A key component of any successful inbound marketing strategy is providing educational content for your customers. When you’re a manufacturing company, educating your buyers is especially important as many times the products you’re marketing are technically complex and require some industry knowledge in order to understand their uniqueness.
Providing educational content helps your customer along each phase of the buyer’s journey, whether it be researching solutions to specific problems, investigating and evaluating different options, or choosing a company to do business with. Regardless of your industry, educated buyers make for happy buyers, as educated buyers are able to make informed decisions creating a stress-free buying process.
Still, many manufacturing companies have a difficult time coming up with an effective content marketing strategy to get their technically complex information across. If your manufacturing company is struggling creating educational content, try following these 5 successful tips:
Know What Questions Your Audience Has
A great way to begin thinking about the type of educational content you will produce is by structuring your content to answer your customers’ most frequently asked questions.
To collect these questions, gather employees from every department to write down a list of questions customers ask them on a daily basis. Employees from customer service, sales, and product design, are all bound to have unique questions based on their separate interactions with potential and current customers. You can also gather customer questions by doing some social listening. What are the common questions users are leaving on social media posts? Whether it’s as simple as how to place an order or as complex as how your product adheres to national and industry specifications, each question is valuable.
You can compile these questions with their answers to make a robust FAQ page for your website or repurpose these questions and answers into other content. For example, a question with a multi-faceted response can be expanded in a blog post or be its own topic of an ebook.
Become Industry Experts
Another successful content marketing strategy is to position your company as the industry expert in your field. Doing this will give you infinite sources for content as industry trends, rules, and regulations are always changing.
When customers are looking to make large or complex purchases, they take the time to properly educate themselves before making a decision. By positioning yourself as a leader in your specific branch of manufacturing, you can gain trust with consumers during their researching process.
Want to become the go-to educational source your field? The best strategy is to spread your educational content over a variety of media. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Create a YouTube video series where you break down complex information with graphics, illustrations, images, and video.
- Start a podcast where you can interview your staff and discuss your industry’s latest news
- Publish articles in trade publications or guest post on frequented industry blogs
- Attend industry conferences or start one of your own
- Write an eBook on your industry and make it available for free on your website
Publish Case Studies
Often times, your technically complex educational content can be too abstract for uninformed customers to understand. An easy way to show off your company’s prior success and put potential customers in a client’s shoes is to regularly publish case studies.
Case studies can be in the form of a blog post, produced video, or a web page in the portfolio section of your company website. To create a case study, look through a list of recent clients and pick out a few standout jobs that were extraordinarily successful or one that highlights a service of yours you’re looking to promote. If you’re a local company, it helps to choose a company that is locally known and respected in your community. If you’re a national company, try choosing a popular company that has brand recognition.
Then, provide a brief summary of the job from start to finish, making sure to include supporting metrics like if your client had a growth in sales after working with you, or if your work allowed them to grow their customer rating. As with all educational content, make sure your case study is easy-to-comprehend. If you can, include quotes or testimonials form your customer in your case study to add credibility.
Promote Your Educational Content Across Social Media
Once you create your educational content, it’s necessary to promote it across social media channels so your audience can find it.
The best way to capture a wide audience is using a cross-platform approach. That simply means actively engaging and promoting your content across several social media platforms. If you just posted a video on your YouTube Channel, try tweeting the link on your company’s twitter or providing a link on Facebook. Likewise, if your new podcast just went live, be sure to promote it on LinkedIn and Facebook at different times of the day or week for maximum exposure.
When creating posts on social media, it’s important to include images to capture users’ attention. Rather than simply posting a link to a blog post on your Facebook page, choose an eye-catching image for your blog post that convinces Facebook users to click on your link.
You may also find that different types of content are easier to promote one social media channel rather than another. For instance, a write-up about an industry article you got published in a trade journal can be written about at length on LinkedIn, but may be hard to tweet about with only 140 characters or less.
Check The Understanding of Your Content
It’s important that once you promote your educational content, you don’t just post and leave. If your goal is to educate your customers, then it’s necessary to make sure your customers comprehend the information you’re spending valuable time producing.
This includes responding to comments on blog posts or answering questions you receive on social media. Maintaining an active presence reminds your customers that you’re not solely there to promote and sell your products, but respond to all customer inquiries, too.
If you’re finding the majority of your customers are confused by the educational content you provide, try simplifying your technically complex information by keeping your content jargon free. Each industry has its own terms that those in it freely throw around, but can be off-putting to outsiders. If you don’t explain these technical terms, customers may be frustrated and lose interest. If you’re going to include jargon make the point to reinforce its definition for every piece of content you produce, or avoid using industry jargon all together.
Educate Your Buyers on Your Manufacturing Process!
Creating dynamic educational content is a great way to inform potential customers about your unique solutions and connect with new clients! As you can see, there are so many opportunities to deliver an effective content marketing strategy to get your technically complex information across. Start experimenting today to figure out which of these strategies work best for your manufacturing business!
Want to take your content marketing to the next level? Set up a content marketing consultation with our digital marketing experts! We’ll help you understand the opportunities you could be taking advantage of and point you in the right direction when it comes to getting started.
Interested in marketing your small business more broadly? Connect with our digital marketing strategists to learn about other online opportunities for small business marketing!