The majority of manufacturing content marketers (52 percent) say that their organizations are extremely/very committed to content marketing, with another 40 percent saying they are somewhat committed, according to “Manufacturing Content Marketing 2019”, a research report authored by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs.
The top three goals that manufacturers have achieved using content marketing in the past 12 months are creating brand awareness, educating audiences, and generating demand/leads. These are all worthy goals and justification for engaging in content marketing, which by nature is a long game.
Planning, creating, distributing, and tracking content takes time and resources, and building brand awareness and educating audiences doesn’t happen overnight. Because the investment is significant and the results are not always immediate, content marketers may begin to question their strategy and experience frustration.
But we urge all content marketers to stay the course, not only to stay on track toward achieving their stated benefits, but because content marketing can help your organization realize many additional “bonus benefits.”
1. Gain greater credibility.
While credibility is related to brand awareness, it is a benefit in its own right. Ninety percent of manufacturing content marketers agree that their audience views their organization as a credible and trusted resource.
When you’re focused on using content to educate your audience, to provide valuable information to help them through their buying cycle, when you’re seen as being a helpful partner rather than aggressively trying to sell, you build credibility.
And the credibility earned isn’t limited to your target audience. The overall market will discover that your company is known as trustworthy and believable, which leads to the second bonus benefit.
2. Earn a reputation as an expert.
Content marketers work hard to balance their company’s need to promote products and services with their audiences’ needs for objective information that will help them make a better purchasing decision. Create the right balance and your company earns a reputation: That’s the company that does “X.” That’s the “Y” company. They’re experts in “Z.”
Every marketer knows you can’t be everything to everyone, but if you can be something important to your target audience, that is a huge win and a bonus benefit. In business, reputation precedes all else. Customers want to buy from vendors who have reputations as experts.
3. Strengthen relationships with your sales team.
The number one way content marketers research their target audience is through feedback from the sales team. Your salespeople are the ones closest to the customer and have access to inside information about customer needs, challenges, and objections. Content marketing offers opportunities for marketing and sales teams to collaborate, which in turn can strengthen relationships between the two groups.
Sales and marketing teams will be more integrated and will work toward a common goal if they are on the same page in terms of who the organization is trying to target, what type of content will be most effective, and how the content can be used.
4. Create recruitment opportunities.
Content that you create will likely have a prominent place on your website for all to see. It’s not just your potential customers looking at your website, it’s anyone who has an interest in your company, including prospective employees, who always visit a company’s website.
Recruiting talented professionals is a competitive business. If potential employees see that your content is clear, informative, and helpful, they will gain a positive impression and likely be more interested in working for your organization.
5. Spread consistent messaging across the company.
Marketing produces more messaging and positioning content for a company than any other department. If it’s quality content, other departments will use it – not just your sales team. Others may not use your marketing content in its complete form, but lifted paragraphs, sections, key points and other content can be helpful to customer support, finance, the executive team and others. It wouldn’t be unusual for content produced by marketing to appear in an annual report or a letter to investors.
Another benefit is that if various departments are making use of marketing content, workload for others is reduced and the entire company stays on message.