When it comes to B2B content marketing for demand generation purposes, enterprise software companies have always been ahead of the curve. We should know. After all, members of our team have managed highly successful content marketing programs on behalf of hundreds of leading software providers.
Recognizing the growing effectiveness of precision marketing using content marketing and inbound tactics, as opposed to relying on traditional marketing techniques (advertising, trade shows, cold calling, etc.), companies in other B2B industry sectors have been playing catch up. Manufacturing is just one sector where companies on the whole have been shifting more of their marketing dollars to content marketing, publishing gated white papers, eBooks and other content assets to try to increase website traffic, raise brand visibility and generate qualified leads. They are not necessarily doing so as effectively as possible, however.
A new research report, published by the Content Marketing Institute and sponsored by Oracle Marketing Cloud, looks specifically at how content marketing has been gathering steam in manufacturing companies over the past couple of years. The results mirror what we’re now also seeing in multiple other non-software categories.
The report, called B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America, provides a number of interesting insights. It shows, for example, that when compared with other B2B marketers, manufacturing marketers are less likely to have a documented content marketing strategy (21% versus 44%). Manufacturing marketers also rate their companies lower in terms of content marketing effectiveness (30% versus 42%). At the same time, 70% of manufacturing marketers report that they are creating more content now than they did one year ago and nearly half (46%) say that they intend to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months, compared to 58% of B2B marketers overall that plan to increase spending over the next 12 months.
According to the research, manufacturing marketers outsource content creation as well as content asset syndication and promotion more frequently than B2B marketers overall (55% versus 44%). When compared with B2B companies in other sectors, manufacturing marketers admit that they are far more challenged when it comes to producing the kind of content that engages their target prospects (62% versus 47%). The publication of several upcoming Smart Decision Guides focused on various topic areas within the manufacturing sector will alleviate that challenge, at least for the couple dozen companies that secure underwriting roles.
The Content Marketing Institute report, based on survey responses from 125 B2B marketers in the manufacturing sector, can be downloaded here.