I recently downloaded the report Manufacturing Content Marketing – Insights for 2023. The results are from the survey done and published by the Content Marketing Insititute. They do this survey every year.
I’m not going to rehash the entire report in this post. Instead, I’ll highlight some of the important findings and share my thoughts based on working with manufacturers every day. I encourage you to download the full report from the link above.
Let me first talk about the respondents for this survey. It will help to understand some of the findings in the proper context.
1,104 people responded to the survey. They were from around the world, from different industries in varying job functions, and working within companies ranging in size from Micro (1 – 9 employees) to Large (1,000+ employees). So it was a reasonably large sample and representative.
Even though 78% of the manufacturers in the surveys were from Medium to Large sized companies, 61% said one group (or person) is responsible for handling all types of content in their organization (including advertising, thought leadership, brochures, SEO content, etc.). Yes, the percentage was lower at 47% for large-size companies.
These findings match what I see on the ground. Many industrial companies I talk to don’t even have one person dedicated to manufacturing content marketing. It’s all done ad hoc by whoever has some time. That’s why they contact me for help in the first place. 😊
Don’t panic, at least not yet. Decision-makers in many manufacturing companies have realized that their marketing departments are severely understaffed, and those few are wearing too many hats.
Manufacturers plan to hire or contract out more in 2023, and 42% of respondents think their content marketing budget will increase in 2023. Unfortunately, that’s down from 2021, when 64% expected their marketing budget to increase the following year.
That is my mantra, and I repeat it often to whoever will listen. Let’s be serious for a minute, I’ve had too many conversations where stakeholders in industrial companies have unrealistic expectations about manufacturing content marketing.
What do I mean by that? Here’s a typical example, “We want you to write blog posts for us that will show up on the first page of Google, so our target audience (engineers and industrial buyers) will find us easily, visit our blog and contact our salespeople.”
If it were that simple, everyone would be doing it.
Only 32% of manufacturing content marketers have a documented content marketing strategy in place. This lack of strategy often leads to content creation without clear objectives or alignment with business goals.
Little to no thought is given to developing a content marketing strategy, clearly defining the audience, and writing about their pain points. Just creating content for the sake of content marketing will not move the needle. Your content needs to be more about them and less about you.
“Manufacturing marketers who want to differentiate their content should focus on quality and unique stories.”Manufacturing Content Marketing Survey – 2023
Eighty percent of those who always/frequently differentiate their content said they do so by producing better quality content than their competitors.
You’d think this would be a no-brainer. Of course, lead generation is the number #1 goal, right? Well, take a look at this chart.
Surprised by the findings? You shouldn’t be. Let me explain based on my hands-on experience working with manufacturers.
Raising brand awareness, earning the audience’s trust (engineers are naturally skeptical), and educating them with content relevant to their work-related challenges, all play a critical role in generating better quality leads that have a good chance of converting into sales opportunities.
Refer to my earlier post, Industrial Lead Generation for Sales – It’s Complicated!
The report has a whole section dedicated to discussing the various channels. I don’t want to repeat them here. Let me highlight a few of them.
Manufacturing marketers continue to face challenges in content marketing, including maintaining consistency in measurement, accessing subject matter experts, and aligning content efforts with business goals. However, the survey results indicate a positive outlook for the future.
In looking ahead, manufacturing marketers must prioritize developing comprehensive strategies and invest in the right people and technologies to manage and streamline processes.
Let’s talk if you have questions or need help with your manufacturing content marketing.
A real-world overview of industrial content marketing based on our 35+ years of hands-on experience working with manufacturers and engineering companies.
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Industrial Marketing Today is an integral part of Tiecas, Inc., a Houston-based industrial marketing agency. We’ve been in business since 1987, serving the marketing needs of manufacturers, distributors, and engineering companies from various industries.