Content Marketing for Manufacturers: How to Build a Successful Strategy

While traditional marketing efforts have served manufacturers well for many years, incorporating a modern approach now is a must. Content marketing for manufacturers, in its simplest form, is creating content that answers your potential buyer’s questions early in their research process and throughout the buying journey. 

The content you create serves many purposes: create brand awareness, generate leads, build credibility with buyers, and much more. So, if your buyers are searching for answers to their questions and you haven’t created any content for them to find, who will they get their answers from? Your competitors.

Why is Content Marketing Valuable for Manufacturers? 

Marketing and selling to B2B buyers, in general, can be tricky, and the landscape is ever-changing. Add in the complexities of product and channel for manufacturers, that only compounds the challenges. Focusing on content marketing can help. Here’s how:

Build Credibility and Trust

A B2B buyer is looking for a solution to their problem that they can trust. It’s not common that they will just accept the first solution they find. They will likely look around to find the best solution for their needs before making any decisions. That’s why it’s important that your content showcases your expertise, experience, and showcases the value you can bring. Ultimately people want to work with someone who is credible and trustworthy. Highlight those things by creating case studies, client testimonials, and more.

Increase Visibility

Organic searches can be your most significant source of traffic and revenue. According to HubSpot, their biggest source of traffic is and continues to be blogging! Part of your content marketing strategy should include promoting your content across the channels that your persona uses. Whether it’s using SEO to show up on the Google SERP, posting on Facebook, or using paid ads on LinkedIn. This allows you to reach more people and increase your brand awareness.

Gain a Competitive Advantage

Content marketing for manufacturers is especially important because if you’re not doing it, you can trust that your competitors are or will at some point. And if they aren’t yet, then you’ll have an advantage by getting your content out there first. Content marketing is a great way to gain market share and move up the ranks in your industry.

Recommended Reading: Solutions to 5 Common Manufacturing Challenges in 2020

Opportunity to Share Mission and Personality

This is a benefit of content marketing that is often overlooked but can be a powerful one. Content marketing allows you to give life and a personal touch to your products or services. People don’t just want to work with a company, they want to work with people. Your buyers want to work with people who truly care about their customers and provide value to them. Creating content that showcases your mission and the company’s personality can help build trust and humanize you further.

Solve for Complex B2B Buying Cycles

We don’t have to tell you that products in manufacturing are usually technical and complex. While the buyer is often sophisticated and specialized themselves – like an engineer, they’re still looking for educational materials. In fact, a survey conducted by engineering.com found that overwhelmingly – engineers still turn to search or website blogs to find answers to their most technical questions. Your content should be what guides them to a solution and exceeds their expectations. 

b2b buyers journey

Content Marketing Strategies for Manufacturers

Fewer than one in four respondents of the Manufacturing Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends survey noted that they have a documented content marketing strategy. Those with a written strategy report the top benefits as being an aligned team around joint mission and goals, and that it makes it easier to determine which content to develop. 

Every marketing initiative needs to be driven by a solid strategy and end goal in mind. Content marketing for manufacturers is no different. Here are some tried and true strategies below. Also, who says you have to pick just one? Often the best results come from layering strategies.

Content for SEO

Supercharge your content marketing efforts by aligning it with SEO. Not only will you be educating and helping potential buyers who are coming to your website, but you’ll also be casting a wider net by adding the Google SERP to your arsenal.

Start by doing some keyword research on what your personas are searching for on Google. The idea is to find out what questions your personas are asking and use that information to create an SEO strategy that promotes your helpful content.

Look for keywords with a lower keyword difficulty and a fair amount of search volume to use as a blog topic. Focus on providing value for your persona and solving their pain points, while keeping in mind some SEO best practices, like including your keyword in your title and linking to outside sources of information. 

Account Based Marketing 

HubSpot defines ABM as a focused growth strategy in which Marketing and Sales collaborate to create personalized buying experiences for a mutually-identified set of high-value accounts.

Account based marketing

At its core, it turns the funnel upside down and aligns sales and marketing to hunt with spears instead of nets. Manufacturers benefit from building an account-based marketing framework by:

  • Creating higher quality opportunities
  • Tightly aligning sales and marketing
  • Streamlining and often speeding up the sales cycle
  • Expanding business relationships in key accounts
  • Better measure ROI

Related Reading: 4 Account Based Marketing Email Examples to Inspire You

DemandBase found that companies that have been using ABM for at least one year saw an increase in 10% revenue, 19% of those surveyed saw revenue growth in excess of 30%. 

