Manufacturing companies are beginning to look to new ways of marketing to stay relevant and compete in the global marketplace. Typically, a marketing strategy has involved building a website, perhaps some trade publication advertising and participate in trade shows all with the goal to generate some brand recognition and develop trust with prospective buyers.
Before the pandemic, there had always been some discussion around whether or not trade shows are worth it. Many manufacturing companies were starting to change the frequency of show attendance; instead of going to two shows every year, they decided to go to one show a year, alternating between both. Now, with Covid-19, the fate of trade shows continues to be a topical question and manufacturers are looking for new ways to reach prospective customers and build their trust.
This is where content marketing can play a significant role for manufacturing companies that are re-evaluating their marketing strategies.
First, let’s address the common question -
“What is a Content Marketing Strategy?”
A content marketing strategy is a plan that centers all the content you create around your target customers. The useful information is mapped to their needs, challenges and helps them move through the buying cycle. A great content marketing strategy will also continue to delight customers long after the sale; helping to increase the lifetime value and build loyal customers.
Most manufacturing websites have been built around needing a blog or content filled with keywords that will help with SEO. That is not a content marketing strategy. Although it will likely help a business rank on search engines, even that is beginning to change as the algorithms that create those search results are more focused on search intent and domain authority. That is, how much you’re talking about a particular topic and issues related to that topic. The more you are creating content on specific issues related to your customer's needs instead of what keywords you want to rank for, the more authoritative search engines will find you to be, thus improving your rankings.
How does using content marketing help increase conversions?
- According to HubSpot - Inbound marketers are able to double the average site conversion rate (from 6 to 12%), in part due to their content marketing efforts. (HubSpot)
Content marketing helps to improve conversions because it allows you to connect with and educate your leads and customers. Not only are you working to build trust and relationships, but you are also encourage conversions by giving consumers the information they need to make an educated purchasing decision.
- More Content = More time on site - The more reasons you have for website visitors to stick around, the more trust you’re building with your prospects. And as an added bonus, Google sees time spent on the site as one indicator that your site provides valuable content. Therefore increasing your rankings
- Position yourself as Experts in your Industry - A content strategy allows you to demonstrate your expertise in your industry . Consumers are more likely to purchase from businesses that has demonstrated their knowledge and expertise. They want to have peace of mind that their needs are going to be taken care of.
- Differentiate yourself from customers - Does your competition use a content strategy? Odds are they don’t and by using one you can set yourself apart from them. If they’re using one, it’s time you look at doing so as well because the gap will widen. Customers will do most of their research online before they even reach out and let you know they’re mildly interested.
Creating content around the customer needs and challenges will help them make informed decisions and they will be more inclined to work with the business that has provided helpful information.