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Marketing Trends for Manufacturers in 2018

Posted by Cam Mirisola-Bynum on Mar 9, 2018 3:28PM

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Where Does Your Industrial Manufacturing Company Stand Among Peers?

Much like 2013's infamous “cronut”—the decidedly un-irresistible croissant/donut hybrid—marketing trends can go stale nearly as fast as they're “baked.” Unlike the unfortunately-named cronuts, however, content marketing remains a cornerstone of successful campaigns for businesses in 2018, no matter what industry they operate in. Marketing Trends for Manufacturers 2018For content to do its job, it needs to be fresh and engaging—we can all understand that concept. But what about everything behind the scenes and all that goes into building a marketing strategy around content? A recent Content Marketing Institute (CMI) survey regarding content marketing trends for manufacturers offers up some fresh insights for 2018.

Still Learning? You're in Good Company

Despite content-centric marketing being a must-have for several years, more than 75% of respondents pin their organization's grasp of content marketing maturity at a 3 or below on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “sophisticated.” That's a staggering number of organizational decision-makers admitting that, yes, they too are still trying to figure out “the content thing” for their manufacturing companies. In other words, don't feel like you've missed out on something if you're still finding your content footing in 2018; most of your contemporaries are, as well.

With 86% of manufacturers using content marketing (a major building block of inbound marketing, though the terms are often used interchangeably), that’s quite an admission and exposes a need in manufacturing to find effective ways to maintain a successful content marketing program.content marketing industrial manufacturing

Small and Versatile Wins the Day

Don't have the budget to devote half the office to crafting countless blogs, witty social media posts, or info-dense whitepapers? Don't worry—nearly 60% of survey respondents indicated that their marketing teams were small (or a one-person staff), and also that they outsource at least one content marketing activity to reach their marketing goals. Consistent with last year’s results, 60% of respondents said their overall content marketing success has increased compared with one year ago. Part of this success—76%—is attributed to higher quality, more efficient content creation.

Industrial marketing content marketingAnd if you are in an organization that has not yet jumped on the content train, know that 80% of respondents who do not currently have a content marketing strategy say that they plan to have one within 12 months. Good to know you aren’t alone, but companies are planning on catching up.     

Goals, Metrics, and ROI

No one wants to put forth effort in vain. That, and your paycheck depends on proving ROI on those efforts! When asked about ROI, 70% of respondents agreed they can demonstrate, with metrics, how content marketing has increased audience engagement and number of leads. That’s good news. If you feel like you are spinning your wheels with your inbound marketing strategies, you are among peers. Of the survey participants who do not measure ROI (52%), they cite the top two reasons as, “we need an easier way to do this,” and, “we don’t know how to do this.”

 Well, We Do!

With everything else manufacturers need to address in real time, implementing a multi-faceted marketing plan that relies on current, perpetual content fed into a software platform to drive it and provide productivity, monitoring, and metrics is daunting. This is exactly why and where we fit into many B2B manufacturing companies’ content and inbound marketing strategies. At Grant Marketing, we partner with industrial manufacturing companies across a diversity of industries and help them form and execute successful content and inbound marketing programs on the HubSpot platform. Our agency is effectively the marketing arm of many industrial manufacturers in New England—they outsource their content creation and marketing automation (among other integrative marketing strategies) to us and depend on our team to deliver their messages and help grow their businesses. 

Doing Business Today

Inbound marketing is how business is being done today, both in B2C and B2B markets. Even if you are not using it to attract leads for your industrial manufacturing business, you are “using” it in other aspects of your life. With its power and prevalence, there is virtually no way you are avoiding inbound marketing in your personal or business life. Which leads us to a few questions: 

  • If you aren’t practicing inbound marketing for your business, why not?
  • If not, what will it take to put an B2B inbound marketing strategy in place?
  • If you are implementing inbound marketing in some capacity, how robust and effective is it?
  • How do you assess how ready your company is to implement a full inbound marketing strategy?

A lot, right? We have created a quick, do-it-yourself assessment that will help you inventory and score the elements that combine to build a solid, successful B2B inbound marketing program that helps you build leads … and your business. Click here (or on the icon below) to find out how ready you are to implement inbound marketing to attract leads and grow your business.

Inbound Marketing Assessment

Topics: Inbound Marketing Assessment, DIY Inbound Marketing Assessment, Content Marketing Strategy, Content Marketing Plan

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