the global economy. It is expected the industry will post a 1.8 percent overall growth by 2024, with the development of basic chemicals being the largest of any chemical segment, forecast at 2.1 percent in 2024.
Chemical manufacturers can brace for a fever-pitch competition; the game has become more challenging. In such a scenario, companies will need to do more and better in marketing by moving beyond traditional content to capture audience interest.
They must tell stories. It engages and informs buyers, raises their awareness beyond product descriptions, and supports their decision-making. These are all critical tasks, which require a skilled and highly intuitive content team to pull them off. And that’s exciting. Because if engaging with buyers is not seen as a fun activity, no marketing team will achieve the desired results.
Marketing scenario in B2B
Prospective buyers rarely deal with salespeople in today’s digital ecosystem. Gartner, the US-based technological research and consulting firm, shows B2B buyers spend only 17 percent of their time meeting potential suppliers during a purchase decision. And when they compare multiple suppliers, not more than 5% -6% of their time is spent with sales reps, giving the latter few opportunities to influence customer decisions.
Seventy percent of a buyer’s journey is now digital, and they base their research and evaluations on online content, which significantly impacts their purchasing decisions. The simple, point-to-point relationship between manufacturers and purchasers is fading quickly. Today’s B2B is a complex ecosystem with layers of weigh-in options, benefits, price points, rewards systems, and competitive advantages. Selling products using traditional methods is passe.
Take industrial marketing. We can view it as a hybrid between B2B solutions providers and eCommerce. Buyers in this sector look for specific products to solve particular business problems. When a website showcases products with prices, the conversion leads to a purchase, known as eCommerce. But for chemical manufacturers, the conversion route is like a hairpin bend. It is a hybrid model in the case of chemical manufacturers; displaying products on the website, but converting visitors to lead generation, such as ‘submit your specs’ or ‘get a quote’.
Whatever the purchase size, a company’s conversion rate and revenue growth depend on how easily it can convince and engage its site visitors. Before a potential buyer clicks on their website, the marketing team must prepare the ground to make the visitor engage and voila! the team has paved the route to conversion. This is a way to build trust, attract prospects, and generates leads and quotes before prospects go to search engines.
There is another dimension to B2B marketing. It involves six to ten decision-makers, each contributing four or five pieces of information to arrive at a complex B2B solution, companies that help them with solid information grabs their attention. This attention-grabbing is critical because buyers are deluged with new technologies, products, suppliers, and services, and any company that can get them out on clear ground is a winner.
Therefore, B2B chemical marketers must make the purchasing process straightforward. It helps customers better anticipate their concerns and arrive comfortably at a buying pattern. It also makes it easier for salespersons to drive customer value, and it’s a win-win situation.
Content marketing in the chemicals industry
Whether B2B, B2C, or D2C, today we see content marketing as all the marketing that’s left. Strategy is the scaffolding, but the bricks and cement are content. But that does not mean anything goes in its name. Many chemical manufacturing companies own content marketing destinations, but most of them are lost too often. It may be due to a combination of the following:
- The content marketing strategy is not foolproof, i.e., it is not reaching the right audience at the right time with a relevant message > handled by a marketing strategist
- Companies do not know their audience, pain points, solutions, location, access, or persona > handled by a buyer persona specialist
- Content is not helpful, uninteresting, or irrelevant > handled by content writers
- Content is more about the brand than the audience > controlled by the brand itself
- Content is not easily found, and its reach is minimal > handled by an SEO specialist
The reason behind ineffective content marketing is the lack of coordination between the various resources working for a common objective. Besides, there is no one who oversees and controls the quality of the whole experience. There is hardly any data and analytics specialist and editors involved in the whole process. In a nutshell – the reason is the absence of an adept content team.
What comprises an adept content team?
An adept content team comprises:
- Experienced marketing strategists.
- Buyer-persona experts.
- Data analysts.
- Industry-specific seasoned copywriters.
- On-page SEO experts.
- Veteran editors.
These experts are agile, resilient, interdependent, and know how to foster synergy.
How does an agile content team work?
They have vigilant marketing strategists on their team
They have vigilant marketing strategists who keep an eye on the market and evolve with buyers’ and customers’ preferences. They keep track of the top market performers, study their strategies and stay updated.
They have expert buyer personas on board
Understanding buyer personas is the key to marketing success. Buyer persona experts talk to existing customers, conduct industry research, review available databases, and consolidate the findings into a persona document to guide messaging and content. They also update buyer personas from time to time as buyer and customer preferences keep changing.
They have seasoned copywriters
Seasoned copywriters are subject matter experts who keep pace with industry-related developments. They are a critical advantage that creates copy audiences can immediately relate to and engage with. Seasoned copywriters know audiences love fresh, original, and value-rich content that helps them make informed decisions.
Good copywriters don’t write blah. Instead, they tell memorable stories. When telling a story, they look at the big picture and have a larger-than-life purpose beyond the sound of ringing cash registers. They are passionate about crafting meaningful moments for buyers and customers.
They have data analysts who pave the way to personalization
Personalization makes messaging like a target-seeking missile – it successfully connects with the proper stages of buyers’ and customers’ lifecycles. Data analysts help the creative team integrate creativity with analytics, and deploy analytics with purpose. It helps clients achieve at least twice the revenue growth compared to peers.
They have on-page SEO experts
Technical skills like SEO give content better rankings in search engines, helping clients enjoy a higher reach and a broader audience base.
They have veteran editors from mainstream media
Mainstream media journalists are fantastic storytellers; the narrative expertise marketers must employ to engage with their audiences. Most marketing teams create content simply to support brands or products; they are not creating content to impassion and empower customers. It’s the reason marketing content becomes a forgettable piece of writing.
If you are not intentionally creating content for your audience, it will have a short shelf life.
Marketers routinely underestimate the ability of buyers to recognize skim-and-tell writing. Give customers an evocative narrative, and they will stay hooked. It is not impossible to marry memorable prose with commercial interests; just think of the hundreds of unforgettable corporate advertisements. But marketing content must also have a healthy dose of depth and meaning to attain impact and longevity. Therefore, a content team that works under the supervision of an editorial board comprising senior journalists can do the job much better than a marketer with no experience in storytelling.
Chemical companies must put out meaningful content rather than pushing purely promotional dross. Customers are also readers, imagists, poets, thinkers, contemplators, and storytellers in their own right. Is your in-house marketing talent capable of capturing their interest? Or would it be easier to employ a full-service strategic content agency because your customers are worth it?
Think about it.
We possess domain expertise in the chemical manufacturing industry and have built a solid relationship of content building and strategic inputs with many of them.
We can help you with buyer persona development, building marketing strategies, and strategic content creation. To learn more visit our website.