Today, B2B buyers perform research online before making purchases. As a result, you have to show up with relevant information when they need it. Without exaggerating, one of the best ways to connect with potential buyers is to provide valuable content. This way, it becomes easier to convince them to buy from your business.
Now, content marketing for manufacturers is a marketing tactic that’s easy to talk about but difficult to execute. You have to create content with the right information and ensure it’s available to your ideal audience.Now, content marketing for manufacturers is a marketing tactic that’s easy to talk about but difficult to execute. Click To Tweet
That said, content marketing for manufacturers is highly beneficial if you use the right strategy. In this guide, you’ll find 8 steps to follow to obtain the best possible results from your content marketing campaigns.
1. Define the buying process
It’s a known fact, B2B buyers require a long sales cycle before purchasing products. At different stages of the sales cycle, they need content to move towards the purchase.
While every product has a sales cycle, there are slight variations across industries. For your manufacturing company, you need to define the buying process for your products.
For a start, you can use the general framework for the buying process. This includes the stages of the sales funnel, which are:
- Top of the sales funnel
- Middle of the sales funnel
- Bottom of the sales funnel
Across these three stages of the sales funnel, potential buyers go from becoming aware of your business to buying your products. These stages include processes such as:
Once you define the buying process for your manufacturing product, you need to create relevant content at each stage. Unsurprisingly, marketers create more content at the top of the sales funnel.Once you define the buying process for your manufacturing product, you need to create relevant content at each stage. Click To Tweet
For instance, Manufacturing Content Marketing 2020 study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) revealed that marketers create 50% of their content at the top of the sales funnel.
This could be because there are more people at the top of the sales funnel. Most importantly, you need to provide the necessary information at each stage to move prospects towards the sale.
READ THIS: Digital Marketing for Manufacturer
2. Create manufacturing buyer personas
To create compelling content, you need to understand your audience. Otherwise, you’ll end up creating content they can’t relate to. And ultimately, you’ll waste your time and resources.
Having a buyer persona helps you understand the types of messages and offers that will resonate with your audience. Likewise, you can easily determine the tone to use. Should it be informal or formal?
What details do you need in your buyer persona? Here are some of them:
- Marital status
- Favorite marketing channels
- Pain points
There are even more details you can add to your buyer personas. The aim here is to make your buyer personas as detailed as possible.
Since a few people are involved in B2B purchases, you should create buyer personas to represent each party. Generally, there are two steps to create your buyer persona.
First, you can enter the details of who you think your ideal customer should be. This can be after research into people at your target companies.
Second, you can look at your current customers and find trends common to them. Here’s a buyer persona example from Buffer:
By creating buyer personas, you can adapt your content and content marketing strategies to your ideal customer.
3. Have a documented content marketing strategy
With the many choices in content marketing, it’s easy to run inefficient campaigns. Fortunately, you can eliminate these issues by having a documented content marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, only 41% of manufacturing marketers have a documented content marketing strategy in their organization, according to CMI’s study.
Having a documented content marketing strategy allows you to define vital details such as:
- Content marketing goals
- Content types
- Content calendar
- Content marketing channels
- Team members and assigned tasks
- Publishing frequency
By having these details in a document, you’ll have more focused content marketing campaigns. For instance, you can easily see the next task and the team member to execute it.
Consequently, you’ll increase the chances of achieving better results from your content marketing campaigns.
4. Exploit various manufacturing content types
Ultimately, content is the fuel that runs content marketing. If your content is poor, no amount of marketing can deliver your intended results. In fact, promoting poor content can hurt your company’s reputation.
Apart from having the right content, there are many ways to present them. Furthermore, some content types are more suitable to particular stages of the sales funnel.
Here are some content types to consider for your campaigns:
This is one of the most popular and effective ways to reach your ideal audience. By using blog posts, you can provide relevant information and attract more visitors to your website.
According to a HubSpot study, businesses that use blogs as part of their content marketing get 67% more leads than those that don’t. To illustrate, here’s Huawei’s blog:
Apart from your blog posts, executives can also write guest posts for other industry blogs. This will help improve your reputation and attract new leads.Businesses that use blogs as part of their content marketing get 67% more leads than those that don’t. Click To Tweet
One effective way to convince prospects is to publish case studies. After all, if you’ve achieved results for customers like your prospects, they’ll pay more attention.
It’s even more convincing if the results are the same results the prospect is looking for. Another type of content similar to this is testimonials. Here’s a case study from Bastian Solutions showing business challenges, key technologies, and results.
