Industrial Marketing Blog

Why a Content BOM is Crucial to a Successful Industrial Web Design

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Content BOM is not a typo in my headline. Read on…

I am amazed how often I find that creating content is an afterthought for people who are considering an industrial web design (more commonly a site redesign). Somehow, they assume the web designer will take care of content creation and the cost is included in their proposal for designing the site.

It is not surprising then that many of these industrial web redesigns are nothing more than a cosmetic facelift with copy-pasted content from their old site and/or outdated marketing collateral. Beyond the initial “looks nice” reaction, the new site doesn’t produce the results that were promised and expected.

What went wrong? The short answer – no content BOM (Bill Of Materials). Let me explain by using my personal experience.

I’ve had people call me and start the conversation by saying, “We’ve spent a lot of money on a site redesign but it hasn’t produced any leads. We don’t want to spend too much money again. What can you do for us?”

I’m not making this up and it is not an isolated incident because it has happened more than once in the last few months.

My first reaction is to tell them, “Don’t expect me to discount my price because you made a bad decision to begin with.” Usually I’m forced to bite my tongue since it is still early in the sales call. Consider this post then as my politically correct response to your question.

What is a content BOM?

For those not familiar with that term, BOM is short for Bill Of Materials. Wikipedia defines it as “A bill of materials (sometimes bill of material or BOM) is a list of the raw materials, sub-assemblies, intermediate assemblies, sub-components, components, parts and the quantities of each needed to manufacture an end product.”

I’ve used the term content BOM because the vast majority of my readers are from manufacturing, engineering and industrial companies. You can choose to call it a content plan or a content checklist. It doesn’t matter what you call it, the key is to have a planned roadmap for creating content for your new site.

To manufacture an industrial product, you need a complete BOM. The same principle applies to industrial web designs. Think of your industrial website as the result of careful engineering and manufacturing. The more detailed you make your content BOM, the smoother will be the site design process and chances are, you won’t be disappointed again by the performance of your new site.

To create a good content BOM, you or your site design company must have a clear understanding of the following:

  • How engineers and industrial professionals think and want to interact with your site (Make their jobs easier)
  • What kind of content will educate your customers and help them make an informed buying decision (Move away from price)
  • How to research keywords and write optimized copy to attract the right traffic (SEO)
  • How to use content to convert visitors into qualified leads (Lead generation)
  • How to bring your in-house subject matter experts to the forefront and differentiate your company (Thought leadership)
  • How to grow your base of loyal customers (Sales support and referrals)

Not every web design company has the required skill set that includes creating content for an industrial audience. So choose carefully by asking the right questions.

Now that I’ve given you valuable content marketing advice for free, please don’t ask me for a price break the next time we discuss an industrial web design project.

Did you create a content BOM or a plan before your last site redesign? If not, share some of the issues that you faced.

Achinta Mitra

Achinta Mitra calls himself a “marketing engineer” because he combines his engineering education and an MBA with 35+ years of practical manufacturing and industrial marketing experience. You want an expert with an insider’s knowledge and an outsider’s objectivity who can point you in the right direction immediately. That's Achinta. He is the Founder of Tiecas, Inc., a manufacturing marketing agency in Houston, Texas. Read Achinta's story here.
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  1. I agree completely.

    We recently did a complete overhaul of our sizeable website, and we found the right result occurred when we used everyone’s expertise correctly.

    Leave the web guys to design the framework, front end design, and back end, and leave us to develop and set up the content.

    It’s the hard road, but the correct one.

    And even then, it’s only the beginning – using analytics and lead management you need to constantly monitor, review and change your content to suit.

    • Dean,
      Thanks for sharing your experiences with web redesign and content.

  2. Great article Achinta

    I like the BOM concept because it’s so relevant to your audience.

    I think content marketing would be easier for manufacturers to understand and buy if it could be packaged as a finished product.

    When they buy a web redesign, they expect there will be a point at which the website is finished and the final bill will be paid.

    That’s not the case with content. You have to continually produce it.

    Perhaps marketers need to develop a starter package for content to make it more sellable.

    • Bob,
      Thanks for the kind words and your comments. I agree with you about producing good content continuously.

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