Engineering Copywriter Blog

Content marketing tips and insights to help grow your engineering audience

February 17, 2021

5 Content Marketing Essentials for Manufacturing Companies

Manufacturing marketing has moved towards digitalization. Marketers now use technology to promote their products and services. With this transformation, it follows that manufacturing industries are directing some, if not a majority, of their resources towards online content marketing. For industrial marketers, this is both an exciting and challenging endeavor. More and more people (both suppliers and consumers) are spending time scrolling through the internet for the latest news and products. Applying the latest content marketing trends to your strategy can help you take advantage of these developments.

A recent survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, however, revealed that 68% of manufacturing content marketers find it challenging to create content that appeals to multiple subsets within their target audience.

Image Source: Content Marketing Institute

Similarly, 60% have a hard time communicating complex content. When used effectively, content marketing can provide successful results, increase brand awareness, educate the audience, and generate demand or leads. Below are some of the latest content marketing trends.

1. Develop a documented content marketing strategy.

Among current trends is the development of what’s known as a documented content marketing strategy. It helps businesses work smarter, more efficiently, and more effectively. This aids companies in aligning their content strategy with various stakeholders such as the management, engineers, and sales team. More importantly, it helps marketers determine which type of content to develop. Some of the inputs that should be included are your content marketing goals, the steps you’ll have to take to reach them, and your means of measuring success.

In truth, there is no universal template to use for creating your strategy. However, these five components can be important:

  • – Business case. Include details such as reasons for creating content, risks, and the vision of what you are trying to achieve.
  • – Business plan. Incorporate the goals for your content program, the unique value you want to provide, details of your business model, and an outline of the obstacles and opportunities you might encounter.
  • – Audience personas and content maps. Include a description of the specific personas for whom you are creating the content, their needs, their perceived content engagement cycle, and an outline of the content you can deliver throughout their buyer’s journey.
  • – Brand story. Add ideas and messages you want to communicate to your readers, how these messages are unique, and how they may change your brand’s image.
  • – Channel plan. Specify platforms that you will use to share your content along with the criteria, processes, objectives, and the ways that you can connect them to create a consistent brand conversation.

2. Develop buyer personas for your content planning.

Another of the content marketing trends on which to focus is personas. Developing personas gives marketers a deeper understanding of their target audience and buying behavior. The data collected can become a guidepost for creating content that will assist consumers throughout their buyer’s journey. Three of the most effective methods of building your buyer persona come through the collection of information about your target buyers. This process includes checking your current online visitors, conducting market research, and interviewing existing customers.

Once you have collected enough information, you can create a comprehensive profile for each persona you have developed. These profiles should be organized according to the 5 rings of buying insight, namely: priority initiatives (reasons buyers invest), success factors (results that buyers are expecting), perceived barriers (concerns that buyers have about your company), buyer’s journey (details of who and what impacts your buyer’s decisions), and decision criteria (critical aspects of competing products).

A well-developed buyer persona profile will have multiple content opportunities that you can create and publish on your company website. Once those articles are published, they need to be regularly reviewed and updated. This is to ensure that no obsolete information is retained on your site.

3. Create original and relevant content.

Create Original Content
One of the content marketing trends that marketers need to focus on now is the creation of original and relevant content. This content should not only sell products or services, but help readers solve their problems without taking money from their pockets. It should provide value – be it for entertainment or educational purposes – which will demonstrate that they can turn to you for answers when they encounter problems at work.

Aside from remaining relevant, marketers must prioritize the creation of original content. Consumers nowadays are getting good at identifying clickbait material. If you consistently deliver original content that is not copied from viral headlines and topics, you let readers know that you value their time and want to offer them valuable information.

Statistics show that 66% of manufacturing marketers now use audio/visual content, and 59% offer written digital content such as articles, blogs, and e-books. Similarly, long-form content is used by 57% of marketers. You can also use these types of content to provide relevant information to your readers.


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4. Bring subject matter experts (SMEs) to the forefront.

Another content marketing trend worth your time is the inclusion of SMEs and thought leadership in your content creation. SME input is important when it comes to creating content that your readers can trust. As experts in the field with years of experience, solid qualifications, and in-depth knowledge of the industry, SMEs help build your brand’s credibility and authority. SMEs do not always have to come from outside your organization – they can be found within too. Often, they can be pulled from your design, production, or engineering teams.

Most SMEs, however, are busy with their jobs, so convincing them to participate in content projects can be hard. Getting them to join your marketing project may require you to provide incentives or at least extra time to account for the added workload. Making them feel appreciated will go a long way.

Learn more on how to get thought leadership content for your blog.

5. Use content marketing technologies.

Use Content Marketing Technologies
Used correctly, content marketing technologies can make marketing jobs a lot easier. This content marketing trend isn’t a replacement for other practices, but rather a tool that helps marketers implement their content marketing strategy. Among the areas that these technologies can help in are:

  • – Automating content distribution.
  • – Enhancing content.
  • – Identifying and defining your audience.
  • – Identifying and organizing content.
  • – Identifying content needs and gaps.
  • – Measuring content’s performance.

Currently, there are several common tools that manufacturing marketers use. Statistics show that 81% of marketers use social media publishing/analytics, 79% use email marketing software and 73% use additional analytics tools. Similarly, these technologies have offered great benefits to brands including insights into how content is performing, how your audience is behaving, and for effortless content repurposing.

Finding the best content marketing technology to use with your strategy can be hard, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Your first step should be to think about your goals. Second, focus on what technology can do for you. Do you need help in sorting and organizing your existing content? Do you need it to distribute your content?

There are many content marketing trends today, and sometimes keeping up can be a little overwhelming. But as long as you have a well-developed content marketing strategy that is constantly being updated, you can keep up with any changes in your audience’s interests.

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