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.
If you are responsible for marketing at a manufacturing firm, and have been reluctant to commit to blogging, here are some things to consider.
- There are countless (actually, they can and should be counted) prospective customers out there looking for information on the very things you are manufacturing—and if that's not the case, maybe you should be manufacturing something else. Simply having products that meet a specific need is not enough to ensure success. Prospects first need to be able to find you, then they need to understand how your products will meet their needs better than your competition. While not the only way to accomplish these objectives, a blog is a great place to start. If you consistently produce quality blog content, it will have an impact on your search engine rankings (for those keywords you strategically plan for), and will certainly provide content to help prospects make informed decisions.
- According to the 2017 Manufacturing Content Marketing Trends report, put out by the Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, only 55% of manufacturing firms are using their blog as a content marketing tactic. What the study doesn't reveal is to what degree these manufacturers are committed to their blog and producing content on a regular schedule. Nonetheless, with 45% of firms not blogging as part of their content marketing strategy, there is plenty of opportunity for those that are. A blog presents a great opportunity to talk about the things that you are passionate about—those things that set your products, services, and processes apart. If #1 above is true (and it is), shouldn't you be making sure that your prospects, who are looking for insights into the very things you are an expert in, find a great source of information that you own, and that demonstrates your thought leadership?
- Often, the characteristics of your business and products that differentiate them from the competition are either subtle, vague, or ill-understood. A blog is an excellent opportunity to sell the merits of those distinctives, without actually selling. By explaining why you do what you do, and how certain processes and product nuances, can make a positive difference in the lives of your prospective clients, you help them understand why your products are better... without even having mentioned your company or products. By selling the virtues of business and product development that propelled your company into existence (rather than pushing your products), you provide prospects with insights that will help them get the answers they are looking for, and they may indeed determine that your products are best equipped to solve their problems.
- Manufacturing companies often produce products that are best demonstrated, thus, graphics, infographics, video, and animation can be extremely powerful tools. Blogs can also help prospects and customers understand how to use your products more effectively, more safely, more reliably, etc. A blog can be a great way to explain the proper use and maintenance of your products, additional uses or applications for your products, and tips for maximizing the benefit of your products. When you produce richly informative blogs that help your prospects better understand your expertise in the field, and instruct them in things they have interest in, you also feed the search engine beast with great content that helps with search engine optimization(SEO).
- When a prospect does go looking for answers to their questions, they may well not be familiar with your company or the products you sell, much less the product names and cleverly differentiated tag lines and brands that marketing teams often create and populate websites with. Your marketing copy that makes up the majority of your website may read great, but if it doesn't match what the prospect is searching for, you're in trouble. The keywords your prospect is typing into Google need to match or closely approximate what's on your website, or else the search engines will rank your content poorly. Blogs are an excellent way to cover lots of keyword ground without looking like you are padding your content with keywords simply for the sake of keyword density (something search engines like Google frown upon). Frequent blogging allows you to address the weaknesses in your website content by adding to the overall amount of content search engines chew on, with informative answers to the very questions your searchers are searching for.
- While, as already stated, not every manufacturing company blogs, what if your direct competition does? If you aren't blogging and one (or more) of your competitors is, that means that your competition is going to receive the benefits of blogging rather than you, i.e. THEY will have SEO benefits over you; THEY will have the answers your prospects are looking for; THEY will be establishing themselves as thought leaders instead of you, etc. I don't know about you, but that's a risk I'm not willing to take. If someone is out there looking for answers, I want to have thoughtfully considered what those questions are, and I want to be the one providing the answers to those questions.
Essentially, Blogging is Essential for Manufacturers
If you have a manufacturing business, you should certainly consider the merits of blogging. While it takes a commitment, and a team whose job it is to produce quality content on a regular and consistent basis, the benefits of blogging are profound. If you have not yet made the commitment, or simply need assistance in maintaining that commitment, please don't hesitate to contact us on the form below. We have helped many of our manufacturing clients take the plunge, and they are all seeing terrific ROI. In the meantime, please do sign up for our free marketing tips for manufacturers.