Content Marketing Strategy
While the pandemic had a devastating effect on in-person selling and face-to-face events over the past two years, one upside was that manufacturing companies rediscovered the powerful impact of content marketing.
Content marketing is a strategic approach designed to attract customers by creating and distributing relevant, valuable, and consistent content. It is a vital aspect in creating brand awareness, building credibility and trust, and educating target audiences.
The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs recently released a survey, “Manufacturing Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends - Insights for 2022,” which gathered feedback from content marketers for manufacturing companies around the world, the majority of which are based in North America. Of these businesses, 69% are B2B, 29% are both B2B and B2C, and 5% are B2C. The survey provides many insights into the trends and challenges as we look ahead—so let’s dive in.
The pandemic has underscored the need for companies to have a fresh content marketing strategy that is scalable and differentiates them from competitors. Since the pandemic, 58% of manufacturing companies have made moderate to extreme changes to their content marketing strategies.
- Everyone creates content-driven experiences for customers. A defined content marketing strategy ensures there is a consistent voice across all customer-facing roles and empowers all “storytellers” to deliver the best and most powerful stories to their audiences.
- Three of the top content marketing challenges related to internal processes. Half of the survey respondents said the conflict between sales-oriented content and valuable content was an issue, along with the challenge of overcoming the traditional mindset of marketing and sales. Gaining access to subject-matter experts was also identified as a challenge for half of the marketers surveyed.
In the past year, content marketing was a key factor for B2B businesses in keeping customers engaged. So, what can we expect for 2022? The survey shows that some current trends will not only continue but will expand via increased investments. It also indicates a few emerging trends that companies should consider integrating into their strategies. Let’s take a closer look at nine trends in manufacturing content marketing for the coming year.
9 Content Creation Trends for Manufacturing
Last year, videos were the most popular type of content produced by manufacturing companies. Video content also achieved the best content marketing results, with how-to videos standing out as the most effective. Therefore, it is no surprise that video is predicted to be the top area of content creation investment for manufacturing companies in 2022.
- Virtual events, webinars, and online courses
The production of virtual events, webinars and online courses increased by 15% over the past year. These content assets were second only to video in producing the best content marketing results for manufacturers. While in-person events and training may return in limited capacity, virtual events and virtual training are here to stay.
- Short articles and posts
Short articles are defined as having fewer than 3,000 words, and along with online posts, they were among the most popular content marketing formats for manufacturing companies last year. This is another trend that will continue in 2022.
Content Distribution Trends for Manufacturing
- Organic (unpaid) platforms
This year, manufacturing companies will continue to leverage unpaid media platforms and public relations resources, including placement of news stories and press releases as effective content distribution methods.
- Owned media platforms
These platforms include media assets that are owned by a brand, such as company websites, company blogs, company newsletters, email marketing lists, and social media accounts. Of these, company websites were the most effective for content distribution last year. Due to the excellent results of video content and the other examples of content creation trends above, many manufacturing companies will make additional investments in their company websites in 2022.
- Social media platforms
LinkedIn was the most popular and effective unpaid social media platform for manufacturing companies in the past year. Other successful platforms included FaceBook, Instagram and YouTube, and manufacturing companies will continue to utilize these channels in the coming year.
- Paid content distribution channels
Last year, the most effective channels of paid content distribution were social media advertising and promoted posts, followed by search engine marketing, and sponsorship of events, workshops, and booths. As a result, B2B companies are expected to make larger investments in paid media in 2022.
Data Trends for Content Marketing
- Changes to SEO/search algorithms
Google has recently taken strides to improve the quality of search results, and changes will continue to be implemented throughout 2022. To take advantage of these improvements, manufacturing companies need do two things: continue their commitment to quality website content, and make sure they have refined their digital marketing strategy. See page 34.
- Data management analytics
To assist with content marketing, manufacturing companies are using these three technologies: social media publishing/analytics, analytics tools, and email marketing software. In 2022, data analytics will be as important as ever, so manufacturers must ensure they have an effective data management system.
Investing in Manufacturing Content Marketing
The survey shows that manufacturing companies are planning to invest additional resources in video and events, the two content creation assets that produced the best results in the past year. The two most productive content distribution methods, owned-media assets and paid media, will also garner additional investments in 2022.
Is your company taking advantage of these manufacturing content marketing trends? Grant Marketing can help you develop and refine your content marketing strategy to differentiate your brand through powerful content creation and distribution approaches, and to leverage new SEO and search algorithm advances. Contact us now to get started!