Content marketing for manufacturers is more than just white papers.
The scope is much broader, encompassing a variety of content types that not only engage your target audience but also generate actionable leads. In this blog, we’ll delve into some key examples that have proven effective in manufacturing content marketing.
Before we do that, however, here are common mistakes that many marketers in manufacturing make with content marketing:
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Mistake: Focussing on your product/service ahead of the value-add
Whilst your products are obviously a crucial part of the process when deciding upon your content, balance this with your audience’s challenges and the market for solving those problems (for which you can research keyword search volume to help gauge).
You’re not marketing a product or service. You’re marketing a solution. Put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes and write with experience, pulling from real business cases and examples from your operations team. Your job is to leave your audience clear in the knowledge that your products are the best solution to their problem.
Mistake: Shallow content or poor quality content after the form is completed
How often have you completed a form for a content download, only to find that the quality and depth of the content doesn’t match the headline or promises that brought you there?
This happens a lot. Producing lacklustre content offers affects both the quality of your leads and likeliness to convert. Just as you may have felt in the past on the other side, your audience will feel duped if the content isn’t valuable and it impacts the perception of your brand as a problem solver.
Mistake: The content doesn’t solve real pain points
Hands up if you’ve skipped the part where you talk to your ideal audience to build personas and instead just asked your sales team?
Is your hand up? Do not skip the part of speaking to the people you want to engage with your content. This is where you will learn so much about what their true pain points are, and how your manfacturing expertise can help to solve them.
Mistake: The content doesn’t give enough value
Manufacturers that we work with can sometimes be coy about how much they share with regards to the “secret sauce” of their service offering.
This is a fair position in competitive industries but it can hold you back more than it can protect your intellectual property. The chances of you leaking information in a lead-generating content piece that teaches your competitors how to do something they never considered before are low.
Now that we’ve covered what not to do, here are the proven content marketing offers we’ve used to generate leads for manufacturing companies:
#1 Market Research and Shared Results
Conduct and share research within your target niche.
Sharing research findings is a powerful way to establish your brand as an industry thought leader. When you publish original research, you’re providing valuable insights that can help potential customers make informed decisions. This not only elevates your brand’s credibility but also qualifies you as the authority in your industry.
How to Use it for Lead Generation:
Offer a summarised version of your research for free and place the detailed results behind a gated form. This way, you capture the contact details of those genuinely interested in your manufacturing products or services.
#2 Checklist on How to Prepare for Exhibitions and Trade shows
Trade shows and exhibitions are pivotal events in the manufacturing industry. A well-crafted checklist can serve as a practical tool for companies preparing for these events, making it a valuable piece of content marketing for manufacturing companies.
How to talk about exhibitions and generate manufacturing leads:
Offer the checklist as a downloadable PDF in exchange for an email address. This will help you build a list of leads who are likely interested in your exhibition or trade show offerings.
#3 Guide on Sustainability Within the Industry
Sustainability is a hot topic, and a guide focussing on this can attract a wide range of stakeholders. This is a prime example of manufacturer content marketing that addresses current industry challenges.
How to talk about sustainability and generate manufacturing leads:
Offer a free introductory section and gate the rest of the guide. Those who are willing to share their contact details for the full guide are likely to be highly interested in sustainable manufacturing solutions.
#4 Whitepaper on Industry Research Findings
Whitepapers remain a cornerstone in content marketing strategy for manufacturers. They offer in-depth insights and are excellent tools for lead generation.
How to create whitepaper content for manufacturing leads:
Offer a summary or key findings for free and gate the full whitepaper. This will attract leads that are interested in the topic that you are fast proving yourself to be an expert in (which ideally involves a product you sell!)
#5 Guides to Selling/Marketing as a Small or Medium Business
Small and medium-sized businesses often face unique sales and marketing challenges. Guides tailored on how they can improve their sales and marketing functions can be a valuable asset in your content portfolio.
Content Marketing Strategies For Manufacturers… In Summary
By diversifying your content marketing strategies and tactics, you can engage a broader (but qualified) audience and generate more qualified leads. Remember, the key is to offer value that goes beyond the hard-gated walls of traditional content types.
Incorporate these tactics into your manufacturing content marketing plan to not only interest and engage your audience but also to convert them into future customers.