Manufacturing websites can serve many different audiences but are almost always B2B (business-to-business). Regardless of who your website is serving, a content strategy will prove invaluable as you aim for faster, more sustainable growth. By increasing organic traffic and informing leads, content marketing creates an all-around win-win situation that checks off countless boxes.
With all of this in mind, you can't equate a list of content ideas to a content strategy. Not even a content calendar represents a content strategy unless you've done the research to back it. So, let's dive into the specifics of why content marketing is so important in the manufacturing industry and how you can go about creating your unique, effective strategy.
Why is Content Marketing Important in Manufacturing?
There are certain complications that come along with the manufacturing industry that make the content marketing landscape starkly different from other niches. While content marketing in the B2B space always looks different than B2C anyway, manufacturing poses its own unique challenges.
People think it's boring: Many people have the conception, or misconception, that the manufacturing industry is a "boring" one. This may lead website owners to think that they shouldn't bother producing content because people won't often read it or seek it out, or it may lead them to produce less content overall. In reality, while you might see manufacturing as a dull industry, that just means there's immense opportunity to try out different styles, formats, and ways of presenting your content to really capitative your audience.
High expectations: If there's one thing your audience will expect in the manufacturing industry, it's that your content is highly factual, accurate, and reliable. Having content that's anything less can majorly and quickly damage your brand's reputation. This often acts as a deterrent for creating content because manufacturing websites know they need to get it done right. However, rather than letting this fact scare you away from producing content at all, you should let it inspire you to put that much more effort into your strategy so you can impress your audience.
No instant gratification: In the B2C space, in particular, there's a good deal of "instant gratification" when it comes to marketing because so many products are bought on a whim or the buying cycle in itself only ever takes a few hours or a few days. In the manufacturing industry, though, it could take months for a business to reach a decision. This means there's a longer wait to see the ROI for all content you produce. Over time, though, you'll begin to see more consistent results if you're consistently producing content.
Specialized solutions: If your manufacturing company offers products in a highly specialized niche, with a limited set of use cases, you may find that the general complexities of the manufacturing industry are further multiplied, making all of the above reasons even more imposing. For instance, a highly niche product demands content that's even more detailed and accurate, and it can also contribute to even longer buyer cycles. Ultimately, these are simply things your company has to overcome, whether they're ideal circumstances or not.
Limited research: The final challenge associated with content marketing in the manufacturing niche is that it can be more difficult, if not substantially more difficult, to locate information about your target audience or ideal buyer. Oftentimes, marketers for manufacturing companies have to look inward at past customers to really find the specifics. Even then, surveys, polls, and other outreach may be necessary to narrow things down.
All of these challenges considered, each of these points has a number of counterpoints that show content marketing is well worth pursuing, and can actually turn some of these challenges into opportunities. For instance, the fact that many marketers see the industry as dull or boring gives your website a great opportunity to take risks with new approaches and really stand out.
Financial services, once the exclusive domain of established Wall Street firms, has expanded with smaller, agile companies using streamlined service delivery models. Fintech means new, upstart consumer-focused financial providers are having outstanding success with online-only banks and client-directed investing.
Benefits of Investing in Content Marketing for Your Manufacturing Website
Once you have the challenges of content marketing at the front of your mind and all of the potential for overcoming them, it's worth looking at the countless benefits that a great content strategy can offer to your company.
While a common challenge faced in the marketing industry is the complex offerings and the detailed information you need to offer to sell them, a huge opportunity that comes out of that is the chance to build authority for your brand. By putting in the extra effort to ensure your content comes across as expert-level, detailed, and factual, you'll instantly begin to earn the trust and loyalty of readers.
Authority will help your brand stand out and gain recognition. Best of all, it can promote word-of-mouth and referrals, which is a big deal in the manufacturing industry since great clients are hard to come by. When you have your clients working to promote your business for you, because they love and trust your work, that's where the true potential lies.
It doesn't matter if you think of the manufacturing industry as dull. It doesn't even matter if your audience sees it that way -- what counts is what your competitors are currently offering to your audience. If their content is stale and dry; lacks depth; or is just plain inaccurate, you have the chance to stand out and increase engagement by offering content that's at least a little bit better.
Every manufacturing company's goal should be to offer the best content out there in their niche, and that's entirely attainable if you do your research. The results will speak for themselves as you see your organic traffic grow, along with metrics that mark engagement, like time spent on the page, pages visited in a session, and so on. Going the extra mile to offer that high-value, interesting content will prove time well spent.
Your rankings play a major role in bringing in new leads, which is why SEO should be at the top of your mind. Of course, when you create a content strategy backed by research, you'll find that the content you publish naturally targets the keywords your audience is searching for. Plus, if you're investing in truly valuable content writing services and you're linking to related posts and out to trusted websites throughout your content, those are additional ranking signals that will help drive more traffic to your site.
Through keyword research, you'll come to understand long-tail keywords and search volume, giving you the information you need to not only drive traffic to your site but actually give readers the answers they want in the form of blog posts, case studies, and other quality content. Once you've directed traffic to your website, you'll be able to sustain their interest and convert them.
