The buzz phrase that’s filling the marketing sphere leading into 2015 is ‘content marketing’, but many businesses have been left perplexed as to just what this term means and how it can sit alongside their other marketing activities.
Eager to find a way of tapping into new business without investing huge sums of cash on an exhibition stand? Content can become a real possibility for your business – it’s just a case of where to start and how to do it.
With this in mind here’s our quick round-up of everything you need to know about content marketing for manufacturers…
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable content to attract and acquire a defined audience”. To make this happen, your business needs to identify an audience, create content that suits them and find a way of distributing it.
Who’s your audience?
You should already have an idea of who your target audience or ‘buyer persona’ is, but to really understand who they are, it’s advised that you spend more time researching their needs and preferences.
It’s not just businesses you need to look to target, you should be looking to target those who work inside the firm who are responsible for making that decision to work with you.
Think about this person’s…
- Job title and where they are in the structure
- What their professional objectives are
- Problems they are encountering
By drilling down these fine details, you will get a better sense of how to approach them and the solutions you can offer to solve their problems.
Creating the content
Now it’s time to write the content, but where do you begin? You should have a blog on your website already, and this is a great way to begin your campaign.
Use this to try and answer problems that your target audience has. Remember, content marketing is all about giving the audience valuable content that will make their business decisions easier.
Although some manufacturing businesses may be hesitant to share too much information, your blog is a great way to show potential customers that you’re not only thinking about them, but you’re an industry-leader too.
The other side to content is downloadable guides. Many businesses have a buyer’s guide of some sort already that sits on the website, and these things help to enhance the offer further to prospective clients.
Just like blogs, these guides and eBooks need to be tailored to your buyer persona too.
What comes of all this content? Well if it is correctly targeted with good SEO, the chances are your persona will find your blogs when searching for solutions to their problems – a new visitor and potential customer you’ve never had contact with before.
More information can be found by downloading our free guide, Sales and Marketing strategies for manufacturers.
Distributing your content
It’s not an uncommon scenario that manufacturing businesses have marketing channels set-up such as Twitter, LinkedIn and email marketing – but they struggle to get any sort of new business out of them.
Content will revolutionise this practice and give you a platform to build relationships with new businesses.
With the introduction of blogs and eBooks, you will have more to say, and more targeted messages too towards your buyer personas.
Review which social media channels you use as well. From your buyer persona workshop, are these people spending time on Facebook? If not, focus on those accounts that they do use.
Email marketing is very underrated because it is used poorly by many companies.
Before looking into styling and the content of the actual e-newsletter, go back to the basics which is the subscribers list. Remember, everything you now do is with your buyer persona in mind.
If your personas just aren’t on your excel spreadsheet from 5 years ago, it is advised to clear it up and focus on the few.
Starting the process
With these three steps, you will be able to make a start on your content campaign. As with any marketing effort, ensure a strategy is in place to not only create the content, but distribute too.
It’s important at this stage to think about how you will analyse the success of your campaign. Tools such as HubSpot offer analysis of your marketing process from start to finish, allowing you to tweak-as-you-go to gain better results over time.
Content is a hard nut to crack but the results can be significant. If you ever doubt how this process works then ask yourself this question – How have you come to read this blog?