New Research Shows How Manufacturers are Using Content Marketing to Build Audiences

Guest post from Lisa Murton Beets, Research Director, Content Marketing Institute

Are you delivering valuable, relevant, consistent content to your audience? If not, prepare to be ignored. There is just too much information available today, and only so much time in a day for your target audience to consume it. This is especially true for tradesmen, who spend most of their time in the field.

That said, you should be delivering valuable content consistently (hopefully, to a subscribed audience via vehicles such as email newsletters), so when your prospect does need a product or service, your company is top of mind.

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) defines content marketing as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. (more…)

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Seven Mistakes to Avoid in your Content Strategy

Today, we have a guest blog from Machinery Zone on some of the common pitfalls found in a company’s content strategy.


Every construction company with an online presence feels the pressure to create consistent, high-quality content. When done properly, it represents a great way to generate site traffic, build brand awareness and demonstrate your expertise to the world. Every blog post, article and other piece of content you generate is an opportunity to plant seeds that could eventually blossom into a steady stream of viable leads. Are you doing it right? Here are the seven mistakes to avoid in your content strategy.

1) Skipping the editorial strategy set-up phase

Too often, communication projects are missing a guideline. To create an efficient content strategy in sync with your goals, it is essential to set up a solid editorial strategy.

To whom are you going to address your content? What is its purpose?

What are you looking to accomplish?

What is your editorial line and tone?

At what frequency will you publish articles?

These questions will enable you to establish a work methodology and an editorial calendar. Measure your results along the way and adjust your actions according to your analysis, but remember to stay true to your core strategy.

2) Pushing forward commercially focused content

Sales pitches and presentations do not create emotional brand attachment. If you want to see a rise in customer loyalty, offer generous and (almost) disinterested advice and tips to your readers. Share and spread your knowledge. When you educate your customers, they see you as an expert. They trust you and, consequently, they are more likely to buy from you.

In order to produce successful marketing content, it is important to ask yourself:

Is my content truly original, does it offer any added value?

What content will be valuable to my audience and to my clients?

Instead of focusing on selling a product or a service, offer useful, educational content to your audience. Be simple, clear and concise. Forget about technical jargon. Adopt appropriate language and learn to popularize technical concepts. Be interesting and entertaining.

3) Overlooking your target audience

You are a specialist in the construction industry. You host a blog that is appreciated and recognized by professionals in your business sector. But are these professionals really those you want to sell your products or services to?

Knowing your target audience is key to successful marketing content. It is essential to analyze your Google Analytics statistics and clearly identify your clients, those who you are really interested in.

Who are they?

What are their needs and desires? What problems do they encounter?

What vocabulary do they use?

The more you will help your audience and offer solutions to the challenges they encounter, the more they will enjoy, comment and share your content on social media and become your ambassadors.

4) Publishing low-quality content

Long sentences, lack of keywords, poorly explained jargon, major spelling errors, copy and pasted text from the company brochure. These are the main characteristics of poor-quality content.

No matter how exciting the topic is, a poorly written article will not capture the reader’s attention. It can be difficult to read onscreen, create misunderstandings and exasperate industry experts. Worse, it can discredit your expertise.

5) Omitting content promotion

You’ve focused on writing an excellent article and posted it on your blog. But if you do nothing to promote it, no one will know just how great it is!

An effective content strategy does not only address content creation. It also involves distributing, promoting and optimizing content.

Carefully select your communication channels. Rather than dispersing yourself on every existing social network, focus on those on which your audience is present and active.

For example, if your target clientele consists of industry professionals, optimize your presence on Twitter and LinkedIn. If you are selling products where visuals play a major role in conversion rates (house building, gate installation), concentrate your efforts on social networks dedicated to images such as Pinterest and Instagram.

6) Neglecting existing content

You are planning to redesign your website? Before you delete everything, identify which content deserves to be saved, updated and optimized.

Quality content is always of interest to the reader and can be recycled. Obsolete articles may simply need to be updated with recent key figures. Also, when writing a new article, consider making a link to other content-related articles.

7)  Failing to optimize content for search engines

The content you provide to your website visitors is the key to success, not only from a conversion point of view, but from a ranking point of view.

Your main goal should always be to satisfy your audience. However, properly optimizing your content by following a few simple SEO rules, ones that will not compromise the quality of your article, is essential to improve your ranking on Google.

For instance, search engines are more likely to offer better ranking to longer blog posts over 250 words. Work your target keywords in the SEO title, the URL, on-page headline and throughout the content without overkilling it. Add ALT text to your photo and invite your users to share their experiences. A post with an actively engaged comments section is a clear signal that the page has value.

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Content Strategy: Do You Have One?

Your company has a strategy. Your sales force has a strategy. Your marketing department has a strategy. Why doesn’t your content have one?

We all are busy creating content for various purposes, but do we ever ask the question of why are we creating it, and once it’s created, what are we going to do with it? I recently read an article by Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute where he reminded us that content without a strategy is just stuff.

To be not only efficient, but also effective, we can’t take a ready, fire, aim approach. Joe pointed out that a well-thought-out strategy not only gets us more traction in the market, but we also might be able to do more with less by utilizing content in several different places. By understanding your customers and what they want, you can put a strategy together that will not only create content, but have it tied with other similar content that your user will need as they go down the decision process.

If we want users to share our content, it has to have value to them and address the issues straight on. Don’t publish content for the sake of content. Have a plan in place before you start to write. By having a strategy and good user content, you’ll have a winning combination for users to keep coming back to you for more useful info.

Time is money-use it wisely!

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