Afera’s content marketing project creates awareness of the endless possibilities of using self-adhesive tape among ‘engineers and designers’

Afera’s new content marketing programme:  Ideas that stick

With the goal of growing the market for tapes by appealing to product designers and mechanical engineers who are not yet aware of the use of tape as a bonding solution, Afera, under management of Lejeune, began exploring the possibilities, opportunities and necessity of developing its online presence in 2012.  Led by the Marketing Committee, the Association created a social media taskforce including delegates from Member Companies tesa, 3M, Novacel and Parafix to explore and initiate an ongoing B2B content marketing programme.

Afera’s virtual task force

Following a substantial amount of groundwork performed by Afera Secretary General Astrid Lejeune and media consultant Bert van Loon, the social media “virtual task force” (VTF) has held a number of strategy brainstorming sessions by phone in 2013 and 2014 in order to pinpoint Afera’s goals, collective resources, and lines of communication with Member Companies.  The VTF’s most recent meeting took place face-to-face on 8 July, organised by Henning Mohme at 3M’s offices in Neuss, Germany. 

It’s not about selling tape, it’s about building an audience

Out of the 8 July session, the VTF have produced and are evaluating the creative concept “Ideas that stick:  Sharing remarkable innovation in product design.”  The concept is not about selling tapes per se but attracting new interest and visits to afera.com, the digital home of the European tape industry, where the visitor will eventually come across generic information about tape. 

The new programme focuses on 1) raising awareness of the functionalities of adhesive tape among potential customers over the long-term and 2) converting interest into direct contact between potential clients and Afera Members through the Member Directory.  In short, it is about building an audience over the long-term.

The tape industry is the hidden driver of product innovation in many industries

The VTF will initially concentrate on the content interests of the product designer audience (including architects), because they play a pivotal role in introducing tape into the production process.  Afera’s online content, which has been in development since afera.com’s September 2013 relaunch, is being geared towards both the awareness phase and the earliest stages of the consideration phase of the buying cycle. 

Product-design-focussed content—zeroing in on general interests in their professional field from 3D printing to careers steps, from patents to life hacks for the modern knowledge worker—has much higher conversation power but is limited in availability for obvious reasons related to NDA, IP and competition issues among Afera Members.

Dating its afera.com audience

Beyond simply creating compelling generic content about tape for afera.com, the VTF will work on developing a content concept to attract product designers and architects to the Association’s website, build a sustainable audience, and position tape and/or Afera as a logical conversational partner when it comes to design technology and innovation.

Afera’s new long-term content marketing programme is not just groundbreaking among associations worldwide.  It is also cutting-edge for companies in the European tape industry value chain, including tape manufacturers (and SMEs), OEMs, raw material suppliers, and converters, who are enthusiastic about increasing interaction with potential adhesive tape client groups.  If you would like to work on extending the market for tapes by joining Afera’s VTF, please contact Afera Marketing Chairman Mike Punter atmpunter@parafix.co.uk or Ms. Lejeune at mail@afera.com.