So, where does content come in to play? You use highly relevant content to engage your target accounts. For example, ABM could call for a LinkedIn ad for a white paper or video with a call to action to download your case study. The best part about content for ABM? It can be repurposed elsewhere for inbound marketing or leveraged in nurture sequences.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a great way to establish credibility and be present when your persona is ready to have a more sophisticated sales conversation. Having that credibility reflects on your company’s products and services. It shows that you’ve thought about your persona’s pain points and address them in your services. The goal is to keep your company top of mind when they are ready to solve their problem. Here’s are the three phases:

inbound marketing for content marketing for manufacturers

Image Source: HubSpot.com

Attract: Here is where you draw in the right people (right being the key word) with content and resources that they will find valuable. This will help establish you as a trusted source and someone they’ll want to engage with. Whether it’s using SEO to show up in the Google SERP, utilizing an email list for email marketing, regular social media posts, or even pay per click advertising. 

Engage: This is where you will present your insights and solutions to their problems and goals. If you can either solve their pain point or help them reach their goal, they are more likely to do business with you. Every professional buyer has their own unique sales process. This is why it’s important to create content that addresses each stage of the buyer’s funnel. This includes having a diverse field of topics while using different delivery methods such as blogs, tools, e-books, and pillar pages. You’ll also engage by leveraging marketing automation to nurture your leads into customers.

Delight: Last but not least, delight. Here you provide help and support customers to find success with their purchase.

Related Reading: 5 Signs Inbound is Right for Your Business

Sales Enablement

Content marketing plays a major role in a sales enablement strategy. Implementing a B2B sales enablement strategy can align your internal teams and empower your sales team with the tools they need to close more deals. Marketing does this by providing should provide various resources such as blogs, guides, and demonstrations to help sales close more leads. For example, a sales rep can refer to a helpful pillar page to showcase your company’s expertise in a certain area. 

Related Reading: A Roadmap to Sure-fire B2B Sales Enablement Strategy

strategies for content marketing for manufacturers

Image Source: Salesforlife.com

Social Media Marketing

According to Oberlo, 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are active social media users. With an audience on social media that continues to grow, more and more of your target personas will become social media users as well. Businesses using social media as part of their marketing strategy saw an increase in revenue of 24%

Before you put together an effective social media strategy, you must ask yourself:

  • What channels are my target personas using? (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • What kind of content will they engage with?
  • How can I get them within my reach?
  • What is the goal of my social media campaign?

Social media can be a great way to engage with your persona’s, but don’t spend too much time on a channel that might not make sense. Focus on creating a strategy that works within the areas your personas are spending the most time. Each social media channel should be used to promote the content you create. Pay attention to who engages with that content and how they respond to it. This can give you a better idea of what their looking for and provide any insight you might have never thought about. It can also be a method of qualifying your leads.

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Content Marketing Tips for Success

Be Consistent

Content marketing for manufacturers should be organized and consistent. The content you produce should be created with a purpose and part of a well planned, longer-term strategy. Creating content once every six months isn’t going to move the needle for your overall strategy. Find a content creation cadence that works for your company and stick with it.

Align Sales & Marketing

Having your sales team tightly aligned with your content marketing strategy will maximize your results. When your sales and marketing teams are aligned, sales is more likely to use the content that marketing is creating and marketing is more likely to create good content for sales. Everybody wins. It’s essential to have the right tools and technology on hand to allow sales to follow up with any qualified leads as soon as they engage with your content. 

benefits of content marketing for manufacturers

Image Source: Organimi.com

Diversify Content

Content marketing doesn’t need to be cranking out blogs every single week. Make it a fun and creative way to portray your business’s personality, expertise, and value. Everyone digests information differently. Some enjoy reading a blog post, while others will benefit from an infographic or tool. Utilize the many different formats and get creative with it. One great way that’s proven its worth is video marketing. Learn about the benefits of video marketing here.

how to achieve sales and marketing alignment

Get Social with Your SaaS: 7 B2B Social Media Examples

Marketing for SaaS and the products themselves are not simple things. Given the complexity of the industry, social media and the “entertainment” often associated with it, it might not seem like a priority, but it should be. Below we’ve compiled 7 B2B SaaS social media examples and why they work. Social media for SaaS is a great tool to use to: 

