New Content Marketing Research for Manufacturing

A new study published by The Content Marketing Institute identifies tactics that are working for manufacturing. The B-to-B sector has always been known to be slightly behind the curve when compared to consumer goods, but the manufacturing side is even farther behind.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that this sector is willing to try things, and this study shows that they are now identifying things that work and are focusing on improving them.

2015-MFG-Research-goals-image 1Beyond brand awareness, their primary concern is sales, and to get to sales, they need to generate leads. Ironically, even though they identify sales as the top goal, fewer than half use sales as a measure of content marketing success. One of the challenges is getting everyone on the same page as to who you are and what you want to accomplish. Mixed or multiple messages don’t work.

Manufacturers top 5 effective tactics are:

  1. In-person events
  2. Videos
  3. Webinars/webcasts
  4. Case studies
  5. White papers

Manufacturers are presently working on:

  1. Converting website visitors
  2. Organizing content on website
  3. Creating better, more engaging content
  4. Better understanding their audiences and how/when they consume content
  5. Finding more/better ways of repurposing content 

So how do these results stack up with what you’re doing?

As a side note, this fall, Content Marketing World will have a whole day focused on the manufacturing sector and it’s worth attending. Great speakers and ideas.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Content Marketing

So everyone knows what content marketing is. But do we know how to get the best results out of it? I know I’ve been doing this for over three years now and have hardly touched the potential of what is available. I’ve been to webinars, seminars and summits on the subject and continue to learn new ways to capitalize on content marketing.

I recently read Joe Pulizzi’s book Epic Content Marketing. As usual, Joe does a great job explaining how to use and integrate into overall marketing plan.


This is a good book for the beginner or for those already engaged to reinforce the right way of doing things. It’s easy to read, has lots of examples, from defining your strategy to developing and managing content to marketing your stories, and I’m sure you’ll get tons of useful tips on how to get more out of your content marketing.

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When is Less – More?

We all get caught up with having to do more and more, especially when it comes to developing content and deploying it through various media channels. We get pressure from our bosses (clients) to be on every new thing that comes down the road. I recently read an article by Joe Pulizzi, the founder of The Content Marketing Institute,  that addresses this actual issue – Do less, not more.

So here’s a novel thought, Don’t worry about quantity and start focusing more on quality. Let’s be realistic, we don’t have the time, resources or possibly content to do all things. Joe cites examples of great brands that started out by dominating one channel consistently over time. What a novel idea. Doesn’t it make sense to focus on and own the primary space you’re in? It doesn’t mean you can’t branch out into other means of getting your message out, but just take it slow.

So what does this mean for the manufacturers? It means do some homework to find out where your customers get their information. If it’s blogs, forums or LinkedIn groups, then start there. Create a blog, for example, that addresses your niche. Make sure you regularly contribute to it so you attract followers. Make sure topics are about solving customers’ questions/issues, not trying to sell them something. Engage them in a dialog of ways you can help them do your job better. Make whatever you do so good people can’t wait to read what’s coming next. In other words, over time, become the go-to resource for whatever specialty you offer.

I think you will find that by focusing on few things and doing them well will not only make you feel better, but will actually accomplish some of those marketing goals of becoming the industry expert.

What are your thoughts?

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Smaller Companies Doing a Better Job with Content Marketing

Smaller B-to-B companies (under 100 employees) seem to be doing a better job maximizing their content marketing efforts according to Content Marketing and Marketing Prof’s B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmark, Budgets and Trends Research.

Heidi Cohen does a good job highlighting important nuggets from the report. Among them:

  • Over 90% of B2B marketers are using some sort of content marketing.
  • 42% of marketers think their content is effective and 20% thinks theirs isn’t.
  • 48% of smaller B2B organizations have a documented content strategy compared to 41% of bigger organizations.
  • 78% of smaller companies have someone specific overseeing content marketing as opposed to 58% of larger companies.

More people are planning on spending more of their budget on content marketing. If you’re like the rest of us, budgets aren’t getting any larger next year and we have to do more with less. Heidi suggests looking in other people’s budgets to help the cause.

The biggest challenge still is producing good relevant content no matter what your budget is. That’s why a content marketing strategy is the most important thing you can do to ensure  good content on a regular basis.

Are these findings consistent with what’s happening in your world?

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