How many of you remember the song “Dazed and Confused” from Led Zeppelin’s debut album based on a folk song by Jake Holmes? I am finding industrial content marketing in a similar state of confusion.
Manufacturers and industrial companies are confused by the dizzying array of things they have been advised to do in the name of content marketing. I found this chart from the Content Marketing Institute that shows the usage of various content marketing tactics by manufacturers in North America.
If that wasn’t enough to make your heads spin, there is a lot of misinformation about how and what to track and measure to tie everything back to sales. Not an easy task given the typical long sales cycles and multiple stakeholders involved in the industrial buying process. You will get a distorted picture if you attribute leads and/or sales to the “last click.”
Because of these issues, industrial content marketing never gets off the launching pad for many of these companies. Some get started with a lot of enthusiasm only to fizzle out because no one has made a strong enough business case to the higher ups and they continue to believe that content marketing is just another promotional tactic that should produce quick results.
If you think I’m exaggerating, think again!
Here are just a few of the questions that I have fielded during actual conversations with industrial companies.
- How do we prioritize our content marketing tactics between blogging, social media, webinars, white papers, case studies, videos etc.? We just don’t have the time or the expertise to do it all.
- Who can we outsource our industrial content creation to since most B2B copywriters have trouble understanding our business and communicating effectively with engineers and technical buyers?
- Should we redesign our website or focus on content marketing?
- Is content marketing a new form of SEO or will it help us generate more qualified leads?
- We have been blogging for some time now but how can we correlate those efforts to leads and sales?
- How do we make proactive business/marketing decisions based on our analytics and reports when we seem to be drowning in data?
If you are manufacturer or an industrial company that has been doing content marketing for a while, you know the correct answer is all of the above. The key to success lies in developing a good content marketing strategy, executing it methodically, tracking, measuring and refining diligently.
For those just starting out with industrial content marketing, I suggest you read the following posts that I have published in the past:
- Content Marketing Must Go Beyond Inbound Marketing in Industrial Sales
- Are Manufacturers Turning a Deaf Ear to Content Marketing?
- Content Can Differentiate Industrial Companies When There’s Parity in Value Propositions
- Industrial Content Marketing is Not Just for SEO
- What Does a Content Marketing Strategy Mean for Industrial Companies?
P.S. Here’s a link to the YouTube video of Led Zeppelin’s Dazed and Confused.