  • Drive traffic to your website 
  • Create brand awareness
  • Display product demo and update videos 
  • Offer tips in simple formats 
  • Share quotes, case studies and shoutouts 
  • Showcase your culture and recruit employees 
  • Share quality content that provides value to your customers 

Related Reading: SaaS Inbound Marketing: Taking Your Business to the Next Level

Product Demo and Update Videos 

As a SaaS company, your biggest feature is your product. So why not showcase that product where your customers are hanging out… on social media. Not only can you showcase your products effectively, but you have the added bonus of being able to utilize video. Video has a number of benefits on social media and your marketing efforts in general. According to our friends at HubSpot, posting a video to social media can gain you 48% more views. Those views usually translate to likes- when you’re publishing relevant content

In this example, Harvest created a quick video that captured their product updates perfectly and then promoted on LinkedIn. They could have drafted a couple of paragraphs on the updates instead, but a video simplified the concept and delivered the intent of the message accurately and in an engaging way. 

Offer Tips in Simple Formats 

Social media is also a place where you can be a thought leader or provide help to your readers. Offer tips, advice, and hacks that speak to your expertise and make things easier for your audience. What can you provide your users that will help them utilize your tools better? Offer tips to help them think outside of the box with your software and the basic functions.

In this example from Zapier, they offer a simple, everyday way to use their integrations. Zapier provides a solution that allows you to integrate systems where there isn’t an existing API already. These “Zaps” or connections are often used to automate larger business processes and data pushes. That’s why this social example stands out – it shows a creative way to use the tool beyond the larger processes people gravitate towards Zapier for. These small things build credibility and can make your tool more valuable. Even basic tips will accomplish a similar goal. 

Related Reading: Cut the B.S.: Business Focused B2B SaaS Marketing Metrics

Sharing Quotes, Case Studies, and Shoutouts

Another idea for social media for SaaS is to humblebrag a bit. This is a fantastic place to showcase positive reviews of your company, share case studies and client successes or testimonials, and give shoutouts whenever possible. After all, it’s your social channel- it’s already about you and should reflect who you are as a company. People are visiting and following to learn more about you.  

They call it humble bragging for a reason, because you can share your accomplishments humbly. Take this tweet from Databox, for example. They share a quote from a client and share a link to a post about how they use Databox to build SEO reports. 

Weekly Themed Posts 

Remember how we said social media a great way to showcase your culture and what you’re all about? This can easily be accomplished on social media. Whether it’s challenges, theme posts, sharing pictures from the company picnic or giving a shoutout the employee of the month. The possibilities are nearly endless. 

Highspot’s LinkedIn post is a great example of this with their “Win the Week” themed posts that we see here. It not only provides helpful tips for readers, but it gives people a chance to see Highspot’s personality and create engagement in a different way than just a blog post or even a video. 

Keep it Fun

We know SaaS is serious business, but that doesn’t mean all of your content and social posts have to be. That’s why it’s no surprise that our partners at Vidyard made the list of social media for SaaS examples. This “Where’s Waldo” style Instagram post is a great example of keeping it fun and yet another opportunity to show your companies personality.

Note: View at your own risk, you can’t help but try and find their V-bot!

Ask Engaging Questions and Then Respond

Who doesn’t like being asked their opinion or for their advice? This is a great way to engage your audience by involving them in your social posts. But remember, if you’re going to engage and ask questions, be prepared to respond. Either compliment them on the advice they give, thank them for their input, and/or tell them how you applied their answer.

In this example, SEMRush solicits their reader’s opinions. Throughout the feed you see them responding to or “liking” people’s responses. They also post an overall thank you message for all the responses. 

Share Your Content 

Last, but not least, this LinkedIn post from Adobe. Here we see an example of Adobe promoting a recent blog post and driving people to their website. While your social media efforts can and should incorporate a number of the examples from above, we can’t forget what a great tool this is to share original content and increase traffic to your site. You can promote and share blogs, articles, press releases, and much more. We don’t suggest sharing only your content all the time though. Be sure to mix in thought leadership pieces and some of the examples listed above. 

These are just a few examples of how you can use social media for SaaS. Regardless of how you use it, they are channels that shouldn’t be ignored. And while it’s meant to help serve your overall business goals, don’t forget to have a little fun with it every once and awhile.

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