Content marketing is one of the most important and successful initiatives for industrial marketers. Your audience of engineers is constantly searching for relevant content to educate themselves and to help make more informed purchase decisions.
Eighty-two percent of manufacturers consider themselves at least moderately successful at content marketing, according to the survey, “Manufacturing Content Marketing 2020,” conducted by the Content Marketing Institute.
Your ability to be successful right now might be compromised due to budget limitations and market conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. However, industrial marketers are a creative, resilient group that knows how to do more with less.
Here are some budget-conscious ideas to help you maintain content marketing momentum and success. Not every idea is appropriate for every company, but there should be several that fit nicely with your goals.
Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose
Repurposing content is an established best practice of content marketing. It saves time, saves money, and helps ensure a consistent message across different content formats and channels.
Your content library may have a few signature pieces, such as a comprehensive white paper or an eBook. White papers or eBooks can be segmented into a series of short articles, blog posts or web pages. A presentation you created for a conference can become a webinar. A single slide with figures and data might make a good infographic.
Focus on the most important content
According to the survey, “Smart Marketing for Engineers,” produced by IEEE GlobalSpec and TREW Marketing, the content most valuable to engineers includes datasheets, case studies, product demo videos, and white papers.
If you’re not able to produce all the content on your list right now, stick to these essential pieces. Technical datasheets can serve double-duty by as a page on your website—another example of repurposing content. The same survey found that the most important website features for engineers are in-depth technical information and technical specifications.
Increase Social Media Usage
Social media is an effective way to raise brand awareness and keep your company top of mind with prospects even if they aren’t ready to buy right now.
Social media posts can be short and simple. Consider starting a discussion on LinkedIn or participating in other discussions. Also, you don’t have to create all of your own social media content. Easily half of your content can be curated from other sources, such as industry experts, partners, analysts, or others. Include a short note on why the content is relevant to your audience, create a link and you’re done.
Another idea is to recruit guest bloggers. You can look to customers, partners, and your own subject matter experts for blog posts.
Narrow your target audiences
On average, manufacturers create content for four different audiences. Half of the content is for top-of-funnel awareness.
If you’re really strapped for resources, focus content marketing on your most important audiences—those that have the biggest sway over purchase decisions. Make sure that you have content for various stages of your customer’s buying cycle, but don’t overdo it.
Send an extra email or two this month
You likely have an email marketing strategy and most manufacturers use an email marketing platform that offers flexibility around how many and how often you send emails.
Now is a good time to craft a “special” email that extends the boundaries of your usual campaigns. Inform your audience what’s going on at your company. If you have any new policies or procedures for interacting with customers, this is a good way to let them know. Work with your sales team to craft a special offer. Or simply let customers and prospects know you’re staying in touch and thinking of them during these challenging times.
Bring on a summer intern
There are a lot of college students out there eager for something to do this summer. An internship in the marketing department of a manufacturer would look good on their resume.
Determine what activities you need the most help with, whether writing or designing content, updating social media, repurposing for other formats, shooting video, or assisting with analytics. Lots of talented young people are out there. You’d be doing yourself and them a favor by making one of them an intern.