Content Marketing for Manufacturing: Best Practices and Examples is an article sent to you by the InApps editorial team. Hope readers will have more useful knowledge at www.inapps.net
As a manufacturer, marketing is probably the last thing on your mind, and it is likely left to your sales team to figure out. But as competition grows and buying trends are shifting to digital, you need to reexamine your marketing strategy.
When you create advertisements, people are often interrupted from their day to see them. Therefore, they probably aren’t in a good mindset to get excited about your product.
Content marketing for manufacturers, on the other hand, can create something that people are actively trying to consume.
So what is content marketing?
In this article, I am going to explain:
- What is content marketing?
- What is the funnel?
- Content Marketing Ideas for Each Stage of the Funnel
- B2C and B2B Content Marketing Examples from the Coca-Cola Company
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is owning media to generate business results.
Content Marketing Associate classifies content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
So how do you make your content valuable, relevant, and consistent?
Content Marketing Best Practices
Great content marketing tells a story. Creativity + data-driven targeting = an audience you can monetize.
You can craft valuable and relevant content by analyzing data to see who your target customer is and what types of content make them take action.
The idea of content marketing is to move your target customer along the sales funnel and eventually convince them to convert. Which brings me to our next question, what are the sales funnels?
What is the Marketing Funnel?
The marketing funnel, also referred to as the sales funnel and the purchase funnel, is the journey consumers take to becoming your customer.
The sections of the funnel include:
- Top of funnel
- Middle of funnel
- Bottom of funnel
But what does that really mean?
Let’s break it up into four stages within this funnel:
- Awareness – customer becomes aware of your business, informing them of a problem that they may have not realized they had
- Interest – interest is established, they now know of solutions for their problem
- Decision – begin making a decision, the consumer begins comparing solutions
- Action – the customer takes action, they have decided what business they want to work with and become a customer
Now that you understand the funnel, let’s discuss the different types of content you can create for each stage of the funnel and what their goal should be.
Content Marketing Ideas for Each Stage of the Funnel
Top of Funnel
The top of the funnel is all about bringing awareness to your brand and trying to get the customer to show interest.
You want to help make your target customer aware that they are experiencing a problem and that there are solutions out there.
- TOF Goals: acquire new traffic or segment visitors
- TOF Metrics: number of new visitors, % new visitors, number of new direct visitors, or retargeting lists
So let’s discuss the types of content you can create for the top of the funnel to reach your desired goals.
Blogging is one of the most common types of top-of-funnel content. That is because, compared to other types of content, it is relatively cheaper, easier to create, and has a longer lifespan.
But since it is one of the simpler methods, many people underestimate the time and resources that need to go into creating blogs.
Blogs are a great way to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. You can provide insights into the industry or answer common questions you know your customers are wondering.
Blogs are great for generating leads. If you optimize your blogs for search engines, you can bring in traffic to your site. Additionally, you can create a blog subscription where you can collect email addresses to foster those relationships in the future.
In this article, we are going to be looking at the Coca-Cola Company for examples because they are such a well-known brand, yet they still are constantly coming out with innovative content to attract customers.
The Coca-Cola Company posts blogs on the latest news from the company, as well as some fun topics, such as recipes that you can make using their products.
An ebook is like a mega guide where you dive deep into a specific, complex topic. With it being such a long piece of content, you want to make sure it is still fun to read and easy to understand.
Reading an ebook is a big-time commitment, so you want to make it clear what the reader will get out of it.
YouTube is the second largest search engine. Are you currently utilizing it? If not, you should be.
Many people turn to YouTube to learn, so you should be there to teach them.
Video is also a great way to introduce your customers to who you are. You can show a tour of your manufacturing facility or behind-the-scenes of your processes or employees.
You can put videos on your Home page, About Us, and YouTube. One thing to note is that, if you are putting your videos on YouTube, you can optimize them to increase traffic.
On the Coca-Cola Company’s YouTube channel, you can view this video that explains who the Coca-Cola Company is and what they care about.
This is a great way for customers to get to know the brand on a more personal level.
FAQ pages are a great resource for current and potential customers. This can answer more common questions so that they do not have to contact customer support.
When your target audience has a question during their decision-making process, they will likely search it online. This is a great opportunity for you to get in front of them, answer their questions, and then direct them to your product.
Coca-Cola is a well-known brand, and soda isn’t a very complex topic. Yet even the Coca-Cola company has an FAQ page that answers commonly asked questions.
Having an FAQ page also creates trust between the company and consumers, since your answers will address their questions and ease their worries.
Social media probably isn’t your first thought when thinking of B2B marketing, but most businesses are on social media. Not only that, but the employees and decision-makers of businesses are on social media.
While you may not see a return right away from your social media posts, you are building a network and increasing your brand awareness.
It is important to note that you shouldn’t just be promoting your business or products on your social media. So what kind of posts can you make?
Social Media Example
Coca-Cola company uses beautiful visuals along with well-written captions in order to give updates, entertain, and inform.
