Gearing up for red tape


Brief 

Europe has over 8 billion electric motors in use, consuming 63% of the continent’s electricity. To manage their environmental impact, motors are subjected to the European Commission (EC) eco-design requirements — but these regulations are about to change.

From July 1, 2021, the legislation will include a wider scope of motors. For the first time, hazardous area motors are included. The sheer volume of motors in operation in Europe means disseminating this information and ensuring compliance is colossal task. WEG, a global manufacturer of industrial motors, turned to Stone Junction to help. The objectives were as follows:

Our objectives

  • Position WEG as a trusted supplier of compliant motors and authoritative industry voice, generating 200 pieces of coverage in trade press (June 2020-May 2021)
    - 20 pieces of print coverage
    - 20% of coverage to mention legislation changes
    - Coverage in all regions: France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, UK and Scandinavia

 

  • Reach hazardous area professionals by publicising WEG’s work in associated sectors, generating 75 pieces of coverage in publications serving hazardous industries
    - 1/3 of coverage (25) should be case studies
    - 5 pieces of full-page coverage

 

  • Encourage 200 downloads of a motor whitepaper series, developed to communicate legislation with industry leaders
    - Ten pieces of trade coverage to announce whitepaper availability
    - Use signs ups to obtain 100 e-mail leads for WEG’s sales team

 

  • Increase awareness of legislation socially, using video-led LinkedIn campaign, reaching 12,000 followers for WEG Europe and Middle East page (starting at 8,230)
    - Specifically increase followers from hazardous industries by 10%
    - Increasing page engagements by 20%
    - Achieve 16,000 engagements on video content – approximately double original follower count

 

Our strategy 

As a new addition to eco-design, hazardous area motors present an opportunity for WEG to position itself as a trusted supplier of compliant equipment. Hazardous industries include mining, metals, oil and gas and other environments in which explosive atmospheres exist.

To account for these sectors, Stone Junction determined core media in these niches, identifying 78 key publications. Hazardex (UK), Energinyheter (SV), Rocas y Minerales (ES), International Mining (EU), Aandrijftechniek (NL), Energia Plus (IT) and Produits Equipements Industriels (FR) provide one example from each region.

Calls with editors from Hazardex (UK), Oil & Gas Journal (US/global) and Mining Technology (UK/global), confirmed case studies are the preferred editorial type for this media. However, as legislation is a notoriously dry subject, we suggested a multimedia approach in the form of:
 

  • Visual case studies
    - Six videos to illustrate WEG’s projects in hazardous industries
    - To be uploaded to LinkedIn
    - Also produced in written format for media
    - Aiming to achieve three pieces of coverage each

 

  • Thought leadership content
    - 12 articles on topics including: WEG explains the new eco-design standard, Hazardous area motors are no longer exempt, and New legislation, new possibilities? written for trade press
    - Accompanying infographic to illustrate changes

 

  • Downloadable white papers
    - Four whitepapers on electric motors – including the technical guide, gear purchasing guide and maintenance guide, written, designed and uploaded to new microsite (produced by another agency, promoted by Stone Junction)

 

In addition to hazardous industries, other audiences included the general automation, engineering, manufacturing and process sectors. Publications identified include The Engineer (UK), Drives & Controls (UK), Automazione (IT), Industrie Mag (FR), Industri Nyheter (SV), Automation Magazine (BL) etc.

 

Implementation of tactics 

 

Phase one: Content production

  • Phone calls held with WEG Europe branches (BeNeLux, Iberia, Italy, Scandinavia, France, UK and Middle East) to identify case studies, held in native language where possible
  • Interviews held with customers and case studies written and translated into all languages (ES, IT, NL, FR and SV)
  • Videos created remotely, using stock footage, graphic transitions and text layovers to illustrate stories - removing the need to visit sites and travel during covid
    • For example, impressive high-quality stock clips of mines and quarries used as a backdrop to the jaw crusher case study, creating 2.5 minute video
    • Selected videos translated for geo-targeted LinkedIn posts
  • Infographic created by Stone Junction to illustrate the legislation changes, this would accompany media placements

 

Phase two: Media placements

  • Long-form content, including six case studies and twelve thought leadership articles pitched to the trade media
  • Virtual journalist meetings held by Stone Junction with tier one media
    • Tier one determined by domain authority (40+) and circulation (15,000+) — exceptions for niche but relevant magazines
  • Content pitched as exclusive per country, per sector, providing opportunity to gain coverage in six languages, across multiple vertical sectors — while maintaining exclusivity agreements (and good relationships) with journalists
  • Where possible content was pitched in journalist’s language. Stone Junction has Spanish, Italian, French and Swedish in-house

 

Phase three: Whitepaper campaign

Alongside earned media, Stone Junction worked with a third-party to promote four motor-related whitepapers. Work included press releases to announce whitepapers and social media to drive traffic.

  • Four press releases distributed on mass to trade media
  • 30 social media updates linking to microsite scheduled over three-month period

 

Phase four: Social amplification

All content produced was reused for LinkedIn (and Twitter as secondary platform). 10 of WEG’s standard 30 social updates per months were designated to legislation messaging.

  • Thought leadership pieces were shortened to >700 characters, encouraging users to click to extended article
  • Case study videos uploaded to LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Selected updates/videos translated in ES, IT, FR and NL, and scheduled using LinkedIn’s geotargeting function

 

Shared content to relevant groups, Energy Professionals (339k members), Mining Industry Professionals (227k members), Cement, Concrete and Construction (31.9k members) and super specific groups, like Hazardous Area Equipment (4.6k members)

 

Final results

1. Generated 473 pieces of coverage in the trade press in twelve months236.5% of the original target

  • 49 pieces print of coverage — 245% of target
  • 424 pieces of online coverage
    • 1,371,850 readers of online coverage
    • 188 backlinks
  • Coverage in all target regions including UK, Scandinavia, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Italy

 

2. Generated 122 pieces of coverage in hazardous industry press162% of original target

  • 57.5% of coverage were case studies – 32.5% higher than target
  • This included 32 clippings for jaw crusher case study
    • This coverage secured a £600,000 contract for WEG and its partner Technidrive following an enquiry from reader of Hazardex magazine
    • Enquiries from large multinational jaw crusher manufacturers
  • Bonus 16 pieces of coverage in Middle East due to the high volume of hazardous area publications in region

 

3. Achieved 263 downloads of whitepapers131.5% of target

  • Generated 233 contact addresses for WEG’s European sales team – remaining downloads were from competitors, internal staff or students
  • 55 of these leads directly attributed to organic PR activity
  • 41 pieces of media coverage to specifically announce whitepapers
  • 30 backlinks to microsite

 

4. Connect socially through a video-led LinkedIn campaign

  • Generated 6,213 new LinkedIn followers – a 75.4% increase
  • Ended year on 14,443 LinkedIn followers – 2,443 over the original target
  • Increased followers from hazardous area industries by 19.54% – surpassing target by 9.54%
    • Mechanical and industrial engineering +1,791
    • Oil and energy +624
    • Mining and metals +302
  • Increased total page engagement by 81.01% — surpassing 20% target
  • Achieved 731,453 organic engagements from mixed media content
    - 50,841 were reactions to video case studies — over three times the video engagement target.
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