We often hear about content marketing in the context of consumer audiences. But how does the creation of online material translate for manufacturers? Is there an exact science about how to execute a manufacturing content marketing plan or is it a case of one size fits all? In this blog, we look at four content marketing ideas and how they relate to manufacturers.
1) Case Studies
Case studies are one of the most successful forms of online content to help promote your business. Done correctly, they tell a powerful story about how a customer or client faced a challenge and you found the solution. They work because they act as customer endorsement for prospective customers, adding authority to what you offer and what kind of company you are. Prospective customers haven’t worked with you before so will want to see others who have. As manufacturers, you may collaborate with other businesses so it is always good to showcase these partnerships in your case studies too.
Case study formula
- Present the challenge that a customer faced and briefly describe your customer’s business. Be as detailed as you can about the situation faced by the customer. By doing this, you are showing your knowledge of the industry and your ability to listen and learn about challenges. Try to find a scenario that is relatable to the kind of customer issue you want to help potentially solve. *Tip: if you can, include relevant images of people/places to help bring the story to life.
- Explain how you solved the problem for the customer, using the process you went through and any special equipment or skills that were used to complete the task.
- Demonstrate the results you achieved for your client/customer. Convey this through your own words and the customer’s words too. Statistical evidence like infographics and charts can help present the results simply to readers.
Blogging is a form of content marketing that falls into most company’s promotional toolkit. It is a staple style of content that’s flexible and effective. You can use blogs to help present your business in the way you want and to gain more online traffic for your website too. So, what can manufacturers do to up their blogging game?
- Blog about industry topics – there are lots of topics to write about in manufacturing and there’s always something new you can say. Talking about the sustainable practices you adopt in your processes will be interesting and cast your company in a good light. Discussing a new automation or technology you are adopting will also reflect favourably on you and demonstrate you ability to move with the times.
- Blog about company news – people are always interested in people, so if you have a new member in your team, blog about it! If someone in your team is doing something positive for a charity then you can also focus on this.
- Talk about CSR activities – if your company has its own Corporate Social Responsibility program, blog about this too. These blogs are especially interesting when you highlight activities your team’s involved with and especially effective when tying them in industry topics.
- Drill down on different elements of your business – you can also use your blog to focus on different elements of your business. For example, one week talk about your new product development team, the next, highlight the work your admin team does.
Tips for blogging
- Be different. Say something that no one in your industry is talking about. You’ll need to be careful not to be too controversial but there are plenty of topics out there. Do some research and see what you can find.
- Mix up the types of blog you do. This helps give your blog section some variety and helps with engagement.
Well researched whitepapers can work really well for manufacturing companies. This is especially true if you have something new to say. If you have conducted research into an issue your customer’s deal with, the detail of a whitepaper could be very informative for them as a piece of industry insight. It will also convey your commitment to the cause and how you support them.
Whitepapers are used to educate readers and can be very influential in decision making. They can also help with lead generation as once you have demonstrated your acumen to readers with the detailed content, you can use it to convert this audience into a customer. Although whitepapers can take time to research and create, they have proven to be a key tool in persuading audiences.
Tips for writing a standout whitepaper
Make sure your research is valid and original. Touch on topics that haven’t been talked about before and make sure you write in a way that is engaging and thought-provoking. There is a lot of online content available on various subjects and it’s likely yours has been covered too. Research what has been done before and find a way to make yours different. This is important for SEO as you will need to cut through the noise of lots of content.
4) Video content
Online video creators, Biteable revealed in their study that 60% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. The report also showed that 32% of businesses use video for sales. Video content covers a vast array of promotional activity. It can be used to launch a new product, explain a product’s features, provide product specifications or to examine precisely how your services work. It’s another way for people to understand more about what you do. Often, audiences find video content the most digestible and engaging and if you have complex systems or products to explain, video can be the best approach. Not only that, but everyone is using video content so you need to stay ahead of your competitors with engaging content or risk being out of the game.
Why use video?
Still wondering why you need to bring in video content? Here’s a few reasons:
- The messages you send in your videos are retained much longer by an audience than the written word
- Many video viewers convert to website viewers after seeing your content
- Usually, people prefer to learn about a product through watching videos
- You are in charge of what goes into the video
- Videos are hugely shareable on social media platforms
To summarise, effective use of content marketing helps manufacturers stand out for all the right reasons. Why? Because they are free to send the messages they want to send, in a way they want to send them. However, the aforementioned marketing tactics need to work together in a structured marketing plan with strategic goals. At Bishop Communications, we design highly effective content plans that drive results based on our client’s needs. To find out more about how we can support you please contact us to chat through your requirements.