Industrial content marketing used by manufacturers, distributors and engineering companies is failing to engage the target audience – engineers, technical professionals and industrial buyers. This is not a new problem.
Back in 2014, Forrester had published their research report titled B2B Content Fails The Customer Engagement Test. Here’s a statement from their brief – “Nowhere is the struggle to produce compelling business-to-business (B2B) content more evident than on corporate websites: When 26 out of 30 fail to pass even a basic 10-criteria test, it’s time for chief marketing officers (CMOs) to seriously rethink their content marketing plans for 2015.”
Fast forward to 2016 and industrial companies are still struggling with the same problem. The challenges that manufacturing marketers face are very similar to those experienced by all B2B marketers. 65% of manufacturing marketers said producing engaging content is their biggest challenge (Source: 2016 B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/ MarketingProfs).
What does “Engaging” mean in industrial content marketing?
Content marketing experts differ when it comes to defining what is engaging content. Some simply say “Quality content is engaging content.” Obviously that is not much of a help if you are struggling to define it in your particular industrial marketing situation.
I’ve come up with my own definition based on my hands-on experience as an industrial content marketing expert working with manufacturers and other industrial companies.
Engaging industrial content marketing raises awareness of the company among engineers and industrial buyers, earns their trust, builds strong relationships and sets the table for the sales team to have productive conversations that turn qualified opportunities into wins.
I know that is quite a mouthful but the key takeaway from my long definition is to recognize the different components of engaging content. A good starting point is accurately defining your target audience. You can’t engage with an audience if you really don’t have a clear understanding of who they are and what their challenges are in their daily work life. Without that deep understanding, it is easy to fall into the trap of creating more product-centric instead of customer-centric content. That is not going to help you rise above the content noise.
Important goals of industrial content marketing
The chart below shows the most important goals for manufacturers’ content marketing as reported in the same CMI study that I have cited above. Their findings are very close to what I hear from my industrial clients.
Putting it altogether for engaging industrial content marketing
While coming up with a meaningful definition is a challenge, it is still only half of the solution. The bigger challenge is in developing an effective industrial marketing strategy and executing it successfully to meet the company’s marketing and sales goals. It requires experience and expertise in marketing to engineers and industrial professionals, it takes time and money.
Read my earlier posts, How Industrial Content Marketing Increases Awareness and Creates True Differentiation and Marketing to Engineers Requires Accurate and Truthful Content Presented Logically to learn more about engaging with engineers and industrial buyers using industrial content marketing.