The manufacturing and industrial sectors typically lag behind others before updating their marketing strategies. Historically, content marketing was not a priority.
Since the internet’s proliferation, however, the game has changed. Now, manufacturers must engage potential customers to capture their attention. Content marketing is one way manufacturers are successfully reaching potential customers and staying ahead of the competition.
What is it and how it helps
Long gone are the days when manufacturing customers simply looked to the Yellow Pages before making a call. Linda Rigano, director of strategic alliances/marketing development at ThomasNet, says that used to be “a supplier’s ‘magic moment’ – that phone call – because they then had every opportunity to convince the buyer to do business.”
More than ever before, traditional marketing is not effective in targeting hard-to-reach customers skilled in avoiding product pitches. This is why content marketing is an important tool for manufacturing and industrial marketers. Research shows content marketing delivers great success and often costs less to implement.
Unlike other marketing efforts where potential customers are told about a company and its services through promotions or advertising, content marketing is strategic. Relevant and compelling stories about the business are carefully distributed to a target audience.
As a result, the storyteller becomes a reliable source and trusted problem solver. Potential customers are attracted to this clearly defined, valuable, and consistent storytelling and, over time, are driven to the “sales funnel.” By raising awareness, potential customers are poised for action.
Content marketing trends
According to Content Marketing Institute research, fewer than 20 percent of manufacturers surveyed in 2015 reported their organization was effective at content marketing or even had a marketing strategy. That’s starting to change. One year later, at least 59 percent of the same group reported at least some improvement in content marketing.
With more companies participating, it is essential to adopt strong content marketing efforts.
Content marketing is very good at driving traffic to in-person events. In fact, 66 percent of marketers say in-person events are the most effective marketing effort. Content from the event can also be used to drive pre- and post-content marketing efforts.
Like other B2B industries, manufacturers want content marketing to raise brand awareness, generate leads, and acquire new customers. Yet the CMI says there is a disconnect for manufacturers. While they cite web traffic as the primary measurement of content effectiveness, they do not emphasize the creation of “thought leadership” articles or other authoritative content.
Instead, 87 percent of manufacturing marketers use video. This is a great tactic and manufacturing marketers use video more than any other group CMI studies. It is, however, important to be relevant to potential customers, including producing content in a variety of mediums. Manufacturing marketers say video has dipped and is less effective.
If new to content marketing, a blog is a great way to educate potential customers and drive web traffic. Studies show potential customers do not want to engage a sales team “until they have done their research on their own and are ready to make a buy decision based on products, programs and prices.”
Consistent new content delivered at least two times a month will make a company a trusted source about services, market trends, timely topics, tutorials, and products.
HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales software developer, found companies that published 16 or more blog posts per month got almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that published only one to four monthly posts.
When a blog is done well, it can be very beneficial to a business. Thought leaders drive business forward by sharing their valued opinions and expertise. Of course, experts in their field are occupied by the day-to-day demand for their time. Writing and producing content is a bit overwhelming. Executives who don’t have time to write content can turn to Tempesta Media.
Considering the biggest challenge for executives in manufacturing is to produce enough content and measure its effectiveness, outsourcing is not an unusual practice. Compared with others who produce content marketing, manufacturing marketers outsource content more often. With numerous writers who have expertise in manufacturing, Tempesta Media is always there for you as you embark and continue with content marketing as a essential tool for growth.