MM 010 - Content Marketing for Manufacturing

    Manufacturing Marketing Matters Podcast - Episode 010

    Guest Expert: Joe Pulizzi, Founder Content Marketing Institute

    Topic: Content Marketing for Manufacturing


    • Joe shares his definition of “content marketing” – very similar to definition of a media company – create content, consistently delivered to a particular audience group.
    • High value, audience focused content makes for a very short RFP list.
    • Any company, anywhere can duplicate what we sell, the only difference is in how we communicate.Tweet: Any company, anywhere can duplicate what we sell, the only difference is in how we communicate. #contentmarketing #mfgmarketing
    • According to CMI research 'B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing'  , about 80% of B2B manufacturing companies use content marketing, but only about 30% are effective. The number one reason is lack of a written content marketing strategy.
    • GE started out with a pilot program and grew the idea into a full-fledged successful content marketing culture.
    • You never know what can happen when you build an audience. Once you build the audience, you can help them get what they want or need.
    • Nearly all manufacturing companies have enough (sometimes too much) product content already and 99.9% goes unused.Tweet: Nearly all manufacturing companies have enough (too much) product content already 99.9% goes unused #contentmarketing #manufacturing
    • Find the opportunities in the buyer’s journey where they need more education and information where you can be the authority and the go-to resource.
    • When getting started with content marketing, focus on one platform and deliver consistently over a considerable time; 12 to 18 months.Tweet: When getting started with #contentmarketing, focus on one platform and deliver consistently over 12-18 months #manufacturing #mfgmarketing
    • Choose one topic and be great on that one topic.Tweet:
    • Real life example of content marketing success in manufacturing, Indium Corporation – Engineer to Engineer blog about industrial soldering equipment. Rick Short – Director of Marketing at Indium.
    • Craig Coffey at Lincoln Electric, ARC magazine as an example of good content marketing. (Craig was the MM Matters Guest Expert on 12/7/2015)
    • Another reason for opportunity for manufacturing companies is that there is not a lot of content clutter in the space.
    • Take a look at the Intel IQ program.

    Interview Questions:

    First – Would you please define the term ‘content marketing’ for our manufacturing listeners looking for guidance on content marketing for manufacturing?

    Context: CMI has published research along with MarketingProfs and Fathom specifically within the B2B manufacturing sector. (on the website) The research says 82% are using content marketing, but only 26% feel they are effective or contributing to their own overall objectives. I suspect many of our manufacturing marketing listeners are frustrated, have tried, tried and failed, or even given up on content marketing.

    Question 1 – From your experience, what would you say to the 74% of manufacturers who are using content marketing, but don't feel like they are effective?

    Is content marketing really a marketing strategy that can give the SMB MFG company an edge in this globalized business world?  How so?

    Question 2 – When I talk to mfg marketers about content marketing for manufacturing, they typically relate it to creating more content about their product.  Is that the right approach, if not, what approach should they be pursuing?

    What is the place in the marketing mix for content that is about the product?

    Follow up:  According to the research, 40% of the companies surveyed reported that content falls under the ‘Product Marketing’ group. What do you think, would you put a content marketing team or function under the product marketing group? 

    Question 3 – What is the best way for a manufacturing marketer to get started or re-started with an effective content marketing program?

    Question 4 – Would you provide a real life example of a SMB manufacturing company having great success with an effective content marketing program?  Let’s say “success” means strong growth rates and gaining market share from competitors.

    Question 5 –  Manufacturing companies want and need to move products. How does content that is “relevant and valuable” (not about the product) convert to more sales, growth and profit?

    Challenge Question:

    Submitted by Chris who is the marketing director for a Northwest manufacturer of meteorology instruments (wind, rainfall, humidity, pressure, etc.). His challenge question is “We’ve been losing market share to global competitors offering a lower price but inferior instruments. Do you have any ideas or suggestions about how we can overcome the lower price offering through a marketing strategy or tactics (without reducing quality)?  We’ve tried to advertise our high quality features, but it’s not working.”

    Joe's comments:

    • You can’t communicate your way out of price competition by talking about your product features and benefits.
    • Focus on one audience at a time.


    Takeaway 1: Content marketing for manufacturing requires you to take a look at your current content and ask if the content is really valuable or not.  Do people really care about your content.

    Takeaway 2: Don’t boil the ocean, start with one at a time and one audience at a time when getting started with content marketing. Choose a niche audience to start, you can always go bigger, but it’s harder to go from big to small.

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