Manufacturers face a unique set of challenges when it comes to content marketing. To begin, you must bring engineers and creatives together, which poses its own set of challenges.
Then you must persuade your team of technical experts to agree on one piece of content that you are comfortable publishing on the internet. Finally, if you want to see any kind of meaningful results, you must repeat the process with some semblance of consistency.
True, it appears to be quite intimidating.
But it can be done (seriously, we’ve worked with a number of manufacturers to develop some pretty robust content marketing strategies). And when done correctly, the results are unbelievable.
What Prospects Are Looking For On The Internet
It is a common misconception that B2B buyers, particularly industrial buyers, do not search for products online in the same way that B2C buyers do. This is simply not the case.
In fact, according to a recent marketing study, 74% of B2B buyers will do more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase. This means B2B manufacturers and related businesses will need to keep a more comprehensive picture of what manufacturing buyers are looking for online, and they can’t assume that just because they don’t sell products directly online, online content isn’t important to them.
When potential buyers begin shopping for or researching your product, they will go through one of four stages:
Customers may or may not be looking for your products or services at this stage. They might come across your homepage while looking for similar businesses or simply browsing Google with broad keywords.
The customer has a specific need or problem that needs to be addressed, and they’re weighing your company against a number of others to determine which is the best option for them. These leads are likely semi-familiar with your services and have been exposed to your brand. They might look for your business by name or for a specific piece of content that answers their questions.
The customer has discovered your brand, weighed the benefits and drawbacks, and decided to buy. Congratulations on your achievement! This customer was looking for a solution, which your company provided. This process could have been accelerated by an ad, a ranked search result, or a simple-to-navigate website.
BONUS – Retention
Don’t forget that your existing customers will continue to look for you online. These buyers should still have access to content that has been carefully curated for maximum engagement. This encourages repeat business and boosts word-of-mouth marketing by providing shareable, valuable content.
For each of these types of searchers, having a digital presence, particularly through content marketing, is critical. Online marketing not only inverts the traditional marketing funnel and expands your total reach, but it also provides an unrivaled method of providing customers with what they truly want: value.
5 Ultimate Steps to Content Marketing for Manufacturers
To help you get there, here are the steps to Meaningful Content Marketing for Manufacturers.
1. Get to know your customers
If you’re new to the blog or have been skimming through the content trying to find out who we are, you’ll notice that one of the things I’m adamant about is understanding your buyers. That’s because writing great content requires an appreciation of your manufacturing company’s ideal buyers.
- To the sales team, what constitutes a successful prospect?
- What are their identities?
- What is the title of their position?
- What brings them to your manufacturing firm?
- What is their level of industry knowledge?
The answers to these questions have a big influence on what you write and how you write it. Knowing who your ideal customers are will help you develop content that is targeted and personalized to them. You’ve already eliminated one hurdle for your sales team when your ideal customer appears on your website and sees content that addresses his or her questions and feels like it was written for him or her. You’re establishing the confidence that a prospect requires in order for them to believe that your organization will solve their problems.
After that rant, hopefully you understand why knowing your customers is so important to your manufacturing company’s content marketing strategy. You’ll have a better idea of what your customer is looking for because you know who they are. This takes us to the topic of keyword analysis.
2. Conduct keyword research (seriously, this is crucial).
Everyone seems to believe that skipping this move is appropriate. It’s not true at all. Implementing a content marketing plan backed by serious SEO is critical if you want to prioritize marketing efforts that can and do produce a significant return.
It all begins with keyword analysis. Identify keywords with a high search rate, low competition, which are linked to the work your manufacturing company does using one of the several keyword analysis tools available online. Your overall content strategy would be more successful if you conduct thorough keyword analysis.
For example, even though “agricultural tool manufacturing” has a high search volume, it is not a good keyword for you if you make parts for automobiles. To direct your content strategy, look for keywords like “how to find high-quality automotive test products” and “automotive OEM manufacturers close me.”
The last thing you want to do is invest a lot of time and effort into creating fantastic content only to discover that no one is looking for it.
3. Create excellent content
Writing excellent content is, without a doubt, the best way to boost your manufacturing company’s ranking on SERPs.
