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John Hayes
February 04, 2016

Telling an engineering story that will generate leads


Bruce McDuffee of MM Matters was kind enough to invite me to speak on a podcast about, How to tell a lead generating engineering story.

MM Matters is a community for manufacturing marketers. In the podcast Bruce asked about how marketers can get leads from their content, and how to generate content for engineering stories.

Here are a few of the highlights 

(Hear the full episode).

Bruce McDuffee: What is a lead generating story for manufacturing engineers, and why is it an effective manufacturing marketing tool?

John Hayes: As a marketer, what you want to happen is for an engineer to be searching for a solution to a problem and come across your story as a way to learn how to solve that problem.  Or you want them to read the story in a publication they like, and then store that information away for future reference. If you can achieve that result, your story will be a very effective marketing tool.  Not only will your story resonate with your target audience, but the engineers who read it will even share it with other engineers by emailing it around or sharing it on social media.

Bruce McDuffee: How does or can an engineering story generate leads for manufacturers?

John Hayes: Say you are telling a story about how your product solves a specific application problem. You have an opportunity to insert your product into the story, sort of like a product placement.  It doesn’t have to be as subtle as James Bond driving an Aston Martin – you can call out your particular product within the story itself, so long as you do it within the context of the story.  But be forewarned, you need to do this smoothly or your story won’t get the social sharing I mentioned earlier. 

Bruce McDuffee: How does a manufacturing marketer go about getting started and creating an engineering story that generates leads?

John Hayes: Bruce, this is a tough question. As a marketer, there are two places that you would like to go to get started.  The first is to your application engineers to ask them to write a story and the second is to have the marketer write it himself.  Neither of these tends to work very well. 

Let’s cover why the marketers wouldn’t write it themselves

First off, unless you have been in the industry for a decade, as a marketer you don’t speak the engineering language with the same fluency as engineers.  All it takes is one mis-step and your story will lose all credibility with your audience. 

Secondly, many or perhaps even most marketers can’t help themselves from writing marketing speak – using words like best, perfect, outstanding, world-leading etc., which are all superlatives that make engineer’s eyes roll.  Marketers write from a marketer’s perspective rather than an engineers. 

Listen to the full podcast.

How does tell stories for engineers?

We write thousands of stories every year for our engineering audience, and several hundred of those are sponsored by marketers who need help telling their story.  This sponsored post program also distributes the stories to our audience of 2 million engineering visitors per month.

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