From informational content to research, eBooks help you show expertise to your potential buyers. Through eBooks, they can learn how to improve their work or see research into industry trends.
Another benefit of this content type is that it can serve as a lead magnet for your business. Therefore, you can capture more leads by promising an eBook. Other use cases for eBooks include buyer’s guides, spec sheets, and brochures.
This is a technical paper about a manufacturing product or concept. It requires a lot of research and provides technical details about a product.
You’ll find whitepapers helpful at the bottom of the sales funnel when prospects want to make their buying decision. Likewise, it can be a lead magnet.
Here’s a whitepaper from Bastian Solutions about exploiting advanced automation:
When people say content, most people assume it’s written. However, there are other forms of content apart from the written format.
Images make it easy to present content in an easy-to-consume format.
A type of image you can exploit is infographics. Infographics help you to present concepts through visual elements. Here’s an infographic from Abtec Inc explaining injection molding:
Over the years, videos have become a popular content format with buyers. For example, a HubSpot study revealed that 54% of consumers expect videos from businesses.
For your manufacturing company, there are many video applications. Through videos, you can show your audience behind the scenes, your product in operation, product demo, customer interviews, and more.
Another form of videos is webinars. These are online seminars to provide value to your audience about the manufacturing industry.
With people living busy lives, they want to consume content while doing other things. That’s why podcasts have become popular over the years.
According to Edison Research and Triton Digital survey, 104 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly. On your podcast episodes, you can invite industry experts to provide their expertise on many industry issues.
This will help increase your audience base and acquire more leads.
RELATED: Why Your Business Needs a Podcast
5. Create a content marketing calendar
Frankly, content marketing takes time before you obtain considerable results. And to even get those results, you have to run content marketing campaigns consistently.
One way to achieve consistency is to create a content marketing calendar. On this calendar, you can add content tasks and assign them to your team members.
In addition to that, you have the option to set deadlines. This way, you can plan your content marketing campaigns over weeks and execute accordingly.
6. Promote content to your audience
While creating great content is critical to the success of your content marketing campaigns, content promotion is just as vital. If you wait for visitors to come to your website themselves, you’ll obtain poor results.While creating great content is critical to the success of your content marketing campaigns, content promotion is just as vital. Click To Tweet
After creating your content, you need to share it on platforms where you can reach your ideal audience. For most manufacturers, common strategies to promote your content include:
- Social media
- Email sequences
- Search engine optimization
- Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing
If you’re using HubSpot as your content management system, you have the option to promote your content through email sequences. Likewise, you can share on your social media accounts.
By promoting your content, you can attract more visitors to your website and increase your chances of converting them.
7. Perform competitive analysis
Even if you have a great content marketing strategy, there’s still a lot to learn from your competitors. For example, some of your competitors have achieved better results from their content marketing campaigns.
What can you learn from high-performing competitors? Some aspects of their strategies to study include:
- Keywords they rank for
- Top-performing pieces of content
- Publishing frequency
- Top keywords they rank for
- Top keywords they don’t rank for
- Content promotion strategy
- Discover content gaps using a tool like SEMrush
Now, you’ll need to use tools and observe your competitors’ activities to understand their strategy. To make competitive analysis more effective, you can create a document for a few of your competitors.
8. Track your content marketing performance
After your campaigns, you need to know if you’ve achieved your intended results. That’s why tracking vital metrics is essential to your campaigns.
Of course, the metrics you track will depend on your content marketing goals. For example, are you looking to build brand awareness or acquire leads?
Once you track these metrics, you can determine whether your content marketing campaigns have been successful or not. Moreso, you can obtain insights from your current campaigns. Consequently, you’ll have information to improve your future campaigns.
If you’re looking for a robust tool, then Google Analytics can measure most of the metrics on your website.
You can also track conversions and how visitors navigate your website.
If you want to provide relevant information to convert and connect with your audience, content marketing is your best bet. First, however, you need to execute content marketing the right way to derive these benefits.
In this guide of content marketing for manufacturer, we’ve presented valuable tips you can implement in your campaigns today. And if you find it overwhelming to create content for your manufacturing company, you can reach out to us.
Other related articles:
- How to Find the Right Manufacturing Marketing Agency
- Definitive Guide to Marketing Your Manufacturing Company
- A Guide to Proactively Generate New Business for Industrial and Manufacturing Companies
- How To Consistently Acquire and Retain Customers For Your Manufacturing Company
- Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Manufacturers
- Functions of Industrial Advertising
- Is industrial marketing necessary?