For most manufacturing brands, having a solid industrial content marketing strategy is key to engage and retain customers. 79% of businesses rely on content marketing to produce high-quality leads.
Yet in general, many manufacturers have been slower to adopt this approach than other industries, relying on more traditional marketing approaches. In our Digital Transformation in Global Manufacturing 2023 whitepaper, we found that only 53% of manufacturers were seeing a good ROI from their website, meaning there is a lot of work to be done to optimise their channel.
By implementing a B2B content marketing strategy, brands can expect:
- Increased brand awareness
- Better customer engagement
- Improved search engine rankings
- Increased lead generation/sales and conversions
- Competitive advantage
With content marketing costing 62% less than other tactics, manufacturers could be missing out on additional engagement, brand awareness and ultimately, sales.
How to get started
1. Define your target audiences
The key to an industrial content marketing strategy is putting your customer front and centre of every piece, whether this is an explainer video or a product page. To design content that will hook them in and resonate best, it’s critical to understand who you’re writing for in detail. Think about who your current audience is and who you’d like to reach. Create personas based on each of these segments to establish who they are, their pain points, and what your company can offer to solve this.
2. Personalise your messaging
72% of customers will only engage with personalised messaging. Using a composable DXP allows you to build a personalisation strategy across multiple channels and create a strong digital experience for the customer across all of your touchpoints. Simple tweaks can have huge results, like using targeted CTAs, using focused messaging or experimenting with hero banners (Read how we used personalisation to achieve 90% more revenue with our client, Healthspan)
3. Use content to reduce time wasted with your sales team
Manufacturing brands with dedicated sales and customer service teams lose a lot of time supporting prospects who are not quite ready to purchase, or need answers to simple queries. Whilst well intentioned, this takes valuable sales team resources where they could instead be focusing on larger and more complex orders. Having strategic content that answers questions and overcomes objections, means fewer customers pick up the phone, leaving your sales team to get on with the bigger, more profitable projects.
4. Develop a mix of content
Modern technology gives manufacturers the opportunity to create an immersive digital experience to engage customers and drive them towards purchase. For the best B2B content marketing strategy, ensure product images are up to date, customer stories are front and centre, and any essential information is easy to access. Try experimenting with new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Voice Activated Search to bring your products to customers and allow them to experience them before buying, instilling trust and even reducing return rates.
5. Optimise for search engines
Content is king, and a lot of brands are fighting for the crown. Creating great content alone is not enough. Make sure you optimise all content to give your brand the best chance of coming out at the top of the search engine. This doesn’t just mean using relevant keywords. To really rank highly, manufacturers need to think about technical SEO, like page structure, load speed, and tagging. (Test how well your site is already performing by using Google Lighthouse Score) It can be a pretty daunting task, especially with large commerce sites or sites with hundreds of pages, so make sure you speak to an expert to help you get started.
6. Allow your brand to shine through
Your website is the online alternative to meeting your team in store, so your site is critical to bring your brand alive. Manufacturers have the opportunity to use content to tell their story, showcase their values and connect with customers who are increasingly concerned about who they're buying from. A great content strategy will enable you to promote your brand and control your own narrative to attract and engage the right customers.
7. Right content, right context
With the creation of new technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), such as wearables and voice search, it’s important that your content not only appears but appears well on each display (or “head”). But with hundreds of possible variations and displays, how can you make sure all your content looks great wherever it appears, without spending days duplicating and reshaping each piece? Simple. Using a headless CMS allows you to create fully optimised, content experiences for your customers, wherever they are. Find out more about headless CMS in our guide here.
8. Test and optimise
A critical and often overlooked part of a B2B content marketing strategy is to run various tests and use the results to optimise for future customers (and improve results.) Consider A/B testing to test which messaging or imagery is resonating or heatmaps to track how customers are interacting with your content. Our team can help you run meaningful tests that help you to understand where your site could be improved and how small tweaks can literally skyrocket your revenue.
A well-planned content strategy can help establish your manufacturing brand as an industry leader and expert, building trust with your customers, driving traffic, and driving sales. Following these steps will help you get started or improve your current content strategy to generate measurable results.
If you don’t have the in-house team or expertise to help kick off your content strategy, working with a digital agency can help you audit your digital solution and help you to optimise and improve your technology so that you can hit your business goals. Book a free call with our team.