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You are the best in your field, right? You are consistently finding manufacturing solutions for your customers’ problems. You continue to innovate and design your products and processes for the top-of-the-line services you deliver.

Your customers appreciate all that you do. But how do you tell your story and share your industry knowledge? Do you develop case studies to show how you were able to solve a problem? Do you conduct your own research and present it into digestible pieces of information? Do you have a content marketing plan that incorporates these elements and so much more? No? Well you absolutely should.

81% of manufacturers say they have some form of a content marketing plan. But the problem is that many companies don’t have any assessment for whether it is working or not.

Uncertainty of ROI is not just a problem in the manufacturing realm, but a common theme in business-to-business (B2B) marketing. 55% of B2B marketers said that it is unclear within their organization what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like.

To understand if something is effective or not, you first need to know how it works. Manufacturers use content marketing for a variety of different reasons, from website traffic to higher conversion rates to qualitative customer feedback and many areas in between.

metrics

Establish Your Metrics for Success

To launch a successful content marketing program, a manufacturer needs to first set some metrics for success. What are the main elements you’d like to have in your plan? What is your ultimate goal? How long would you like to work toward this goal?

Below is a checklist to get started:

Set metrics for website traffic goals
Set number of blogs per month
Select which social media sites work best
Determine how many posts per month is adequate for my ROI goals
Set meeting times with team for evaluation
Have goals documented and available to team

Having these key goals established early on will give you the best chance for buy in with your team. Everyone will clearly be able to see what you are trying to achieve, their role in the overall picture and the steps to get there.

However, it’s not good enough just to make these rules; you must also check back in with them regularly. For instance, do a three-month assessment to see where you are at. Were your goals realistic for the time dedicated? If not, think about how you can massage your plan to make it work.

Reach Your Audience

When you have your metrics set, it’s time to get out there and reach your audience. The most successful content marketing plans for manufacturers work when you produce content in the way your audience wants to receive it.

Conduct some preliminary research to see where your customers and potential customers are. Is your industry becoming more engaged with your website? Your focus may be to create informational guides and smaller form content pieces that help educate your customers.

If your audience has become active on a social media site, such as LinkedIn or Twitter, then it’s time to set up an account and get involved in the conversation.

The reason that it’s so imperative to think about where your audience engages, is because you don’t want to produce content that no one will read. You want them to interact. You want to guide them toward a purchase decision. You want to assist your audience with their needs.

Showcase Expertise

It can be frustrating to work so hard at something and have others not understand what it is you do. That’s often what’s it’s like for a manufacturer when you’re not using content marketing. Content marketing gives you the means to expand your voice and show your expertise to a wide audience. You have the capability to pick and choose what measures you want to use.

Creating case studies on your website is one way you can show potential customers your abilities. If you are in the automotive market and were able to turn around parts for a client quicker than your competitors, that’s a huge value point for potential customers. You can tell them on a phone call that you have a fast turnaround time, however, having the data to back it up means so much more.

Create Lead Generation Opportunities

Whether you create targeted email campaigns, social media contests, demos, eBooks, guides, etc. there are endless possibilities to boost your lead generation efforts.

A lot of people question how content marketing can help their business growth. Lead generation is a huge chunk of that ROI. Creating more content pieces and engaging with your audience turns into better visibility for your company. These efforts turn into qualified leads when they download a piece of content from your site or are ready to request a quote.

Ready to start your content marketing plan? We can help! Contact us today.

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Beth is our VP of Digital Marketing Strategy who, besides drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, helps clients generate more business. Whether they’ve partnered with Proximity Marketing for a decade or just joined the family, Beth helps clients achieve success and achieve measurable results.

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