It’s not always easy casting a “boring” B2B business in an exciting and interesting light, even while marketing to people working in that respective niche industry. With that said, our PMG team relishes the opportunity to help businesses with lengthy, challenging sales cycles attract relevant traffic – and convert prospects into qualified leads. Industrial manufacturing firm and long-time HubSpot customer TriStar Plastics Corporation was no exception.
Our client TriStar designs, manufactures, and custom fabricates plastic bearing materials for 70+ industries in a wide range of applications. The company is passionate about educating manufacturers about the significant cost and design advantages of plastic bearing materials vs. more common metal bearings. Yet despite proven data, many engineers remain unaware that plastic bearings last longer, require less maintenance, and deliver a higher ROI than metal bearings.
Harkening back to 2007, TriStar’s management was in the market for an outsourced partner who could help them better leverage analytics tools, rake in the A-list leads, and take marketing responsibilities off their plate so they could concentrate on the business. And believe it or not, entrepreneur and TriStar CEO Richard Cedrone was the man who initially introduced us to HubSpot’s marketing automation software.
Eight years later, we are a HubSpot Platinum Partner, still proudly providing results-driven content marketing strategy and execution for TriStar – and we aren’t slowing down any time soon!
“Prior to working with PMG, I was bogging my team down with marketing tasks – and frankly, the marketing wasn’t being carried out consistently. Now it is. We run an amazing machine together,” Cedrone says. “Susan and her team really keep us organized and on task. We simply didn’t have the organizational depth to do it all. We were looking for a true partner to manage our strategic marketing efforts, and I was very impressed with the way this group conducted themselves from the beginning.”
In order to explain how PMG has shaped TriStar’s content marketing program, we’ll frame the various strategic attributes by highlighting a recent campaign we devised and launched for this specialized manufacturing firm. Allow us to elaborate…
The “Machining Plastics Campaign” Objectives:
The primary goal of the Machining Plastics campaign was to position TriStar as the thought leader and go-to resource for manufacturing designers seeking to improve the quality and performance of their products through custom bearing fabrication. By educating engineers in machining techniques, the campaign would build awareness of the TriStar brand, while promoting the company’s in-house fabrication facilities.
Another important goal, of course, was to generate and nurture sales-qualified leads that TriStar could efficiently close into customers.
Achieving the Campaign Objectives:
To firmly establish TriStar as the leader in plastics machining, Precision Marketing Group partnered with the TriStar team to develop timely, relevant content that would educate manufacturers about the benefits of custom plastic machining.
The integrated outreach for the Machining Plastics Campaign included a mix of newer and more traditional content marketing, centered around a 33-page technical white paper for which we wrote the copy and promoted to attract new contacts. Below are the various elements we created for the campaign:
- Technical white paper: Our talented technical writer Denise Locke teamed up with TriStar’s subject matter experts to produce a user-friendly guide reviewing the basics of machining tools and techniques – plus pro tips to help manufacturers maximize the ROI of their plastic materials.
- eNewsletter: In the early days of working with TriStar, we began writing and publishing the company’s Shooting Star monthly eNewsletter in order to stay in front of prospects, clients, colleagues and partners. The February 2015 issue promoting the Machining Guide featured Call-to-Action links providing prospects an easy opportunity to download a free copy. This particular newsletter had over 2,300 opens and 366 clicks redirecting to the white paper’s landing page. Not too shabby for an SMB in a lesser known field, eh?
- Blog promotion: We also wrote and published a series of blog posts highlighting machining tips and the value of choosing the right machining partner.
- Social outreach: To further promote the eBook across professional and social networks, we created a social media plan that incorporated publishing messages on Facebook and Twitter. These channels continue to drive new site traffic and engagement with target buyers and industry influencers.
- YouTube videos: As an added tutorial, we promoted some older plastic fabrication videos; a cost-effective means of repurposing evergreen material into a new campaign.
- Industry press release: Lastly, we crafted a press release that was delivered via wire service to a targeted audience. The release was picked up by at least 281 sites, which ultimately translated into additional interactions, as well as click-throughs to the new guide.
To measure the quantitative success of the campaign, we measured the number of visitors to the Machining Plastics landing page as compared to the number who ultimately submitted contact information in exchange for the free resource.
Within days of the campaign release, the offer generated 130 downloads – the single largest initial response to a TriStar white paper. By the end of February, the white paper landing page had a 49.9% submission rate. About six months later, this visit-to-contact conversion rate continues to hold strong at a sold 44.7%. What’s more, the CTA designed for the content we produced currently boasts a 16.35% click-through rate!
Following the success of the Machining Plastics campaign, Richard Cedrone stated, “Our subject matter experts know our product lines inside and out. What we needed was a partner to hone and translate this knowledge into content that resonates with our target audience and motivates prospects to learn more about our solutions. PMG knows exactly what questions to ask our experts and creates compelling content that keeps engineers and other industry professionals coming back for more. This campaign has certainly contributed to our lead generation efforts, as well as thought leadership and online visibility.”
Transforming TriStar’s Content Marketing:
Since working with PMG, TriStar plastics has eliminated all trade show expenses and now focuses entirely on inbound marketing for generating topnotch leads.
From building their Tech Talk blog around expert Q&A sessions and challenge/solution pieces to crafting their numerous educational white papers, we’ve enjoyed structuring their content marketing around the theme of solving problems – not touting products. Moreover, TriStar remains highly responsive and engaged with its audience; and it shows. Their popular Ask the Expert form has garnered nearly 300 submissions! Not to mention, Cedrone was happy to let us know when one of his Shooting Star readers reached out to him, asserting “It’s not an exaggeration to say that yours is the most interesting newsletter I read.”
TriStar’s commitment to content marketing has truly changed the way the company markets to their ideal customers. And we’ve happily seen them grow every step of the way.
Why Our Outsourced Marketing Partnership Works:
We admit we love working with diligent entrepreneurs like Richard Cedrone. Our founders were cut from the same cloth, and they get what it means to invest extensive amounts of time and energy into a business they care so much about.
But we’re also proud to partner with TriStar Plastics Corp because they trust us to do our job well and make big decisions, giving up some of the control owners typically like to hang onto, yet without abdicating marketing responsibilities altogether.
Having worked closely with Cedrone for years now, PMG Principal Susan LaPlante-Dube attests to the strength of this relationship: "It all works so well because TriStar is the quintessential partner, listening to our ideas and asking intelligent questions, while occasionally pushing back on those ideas when necessary. They know how to make a strong idea even stronger. Needless to say, they're true experts in their field and that quality in itself enables us to make them look great with their marketing."
TriStar’s SMEs are very much engaged in the content development process while we help them convey very specific technical information in a digestible format. And what’s more, Cedrone never hesitates to come to the table with fresh thoughts and insights.
As a result, our outsourced marketing department has become an integrated part of his company. We look forward to delivering another successful campaign for TriStar Plastics!