Study shows that B2B manufacturers struggle with content marketing

Latest research from the Content Marketing Institute shows that only 18% of B2B manufacture marketers consider themselves effective at content marketing. This is down 8% compared to the 26% recorded last year.

A contributing factor to the reduction recorded could be due to the fact that 50% of the organisations participating in the survey were in the primary phase of content marketing maturity. This may affect the results because research shows the effectiveness of B2B marketing increases with the companies that have a higher level of content marketing maturity.

Make sure your strategy is documented

Do you have your content marketing strategy written down? Out of those surveyed only 18% did, whilst 27% had no strategy at all. If you fall into the latter, take the time to produce a written plan, otherwise you may not be using your time efficiency.

only 18% of B2B manufacture marketers consider themselves effective at content marketing

only 18% of B2B manufacture marketers consider themselves effective at content marketing

Don’t miss opportunities to build your audience

The results show that even though many manufacturers were connecting with their audience via e-newsletters, there were missed opportunities to increase their exposure. A high percentage (71%) of respondents asked their audience to subscribe to their newsletter. However, only 35% of the manufacturers asked them to subscribe to their blog, although 66% of them were using one.

The stats indicate that video is an effective format for manufacturing marketers to engage with their potential clients. 89% of marketers stated that they use video for content marketing purposes with 87% distributing videos on YouTube. Out of those using video, 70% say it was effective and 66% say they found YouTube successful.

Nonetheless, as little as 15% of them ask their audience to subscribe to a video series.  Don’t miss simple opportunities to increase your exposure. It is also important to keep your promise to your current subscribers by providing enough of the right content.

Are you using the best means to reach your target audience?

The data showed an increase in the amount of content marketing strategies being applied by manufacturers. Although there was a slight drop in the use of social media platforms and their effectiveness ratings. YouTube was the only exception to this, its effectiveness remained constant on last year.

There is no obvious explanation as to why this is happening but it may not be negative. It could be that manufacturing marketers are improving their efficiently and focusing their efforts to where they can get the best return.

The institute recorded more manufacturing marketers using promoted social posts to distribute content but a decline in those who felt they were effective. The figures obtained suggest that more manufacturers are experimenting with the use of social media. This is encouraging because the experimentation could lead to manufacturers determining which channels best suit their aims.

Do you know what social media platforms give you the best engagement? It is vital to discover what channels give you the best exposure to your target audience. Concentrate on a few social channels that you can the most impact on, rather than spreading yourself thin and not being as effective.

Can less be more?   

Are you creating enough of the right content? As with any content marketing strategy, it is quality over quantity. CMI research recorded that 76% of manufacturers said they are planning to produce more content in 2016, compared with 2015.

Producing volumes and volumes of content is not the answer when it comes to successfully marketing your business. In recent article for the Content Marketing Institute newsletter, Robert Rose was asked how much content should people be producing, he replied: As little content as you can while creating the impact you want to create.”

This is easier said then done but possible with the right plan in place. For ideas on content marketing read our recent blog post for inspiration.

Content marketing is by no means a new concept but in the manufacturing world it is an approach that is new to many. We hope that in time more manufacturing companies will realise the value of a measured content marketing approach and apply this to their business strategy.

If you would like more information on how an effective content marketing strategy could benefit your business we would love to hear from you.

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