As a company that collaborates with manufacturers to develop content marketing strategies that attract attention, produce engagement, increase leads, and drive sales, we’re always interested in how this industry is capitalizing on (or failing to capitalize on, in some cases) content marketing. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs are two organizations that truly know their stuff when it comes to inbound marketing, and their 2018 Manufacturing Content Marketing Report is a rich source of interesting and thought-provoking statistics.
One of the things I enjoy about working with folks in manufacturing is that they are very focused, very results oriented, and they truly understand the meaning of the phrase “getting down to brass tacks.” I believe that’s one of the reasons you see so many manufacturing websites that are getting a bit dated. The company feels that the site presents accurate information and therefore is serving its purpose just fine.
Manufacturers are, by nature, data-focused folks. You have to be. In order to be profitable, you must be able to continually fine-tune your processes. And in order to continually fine-tune your processes, you have to have an in-depth understanding of every aspect of every operation you perform. Consequently, when organizations in the manufacturing space hear the term “content marketing,” they may be a little skeptical. It’s a term that sounds like it might be all about creating pretty marketing materials and hoping people like them, with little or no hard data involved. As a top content marketing agency, we explain to our clients nationwide that the reality is quite the opposite.
When I talk with manufacturers who are new to the concept of content marketing, they are excited to hear about how powerful it is when it comes to attracting and engaging prospects and ultimately turning them into customers. They ask about what kind of results they can expect. They ask about how success can be measured. They ask all kinds of great questions. And then, as they reach the decision that content marketing is something they want to pursue, I can see the question in their eyes even before they verbalize it: “What kind of content can/should we produce?”
Although manufacturers are still significantly behind other B2B businesses, in the latest research report by Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs they showed a marked improvement in those documenting their content marketing strategy, i.e. 31% this year, up from 18% last year.
But what difference does it really make anyway? If you're vested in content marketing, and are making headway, is a documented content marketing strategy all that important? Well, let's see what the data says.
Can marketing automation substantially help manufacturing companies? Well, the short answer is ABSOLUTELY! But let's explore in more detail how marketing automation can help marketers in manufacturing companies be more effective or realize a better ROI by using the analytics and reports that HubSpot provides.
Sure, blogging makes sense for some companies, but is it really profitable for manufacturing companies? With 85% of corporate blogs having five or fewer blog posts, it's pretty clear that for most businesses, blogging just isn't a high priority. But SHOULD it be? I would contend that blogging should be one of the highest priorities for marketers in manufacturing businesses. And I posit that there are six compelling reasons why that is the case.
Outbound marketing works, especially for giant international corporations with deep pockets. For manufacturing businesses of all sizes, however, there is no question that inbound marketing is an effective and affordable alternative or complement to outbound marketing. Manufacturing businesses, in fact, have a number of special attributes that make inbound marketing ideal.
There is little doubt that content marketing, the fuel that powers inbound marketing, is gaining momentum in businesses around the globe. But is it really being used effectively within the manufacturing world? According to the Content Marketing Institute's 2017 report on content marketing in manufacturing, the answer is a decisive "Yes!"
While content marketing has been used by manufacturers for many years, its adoption in that field has been slower than in other types of businesses. If you are a manufacturer who has not yet embraced this strategy, you’re not alone. However, there’s a growing recognition in this industry that content marketing can help generate leads, build brand awareness, and increase sales. So, if you don’t start experimenting a bit, you may find yourself trailing your competitors.