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Industrial content marketing for manufacturers

Leveraging Industrial Content Marketing for Manufacturers—a Key Strategy for Lead Generation

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Industrial content marketing for manufacturers is a powerful tool to help your business achieve its lead generation and sales goals. It’s a strategic marketing approach focused on creating, distributing, and promoting valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and engage a clearly defined audience. Ultimately, it aims to drive visitor action leading to conversions.

Some refer to it as inbound marketing, which is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. That term was first coined in 2005 by HubSpot’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Halligan, and became popular around 2012.

Understanding the role of industrial content marketing in manufacturing

The importance of content marketing for manufacturers cannot be overstated. With the advent of digital transformation and the changing landscape of the manufacturing sector, traditional marketing methods are no longer sufficient. It’s no wonder why more and more manufacturers are turning to content marketing to reach their target audience, build trust, and generate leads.

Moreover, content marketing is not just about selling products or services, but it’s about providing useful information that helps your audience understand your products and solutions better. It’s about telling your company’s story, showcasing your in-house expertise, and positioning your company as a thought leader within your industry or niche. This, in turn, can strengthen your brand’s credibility, boost customer loyalty, and drive business growth.

This strategic shift in manufacturing marketing aligns very well with today’s industrial buyers who are in self-select and self-serve mode. They don’t need to speak with your salespeople to get product information.

Developing an effective manufacturing content marketing strategy

Creating a successful manufacturing content marketing strategy requires careful planning and execution. It’s not just about writing blog posts or creating videos but about delivering the right content at the right time to the right audience. I have often said, “Content creation is not content marketing.”

First, it’s essential to understand your audience. Know their needs, challenges, and pain points so you can create content that resonates with them. This involves conducting market research and creating buyer personas. This step is critical as it forms the basis of your content marketing strategy.

Next, set clear goals for your content marketing efforts. This might include boosting brand awareness, generating leads, increasing website traffic, or improving customer engagement. Having well-defined goals will help guide your content creation and distribution efforts, ensuring that every piece of content serves a specific purpose.

Goals achieved using industrial marketing for manufacturers

(Source: Manufacturing Content Marketing Insights for 2023, CMI).

Last but not least, it’s crucial to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy. This involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) like website traffic, lead generation, social media engagement, and conversion rates. By monitoring these metrics, you can determine what’s working and what’s not, allowing you to tweak your strategy as needed.

How to leverage industrial content marketing for lead generation and conversions

Leveraging industrial content marketing for manufacturers for lead generation and conversions is about using content to attract, engage, and convert visitors into potential leads. It’s about providing valuable content that answers your audience’s questions, solves their problems, and guides them through the buying journey in a logical manner to make a more informed buying decision.

One effective way to generate leads is by offering gated content. This is content that requires visitors to provide their contact information to access. Examples of gated content include eBooks, whitepapers, and case studies. Gated content offers valuable information in exchange for the reader’s email—this is where you capture top-of-the-funnel leads (MQLs) that you can nurture into qualified leads.

Gated content can be a pitfall if you are not careful. Content not perceived as valuable by your audience but gated for the sake of capturing contact information can hurt credibility and damage your brand.

A recent survey of B2B technology buying decision makers done by Informa Tech showed that 71% of respondents were sometimes or often disappointed by the quality of the gated content.

Gated content in industrial content marketing for manufacturers

Optimizing your content for search engines is another crucial aspect of leveraging industrial content marketing for manufacturers for lead generation. This involves using SEO best practices like keyword optimization, creating high-quality backlinks, and ensuring your website is mobile-friendly. By improving your search engine rankings, you can drive more organic traffic to your site and increase the chances of converting visitors into leads.

How to Measure the Success of Your Manufacturing Content Marketing

Measuring the success of your manufacturing content marketing involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs). These might include website traffic, number of leads, social media engagement, and conversion rates.

Website traffic is a crucial metric, it is the lifeblood of online marketing. This can help you gauge the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts and identify areas for improvement.

Lead generation is another critical KPI. You can determine how effectively your content attracts and converts visitors by tracking the number of leads generated through your content marketing efforts. However, quality trumps quantity when it comes to leads.

Social media engagement is also an essential metric. It measures how people are interacting with your content on social media. This can provide insights into how your audience perceives your content and how effectively it’s engaging them. Temper your expectations from social media because engineers and industrial professionals tend to be passive participants. They like to read or view videos but don’t leave comments or share often.

Finally, conversion rates indicate the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as filling out a form or making a purchase if you have an online store. You can assess how effectively your content drives profitable customer action by tracking your conversion rates.

Connecting the dots between publishing content and lead generation is often difficult, and many manufacturing content marketers struggle with it. However, you can’t escape or ignore this part because the C-suite execs want to know what they are getting for the money invested in industrial content marketing. They are not impressed by top-of-funnel stats from Google Analytics.

Measuring performance of industrial content marketing for manufacturers is difdficult

Putting it all together—A real-world case study

Manufacturing Content Marketing Helps Improve Industrial Digital Marketing KPIs and Achieve Goals

Outsourcing vs in-house: choosing the right approach for your manufacturing content marketing

When it comes to executing your manufacturing content marketing strategy, you have two options: outsourcing or in-house. Each has pros and cons, and the right choice depends on your needs, goals, and resources.

Outsourcing your content marketing can be a great option if you lack the time, expertise, or resources to do it in-house. It can also give you access to a team of experts with the skills and experience to deliver high-quality content that resonates with your audience.

On the other hand, keeping your content marketing in-house gives you more control over your strategy and execution. It also allows you to closely align your content marketing efforts with your overall business goals and strategies.

Ultimately, choosing between outsourcing and in-house depends on your specific needs and resources.

“59% of respondents said their organization outsources at least one content marketing activity. Their top challenge is finding partners with adequate topical expertise (60%)”

Source: The Content Marketing Institute

Industrial content marketing for manufacturers is a powerful tool that can help you attract, engage, and convert visitors into potential leads. By understanding your audience, setting clear goals, creating high-quality, relevant content, promoting your content, and measuring your success, you can leverage content marketing to boost your lead generation and conversions.

Whether you choose to outsource or keep your content marketing in-house, the key is to ensure that your content marketing efforts are strategic, targeted, and effective.

Remember, content marketing is not just about selling products or services but about providing valuable information that helps your audience make a more informed buying decision and elevates you to a valued partner, not just a supplier.

Need help improving your industrial marketing for manufacturers? Let’s talk.

Achinta Mitra

Achinta Mitra calls himself a “marketing engineer” because he combines his engineering education and an MBA with 35+ years of practical manufacturing and industrial marketing experience. You want an expert with an insider’s knowledge and an outsider’s objectivity who can point you in the right direction immediately. That's Achinta. He is the Founder of Tiecas, Inc., a manufacturing marketing agency in Houston, Texas. Read Achinta's story here.
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  1. Topgrid says:

    Absolutely! Industrial content marketing is an invaluable tool for manufacturers seeking to generate leads and expand their reach. In an increasingly digital world, creating informative and engaging content tailored to the specific needs and pain points of the target audience is crucial. By providing valuable insights, addressing industry challenges, and showcasing expertise through blogs, whitepapers, videos, and social media content, manufacturers can establish credibility and build trust with potential leads. This not only attracts prospects but also nurtures them through the buyer’s journey, guiding them towards conversion. It’s a powerful strategy that aligns informational content with the buyer’s needs, ultimately driving growth and success for manufacturers in the competitive landscape.

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