As we’ve noted in the past, the manufacturing sector has previously been somewhat resistant to embracing content marketing, preferring more traditional methods of outreach. However, research shows that they are beginning to utilize content marketing, and that’s a good thing. B2B content marketing is highly effective in every sector, and at every level – even up to the C-suite.
That also means there has been more interest in looking at content marketing among manufacturers, and how they’re utilizing it. We’ve come across a few tidbits that manufacturers should be aware of, both good and bad, when creating new marketing content for their ecosystem.
1. Too much of it is self-focused
According to studies conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, roughly half of all content published by manufacturers is fundamentally “salesy” in nature. It focuses almost exclusively on self-promotion, which is generally not considered the most effective way to conduct content marketing. In the field of content as a whole, only around 25% of companies stick to this sort of outreach.
Good content marketing is audience-focused. It’s based around the idea that people are searching for information which will be relevant to them, and the problems faced by their business. Content which is too self-focused, or feels too much like ad copy, won’t appeal to these buyers. They will respond better to content which gives them genuinely useful information, as well as promoting a paid solution.
2. Use of buyer personas is on the rise
Here’s some good news – 66% of manufacturers are now utilizing buyer personas when crafting their outreach. Buyer personas are a highly effective tool when creating content, because they make it easier for your content-creators to specifically address the attitudes and needs of specific buyer groups. They also allow you to potentially market to multiple segments at once, by creating distinct personas for each potential buyer you’re likely to market to.
Just keep in mind, buyer personas should be based on hard data whenever possible. You’re looking to build a profile of your customers as they actually exist, not the customers you might wish you have.
3. Utilizing a content strategy will put you ahead of the pack
One area where it seems manufacturing content marketing is lagging behind is on having a documented content strategy. Only about one in five manufacturers have one! That’s unfortunate, because having a genuine plan for your content marketing will almost always bring better results. This allows you to keep your efforts focused and coordinated, while making it easier to track the results of your work.
However, those low numbers mean that this is an excellent opportunity for manufacturers who want to get ahead! A good content strategy should include:
- Target audience(s)
- Publishing platforms utilized
- Keywords, phrases, and concepts to focus on
- Stylistic elements, such as the tone and “voice” of the content
- Frequency of publication
Having this documented and adhered-to will keep your content marketing on track. It’s an excellent way to improve almost any content effort.
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