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Beyond the Brochure: Content Marketing Strategies To Attract and Engage Your Industrial Audience | Power Up Your Manufacturing Brand, Part 2

Published: April 24, 2024       Updated: June 16, 2024

6 min read

I know what you’re going to say: Manufacturing is about producing goods, so who cares about content? Well, I’ll tell you who: your audience. 

What you put out there for them to see — whether on your website or social media — is hugely relevant in defining how they will perceive you. Content marketing has given me a platform to showcase my expertise and educate potential customers on what I do best and what I strive to improve.

Manufacturing is a pretty noble industry. Still, trust and credibility are paramount for gaining a competitive edge. Sharing compelling content online is an excellent way to build rapport with our target audiences. It lets us address their specific needs and pain points. It also demonstrates our knowledge, experience, and commitment to customer satisfaction.

Understanding Content Formats

content in manufacturingContent marketing comes in many shapes, depending on what you want to convey and where. Instead of directly promoting products or services, this essential element of a manufacturer’s marketing plan aims to provide valuable information, educate, entertain, or inspire the audience. It covers various channels, including social media posts, emails, e-books, case studies, reports, articles, press releases, videos, podcasts, and more. 

In manufacturing, the three most popular content marketing formats are:

1. Blog Posts

Blog posts are easily accessible to a broad audience. Plus, blogging offers manufacturers an effective platform to share insights, industry news, updates, and other relevant information. Additionally, it allows for interactive communication through comments and social media sharing, fostering engagement and dialogue with the audience, which is vital for creating lasting bonds.

I use blog posts to cover a wide range of topics, from technical specifications to the latest industry trends and how I apply them to my workflows. This lets me cover more ground and cater to diverse interests within the manufacturing sector. 

To craft effective blog posts that capture people’s attention, I recommend first researching your target audience's interests, pain points, and preferences. Doing so helps you tailor your content accordingly and make sure it’s what readers want to see from you.

My blogs generally:

  • Provide value. I always try to offer at least one actionable tip. I also include best practices and address my audience's needs and challenges whenever possible.
  • Include engaging headlines. I capture my audience’s attention with compelling titles and subtitles. These typically highlight the benefits or relevance of the content.
  • Incorporate visuals. Most people don’t like massive text walls, so including relevant images, graphics, and videos enhances readability and engagement.
  • Encourage conversation. I like prompting readers to leave comments, share their experiences, offer feedback, and ask questions. This has allowed me to build a solid online community that continues to grow.

2. White Papers

I can’t deny the inherent authority-building potential white papers hold within the manufacturing industry. They go beyond surface-level content and serve as comprehensive resources that thoroughly explore and explain complex topics, providing:

  • In-depth analysis
  • Research findings
  • Actionable recommendations
  • Detailed insights
  • Innovative solutions
  • Industry best practices

These documents let manufacturers showcase their knowledge and thought leadership. They offer a relatively easy way to position their brands as trusted authorities and go-to resources for valuable information.

White papers can also serve as powerful lead-generation tools. Offering gated access to them helps attract prospects who are actively seeking solutions to their challenges.

But don’t just believe me. Data reveals that up to 50% of buyers prefer long-form, foundational content like white papers and e-books and are willing to exchange their contact information to access it. I typically use this technique to capture leads to initiate meaningful conversations that may trigger conversions.

3. Infographics

Some manufacturing concepts can be a tad too complex for a more general audience. That’s where visual content can help. Infographics combine text, images, and design elements, which — if you ask me — make them intrinsically more engaging.

I use infographics when I want to present information in a more digestible way. These materials are more sharable than long-form pieces, making it easier for me to reach a wider audience via social media.

Top 3 Tips for Succeeding in Content Marketing

storytelling for manufacturersIn my experience, crafting stimulating, engaging, or even intriguing content comes with a learning curve. But while facing the blank page can initially be daunting, filling it up with valuable information that keeps your audiences coming back doesn’t have to be rocket science. 

Here are my three cardinal rules:

1.  Know Your Audience

Persona development and audience research are critical first steps in crafting effective content for manufacturing companies. It will give you a deeper understanding of your target audience's demographics, preferences, and pain points, allowing you to personalize your content accordingly. The ultimate goal is to resonate with your readers on a deeper level, which helps keep your brand top of mind.

My preferred methods for gathering audience data include market research and customer feedback. The former allows me to analyze industry trends, competitor strategies, and market dynamics. The latter offers direct insights into my readers' needs, challenges, and preferences. I also engage in social listening and monitor online discussions related to the industry.

2.  Engage Your Audience

You need an audience to establish a robust online presence. So, to draw in eager eyes, I use a variety of strategies tailored to each content format. For blog posts, as I mentioned earlier, I focus on crafting attention-grabbing headlines, providing practical tips, and incorporating visuals to enhance readability. 

White papers are a bit trickier, but there's not much that actionable recommendations and compelling visuals can’t fix. Infographics are, for me, the easiest of the bunch. I try to keep them clutter-free while incorporating eye-catching elements to maximize efficiency.

Pro Tip: I strive to keep a consistent posting schedule. This way, my captive audience knows when to look for their weekly dose of manufacturing information and inspiration.

3. Measure Success, Adjust, and Repeat

Much like with anything else marketing-related, key performance indicators (KPIs) have become my absolute best allies in determining how well my content is doing. Collecting and assessing data consistently allows me to figure out what my audiences are not clicking with so that I can either stop doing it or improve it. It also gives me valuable insights into what works, enabling me to replicate it seamlessly. 

Start Creating Compelling Content!

More and more manufacturing companies are realizing the power of content for capturing leads and, ultimately, boosting their bottom line. However, there’s no use crafting the most engaging content if nobody sees it. 

Idea Grove uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to ensure your blog posts, white papers, and infographics reach a relevant audience. Contact us, and let us help you become an industry leader.

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