Industrial Content Marketing for Manufacturers
B2B Buyers have complete control over what, where, when, and how they see ads. As purchasers, buyers, or engineers approach their buying needs and challenges, they use online searches to find information, follow industry trends, and walk with other professional connections about their experiences.
70% of B2B buyer’s research is done online before reaching out to a potential vendor.
It’s not enough to just start writing a blog on any topics that come to mind. You need to know your customer (whether they are purchasers at an OEM, or engineers in the automotive industry), what motivates them (are they problem solvers that thrive under pressure), and their pain points (like finding suppliers that will deliver on-time consistently). Understanding your buyers will allow you to develop the right content and cast the widest net possible, while increasing the opportunity for more business. In order for industrial content marketing to work in your favor and generate better qualified leads, it needs to reach your target audience in the right way at the right time, starting with these 3 simple steps:
1. Answer a Question
When prospects are looking for solutions online, you want your manufacturing company to show at the top of the search engine results. Content that aligns with your prospects’ searches can help you reach the top, and send those prospects to your site. The content should address common concerns and answer questions that come up often. Questions like “Why heat treatment is required?” or “What is the main purpose of annealing?”. Look to your sales team for FAQs – What are they hearing frequently asked that you can develop content about? You can also use a free tool like answerthepublic.com or even Google to search for questions buyers are asking.
2. Choose the Right Platform for Industrial Content Marketing
Blog – Putting out valuable content on a regular basis can improve not only your company’s visibility, but also its credibility as a thought leader in the manufacturing industry. Blogs are ideal for prospects that are in the very beginning stages of purchasing, and are looking to learn more about possible solutions. Including related blogs at the end of your post and lead the reader to another piece of content that can answer more of their questions.
eBook – Used to help educate prospects, an eBook offers expert knowledge on a topic in an easily consumable format. A prospect would usually enter some basic information in a form in order to download the eBook – Giving you a new lead!
Video – To this day, one fact remains true: Video is king. Video is the most effective content tactic manufacturers have at their fingertips. You can incorporate video on your website in many ways, like your machines in operation, how the machines work, the quality of your work environment, or introducing your team and your company.
Case Study – Present your success stories that explain how your business was able to help a customer and exceed their expectations. For example, a 3D printer might be presented with the challenge of creating a prototype, resembling the actual design, that could be scaled and tested. The 3D printer could create a case study that explained how they tackled the challenge, including the thought process behind the solution, and the outcome that highlights what stands them apart from other competitors. A case study is also the perfect place to include a quote from a customer.
Email – A great email marketing campaign turns clicks into conversions. Sending industry news, related blogs, or even updates on your business increases the potential of new sales. Emails are one of the easiest ways for prospects to keep the line of communication open between you and your leads as they continue through their purchasing process.
3. Tailor to the B2B Sales Cycle
The best way to utilize content marketing is by becoming a guide to your buyers, rather than a salesperson. Develop your content to target different stages of your buyers’ process.
- A buyer researches a product and finds your blog related to that topic
- The buyer wants to learn even more, so they downloads a white paper for more in-depth information
- The buyer is interested in what your business can do, so they look at some of your real-world case studies to see how your product can meet their specific needs
- They may not be ready to sign a contract just yet, but the buyer can stay up to date on news and trends you put out in your newsletter by subscribing
- By keeping you top of mind and present in the buyer’s purchasing process, they might be ready to request a quote
- Learn more about the typical B2B buying funnel and personas.
Plan for content around each of these phases to earn the attention of your prospect. What kind of content should you be offering in the research stage, evaluation stage, and as you move closer to signing the contract? To get you started on mapping out your content strategy, utilize this Content Planner Worksheet as your guide.