Content marketing for manufacturers is a niche marketing sector. However, content marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow your business in today’s information-hungry market.
To stay relevant and competitive, content marketers need to know what strategies work best for their niche. Manufacturers can help solve problems by providing content that informs, inspires and helps potential customers through the purchase journey.
This blog will explore seven key content types that marketing departments should utilise to build a content strategy for any manufacturing company.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing refers to the content you create and distribute online, typically on your website or a platform like LinkedIn. Content is often created to attract visitors, customers and prospects. Examples of content marketing include:
- Social media posts
- White papers
- Case studies
Content marketing might not always drive a sale, but sales aren’t always the end game. Content marketing can help to boost your brand awareness, grow email marketing lists, bolster SEO efforts and increase your following on social media.
Why should manufacturers use content marketing?
Content marketing is about more than just keeping your blog populated. When done correctly, content marketing can help customers make their way through the purchase journey.
An effective content marketing strategy can help you accomplish the goal of maximising revenue from visitors by creating content that does one or more of the following:
- Increase your website traffic
- Grow your social media following
- Increase your mailing list
- Boost brand awareness
Best content forms for manufacturing marketing
One problem manufacturers face is finding advice that is unique to their industry. What works for a fast-fashion company won’t work for you, so there’s little sense in putting time and budget into an Instagram reels strategy. Instead, focus on growing your educational resources that will help to inform the customer both pre and post-sales.
Another common mistake is assuming that every piece of content should lead to a sale. Adjust your expectations and your attribution model accordingly. A piece of content might be one of many touchpoints that a customer engages with before finally converting. This can make ROI and CPA more challenging to calculate, so make sure you have accurate tracking to understand the user journey better.
By far the king of the B2B content marketing stack, case studies should quickly become your best friend. A good template for a case study can allow you to produce high-quality content that helps to inform the customer journey in a practical and relatable way.
Use case studies to announce new product ranges, explain complex manufacturing processes or explain how you help particular industries to grow.
While you might not be mastering the latest TikTok dance craze, there is undoubtedly value to being on social media. You might be in a B2B sector, but your customers are still human, which means they spend their time on social media.
LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are still viable avenues to explore for manufacturing companies. Use these platforms to engage in conversation, provide value and engage with your customers. However, marketers should never use social media to broadcast; instead, think of it as a tool to bring you closer to customers.
Video content is a powerful way to create an emotional connection with your audience. A well-executed video can touch on emotions that are hard for customers to articulate in text. Manufacturing is a “show, don’t tell” sector that translates well to video.
Video content is also ideal for explaining complex concepts in the simplest way possible. So when you have new machinery to introduce and don’t feel like explaining how it works in 500 words or less, why not hit record instead?
Hosting a webinar is an excellent way to give your customers and audience more value. Webinars are interactive, online classes where you can introduce a new concept or support your customers.
Once the live webinar has passed, the recorded content can then be shared on your website, offering longevity and added value. You can also extract key concepts to share on social media.
Blog content is a great way to keep your audience engaged. You can share new content, like an interview with a customer service representative or highlight innovative products from the latest industry event you attended.
You can also share helpful “how tos” and explainers to help boost search engine standings and increase social shares. Pillar or cluster content will help you provide in-depth context and allow website users to navigate between the content as they prefer. This will help them to make sense of the information on their terms.
A white paper is a comprehensive document that provides additional insight or expertise on a complex issue. It is intended to educate readers, either through sharing research or unique insight.
White papers are ideally suited to the B2B sector as it is highly technical and can help build your authority in the sector. White papers are also helpful for driving leads to your website. Request an email address and some basic information in exchange for your white paper to help grow your list and understand who is looking at your content.
When website visitors are happy to hand over their contact information, it makes sense to put this information to work. Email marketing can help to guide the purchase journey through carefully planned email automation.
Automated email journeys are an excellent use of marketing resources when budgets are tight. Simply set them up once, and they’ll trigger automatically for every new subscriber.
You don’t have to try everything all at once. If your manufacturing content marketing strategy is currently non-existent, try starting small with a blog or white paper. As you grow your audience, learn from them and try to deliver more of the content that gets the best engagement.
If you want help getting started with content marketing for manufacturers, we’re here to help. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help expand your marketing strategy to include highly effective, customer-driven content.