This makes the consumer feel connected with the company since they are receiving insights into the company’s upcoming products and learning more about what they value.
Middle of Funnel
Now in the middle funnel, the consumer knows they have a problem and that there are solutions, but they don’t know much about them. Their interest is beginning to peak and they are doing research to make a decision.
- MOF Goals: returning visitors or lead generation
- MOF Metrics: number of returning visitors, number of new leads, or retargeting list
Now let’s discuss the types of content you can create for the middle of the funnel to reach the desired goals.
One mistake businesses commonly make is confusing landing pages and website pages. Website pages are general sites designed to help your customer get to know your business and explore.
Landing pages, on the other hand, are for a specific campaign or product and drive your customer towards one specific action. We often recommend creating a landing page to go along with your PPC campaigns.
To create a landing page that converts visitors to take that action, you need to use the StoryBrand framework.
Landing Page Example
Coca-Cola Company made a separate landing page with its own unique URL for people to enter into its sweepstakes. There was no navigation menu to the rest of the website, just one button with a call-to-action to enter into the sweepstakes.
Having limited navigation and to-the-point copy on a landing page urges users to take your desired action.
Nothing shows that you can help a potential customer like showing how you’ve helped existing ones. You can prove your experience and that you can deliver results with testimonials, data, and examples in the form of case studies.
Think of a case study as a story. You want to tell your reader about the challenge your customer had to overcome and about the inspiring success they achieved.
You can share case studies in cold LinkedIn outreach, email nurturing campaigns, social media posts, and your website.
There are so many options at your customers’ fingertips. You need to show them why you are better than your competitors. Not only are you competing for business from your direct competitors in your industry, but you may also be competing against the business you don’t even think of.
Explain the different pros and cons of the different options your customer has and pre-emptively overcome any objections they may have.
Everybody likes to consume content differently. Some prefer to read it on their own time and others like to be able to listen to someone and ask questions.
This is especially true once people are further down the funnel and are making a more difficult decision.
You want to create a webinar that teaches your listeners something new and gives them actionable tips.
Bottom of Funnel
Finally, in the bottom funnel, the customer has done all of their research. They know all of the solutions and what the brands can offer them. This is where you want to give them the final push to take action and buy from you.
- BOF Goals: Maximize conversions or grow conversion value
- BOF Metrics: average order value and revenue per visit
Here are the different types of content you can create for the bottom of the funnel to reach the desired goals.
Now you may be confused seeing videos again here at the bottom of the funnel when we also listed it at the top of the funnel. Well, video is a powerful tool, and depending on the content included in the video, it can be used throughout the entire funnel.
When making content for the bottom of the funnel, you can create product and demo videos.
The President and Chief Executive Officer of the Coca-Cola Company gives a detailed video about Coca-Cola and who they are.
The video example listed at the top of the funnel merely scratched the surface of who the Coca-Cola Company is. This video at the bottom of the funnel, however, tells more about the company’s values, thus urging customers to trust and invest in them.
Custom / Pricing Calculator
Customers highly value transparency. So, show them how much they will likely spend if they purchase from you, and the money they will save.
This is a great interactive function you can use to improve your prospective customers’ buying process. Giving them personalized research and buying experiences can make them enjoy the process more, and in turn, make them want to work with you.
You can break it down to clearly show the value they are getting for every dollar spent.
Custom Calculator Example
Coca-Cola Company allowed users to use their interactive tool to learn about the nutrition and calories in their products and gave some fun ideas to burn the calories. This is perfect for those who have a concern about the healthiness of Coca-Cola products.
Spec Sheet / Brochure
Create a downloadable brochure or spec sheet of your products. This way, your customers can easily get all of the information they may need to make that financial decision.
Give an overview of your products with pictures and technical specs. This is a great way to also figure out what people are looking at.
Additionally, this provides a sheet that your sales team and customer service reps can look at to accurately inform customers about your products.
Sales pages are different pages on your website for your products. We recommend creating one for every product you offer so that you can go into detail on their specific value.
There are two types of sales pages you can create
- Short-form – a short, less complex page perfect for relatively simple and inexpensive products.
- Long-form – a longer, more detailed page for complex and expensive products.
While you are going to talk about your product, you want to make the focus of the content your customer and how they can benefit.
Sales Page Example
Within the Coca-Cola Company website, you can click on different product pages for the wide range of brands that they manufacture. From there, you can dive deeper into those brands’ product offerings.
Create Content That Converts With InApps
Want to create content that moves your target customers along the marketing funnel and converts them to customers?
Creating quality content takes a lot of time and resources. If you need help coming up with ideas for a content marketing strategy or need help executing a content marketing plan, we can help!
Our content specialists can help you create creative and compelling content that also follows search engine optimization standards.
Contact InApps today to schedule a strategy session with an expert content marketing for manufacturing strategist, and start growing your business today.
Follow this to make sure you’ve got Content Marketing for Manufacturing: Best Practices and Examples. Save and share with those around you these extras.
To learn more about Inbound Marketing
List of Keywords users find our article on Google
Let’s create the next big thing together!
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.