Being a rapidly changing marketplace, and with multiple decision makers in one business, generating quality leads in the manufacturing industry is a tough nut to crack. Gone are the days when traditional marketing methods, like print advertising and direct mail, cold calling, and referrals were enough to cut through the noise. Today, the manufacturing industry faces unique challenges: complex sales cycles, a niche audience, and a pressing need to establish trust and authority in a highly competitive digital landscape. So how can you overcome these challenges? Well, 73% of B2B companies use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.
Manufacturing content marketing is a powerful solution, communicating value, demonstrating expertise, and building long-lasting relationships with potential prospects. Not only that, well planned, audience centric content is proven to nurture those prospects through the notorious prolonged decision-making process. In fact, businesses can gain 67% more leads through B2B content marketing.
What is B2B Content Marketing?
B2B content marketing is a strategic ace. It’s all about crafting and sharing content that doesn’t just fill a void but truly resonates. The goal? To captivate and engage a specific audience that’s not just any crowd like B2C, but other businesses with their unique needs and challenges.
Imagine a spectrum of content that stretches far and wide: from insightful blog posts that open up new perspectives, to explainer videos that simplify the complex, infographics that distil information into eye-catching visuals, and whitepapers that dive deep into subjects. The variety isn’t just for the sake of it. It’s part of a well-thought-out strategy that enables you to connect with various decision-makers at each critical stage of their buying cycle.
It’s about speaking the language of businesses, understanding their pain points, and delivering content that’s not just seen but felt and remembered.
How does Content Marketing deliver Impact, Growth, & ROI for Manufacturers?
B2B content marketing is a powerhouse of benefits for manufacturers. It’s a strategy that not only increases audience engagement but also significantly boosts brand awareness and trust with potential customers. Every business aims to generate leads, so here’s how content marketing does just that:
Boost Visibility with SEO
At the core of digital marketing, content plays a central role in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Think of content marketing as your as your precision tooling machine, meticulously crafting and embedding the right keywords that get your website driving up the ranks. SEO optimised content leads to more organic traffic, opening up greater possibilities for lead generation.
Guide the Sales Funnel Journey
It’s pretty much the ultimate tour guide through the sales funnel. From the moment the prospects peek in with curiosity to the grand finale of decision-making, content marketing has it covered. With educational blog beats, product comparison charts, and case study narratives, you’re not just leading the way, you’re creating a journey and convincing customers to join your customer crew.
Thought Leadership: Be the Industry Guru
Use content marketing to efficiently assemble and showcase your insights and expertise. It’s like crafting a high-quality product that speaks volumes about your craftsmanship. Share those finely-tuned insights, positioning yourself not just as a voice in the crowd, but as a leading authority in your field. As you distribute this knowledge, watch how it elevates your brand’s credibility, much like a well-engineered product enhances a manufacturer’s reputation.
Foster Long-Term Customer Bonds
But it’s not all about wooing new faces. Content marketing helps keep the flame alive with your existing clientele. So, don’t let those precious orders dwindle, keep serving them content that’s as valuable as a best friend’s advice, nurturing loyalty, repeat business, and hey, why not some extra spending?
Adapt to the Digital Beat
Where the manufacturing industry traditionally relies on direct sales and traditional marketing methods, you might will find yourself lagging as your competitors recognise the importance of a digital presence. B2B content marketing is your ticket to digital transformation, reaching broader audiences online that encourages trust in a whole new digital way.
Simplify the Technical Jargon
The manufacturing sector often grapples with the challenge of conveying complex product details. Content marketing offers a solution by providing a platform to explain these intricacies in an accessible way, educating potential customers and aiding them in making informed decisions.
How can Content Marketing overcome Multiple Decision-Makers?
For sales in manufacturing, the buying process involves several people within a single company, each evaluating your product or service from a different perspective. This collective scrutiny is a key step towards the final purchase decision. But this is where content marketing can help your product or service sail through the process.
Craft distinct buyer personas for each key player in the B2B decision-making process. This way, you can develop content that hits the mark, speaking directly to the unique challenges and questions each one faces. It’s about getting into their world, understanding what keeps them up at night, and then delivering content that feels like it’s made just for them.
But there’s more to consider. As we’ve hinted before, diversifying your content mix broadens your appeal. Not every decision-maker will have the time or inclination to read a whitepaper, but others might crave more than a quick 500-word blog. It’s about engineering the right mix, creating a content assembly line that caters to the diverse needs and schedules of your audience. Think of it as a content production line, where each piece is designed to fit perfectly into different requirements and preferences, for every type of customer in your manufacturing network.
So, what content works best for different decision makers?
Diving deep into research for each buyer persona might give you clues about their preferred media types. But here’s the thing: when it comes to content consumption, everyone’s a bit of a maverick. There’s no magic formula that works for all, but understanding the benefits behind each content type should steer you in the right direction.
Blog Posts: For Almost Anyone
Think of blogs as your search engine saviour, there to boost your website’s visibility. They’re the bread and butter of content marketing, perfect for sharing know-how, industry gossip, or demonstration your authority with thought-leadership articles. They’re your casual coffee chat, keeping your audience coming back for more.
