In March 2015, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) published their annual report on content marketing trends in the manufacturing sector. The report revealed that 82% of manufacturing marketers are using content marketing[i]. It defined content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content.” Creating content that directly appeals to your audience is becoming an acknowledged business discipline, including in the manufacturing industry.
Marketing in the manufacturing sector is slowly changing from the company seeking customers, to customers seeking the company. Customers, direct and indirect, are more informed these days and companies can take advantage of that by being the ones to inform them. Providing relevant content also allows you to constantly be on a buyer’s radar without explicitly asking them to buy from you.
The buying cycle in the manufacturing sector can usually take anywhere from six months to a year or perhaps longer, meaning that you have a very small window of opportunity to pull in that prospect via trade shows or sales calls. Publishing educational and value-driven content can help make sure that your company’s name is thought because you were viewed as the expert. Although content such as instruction manuals, maintenance documents and data sheets are still widely published, the usage of various other types like e-blasts, blogs and social media has become extremely popular for educating a supply chain, distributors, procurement, employees and consumers.
Social media content has taken the manufacturing sector by storm. Manufacturers are embracing the mega-platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Even though manufacturing is viewed more as a traditional market sector, there is definitely a place for it in social media. Companies, especially those in product manufacturing, are able to offer demonstrations of products, virtual tours around the facility and present safety procedures, fabrication processes and equipment. Being open about how your company works gives it credibility and build confidence from your buyers, whether direct to businesses or consumers or through a channel.
YouTube was rated the most effective social media platform for the manufacturing sector and videos were the most used content marketing tactic in the 2015 CMI report. It’s no wonder when this video-sharing site has four billion views per day,and is the second largest search engine in the world. YouTube can work for B2C and B2B companies alike. Your videos can be aimed at investors, engineers or the general public. The content of your videos are very important. They must have a purpose and should engage, educate and differentiate.
LinkedIn is also a highly effective social media platform which can establish your company in the B2B manufacturing community. LinkedIn is a professional social networking site with over 200 million members worldwide. There are 1.5 million LinkedIn groups, and some of those will be groups pertaining to the manufacturing sector. Initiating conversations and getting involved with discussions in industry groups show other businesses that your company is interested and up-to-date with the trends and events currently happening in the manufacturing sector.
The 2015 CMI manufacturing report revealed that when asked what their most important goal was for using social media, the manufacturing marketers answered brand awareness. Social media is an effective global marketing tool. Whether updating clients, building your brand, educating an employee or engaging with potential buyers, you have to make sure you can communicate globally – in the right language.
Welocalize specializes in providing manufacturers global localization and translation for all types of content. Our specialized language services include multimedia translation so that videos can be watched in English as well as in dozens of other languages, websites are catered to your audience when your brand has a presence on the global stage, and of course accurate translation for traditional and vital technical documentation and corporate communications.
Louise Donkor, Communications and Marketing Specialist at Welocalize
[i] Responses presented are from 217 B2B manufacturing marketers in North America.