You can’t avoid technical content writing if you are a manufacturing content marketer. Let me first differentiate technical writing from technical content writing. They may be used interchangeably, but they are not the same.
A technical writer is good at creating documents such as User Manuals, Product Descriptions & Specifications, Safety Procedures, Assembly Instructions, and a host of other technical documents.
On the other hand, a technical content writer creates content for manufacturing marketing such as blog posts, web page copy, case studies, and white papers, to name a few. These are used for achieving marketing goals such as increasing traffic to the site, improving SEO, generating Marketing Qualified Leads(MQLs), branding, thought leadership, and gaining trust.
Technical writers and technical content creators both play essential roles for manufacturers. I’ll focus on technical content writing for industrial and manufacturing marketing in this post.
A manufacturing content marketer is much more than a copywriter. S/he is capable of developing a content marketing strategy, creating buyer personas, knows SEO, understands how engineers and industrial buyers go on their buying journey, knows about email marketing, content promotion, social media, and tracking & measurement. I’ve only listed the important responsibilities, but there is a lot more that goes into content marketing.
It’s not just technical content writing that’s a hurdle
51% of manufacturing content marketers said they are challenged with creating valuable content instead of sales-oriented content and overcoming the traditional marketing and sales mindset. That’s according to the Manufacturing Content Marketing – Insights For 2022 published by the Content Marketing Institute.
As you can see from those stats, the problem is not an isolated issue, but it affects more than half of the manufacturing marketers.
What is making the problem worse is the fact that 59% of manufacturing companies have a small or one-person content marketing team serving the entire organization. They just have too much to do and not enough time.
Finding qualified technical writing partners is another challenge
Lack of time isn’t the only problem. Internal content marketers have limited to little access to their in-house Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). The one-person content creator may know marketing, but s/he may lack the technical knowledge to create content that the target audience of engineers and industrial professionals will find relevant and engaging. Learn more about how to work with SMEs for creating engaging content.
As a result, 59% of manufacturers outsource at least one marketing activity. Last year’s survey found content creation was the most outsourced activity at 80%.
However, it is not just a matter of finding freelance copywriters from one of the many services that are out there. The two biggest challenges were finding partners with adequate technical knowledge and understanding the target audience’s mindset.
Research findings are great when they validate your personal experiences. Most often than not, my conversations with manufacturing marketers start with something like this, “We need someone to create good technical content that will generate leads.” Therein lies another problem, a lack of understanding of the difference between content creation and content marketing.
Just writing technical content is not good enough. You need someone who understands and has first-hand experience in the full range of industrial marketing strategies and tactics. (Shameless plug coming up) That’s why you may want to consider my Manufacturing Content Marketing for Industrial Lead Generation service, which includes technical content writing.