Rahco Rubber Builds Brand, and Business, Through PR and Content Marketing
BUSINESS STRATEGIES | Manufacturing Marketing | By Dianna Huff
“I was brought in to help grow revenue,” says Dennis Askew, Business Development Manager for Rahco Rubber, based in Des Plaines, IL. “Before I started four years ago, a very limited number of people knew about the company or what we made. They do now.”
Founded in 1972, Rahco Rubber custom formulates and manufactures precision rubber parts – everything from seals, gaskets, grommets and pump diaphragms to all manner of system components.
Askew focuses on creating PR for the company through content on social media, trade publications, and the company’s blog. “It’s not sexy,” he says. “It requires a great deal of time and energy, but the end result is worth it.”
To create your own content marketing strategy, Askew advises that you first establish your end goal. In Rahco’s case, the goal was to double business within a certain time period. Thus, everything he does, from the networking to posting on LinkedIn, is done with this goal in mind.
DETERMINE WHAT MAKES YOUR COMPANY DIFFERENT
Once you have your goal, you have to look at your company and its offerings objectively. “People know about their own business,” he says, “but rarely how they stack up against competitors.”
Look at what your company offers, as well as how you do it, and then compare that your competition. Your message needs constantly communicate how your company stands above and beyond others in your “commodity.”
“Don’t be afraid to communicate your company’s passion and drive,” he says. A unique brand / message / story also makes it much easier to pitch ideas to trade publications.
USE ONE VOICE
What this means is that everything coming out of your company should have the same message and sound as if one person is writing everything (even if your blog has multiple authors).
Establishing a company’s “brand” should always reflect its mission and its management; Rahco’s focus, led by its President Steve Anton, gives the company its true north. The articles, press releases, etc. all reflect the company’s commitment to excellence.
CONSIDER ALL AVAILABLE CHANNELS
Askew says he spent considerable time working with a web designer to update the website; he continually adds content, which heightens the efficiency of SEO. The News blog features stories about Rahco employees, insight on industry news, and press mentions, and all are repurposed or cross-functionally applied to similar media outlets. For example, the company has been featured in the Illinois Manufacturer (MEP publication). President Steven Anton was featured in Entrepreneur.
“What I do is write something for the blog, such as how Rahco helped fundraise for St. Jude’s, then I see if I can get this into an industry publication, such as Rubber News, published by the Association of Rubber Manufacturers.” He publishes the blog piece on social media (e.g. LinkedIn, Figure 1) and then once the piece is featured in a publication, he puts that on the blog too.
When asked how long it has taken to see ROI, Askew says the company now gets at least one inquiry a day. “In the past 24 months,” he says, “we’ve added five new customers worth approximately $1MM.”“If your company has a growth goal,” he says, “you can’t stay vanilla. You have to change things and put time, effort, and money into your marketing and other areas. If you want to remain vanilla, keep doing what you’re doing.”