Digital Content Strategy for the Manufacturing Industry

Digital Content Strategy for the Manufacturing Industry
Updated date:
Jan 26, 2022

Table of Contents

Digital content strategy is more than a fad. Content creation is a genuine, tangible, and required part of all modern industries to succeed and expand.

It's no surprise that this type of B2B marketing has taken the world by storm. Content marketing, or developing meaningful digital content for a specific audience, has consistently outperformed traditional methods in efficacy and overall B2B digital marketing ROI.

It generates three times as many prospects while costing 31 to 41% less per lead. You could lose out on potential customers, essential connections, and eventually substantial profit margins if you go without content marketing. It's simple to manage, monitor, and measure significant results.

According to new data, 70% of manufacturers have changed their targeting/messaging approach, 60% have adjusted their editorial calendar, and 57% have increased their social media/online community resources.

Next year, manufacturing marketers will invest in content creation and website enhancement. It's no surprise that manufacturers' initiatives are yielding significant effects. According to the research, 30% of manufacturing respondents say their company has been highly/very successful, while another 61 percent say it has been moderately successful.

What is meant by Digital Content?

The amount of fresh, legible, relevant, and useful information for a reader on your site is content. It must also appear beautiful, in an easily consumable way, as with anything in the digital age.

Digital Content Strategy for a Manufacturing Company

Content marketing has matured in the industrial sector, which is highly encouraging. Consultants in the industrial sector find it easier to convince clients of the advantages of the strategy, which would have taken quite a bit of our time otherwise. I don't think I'll ever be free of this obligation.

As more manufacturers invest in and enhance their digital content expertise, the results show up, with 65 percent reporting increased success over the previous year.

Digital Content Strategy for the Manufacturing Industry

However, many manufacturers are hesitant to start using content because their industry appears to be too esoteric for the internet, or they don't know where to begin. Here are some most commonly asked questions by manufacturing clients.

1. What is the impact of manufacturing content marketing on our sales process?

According to several manufacturers, digital strategy is the new approach to organic SEO. The logic goes something like this:

Google helps you get found > Your site gets visitors > visitors then contact you after their initial visit.

Unfortunately, this isn't the case. There is a significant distinction between discovery optimization (SEO) and conversion optimization (CRO). If that's all you know about digital strategy, you're not getting the most out of it.

Digital content must take a more active role in preparing the groundwork for Sales. It must accomplish several objectives to create more qualified leads. According to the CMI report, manufacturers achieved the following targets in the previous 12 months.

Digital Content Strategy for the Manufacturing Industry

2. Why haven't we seen any benefits from all of our hard work?

Manufacturing marketing takes a long time to provide measurable outcomes, which is a source of stress and frustration. "Industrial marketing is a process, not a one-off effort," I often say in response to this question. Allow me to elaborate a little further to provide some clarity. Depending on the competition and the status of your marketing, it could take anywhere from 6 to 9 months. I tell my customers right up front that there is no easy answer for slow sales.

If they are not willing to commit the time and money necessary to perform digital marketing correctly over time, I advise them to look at other choices. I also inform them that they should expect and see intermediate benefits such as increased site traffic, top-of-funnel leads, the resolution of technical issues that may negatively impact engagement, and improved on-page SEO.

Manufacturers have improved their digital marketing skills over time. However, many organizations had to change their messaging and content because of the pandemic. From the CMI report, here are three significant results and a chart.

3. How can we accomplish content marketing when we only have a limited amount of bandwidth?

Because marketing isn't their primary duty, it constantly presses manufacturers for time. Their Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are too preoccupied with what they wish to develop content.

If it's any consolation, you're not alone in your feelings. More than half of the manufacturers have small teams that serve the entire company. It should be no surprise that 61% of manufacturing marketers said they outsourced at least one content marketing task. Content creation is the most commonly outsourced team task.

Manufacturers also have to find a suitable partner due to the technical nature of their business and the engineering and industrial specialists they target.

It's important to remember that content development isn't the same as marketing. It's not only an issue of brilliant wordsmithing and copywriting.

Content Creation vs. Content Marketing 

Content Marketing = Content Creation? - Not really!

How do you create a robust digital content strategy? Content creation is the generation of meaningful and engaging information for your audience. The distribution of your information to promote visibility and audience interaction is known as content marketing. 

In this case, there are numerous other factors to consider that would include:

  • A thorough understanding of how engineers and industrial buyers make work-related decisions.
  • Conducting interviews with SMEs to extract key talking points.
  • Converting those bullet points into cohesive information that is technically accurate.
  • Present SEO knowledge logically.
  • Information distribution.

B2B Manufacturing Marketing Strategies

Now that I have convinced you - that you need a digital strategy for your manufacturing business, it's time to choose your strategy. You can use one of these industrial marketing strategies based on your business needs, audience, and market position.

1. Mobile App and Website

Often, the first thing your leads see is your website and mobile presence, and the impression they get shapes their opinion of your business. Start with areas of your website that are difficult to navigate or congested. Your website should contain at the very least:

  • Your mission, history, and vision.
  • Your team and their responsibilities.
  • Contact information is easily accessible.
  • Blog and part of updates.
  • Titles and descriptions for SEO.
  • A simple product catalog or a B2B eCommerce shop are viable options.

After doing your audit, you may determine that constructing a new website is the most practical line of action from the ground up. In that scenario, looking into B2B eCommerce for manufacturers will assist you in establishing a solid online presence.

