Content is the heart of inbound marketing by building awareness, generating leads, and working day and night to convert leads into customers. Content seems to be everywhere, but how do you condense it in a way that not only makes sense to your target audience, but convinces them to ultimately become a customer for your product or service? The change in how people look for content online presents profitable opportunities for manufacturing companies to market more efficiently, effectively, and affordably. According to the B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing 2014 report, sponsored by Oracle Marketing Cloud, 86% of manufacturing marketers have adopted content marketing. To make the most of your content efforts, here are the steps you should follow to achieve effective and efficient manufacturing content marketing.
1. Define Your Content Marketing Goals
One of the most important aspects of content creation is understanding the vision and purpose of the marketing campaign. Marketing without a clearly defined purpose is an inefficient use of resources, both in terms of time and money. Before sharing manufacturing content with the public, ask yourself, “How does this align with my company’s mission? What are we getting out of it?” Clearly defined goals make an effective marketing strategy possible. The B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing report claims that all B2B marketers have brand awareness as their top goal, while manufacturing marketers place more emphasis on customer retention, loyalty, and engagement. In marketing for manufacturers, it is not only about capturing your audience member’s attention, but engaging them in a way that they choose to remain loyal customers to your business. Become a SMART marketer. Ensure that your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
2. Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
Interestingly, according to the report, only 30% of manufacturing marketers say they are effective at content marketing, and only 21% have a documented content strategy. What they may not realize is the direct correlation between a documented strategy and overall marketing effectiveness. Manufacturing marketers often lack a content marketing strategy, due to several common reasons. They may be new to content marketing, or they may lack confidence when it comes to content marketing. Either way, a content marketing strategy is the key to implementing a great marketing campaign. This is the plan for getting your marketing messages out to the world, so it must be properly thoughtout.
Marketers in the manufacturing industry seem to prefer e-newsletters (used by 82% of manufacturing marketers), in-person events (81%) and videos (80%) marketing tactics. In addition, about 81% of manufacturing marketers utilize YouTube videos as a social media strategy to generate marketing awareness and distribute marketing content. YouTube videos are not just for entertainment. You can use video for storytelling, product demonstration videos, and customer testimonials. Develop content marketing strategies to increase your audience’s engagement and interaction for the highest return on your efforts.
3. Implement Efficient Processes
Efficiency goes a long way in making a business profitable. Software is available to help you automate operations and marketing processes. Want to send a lead nurturing email? How about track page views, downloads, and traffic from different sources? Analytics software is there to help. Not only does it allow you spend your time in more important roles, but it also reduces marketing costs. Using templates for emails, blog articles, and website content make marketing automation simpler and more efficient. Automated marketing processes reach out to the right people in the right way, saving your valuable time and marketing dollars. For manufacturing marketers, we know how important it is for you to drive sales at the consumer level in order to create demand for dealers/distributors. Since website visitors may be at different stages of the buying cycle, you need to be as efficient as possible in providing content that appeals to the different customers’ mindsets. Your audience is online, so you should market online. Not only is an online presence affordable, but it is also a resourceful way to put yourself in front of the demand generators (the end consumers) and increase awareness for the manufacturing products and services. Marketing efficiency is gold, so start digging!
4. Measure Content Marketing Effectiveness
Producing engaging content is only the first challenge. Manufacturing marketers must be able to measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Inability to assess marketing effectiveness is an obstacle to improvement, because you don’t know which marketing strategies provide the best return on investment. Adopt metrics to determine successful marketing tactics. Manufacturing marketers cite website traffic as their top content marketing metric. Also, different key performance indicators (KPIs) from website analytics help you calculate return on investment and keep track of your marketing progress. Google rankings and traffic rankings make it possible for you to determine where you fall compared to the competition. The end consumers are those who will drive demand for the dealers and distributers. Knowing how to best reach those end consumers makes for a better content marketing strategy and a more profitable business.
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About Digital Impact Agency
Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.