We are over halfway through 2017 – I know I barely believe it myself. This is a great time to take a step back and ask yourself, “Have we been successful at content marketing this year?” As you evaluate your efforts, take a look at something I stumbled upon the other day: the 2017 Manufacturing Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends North America. It includes some amazing takeaways I thought really need to be pointed out.
Over half of manufacturers only have one person to create all the content they produce.
I’m sorry, what?? If you’ve ever tried to be a content-generating machine by yourself you probably know that this is a recipe for disaster. Who’s going to edit, review and proof your work? Some people might be able to assess their own quality, but not as critically or as detailed as another set of eyes. I beg you all, if you are a one-person content machine, ask your company to provide you with help! It will improve your content game immensely.
Over 2/3 of manufacturers surveyed said they were planning on creating more content in 2017 compared to 2016.
To feed back into the first stat, it isn’t surprising that many manufacturers have a renewed focus on content generation. With a longer buying process and a much higher dollar consideration involved in a manufacturing purchase, it makes sense that you’d want to provide your potential customers with some food for thought while they’re learning who/what their best options are. If you were part of the 1/3 that aren’t planning to up your game, maybe it’s time to reconsider so you don’t fall behind your competition.
71% of manufacturers are using video in their content strategy.
Video is one of the most effective marketing tools out there. It’s a great way to get to know people, products and processes – all things potential customers want to know about – because it combines audio, visual and motion, for a more dramatic presentation than copy and images alone. It’s no surprise that videos will be key to a successful marketing campaign from now on.
44% say social media content will be the most critical to their overall success.
To me this is a hilarious takeaway, since many B2B marketers are still trying to figure out the best way to leverage social media today and have a hard time weaving social strategy into their overall content strategy. Let’s all make a pact that the second half of 2017 we’re going to make an effort to have a cohesive campaign that includes both social and blogs/advanced content!
63% say search engine marketing is the most effective paid method.
This is more than two times the quantity of print or offline promotions. In the end, numbers tell a powerful story and manufacturers can see that. Unfortunately, most print or offline products don’t have nearly the analytics of an online approach, which will always make it harder to determine the ROI of an offline promotion.
78% of manufacturers use website traffic as a success metric.
When I read this, I was completely baffled. Internally, we’ve had discussions over the last few months about how we want to measure success. And every single time we determine that traffic is a vanity metric. Let me explain: you might have 30,000 visitors to your site a month but if you’re only getting 5 marketing qualified leads from that, is that really success? I’d say it’s not. Website traffic is definitely key when looking at how you’ll get to where you want to be with marketing qualified leads, but that number alone does not indicate success.
Blogs are the most critical marketing tactic for success.
It beat out the next tactic by 12%. Although this doesn’t surprise me, it does reinforce the importance of producing high-quality content on our blog on a daily basis!
Email is definitely not going away.
With 93% of manufacturers using email in their content strategy, it’s not surprising that this is the most important channel to a manufacturer’s content marketing success. Who ever said email was dying obviously wasn’t living in 2017.
Now that you know some of the key trends for 2017, check out our worksheet on content creation below!