2. Optimization for Search Engines

SEO is undoubtedly one of the most powerful but underappreciated online marketing tactics for manufacturers. Consider this: on average, direct searches account for more than half of all internet traffic for manufacturers (typing the brand URL directly into the browser). It is mainly due to increased brand awareness rather than SEO.

And the problem with merely acquiring brand traffic is that you'll need to attract new traffic at some point to expand your customer base. It means you must capture users who are unfamiliar with you. Therefore including an SEO strategy in your digital marketing efforts is so important. It's a complicated aspect because it's constantly changing.

3. Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Every time a reader clicks on your digital ad with PPC or pay-per-click advertising, you pay a specific amount. You can place PPC advertising on search engines such as Google or Bing and social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

At the same time, PPC is both simple and sophisticated. It's easy to blow through your budget without showing ROI if you target unrelated categories. Combining your traffic statistics and client persona data is the best approach to get the most bang for your buck when building campaigns. It also aids in navigating users to a particular product category or section of your website.

4. Content Marketing

It is the creation and promotion of information that is likely to interest your customers. Infographics, social media posts, blog articles, documents, and videos are all examples of web content. Here are some samples of material, sorted from top to bottom of the funnel:

  • News and roundups from the industry.
  • How-to instructions, blog articles.
  • Comparison guides for products.
  • Buyer's guides and case studies.
  • Videos of a product or an instruction.
  • Brochures and specification sheets.
  • Calculators for determining prices.

It's worth noting that a blog is particularly effective for interacting with potential customers. Blog articles in 2021 will focus on being the go-to resource for information on a specific topic. Suppose you're a factory equipment maker, for example.

In that case, you may create material on everything from which sort of robotic arm to utilize with different machines to incorporate industrial machinery sensors. This strategy attracts relevant users and establishes your brand as the go-to source for information in your field.

5. Email Marketing

In marketing, trends come and go rapidly, but one truth remains: email is king in B2B marketing. No other strategy comes close to combining the effectiveness of distribution, engagement, and prospect data collection. That's why, when it comes to industrial email marketing, it's critical to understand best practices.

Importance of Industrial Email Marketing

Building and sustaining relationships is the key benefit of email marketing for manufacturers. You'll be able to keep the information flowing once a customer or prospect has expressed interest in a product and provided you with their contact information. You'll develop trust and show individuals that they can rely on you for answers as you assist them with their research and purchasing selections.

Here are a few more reasons to give email a try:

  • Personalization. Email personalization is more than just including someone's first name into a message; it's about figuring out why individuals came to you in the first place and where they are in the purchase process. Then, based on their requirements, you customize the communications they get.
  • Automation. Don't be alarmed by that thought! I don't mean "automated" in the sense of sending out hundreds of thousands of emails in a matter of seconds. Instead, the aim is to create paths for prospects and consumers that generate messages automatically based on their actions.
  • Cost. A significant benefit of email marketing is its low cost. It is because you aren't spending a lot of money on ad space or printing. Instead, work on your strategy and communications. Following that, it's all about checking in on the results of your work and then making modest adjustments depending on feedback along the way.

Marketing Ideas for Manufacturing Companies

Manufacturers' most popular content format has been an email newsletter in the last 12 months. Manufacturing Content Marketing—Insights For 2021 is a study report produced by the Content Marketing Institute. Its popularity is due to a good reason.

"Of all the content forms they utilize, manufacturing marketers indicated pre-made films (21%), virtual events/webinars/online courses (19%), and email newsletters (13%), created the best overall content marketing results for their firm in the last 12 months.

Digital Content Strategy for the Manufacturing Industry

Using Industrial Email Marketing to Engage Engineers.

Engineers are hungry for solid knowledge that is technically correct and relevant to their work. However, reaching and connecting with them remains a struggle. TIt is a discerning audience that will disregard your emails until you earn their trust with quality content.

The following diagram shows how engineers interact with e-newsletters in their inboxes.

Digital Content Strategy for the Manufacturing Industry

It is not a one-way street with industrial email marketing. It works just as well when customers are contacting your sales team. You're undoubtedly already aware that about 70% of industrial customers desire to stay anonymous throughout their purchasing process. When they refuse to speak with your sales team, getting in touch with them is difficult.

More than half of the engineers prefer to use email over any other medium when ready to communicate.

Digital Content Strategy for the Manufacturing Industry

Choosing the right industry partner is crucial for email marketing.

It does not require you to go it alone. Use e-newsletters from reliable industry portals and magazines as a resource. Many of them produce a variety of specialist newsletters that you can tailor to your specific requirements.

This method has several advantages:

  • Send targeted emails to new markets and enhance your worldwide reach.
  • Instant access to a select group of engineers and industrial buyers.
  • You will take care of SPAM or GDPR compliance.
  • With in-depth reports, it's easier to calculate the return on investment of email marketing.
  • Some may even involve HTML campaign design; all you have to do is supply the material.

The only catch is that you don't own those connections until someone visits your site after getting your email and joins up for a content download or another type of activity.

RELATED READ - Top Strategies in Content Marketing for Manufacturing Companies

The Final Note

Content marketing can help your manufacturing company achieve excellent outcomes in the short and long term. While it is 62% less expensive than traditional marketing, it creates almost three times the number of leads.

Also, think again if you think all you need to do is send out emails promoting your products or services. Industrial email marketing that relies on "batch and blast" won't cut it, especially if you're renting an email list.

This article should provide you with a solid idea of using industrial email marketing to generate high-quality leads more successfully.

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