Ultimately, if you're focused on content marketing and you're putting in the research to understand your target audience and the content they want to see, your SEO efforts will be halfway done already. From there, you just need to consider on-page SEO and other specific components to further improve your rankings and increase organic traffic to new levels.
In an industry like manufacturing, where it could take weeks or months for a business to make the decision to partner with your company, it's crucial that your brand remains visible. Growing your following will help you keep your brand as visible as possible, and that means being active on social media, encouraging informative discussions, interacting with comments, and using your professional network to build and reinforce your authority.
Whether you're active on LinkedIn, Facebook, or any other platform you identify, your content strategy will take all of the platforms you want to have a presence on into account, allowing you to consistently and effectively publish in multiple places. This means you can engage existing followers with ease while remaining visible and building your network of potential clients and partners with ease.
By far, the biggest benefit of a proper content strategy is that it's going to help your website convert more leads. This is primarily because a well-researched content strategy will be nurturing prospects for you. Once you start implementing your content strategy, you'll see that one piece effortlessly links to the next, helping to move prospects through the funnel and ultimately get them to join your newsletter, schedule a consultation, or ask for a quote.
Content marketing is powerful in that it's backed by a closely analyzed strategy, and that's an extremely powerful tool for growth when used correctly. So, don't underestimate your content's ability to not only attract leads thanks to better rankings but to engage them, nurture them, and convert them so you can grow your business in a sustainable manner.
Successful Manufacturing Websites (and How They Did It)
If you're looking for inspiration on what a great content marketing strategy looks like when implemented properly, look to these key examples in the manufacturing industry.
National Association of Manufacturers
brings modern design, straightforward content, and visual interest to the world of manufacturing. As a thought leader and trusted authority, their content sets the bar for cross-platform information that's reliable, engaging, and enjoyable to read. For starters, the website's design keeps you reading thanks to the "endless scroll" style of blog posts -- once you're done reading one, you can scroll right on to the next.
can scroll right on to the next.The content itself is great, too. The writers use shorter titles, often featuring statistics, to hook the reader and offer the most relevant information in the very first paragraph. Bullet points and sub-headings make the content ultra-skimmable, and NAM is also known for forgetting filler. They get very specific in each post and keep their content relatively short, which makes it easy for their busy reader base to digest.
defines itself as a national network that aims to secure the country's global leadership in advanced manufacturing. With sixteen institutes sponsored by the government, this organization is a major player in the industry and they have the quality information to back it.
Below the header image, you'll find quick links with visuals to all the latest blog posts. Below those posts, video content further engages the visitor. Further down, more posts from the newsroom are displayed. The footer features quick links for easy navigation and the sticky top menu keeps things further organized, allowing visitors to navigate throughout the website easily. The content itself is short, with external links and visuals to pique interest.
Tips for Creating a Winning Manufacturing Content Strategy
Now that you know why you need a content marketing strategy and you've got some examples of content marketing at work in the manufacturing industry, it's time to get to work on creating your own.
Simply coming up with content topics isn't enough. In fact, if you've already started finding ideas, you've skipped an important step! Before you can know for sure what to write or what keywords to target, you have to understand who your company is and who your audience is. While this might seem obvious, the fact is, you probably don't have enough research-backed specific information to define either.
As far as defining your company goes, you should consider creating a brand book if you haven't already done so. This digital marketing asset will help your internal team as well as anyone you outsource to create consistent content and represent your company in the best light. From there, you can go on to define your audience by creating detailed buyer personas.
After you have your company and audience well-defined on paper, you can go forth in picking the platforms you want to establish a reputation on. The best way to do this is by looking back at your buyer personas and checking where those people tend to hang out and where they like to consume content. Since you're likely working in the B2B space, this can be tough. Many companies opt for LinkedIn, but remember that you aren't limited to what everyone else is doing. Consider trying out different platforms to find what works best for you.
As you pick your platforms, you also need to consider the type of content that your audience likes to engage with, along with the type of content that performs best on your chosen platforms. For instance, short videos tend to do very well on Facebook, while longer videos would be best suited for YouTube. Meanwhile, infographics tend to do well across platforms, and they're also highly informative and sharable.
The next step in creating your content strategy is planning your content. Now that you know the platforms and type of content you wish to create, you need to define when and how often you want to publish what. This is best portrayed in a content calendar. Once you have all the slots scheduled, you can move forward with filling those slots in with ideas. Those ideas will come surprisingly easily if you've done your audience research correctly.
If you know your audience, finding the right topic ideas is as easy as considering the questions leads and buyers have, along with looking at tools like Google Analytics to determine what your audience is searching for. Finding keywords to target is another important step as it will help you identify opportunities for sub-headings and related content throughout your website. You can also look to competitors for inspiration. The last step is figuring out how to execute your strategy.
Looking for Premium Manufacturing Writers?
Oftentimes, after website owners have put weeks or even months into planning their content strategy, they find that the biggest hangup is actually putting it into action. When executed correctly, you'll be routinely producing great content that earns feature snippets, convinces people to link to your site, and can increase organic traffic now and in the future. The question is: How do you find time to create all that content?
If you dread producing social media posts, we can handle those as well. And you can have the writers you like best produce this content for you on a regular basis. With Scripted, you are never at a loss for words.