You’re not a great writer, are you? That’s fine; there are plenty of people like you out there. A quality content writer or content manager can transform technical knowledge, keywords, and the intent and general direction for each piece of content into a useful blog, case study, or content offer that will produce results if you include the technical knowledge, keywords, and the purpose and general direction for each piece of content. It has to be decent if you want your content to rank high.
If you are good at writing, you may consider using Content Marketing Platform i.e. check Semrush Full Review for that.
The provision of high-quality content that addresses users’ questions is Google’s top priority. Invest a little money in a good writer up front, and you’ll see a lot of money back when the writing begins to work for you.
4. Make the content more visible
You’ve invested time and resources into creating excellent content. It’s now up to everyone to see it. Use social media, email marketing, and other methods to spread the word about your fantastic content. “Work smarter, not harder” is a mantra that the Evenbound team lives by. Repurpose the fantastic content in a way that maximizes its exposure on the site you’re using.
Consider this scenario: you’ve written a blog about your manufacturing process. Convert the blog post into a one-minute time-lapse video that demonstrates the manufacturing process in action. The same material could then be used to create an infographic that illustrates the main steps in your manufacturing process. You just created three extremely useful pieces of content from a single subject. You’re not just promoting your blog in a way that’s best for and channel — Facebook, Linkedin, email, and so on — but you’re also getting the most bang for your buck.
5. Make the most of your resources! Improve! Improve!
Don’t hesitate to take a look back once your content marketing campaign is up and running to see how you’re going and how far you’ve come.
You’re operating in a very confined environment when it comes to content marketing for manufacturers. There are usually only a few main players (your top competitors), and you must be very mindful of how your content performs in order to remain ahead of them.
Keep a close eye on everything you create and distribute. What is the most effective? What is the best way to blog? What about time-lapse videos? What are infographics? Whatever it is, make sure you’re identifying the best-performing content so you can produce more of it. Also, don’t just concentrate on the positives.
You will learn a lot from material that isn’t performing well. Consider why the piece of content isn’t doing well: did it miss the mark with your target audience? Is it possible for that post to rank well despite the high level of competition? Is there a forum or channel where content will be more appropriate?
For instance, a blog that your sales team pushed hard for could not perform well. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t keep it. If your sales team thinks it’s extremely useful but you’re not getting any traffic, turn it into a whitepaper or content offer that your sales team can use to guide prospects through the funnel while also allowing you to gate it on your site to see if it can serve as a lead generator in that way.
The success of your manufacturing company’s content marketing campaign will teach you a lot. It’s no laughing matter, though: content marketing for manufacturers is a difficult task. That is why there are so few people who do it. For your company, the degree of difficulty presents an opportunity. You’ll be the first to get their call if you’re one of the first to start producing truly useful content that answers your ideal client’s questions and pain points.
Top Of Funnel Content Marketing Ideas
Below are some popular funnel content marketing ideas these days:
1. Blog Articles
Although blog articles are the most common type of content marketing, they can be used for a variety of purposes. You want to provide educational content that distills complex concepts into useful insight for buyers at the top of the funnel.
An introductory eBook can be a useful tool if you want to cover a topic in greater depth than a typical blog post allows while also collecting visitor information. They give an in-depth but simple look at the capabilities, processes, and benefits of spin testing, which will be useful to anyone researching the topic.
3. Factory Tour Videos
Giving prospects a tour of a factory or plant helps industrial manufacturers showcase their processes and capabilities while also adding a human element to help build a connection.
To get the most views, make sure to post your factory tour video on your homepage and About Us page, as well as promote it on social media networks.
4. Case Studies
Showing how you’ve helped your current customers is one of the best ways to win new customers.
The case study not only displays your work but can also highlight the various industries and applications that your company serves.
5. Product Videos
Videos have become an increasingly important part of any content marketing strategy. They can boost your return on investment.
It’s no surprise, then, that more manufacturers and industrial firms are turning to video marketing to raise brand awareness and bring the human element back into marketing. Buyers can better understand complicated industry topics and services with the help of videos.
If you want to generate more leads and sales in the long run, raising awareness about your company’s key products and services is critical for any brand operating in any industry.
If you work in the manufacturing industry, you should start developing and implementing a content strategy right away.
Effective content can help you grow your audience by increasing your authority in your industry, increasing traffic to your website, and increasing customer loyalty.