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Manufacturing Content Marketing

Manufacturing Content Marketing Survey Results [2023]

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I recently downloaded the report Manufacturing Content Marketing – Insights for 2023. The results are from the survey done and published by the Content Marketing Insititute. They do this survey every year.

I’m not going to rehash the entire report in this post. Instead, I’ll highlight some of the important findings and share my thoughts based on working with manufacturers every day. I encourage you to download the full report from the link above.

Understanding the audience for the manufacturing content marketing survey

Let me first talk about the respondents for this survey. It will help to understand some of the findings in the proper context.

1,104 people responded to the survey. They were from around the world, from different industries in varying job functions, and working within companies ranging in size from Micro (1 – 9 employees) to Large (1,000+ employees). So it was a reasonably large sample and representative.

Manufacturing content marketing is still a one-person show

Manufacturing content marketers wear many hats

Even though 78% of the manufacturers in the surveys were from Medium to Large sized companies, 61% said one group (or person) is responsible for handling all types of content in their organization (including advertising, thought leadership, brochures, SEO content, etc.). Yes, the percentage was lower at 47% for large-size companies.

These findings match what I see on the ground. Many industrial companies I talk to don’t even have one person dedicated to manufacturing content marketing. It’s all done ad hoc by whoever has some time. That’s why they contact me for help in the first place. 😊

Help is on the way for manufacturing marketers

Don’t panic, at least not yet. Decision-makers in many manufacturing companies have realized that their marketing departments are severely understaffed, and those few are wearing too many hats.

Manufacturers plan to hire or contract out more in 2023, and 42% of respondents think their content marketing budget will increase in 2023. Unfortunately, that’s down from 2021, when 64% expected their marketing budget to increase the following year.

Manufacturing content marketing budgets

Content creation is not the same as content marketing

That is my mantra, and I repeat it often to whoever will listen. Let’s be serious for a minute, I’ve had too many conversations where stakeholders in industrial companies have unrealistic expectations about manufacturing content marketing.

What do I mean by that? Here’s a typical example, “We want you to write blog posts for us that will show up on the first page of Google, so our target audience (engineers and industrial buyers) will find us easily, visit our blog and contact our salespeople.”

If it were that simple, everyone would be doing it.

Only 32% of manufacturing content marketers have a documented content marketing strategy in place. This lack of strategy often leads to content creation without clear objectives or alignment with business goals.

Little to no thought is given to developing a content marketing strategy, clearly defining the audience, and writing about their pain points. Just creating content for the sake of content marketing will not move the needle. Your content needs to be more about them and less about you.

“Manufacturing marketers who want to differentiate their content should focus on quality and unique stories.”

Manufacturing Content Marketing Survey – 2023

Eighty percent of those who always/frequently differentiate their content said they do so by producing better quality content than their competitors.

Manufacturing content marketing can create true differentiation

Goals achieved by manufacturing content marketers in the last 12 months

You’d think this would be a no-brainer. Of course, lead generation is the number #1 goal, right? Well, take a look at this chart.

Goals achieved in the past 12 months using manufacturing content marketing

Surprised by the findings? You shouldn’t be. Let me explain based on my hands-on experience working with manufacturers.

Raising brand awareness, earning the audience’s trust (engineers are naturally skeptical), and educating them with content relevant to their work-related challenges, all play a critical role in generating better quality leads that have a good chance of converting into sales opportunities.

Refer to my earlier post, Industrial Lead Generation for Sales – It’s Complicated!

What is working and what is not

The report has a whole section dedicated to discussing the various channels. I don’t want to repeat them here. Let me highlight a few of them.

  • Sixty percent reported using in-person events, compared with only 28% the previous year (The pandemic had a big impact on this)
  • The use of videos increased to 90% from 86% the previous year
  • Manufacturing marketers said videos produced the best results for their content marketing in the last 12 months (57%)
  • The use of guest posts increased to 47% from 26% the previous year
  • The use of Facebook decreased by 7 points (79% this year vs. 86% the previous year). Linkedin remains at the top with 95% usage
  • The use of paid content distribution decreased to 73% from 85% the previous year
  • The use of Facebook advertising decreased to 63% from 76% the previous year
  • The top challenge manufacturing marketers face with measuring content performance is difficulty integrating/correlating data across multiple platforms (48%)

Manufacturing content marketing challenges and looking forward

Manufacturing marketers continue to face challenges in content marketing, including maintaining consistency in measurement, accessing subject matter experts, and aligning content efforts with business goals. However, the survey results indicate a positive outlook for the future.

In looking ahead, manufacturing marketers must prioritize developing comprehensive strategies and invest in the right people and technologies to manage and streamline processes.

Let’s talk if you have questions or need help with your manufacturing content marketing.

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. Your posts have become a beacon of light in our Business Development at , thank you very much!

    • Hello Rafael,

      Thank you very much for your kind words and the compliment. Appreciate you being a loyal reader and for downloading one of our white papers.

      Best regards,

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