Video Content: For Absolutely Anyone
Video’s capture attention like nothing else, and when done effectively, highly engaging. Video marketing is perfect for explaining complex topics in an easy understandable format. Whether it’s a product demo, tutorial, or a company culture reel, video’s can increase engagement on your digital platforms and are particularly effective for audiences who prefer visual learning.
Infographics: For the Visionary’s
Infographics turn data and information into a visually appealing, easily digestible masterpiece. They’re great for making complex stuff simple and shareable. Perfect for a quick, impactful message that sticks in the mind.
Whitepapers: For the Brainiacs
Whitepapers are your deep dives into the nitty-gritty. They’re like a trusty encyclopaedia for your audience, brimming with insights and solutions. Whitepapers are ideal for showing off your industry smarts and winning over the factfinders.
eBooks: For the Page Turners
eBooks are your content marathons, offering the full scoop on a topic. Think of them as a box set of content – detailed, downloadable, and perfect for binge-learning.
Case Studies: For the Positively Apprehensive
Case studies are your victory laps. They showcase your triumphs and tell the tales of challenges conquered. These are your proof points, demonstrating ability and persuading the pragmatists.
Podcasts: For the Time Poor
Podcasts are your chance to chat, to tell stories, and to bring voices to life. They’re the perfect companion for the audience on the go, offering insights, interviews, and plenty of personality.
So, there you have it, content for everyone. But for best practice, mix it up! Publish your content in a medley of formats. Transform a blog post into an engaging video. Take the insights from an eBook and turn them into a snappy infographic. It’s about giving your audience the same great story in different wrappers – some like to read, some like to watch, and others love a good visual summary. The best thing about it? You don’t need to give it all away for free. Lots of these content types can be used as lead magnets.
What are Lead Magnets in B2B Content Marketing?
Lead magnets in B2B are like the precision tools in a manufacturer’s arsenal, designed to capture the attention of potential clients. Picture this: you’ve got your expertly crafted whitepapers, webinars packed with industry insights, or checklists that streamline complex processes. These are your showcase items, displayed in the digital showroom of your website in exchange for contact details. It’s a mutually beneficial exchange – your prospects gain access to valuable, industry-specific resources, and in return, you gain a new contact in your professional network, opening up a channel for future business conversations.
But it’s not just about collecting email addresses. A good lead magnet should be a conversation starter – it’s relevant, engaging, and makes your prospects think, “I could work with this company”. It’s the first step in a dance that leads from a casual “hello” to a solid business relationship. So, when you whip up a piece of content for lead generation, make it valuable, something that leaves your prospects hungry for more.
How can Manufacturers Broaden their Content Reach?
With great content in hand, it’s time to roll it out on the production line. You’ve crafted your lead magnets, polished your blogs, and fine-tuned your videos but how do you ensure they hit the factory floor running and reach the right audience? Let’s break down some practical steps to amplify your content’s impact:
1. Be Social Media Savvy
Just like you’d showcase your latest machinery at a tradeshow, share your content on social media. LinkedIn is a hotspot for industry professionals. Facebook has groups you can tap into. Twitter has hashtags you can penetrate. Tailor your posts to highlight how your content solves common industry challenges, like efficiency improvements or innovation insights.
2. Target Decision-makers with Email
Use your email list as a direct line to your industry contacts. Share your content in the form of a precision-crafted newsletter, focusing on how it can streamline their operations or introduce new manufacturing techniques.
3. Collaborate with Industry Partners
You forge alliances within the supply chain, content marketing is no different, so partner up with other industry players. Guest posts, joint webinars, or co-branded infographics can open doors to new audiences and add a fresh spin to your content.
4. Smart Advertising
Consider investing in targeted advertising, like PPC, or on platforms frequently visited by manufacturing professionals. It’s like placing a well-designed billboard in an industrial park, ensuring it’s seen by those who matter most.
5. Utilise Manufacturing Publications
Don’t overlook industry publications or online portals, they open doors to highly relevant and engaged audiences. Submit your articles or content for publication or use these platforms for advertising.
By deploying content distribution strategies, you’re not just releasing content; you’re launching it into the heart of the manufacturing community, ensuring it reaches the engineers, executives, and the all important decision-makers.
Why should Manufacturers adopt Content Marketing?
So now you know the ins and outs of what you can achieve with content marketing, why is it so important for manufacturers? With a globalised marketplace, competition is both near and far. Manufacturers in particular tend to focus on making their products 1% cheaper, 1% faster, or 1% lighter, but rarely do they do anything to shout about it. Where your competition is rocking a strong online presence, there’s a real risk your products or services might just blend into the background. Content marketing allows you to give your audience value in a competitive landscape and build trust with your potential prospects before they know they need your help. Build trust when they’re ‘happy with their existing suppliers’, ‘not interested’, or are ‘just looking’. By building trust early and by the time their buying cycle comes around again, you’ll be top of mind.
Need a hand?
Want to generate some leads but not quite sure where to start? That’s where we can help. We help manufacturers like yourself deliver impact, growth, and ROI with their B2B content marketing strategies. Build trust with your audience, leverage your brand as an industry leader, and generate quality leads with Beach Marketing, a specialist b2b marketing agency for manufacturers. Fill in our contact form below to get started.