Data suggests that marketers prioritise their sales objectives over the distribution of persona-centric, valuable material. This is no more apparent than in the manufacturing sector.
In a global survey, a staggering 51% of manufacturing organisations admitted that they always or frequently prioritise promotional messages over creating valuable content. This poses a problem.
Any marketer worth his salt knows that content is king. This one statement, coined by Bill Gates in 1996, is central to content creator’s ethos’. So, if content is king, why do so many marketers across the globe get it so wrong?
What is Content Marketing?
Evidence suggests that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective. Simply telling potential customers to buy your products is far less likely to succeed today, when shoppers and businesses are savvier in how they shop and more willing to put in the research.
Content marketing is a strategic approach to marketing that focuses on the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant, and consistent content for a clearly defined audience.
Instead of pitching products and services to customers, you provide relevant and useful materials that answers their questions and helps them solve issues.
A Misguided Content Strategy
Fewer than 25% of B2C businesses have a documented content marketing strategy. This percentage is slightly increased in the B2B sector. It’s not hyperbole to say that having a refined content marketing strategy is paramount. You need to create a strategy that aligns with your brand values and marketing goals.
If you want to create content that appeals to multi-level personas across the manufacturing (or any sector), you need to execute a strategy that allows you to make vital connections, appealing to your target demographics at all stages of the buyer journey. This is the cornerstone of content marketing success.
Your Content Doesn’t Provide Value
There’s no denying that any successful business needs to produce quality content to engage audiences, inspire confidence and achieve sustained success. However, there’s much more to it than merely retweeting a trending topic, blogging about a newsworthy event, or writing a handful of instructional blogs.
The quality of the content that you share is paramount. A lackadaisical approach to a blogging strategy, inconsequential infographics or even transient tweets will not provide value. Evergreen content does.
What’s evergreen content? In a nutshell, evergreen content tells a compelling story, one with recurrent themes and that won’t age. This type of content is persistently relevant – much like evergreen trees retain their leaves all year round.
Needlessly churning out content without a purpose of a defined value can damage your business. Unsure of your brand identity? Don’t know how to find that unique angle? Are your content creators inexperienced? Is your content uninspired? If you can answer yes to one or all these questions, you may need to re-think your content marketing.
Not Putting Your Audience Front and Centre
This is a trap that inexperienced marketers can fall into. Now, it’s worth remembering that unlike some other sectors, manufacturing marketing may not be as straightforward as, say, property, but that’s no excuse for creating uninspiring content that isn’t audience-centric.
As staggering as it may sound, 51% of marketers admitted that they frequently or always prioritise promotional messages and achieving a sales boost over-sharing valuable content. Always put your audience front and centre. Not your marketing message.
You Don’t Invest Enough in Content Marketing
Creating content that appeals to multi-level roles is a challenge – one that requires the expertise of talented and seasoned marketers. In the manufacturing sector, long sales cycles and multiple decision-makers are not uncommon. This presents a challenge.
In general, businesses are becoming wise to the value of content marketing. According to statistics, 56% of those that ramped up their marketing in the last twelve months used content as the means of getting their brand messages across. You need to invest in content marketing and play the long game. Appealing to the nature of the sector and what target audiences expect is imperative.
Remember too, with content you get what you pay for. If you want to achieve marketing that gets results, then you need to invest in it.
A Distinct Lack of Persona-Driven Content
Any business with the goal of influencing people through their content needs to understand their audience and appeal to them on an emotional level. Unless you’re Amazon, Apple or Facebook, no one will buy into your brand without a little push. Persona driven content helps businesses to connect with their audiences in a manner that doesn’t just pique attention but compel action.
In 2018, 66% of businesses said that they either used personas for marketing or were in the processes of implementing persona-driven content strategies. Whether in the manufacturing sector or not, rest assured that your competitors are creating persona-driven content. You need to as well.
Moreover, persona-driven content is especially important in niche sectors. Why? These sectors tend to have reduced demographics. Getting your personas right is paramount. You wouldn’t use a target persona of, let’s say, a teenager with a love of popular culture and the internet if your business sits in the manufacturing sector, would you?
Neglecting Social Media
The quickest way to kill your content marketing is to do nothing with the content once you’ve created it. Content creation is only half of content marketing. The other half is pushing that content out. This is where social media comes in.
70% of manufacturing marketers utilise social media in their marketing efforts, compared to last year. Savvy-marketers are helping their clients get found on social media, improve Google rankings and build brand authenticity.
Simple actions like sharing content on LinkedIn, tweeting information of value, reaching out to people of authority and asking them if they’d like to become a brand ambassador are just three of the ways that social media can be used to promote your manufacturing business. Neglect social media at your peril.
So, there you have it. The core elements for manufacturing content. How do you measure up?