According to a new report released by the Content Marketing Institute, manufacturers have some of the highest adoption rates for content marketing tactics as compared to other industries.
Videos (48%) are the preferred content format over other digital tactics (podcasts, virtual conferences and e-books) by a wide margin.
Even though social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) adoption is lower among industrial marketers, YouTube usage by manufacturers (50%) is higher than other B2B marketers (38%).
According to the same report, 82% of B2B manufacturing respondents indicated that they rely on content marketing to build brand awareness.
This increased focus on brand awareness is a surprising shift from the traditional industrial marketing goal of generating more high-quality sales leads.
Even though site traffic by itself is a poor measure of branding, manufacturers cited Web traffic as their most used (58%) measurement criteria for measuring the success of their brand awareness. This dependence on site traffic is even more pronounced among small and mid-sized manufacturers.
There must be a logical explanation for what seems to be a contradiction of everything I’ve read and have experienced in my 20+ years of working with manufacturing and industrial clients.
If you take a step back and see what is really going on here, it does begin to make more sense.
Manufacturers are using videos as part of their content marketing strategy to get found by their target audience and drive qualified traffic back to their site where they use other content to capture and convert more site visitors into qualified prospects and sale leads.
That in my opinion is exactly how inbound content marketing is supposed to work for lead generation.
Yes, there may be some confusion (see disconnect later in the post) over the use of the term “brand awareness” but manufactures are on the right on track.
I agree that brand awareness does play a key role in lead generation, especially in the early stages.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating or as some of my readers may prefer to shorten it to “the proof is in the pudding.” So I went to YouTube to confirm the report’s findings.
Sure enough, there are plenty of videos posted there by manufacturers. Most tend to be of the “how-to” variety but there are quite a few that are more along the lines of “about us.”
Here are three examples that I found on YouTube. These manufacturers may not be a household brand name like Coca-Cola but they are global leaders in their respective industries.
Tyco Flow Control
Miller Electric Manufacturing Co.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Strong disconnect between content marketing goals and measurement
All is not well with inbound content marketing within the industrial sector. There is a strong disconnect between content marketing effectiveness and its usage. Here are the main points of disconnection:
- Articles: 43% effectiveness (80% usage)
- Social media (excluding blogs): 21% effectiveness (73% usage)
- Print magazines: 39% effectiveness (65% usage)
- In-person events: 71% effectiveness (64% usage)
- eNewsletters: 63% effectiveness (57% usage)
Other noteworthy exceptions include:
- While manufacturers use white papers, case studies, eNewsletters and webinars at similar rates as other marketers, they consider them more effective – White papers: 62% vs. 50%; Case Studies: 64% vs. 53%; eNewsletters: 63% vs. 55% and Webinars: 64% vs. 56%
- Even though Web traffic is rated as the highest measurement criteria (58%), only 28% of manufacturers listed SEO rankings as a measurement tactic and only 22% listed inbound links – two of the best ways to drive online web traffic and build brand awareness
Manufacturers and industrial companies could do with some help in better understanding of their content marketing objectives and measurement metrics. May be this sort of disconnect is good for business for industrial marketing and lead generation consultants like me!
You can download the full report, “B2B Content Marketing 2010: Manufacturing Report” from here. (the report is free but it does require registration to download).
Are you using videos as part of your content marketing strategy?
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Related posts that may interest you:
- The Disconnect Between B2B Content Marketing and Customer Engagement
- Content and Social Marketing: Connecting and Engaging with 10K+ Engineers
- Dawning of the Age of Content Marketing in the Industrial Sector
- Using Content to Move Prospects Forward in the Sales Cycle
- Marketing Automation vs. Inbound Marketing