Manufacturing blogs are probably not the first thing that comes to mind for industrial lead generation, but they are related, as I’ll explain in this post. However, writing and publishing technical posts that engineers and industrial professionals find relevant and engaging takes time, effort, and knowledge not easily found in freelance copywriters.
51% of manufacturing content marketers said creating valuable content instead of sales-oriented content is their biggest challenge. (Source: Manufacturing Content Marketing—Insights for 2022 published by the Content Marketing Institute).
Blogging time and frequency impact results
The amount of time you put in and the frequency of publishing directly and positively impact your blogging results. That is not a major revelation, but validating your gut feeling with data from independent research studies is reassuring. Here are two charts from the survey done by Orbit Media Studios.
While it is true that those who publish blog posts more frequently get better results, it is unrealistic for most manufacturers and industrial companies with a small or one-person marketing team to produce new posts several times a week or month. The reality for these companies is less spectacular than some of the big stats you may read online.
“Blogging still works, but driving big results is a challenge,” is a quote from the excellent article by Andy Crestodina that I’ve cited above. Do read his article for other statistics and comments from several content marketing experts.
Earned, owned, and paid media
You have probably heard of those terms and are familiar with them. If not, here’s a handy Venn diagram from a post by Michael Brenner of Insider Marketing Group. It explains the different types and how they overlap.
This interrelationship between different media types has a bearing on manufacturing content marketing. The charts below show how manufacturing marketers used various media to distribute content in the last 12 months. They are all from the survey done by the Content Marketing Institute that I mentioned earlier.
- The organization’s website, email newsletters, and blogs are the top four owned-media platforms.
- 61% of respondents used media/public relations to distribute content in the last 12 months.
- 85% of manufacturing marketers used paid media to distribute content
- 77% of the respondents used social media advertising/promoted posts
How do manufacturing blogs help in lead generation?
This is one area where there’s much confusion among the manufacturers I speak with. It isn’t easy for them to understand that blogging is not like one-off campaigns. They want to know how soon they can get new leads.
The very definition of a qualified lead is another source of confusion. Sales teams want leads ready for an RFQ. They don’t want to hear anything about qualifying and/or nurturing leads.
It’s my job and those of you who are responsible for industrial content marketing to take the time to explain how blog posts help in earning trust, building credibility, and highlighting in-house expertise. Taken together, they play a big role in setting the table for salespeople to have more productive conversations and increase their wins.
For more on this complex relationship, you may want to read my post, Industrial Lead Generation for Sales – It’s Complicated!
An engineering audience tends to be skeptical about claims made by suppliers. They want proof of concepts and read case studies. Writing blog posts about these content assets will help them discover your valuable content instead of relying 100% on organic SEO.
You can gate these middle-of-the-funnel content, then send your readers to a landing page with a simple sign-up form. Use this strategy to generate Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs).
This post should give you a clearer picture about manufacturing blogs and distributing content via different media channels to generate leads, even if the relationship is not easily seen.