How Manufacturing Wins the Competitive Edge With Online Marketing

June 16, 2020 |   4 minute read


How Manufacturing Wins the Competitive Edge With Online Marketing

The ability to craft content for different audiences across various stages of the buyer’s journey—and distribute that content with precision—will be important to continued success in 2020.

Manufacturing Content Marketing 2020 report, page 3

The Manufacturing Content Marketing 2020 report by the Content Marketing Institute is out. The report is full of charts and tables that reveal an important trend for you to pay attention to:

  •  More and more manufacturers are using great content to market their products (page 34: over half of manufacturing marketers intend to focus on the quality, quantity, distribution, and promotion of their content)
  •  More and more manufacturing marketers are using that great content strategically (page 9 shows the leap in numbers – from 21% to 41% – of manufacturing marketers that have a documented content marketing strategy; the pie chart there also shows that only 6% don’t intend to use content marketing as a strategy)
  • Manufacturing marketers are using online marketing to distribute their content (page 20 shows that the top 2 types of content manufacturing marketers use are social media content (92%) and videos (81%). Blog posts are way up there too at 71%)

In other words, manufacturing marketers are creating quality content and finding good online ways to get it out there where potential customers can see it. And they’re succeeding!

How Savvy Marketers Are Succeeding at Online Marketing (You Can Too)

How Savvy Marketers Are Succeeding at Online Marketing (You Can Too)The Manufacturing Content Marketing 2020 report defines content marketing as follows:

[Block Quote] 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. Manufacturing Content Marketing 2020, page 2

Key terms here are “a clearly defined audience.” Manufacturing marketers everywhere are becoming quite savvy at this: Since 62% of them prioritize delivering relevant content when and where a person is most likely to see it (there’s a graph about that on page 10), they clearly understand their target audience. 

The other key term is distributing. Manufacturing marketers  know where their target audience looks for information - very important in this increasingly globalized world, which is not only getting smarter but more connected. Manufacturing marketers everywhere are leveraging the connected, virtual world to make their product known. In other words, they’re using their valuable, relevant, and consistent content (more key terms) to do online marketing.

Almost all marketers (93%, as revealed by the chart on page 24) use paid distribution channels. But there are also plenty of places marketers can place content online for free - and they do. Page 22 shows which ones:

  • social media platforms (89%), (and if you flip the page, you’ll see that 75% of them use free, organic platforms like Facebook and YouTube - LinkedIn is the top rated),
  • their organization’s website/blog (85%), and
  • email (82%).

An interesting detail that this report reveals is that over half of manufacturing marketers still use traditional advertising, like print ad, radio, and billboards (page 32). But advertising practices are changing. 40% of those who still go that advertising route have been shifting their budget dollars toward content marketing. Good content, and distributing it to the right online places, is the way of the future!

How Do We Know Content Marketing Works?

The report reveals it: 

  • Page 6: the chart shows that 82% of manufacturers consider their content marketing to be moderately to extremely successful
  • Page 6: 65% of manufacturing marketers consider their marketing to be more successful than last year
  • Page 28: this table reveals how important content marketing is for creating brand awareness: a sizable 85% of manufacturing marketers report success!

Why Outsource Content Creation?

Less than half of your competition have hit stride with their content marketing; pages 13 and 14 show that manufacturers often only have one or two in-house people working on it. Flip to the next page, though, and an interesting detail emerges: more than half of manufacturing marketers outsource at least one content marketing activity, usually content creation (page 15). 

It’s not surprising that so many manufacturers outsource content creation. Online marketing is a big job: new blog posts all the time, social media messages, landing pages, content offers…for an average of 4 different audiences (according to page 18), and for different stages of a buyer’s journey.

Manufacturers who don’t jump on board with online marketing risk falling behind the competition. When you start creating good content and distributing it online, imagine how quickly you could pull away from manufacturing marketers that aren’t doing it!

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