The premise of content marketing is educational—not promotional—which makes it the perfect initiative for manufacturing marketers. And while content marketing is now widely accepted in B2B and B2C markets, manufacturing and industrial companies have been a little less inclined to belly flop into the pool. Truth be told, modern approaches to manufacturing marketing can drive meaningful results for your brand and sales pipeline.
Even though manufacturing companies are making strides, they are still in the early phases of adoption. New information from a 2018 Content Marketing Institute study of manufacturers states that nearly half of respondents (46%) said their organization is in the young/ first steps of content marketing maturity. Creating a content strategy is the first step and then developing appropriate material will help build a content marketing initiative. But, what types of content work best for a manufacturing audience? Based on our experience, we have some recommendations for those companies just starting out or those that are content marketing veterans.
Marketing videos are great ways to talk about your brand and showcase your products and solutions. When you can actually show your manufacturing viewers new products and product updates, they will be more inclined to engage. Behind-the-scenes, how-to and safety videos are also popular with manufacturing companies. This audience looks for more than promotional videos and providing detail and actions will go a long way toward gaining their interest and engagement.
Customer testimonials and case studies are also great vehicles to reach a manufacturing audience. This group is interested in facts and performance and if you can provide use cases and results via other companies using your products, that has great credibility. Again, most buyers are less interested in promotions about your business and more inclined to want facts and solutions. So if you can share other users touting the benefits of your products instead of chest beating for your company, you’ll gain their respect and trust.
Email campaigns are received positively by manufacturing audiences because they can be personalized for the prospect or customer. When a company realizes that you have email messages targeted to their concerns, they will appreciate the level of personalization and interest in solving their challenges. Again, steer clear of self promotion and focus on helping prospective customers answer pressing questions and solve problems.
White papers and e-books are classic tools for reaching a manufacturing audience because of the fact-based content. White papers can be made available for download on your website or as part of an email fulfillment in order to capture prospect information on a landing page. However you choose to use them, white papers are gems when it comes to delivering unbiased content which is a great draw for this audience.
Social media is important for manufacturing brands to stay current with prospects and customers. This may seem like an unlikely tool, given the audience’s penchant for no-nonsense content, but social media platforms—especially LinkedIn—can be a great ways to release information quickly to appropriate audiences. There is also tremendous value in the sharing and commenting aspects of social media to help brands increase their reach at little to no investment.
Building out a content marketing program has great possibilities for business growth and will expand as it gains maturity, but starting with these solid content marketing tools will be a great foundation. To learn more about our proven experience might can help your company, schedule a free consultation with Shanahan Strategy.