In the B2B Content Marketing 2010: Manufacturing / Process Industry Report that I produced in partnership with the Content Marketing Institute, 84% of B2B manufacturing marketers surveyed indicated they use content marketing — in fact, manufacturing firms have some of the highest adoption rates for new marketing tactics, including articles (80%), social media (73%) and video (48%).
As someone who does a lot of work with B2B manufacturing companies, I found this statistic quite heartening, especially given the fact that manufacturing is up across the U.S. and it outproduces China by 40%.
In the blog post I wrote for CMI about this report, “How to Resolve a Key Disconnect for Manufacturing Marketers,” I talk at length about the “disconnect” between manufacturing marketers’ number one goal, building brand awareness, and how they measure this goal via Web traffic.
Another piece of data that I found interesting in this report is the chart showing how marketers rated the effectiveness of their content marketing. What’s really interesting is that “while companies may be invested in a number of content marketing tactics, they don’t feel confident in how they’re using these tactics.”
So, while 80% of manufacturing marketers indicated they use articles, only 43% believed this tactic to be effective. (I’m not sure why or how marketers are using articles, but as Jill Whalen points out in her High Rankings newsletter article, “Just Say No to SEO Articles!” it’s a crappy SEO tactic.)
Here’s what I found really interesting about what manufacturing marketers find effective: it’s the tried and true content marketing tactics: In-person events (71%), Webinars (64%), e-newsletters (63%) and white papers (62%).
If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that manufacturing marketers figured out how to measure the effectiveness of these more “traditional” content tactics but haven’t yet figured out how to do so for things like articles, social media, and video (is a “view” really a measurable tactic — and what does a “view” get you?).
Which brings me back to the original point of my CMI blog post: manufacturing marketers need to 1) develop content that helps drive the conversions that move prospects along the sales cycle versus building brand awareness and 2) they need to learn how to measure this behavior versus “clicks” or “hits.” (I positively *hate* the term “hits” as it says absolutely nothing.)
A prospect may come to a B2B Website because of a piece of content found elsewhere. However, that initial visit may be the first in a series of visits that take place over days, weeks or even months. Measuring this behavior is what will end the disconnect and confidence gap regarding content marketing and its effectiveness.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Be sure to download the report — you’ll find lots of great data!