Content marketing is a crucial element in any manufacturing marketing strategy. That’s probably why 80% of manufacturing businesses will invest in content marketing over the next 12 months (The Marketing In Manufacturing Report).
Content marketing is one of the few strategies that benefits multiple stages of the marketing and sales process. You can increase traffic, boost conversions and build trust to name just a few. In today’s world of the empowered buyer, not creating content to feed your prospect’s want to self-educate is a detrimental error.
If you’re wondering if your manufacturing business should be investing in more content – the answer is YES! Here’s eight reasons why:
Creating content will help you build trust with your audience. As you start to answer their questions and solve their problems trust automatically builds. Your aim is to capture prospects at the unaware, problem aware and solution aware stages in their buying journey.
Building this trust early on is crucial to the sales process. If you engage too late, i.e. at fully aware or consideration stages, your prospect is already thinking about price.
For businesses who haven’t taken the time to nurture their prospects with useful content, price is often the only differentiator between them and their competition. This is what we refer to as being in the ‘red ocean’. More on that here.
Typically, the funnel can be split into three sections:
Where your prospect is in the funnel will determine which kind of content they are looking for.
At the TOFU stage, your prospects are only just identifying the problem they need to solve. They are merely researching solutions so need helpful, educational content that presents them with a range of solutions for that specific problem.
Examples of useful content at this stage include:
At the MOFU stage, your prospect starts to evaluate their options to help solve their problem. At this stage you should be providing information on how different solutions compare to help them narrow their search further.
At this stage you should be offering content such as:
At the bottom of the funnel, you should be getting ready to convert your prospect. This is where you should be demonstrating the additional value that your products and services offer. Sales people usually start to get involved at this point and it’s useful to have the following content ready when they do:
While content marketing is great for building trust with your prospects, there is real beauty in the fact that you can appeal directly to the right kind of customer. If you’ve researched your personas and you know exactly which customers you want to work with, you can create messaging that appeals directly to them.
You’ll slowly build up a body of content that appeals to your ideal customer profile and makes it clear to those outside of your ICP that perhaps you’re not the perfect partner for them.
On top of this, content creation also means your salespeople will be dealing with more educated leads. They’ll be more clued up on the problems they’re having, the solutions available and the products and services available to help them. This is great when it comes to shortening the notoriously long sales cycles in the manufacturing industry and means your sales team won’t be spending time educating prospects. Your content can do that time and time again at no additional cost!
Let’s start with a short explanation of how SEO works.
When people search on the internet, Google serves up content in order of relevance.
There two key elements to bear in mind here:
So what does this mean for manufacturing businesses?
More content = more search engine visibility
More search engine visibility = more eyes on your site
More eyes on your site = more clicks through to your content
More clicks through to your content = more opportunity for conversions.
Unfortunately, this isn’t prioritised as much as it should be in the manufacturing sector. Our research shows that manufacturing businesses are missing out on an average of £270,000 in revenue a year because of poor search engine positions. In fact, one manufacturing business we dealt with was missing out on more than £1million of revenue a year!
Want to find out how much revenue you could gain from improved search engine positions? Request one of our FREE SEO ROI reports here.
In our experience working with manufacturing firms, the best way to build a body of content that’s easy to find for the user and easy to crawl for the search engines it by creating pillar pages/clusters. You can read more about that here.
Despite the many cat videos and selfies you may come across on social media, it can be a brilliant source of leads if used correctly. Organic social media promotion was voted the most successful marketing activity in this year’s Marketing in Manufacturing Report. If manufacturers want to build brand awareness, increase followers and create a community around their brand, they need to be using social media. However, if you don’t have a wealth of useful content to share, you’re going to struggle to fill your social schedule.
And it’s not just about having content to share. It’s about sharing content that your audience will engage with and share too. Answering their questions, asking for feedback and creating a two way conversation can be brilliant ways to create engagement, but you’ll struggle to do that if you don’t have any useful content to share in the first place.
Experiment with different messaging, content types and platforms to find out what works best for you. We often find the likes of videos and infographics (such as the below) work brilliantly for our manufacturing clients.
Content marketing is one of the few tactics that boost both website traffic and conversion metrics. By creating content that answers common user questions you can attract more potential leads to your site through search engines. On top of that, these people are more likely to convert once they hit your site providing the content is of a good quality and there are clear calls to action.
In fact, almost half (43%) of manufacturers voted content marketing in the top three most successful marketing activities of 2020 (The Marketing In Manufacturing Report). On top of this the Content Marketing Institute reports that content marketing generates more than three times as many leads as traditional advertising methods – and costs 62% less.
It really is a win-win.
Investing in great content really will ensure your audience sticks around (and keeps coming back for more). Aim to create an experience on every platform your audience is present on. Make them laugh, give them something to think about and challenge their objections with thought provoking, interesting content. You’re likely spending a fair amount of time and money figuring out ways to get your audience to your site in the first place. Great content will ensure they stick around.
Today’s B2B buyer is hungry for content. They don’t want to speak to salespeople. They want to educate themselves with helpful content online at a time that suits them. A study by Gartner showed that when B2B buyers are considering a purchase they spend as little as 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers compared to 27% of their time researching independently online.
Your prospects are going to be looking for this content whether you create it or not. So, if you’re not investing in content marketing right now, the likelihood is your prospects are finding the information they need with one of your competitors.
It’s important at this stage, not to go into panic mode and start writing blog after blog of average content that hasn’t really been thought through just so you have something out there. To be successful, your content needs to be relevant to:
This will ensure every piece of content you create draws the reader in and guides them to the next stage of their journey, closer to making a purchase with you!
Great content does more than boost your SEO and build trust with your target customer. It helps build your brand and increase the frequency of times your audience is exposed to your business.
The marketing rule of seven states that on average, a person needs to be exposed to your messaging at least seven times before wanting to make a purchase. If you’re creating content that regularly answers your prospect’s questions and nurtures them through their buying journey, you’re increasing the frequency of times they’re exposed to you as a brand.
In summary, if you’re not investing in content marketing right now, you will fall behind the competition. There are only positives to creating contextual, helpful content for your prospects and the reality is, if you don’t create that content, your competitors will!
Of course, time and resource is always an issue. 45% of manufacturers stated that creating enough high-quality content is their most significant marketing challenge of 2020. On top of that, 33% felt not having the relevant skills in-housewas their biggest threat (the Marketing In Manufacturing Report).
So, how can manufacturing businesses overcome this challenge?
If you’re struggling to keep up with the demand for high quality content, consider outsourcing your content strategy to an experienced partner. At Intergage Marketing Engineers, we have worked with manufacturing businesses for more than 20 years to develop and deliver successful content strategies that have produced results such as:
Download your free copy of The Marketing In Manufacturing Report here.