Every year, CFE Media puts on a Marketing to Engineers conference in downtown Chicago to educate marketers on the latest trends and tactics in the engineering community. This year, our CEO, Steve Krull, was chosen to speak at the conference to contribute his knowledge of SEO and discuss some of the changes 2015 will bring. Steve and a few other members of the BFO team gained new insights on this form of marketing. Here are some highlights from a few of the speakers.
How Engineers Find Information
The Marketing to Engineers 2014 Spring Report is a survey of more than 2800 engineers. Pat Lynch of CFE Media shared many interesting results of the study, but one of the most common themes was about the manner in which engineers search for information. It goes without saying that engineers, like all of us, depend on finding credible information in order to do their jobs. However, some of the behavioral differences in how engineers conduct those searches compared to other groups was enlightening:
- Blog Posts: For one thing, engineers don’t consider blog posts to be as credible of a source compared to other sources. Instead, they prefer to rely on information such as product information, white papers, and even testimonials or reviews.
- SERPs: When using a search engine like Google or Bing, engineers will go to the third or fourth search result page before they modify their search parameters.
You can learn more about the results of this research and other insights on the engineering community with CFE Media’s Marketing to Engineers blog here.
Appealing to Emotion
Dane Cowling, founder of The Communications Group, talked about the differences between the left brain and right brain, and how important it is to still appeal to the engineer’s emotional side even though they are, in large part, driven by data.
- To help satisfy both parts, you must present both facts and stories. Engineers are not only in search of factual information, but are also looking for reviews and testimonials, which will help them build trust.
- If you want an engineer to download or purchase something, you have to appeal to both the right and left side of the brain. According to Dane, “facts tell and stories sell.”
Understanding who your audience is, whether they’re engineers or not, means that you can start to develop a more meaningful marketing strategy to fit in line with the facts. This same key learning should also be applied when you think about your website. Navigating the SEO landscape can be challenging enough, but Steve shared some best practices, emphasizing the importance of understanding your audience in order to drive a successful SEO program.
- Analytics: Start with analytics and assessments to determine where you are, and set goals to move forward. Leverage your analytics to make data-driven decisions, and continuously assess your website. Google is constantly updating their algorithm and it is imperative to make sure that your SEO stays up-to-date.
- Mobile-friendliness: An important piece of information Steve shared was about Google’s upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm update, rolling out on April 21, 2015. Google has announced that mobile-friendly sites will be a major organic ranking factor moving forward. For more information about this update and its impact, check out our recent blog post about how to prepare your site for the changes.
- Content Marketing: After applying the foundational SEO practices, the next piece of the puzzle is content marketing. Steve shared many helpful tips on how to create a successful content marketing strategy, including the importance of knowing what types of content will resonate with your audience, as well as the most effective channels to reach them. There are multiple facets and initiatives that fall under content marketing, so it is important to ensure they all align.
With SEO, remember that changes will not happen overnight. However, each of the smaller, strategic efforts will have big payoffs in the long-term, helping you achieve better results. To read more about what Steve had to say, check out the entire presentation on Digital Fitness here.
All Marketing to Engineers conference attendees were given a digital copy of our newest eBook, “A Marketer’s Guide to Managing and Maximizing SEO.” Available here as a downloadable PDF, this comprehensive guide covers everything marketers need to consider in order to most effectively manage SEO as a piece of their overall marketing strategies.
Thank you to Jim Langhenry, Steve Rourke and the entire CFE Media team for the opportunity to speak at and attend the event.
For more information on marketing to engineers, contact an expert at BFO today!