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Powerful manufacturing websites: An insider’s view

Most manufacturing websites have looked the same since the dawn of the internet. Typically, they are glorified brochures focused on products, industries and applications, written from an internally-focused perspective that packs in too much content. Very few take into consideration industry or audience needs before jumping into product features and benefits. Even fewer provide a compelling narrative or reason to buy.

That’s where a public relations team comes in. Since PR professionals specialize in the art of storytelling, we’re asking marketing directors: Why not harness public relations expertise when developing your next website or webpage?

Consider that:

  • 90% of industrial purchases are researched, evaluated and selected online anonymously1
  • 73% of engineers research 3-5 suppliers before making a selection2
  • 47% of B2B buyers consume 3-5 pieces of content prior to engaging with a salesperson3
  • Conversion rates are nearly 6 times higher for content marketing adopters over non-adopters4
  • Thought leadership-driven content marketing (addressing market challenges) is a new search engine optimization driver

Amplifying public relations

Given the state of manufacturing websites, it’s not hard to stand out from the competition. But building a powerful web presence requires rethinking the status quo. PR professionals are uniquely qualified to not only help you identify your story, but to also tell it in a way that highlights your customers’ needs. It’s a skill that’s hard to master and not always done well. In addition, PR professionals have the right combination of strategic thinking and ability to develop compelling content across multiple platforms and channels, amplifying your awareness, engagement and lead generation programs.

Leading with PR also puts an emphasis on content. This practice maximizes your ability to reach readers and can help break down marketing silos. It takes a team of diverse skills to make sure content gets into your target audiences’ hands at the right place and at the right time. Your public relations team can be the bridge that connects your content to your target audiences.

Storytelling at work

Need an example? IBM is getting it right with their business-to-business site: Intel Internet-of-Things. Here’s what we like about their webpage:

  • You can pick up on their narrative and it’s not internally-focused: “Your things have a story to tell. Are you listening?”
  • They identify an industry need and offer a compelling point of view: “…IOT is fueling innovation… Yet, there are barriers slowing IoT adoption…”
  • They address questions buyers are asking: “What is IoT?” and “how do I apply it to my <insert application>?”
  • They offer conversion opportunities and compelling proof points – infographic, white paper, case studies, video
  • The site is visually appealing. Light on copy. Lightly branded.



  1. Source: Thomas Industrial Network
  2. Source: Thomas Industrial Network
  3. Source: DemandGen Report – 2016 Content Preferences Survey
  4. Source: Aberdeen

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