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Technical Content Writing

Technical Content Writing is Challenging for Manufacturing Marketers

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You can’t avoid technical content writing if you are a manufacturing content marketer. Let me first differentiate technical writing from technical content writing. They may be used interchangeably, but they are not the same.

A technical writer is good at creating documents such as User Manuals, Product Descriptions & Specifications, Safety Procedures, Assembly Instructions, and a host of other technical documents.

On the other hand, a technical content writer creates content for manufacturing marketing such as blog posts, web page copy, case studies, and white papers, to name a few. These are used for achieving marketing goals such as increasing traffic to the site, improving SEO, generating Marketing Qualified Leads(MQLs), branding, thought leadership, and gaining trust.

Technical writers and technical content creators both play essential roles for manufacturers. I’ll focus on technical content writing for industrial and manufacturing marketing in this post.

A manufacturing content marketer is much more than a copywriter. S/he is capable of developing a content marketing strategy, creating buyer personas, knows SEO, understands how engineers and industrial buyers go on their buying journey, knows about email marketing, content promotion, social media, and tracking & measurement. I’ve only listed the important responsibilities, but there is a lot more that goes into content marketing.

It’s not just technical content writing that’s a hurdle

51% of manufacturing content marketers said they are challenged with creating valuable content instead of sales-oriented content and overcoming the traditional marketing and sales mindset. That’s according to the Manufacturing Content Marketing – Insights For 2022 published by the Content Marketing Institute.

As you can see from those stats, the problem is not an isolated issue, but it affects more than half of the manufacturing marketers.

What is making the problem worse is the fact that 59% of manufacturing companies have a small or one-person content marketing team serving the entire organization. They just have too much to do and not enough time.

Organization structure for manufacturing content marketers

Finding qualified technical writing partners is another challenge

Lack of time isn’t the only problem. Internal content marketers have limited to little access to their in-house Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). The one-person content creator may know marketing, but s/he may lack the technical knowledge to create content that the target audience of engineers and industrial professionals will find relevant and engaging. Learn more about how to work with SMEs for creating engaging content.

As a result, 59% of manufacturers outsource at least one marketing activity. Last year’s survey found content creation was the most outsourced activity at 80%.

However, it is not just a matter of finding freelance copywriters from one of the many services that are out there. The two biggest challenges were finding partners with adequate technical knowledge and understanding the target audience’s mindset.

Outsources technical content wrtiting

Research findings are great when they validate your personal experiences. Most often than not, my conversations with manufacturing marketers start with something like this, “We need someone to create good technical content that will generate leads.” Therein lies another problem, a lack of understanding of the difference between content creation and content marketing.

Just writing technical content is not good enough. You need someone who understands and has first-hand experience in the full range of industrial marketing strategies and tactics. (Shameless plug coming up) That’s why you may want to consider my Manufacturing Content Marketing for Industrial Lead Generation service, which includes technical content writing.

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. Thanks for this article. It is hard to find people talking about technical marketing and technical content. Do manufacturing companies use websites like SaaS, seeking and nurturing leads? The Marketing team I work on has all the pieces of an integrated marketing system, but it breaks down at the leads part. Maybe because we have a Sales team. I’m curious if my team can capture and pass on leads better with the visual content we create. is there only one tool for the, the CRM and email? Thanks

    • Hello Jennifer,
      Thank you for your compliment and the questions.
      Yes, manufacturing marketers use technology platforms that are SaaS offerings. Unfortunately, Marketing and Sales working in separate silos instead of together as a team is an all too common problem.
      I think you are asking about how you can pass on marketing leads to sales without things breaking down. You have to have a quantitive system to score Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and nurture them until they become Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) before handing them off to Sales for them to have productive conversations. The Sales team needs to provide feedback to Marketing to refine these scoring rules over time.
      Read my earlier post, SAL is the Glue that Binds Sales and Marketing in Lead Generation for more on this.
      Whether one marketing tool can handle everything depends on your needs.

  2. We believe that content marketing is of utmost importance to manufacturing companies, who can gain new business through the lead generation and web traffic that results from content marketing. Thank you for writing this impressive post!

    • Thanks for adding your insights. Appreciate your kind words.

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