Content Marketing
Cara May-Cole

Digital PR Executive

When it comes to B2B content marketing, it's time for the manufacturing industry to tap into some new skills and get themselves noticed!

Too often we think that if an industry isn’t glamorous, it isn’t worth shouting about. Yes, manufacturing is filled with technical products and jargon, but embracing content marketing can create limitless amounts of opportunity! It can provide a huge boost to brand awareness, help to specifically target a chosen audience, and ultimately generate leads.

State of the Nation: Lack of Strategy

The opportunity that content marketing can bring to manufacturing businesses means nothing without a strategy. Without one, you’re up a creek without a paddle. Unfortunately, this is the current state of many in manufacturing.

According to a 2016 survey carried out by the Content Marketing Institute, an impressive 82% of manufacturing marketers do in fact use content marketing- which is great news!

Now for the not so great news. The lack of strategy is holding back the manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, just 18% of them were recorded to have had a well- documented, written down content marketing strategy in place.

This is problematic because there is no one size fits all marketing strategy for the manufacturing sector. The industry is comprised of thousands of businesses, divided into millions of products, all for different target audiences. What works for one may not work for you. Without a strategy, your chances of getting where you want to go are slim. Your business could be missing out on serious opportunities.

It’s time for the industry to prioritise.

So, What’s Out There for Manufacturing?

Now you’re probably contemplating your own strategy, wondering how best to boost your B2B strategy efforts.

Though one size definitely doesn’t fit all, there are some popular strategies that can be implemented across the board to produce results. They would just need to be adjusted accordingly to suit your audience. According to the Content Marketing Institute, these are the most effective content marketing tactics to use, as surveyed in 2016:

B2B Content Marketing Graph Manufactuting

Here’s the difference when compared with the 2015 results:

B2B Content Marketing Graph Manufacturing 2015

It’s clear that more manufacturers are focusing their efforts online. Take the 7% drop of in-person events. Traditional methods are not as effective as they used to be. Print magazines aren’t even on the 2016 list!

Tactics have now gone digital, so let’s examine the three most popular ones you could implement as part of your strategy:

Social Media Content (Outside of Blogging)

There really aren’t many businesses out there now that don’t know the power of social media.  Manufacturers have clearly harnessed this and are taking it by the horns- 93% of them to exact!

But it’s important to be intentional about the quality and platforms you’re using.

Take YouTube for example. Whilst you might not immediately class YouTube as a social network, you could argue that it is the biggest social network online. It’s not just a place to put your videos. YouTube is the social media platform that completely elevates your content. Their newsfeed comes in the form of recommended videos from subscribed channels, and “writing on someone’s wall” is the engaging under the comments section.

Granger’s/ Grangers International are great examples of how to use YouTube effectively. They are producers of protective waterproof products to be sold to wholesalers and retailers. Across their YouTube page, you’ll find incredibly high quality, engaging content that works to convey their brand and products. Their videos also link back to their blog content on the website, to further drive engagement from their B2B audience.

Landscape machinery company Tracemaster UK  are a great example of how to successfully implement a content marketing campaign.

As part of their 30th anniversary, they launched a strategic campaign with an aim to target specific audiences and generate sales. This included the setup of a Facebook and Twitter page, which they updated with content targeted to their audience. They also filmed product videos, to help promote their brand of machinery.

By having a strategy in place, Tracemaker were able to gain incredible visibility:

  •  saw a 1738% increase in Twitter followers
  • saw an 85% increase in YouTube views
  • gained a 46% increase in website traffic in six months
  • Had 42 new leads in first 24 hours of campaign going live

Case Studies

When promoting brand awareness, nothing gets the job done quite like a case study. Case studies provide customers with powerful social proof of just how good your products are. It offers immediate credibility to your service from the best sources- your customers.

The above example is a case study taken from one of our clients, IML International. Let’s say a prospective client was interested in your service and looked at your website. A case study like the one above has promoted a specific service of yours with real, human evidence that what you do is valuable.

Case studies can also help manufacturing websites rank higher in Google. It helps to necessitate keyword, which helps to improve a website’s visibility when they are searched for. Ultimately, your sites case studies could appear in Google as the answer to a prospective client’s question.

IML customers are showing the service they have been given as a benefit, and in turn providing a great narrative to the service they provide.

 Blogs

As shown by the graph, blogging is still the bread and butter of content marketing, and are gaining in popularity. Companies who blog can generate 67% more leads than those who don’t. In the digital age we live in, most businesses will do their product research online. Search engines drive the most traffic. And having new, creative content regularly posted on your site helps with your ranking. It’s cost effective,and highlights your expertise and savvy about your industry.

If you’re looking for inspiration on how to get your better your blog, look no further than Macfarlane Packaging. The packaging solutions provider maintain excellent content marketing activity through a keyword led blog on their site. All their content consists of strategic, problem-solving posts that their prospective clients will be searching for.

MacFarlane Blog Manufacturing Content Marketing

At the bottom of each blog is the option to leave a reply.

MacFarlane Leave a Reply Manufacturing Content Marketing

This helps to capitalise on the opportunity to create a dialogue from one business to another and convert those views into leads.

Conclusion

With every brand, raising awareness about your company’s key products and services is key. In order for the manufacturing industry to thrive and develop a wider audience reach, investing time into building content plans is essential. It can improve your authority within the industry, increase thought leadership and improve your business’s customer loyalty- helping you become an industry leader.

I’d love to know if your business is now taking another look at its content marketing plan!

 

 

3 responses to “Why the Manufacturing Industry Needs Content Marketing”

  1. Mahee says:

    Until I read this, I was into believing the fact that content marketing does not work for B2B marketing.
    Thank you for the insight.

  2. Jacky York says:

    First – thank you for not saying that manufacturing is boring or not sexy! Though you still had of a comment saying that it isn’t glamorous – tut tut! I meet so many young marketers who say ‘Help, I market really boring products’. To which I say – leave. If you find it boring – you won’t be able to market it effectively. A bit of a bug bear for me!

    The issue isn’t having a content marketing strategy – it’s having a marketing strategy! Far too many manufacturing companies – especially those making industrial products rather than consumer products, still don’t appreciate the importance of a marketing strategy to their business. Or worse still, only see marketing as the ‘colouring in’ department’ or PR ( sorry appreciate you are a PR bob!), The last 10 years are seeing a bit of a sea change as more companies realise that digital marketing now means that they really do need to get to grips with marketing. So their is hope!

    Regarding CMI survey – don’t forget that this is based large on those already engaged in Content Marketing or they are not on their radar to answer their surveys. Also – the reason why print media doesn’t appear is because it wasn’t on the tick list to pick.! And generally no one bothers to fill in the ‘others’ box. Moreover the survey can be biased to the USA – and I’ve always found that US marketing landscape is different to the UK.

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