New Manufacturing Research, 85% using Content Marketing!

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) has published the results of their 4th annual survey of North American Manufacturers, "Manufacturing Content Marketing: 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends" as a PDF and slide presentation (click on slide count below). This new research is timely for manufacturing companies doing their 2017 planning and budgeting so we are linking to it here and sharing our take on it.

The CMI defines Content Marketing as "a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action." The summary of their report says, "The fact that we see a 72% increase over last year in the percentage of manufacturing marketers who have a documented content marketing strategy (18% last year vs. 31% this year) indicates they’ve taken one of the most important steps toward achieving content marketing success: putting their strategy in writing. Other important keys to their increased success ... included doing a better job with content creation, making content marketing a greater priority, and spending more time on content marketing."

At CDS we are very committed to helping industrial suppliers (manufacturers and distributors) with some of their content marketing tools (online product catalogs, configurators) and content (downloadable CAD models). That said, here are the three things that struck us most in this latest research:

  • CMI 2017 Percentage of Manufactures using Content Marketing85% of manufacturing organizations now use content marketing (and of the 15% who don't, 53% plan to launch a content marketing effort within 12 months). 49% of those using content marketing are 'extremely' or 'very' committed to it, 20% are 'extremely' or 'very' successful with their content marketing and 59% are 'much more' or 'somewhat more' successful with their content marketing. This shows rapid take-up of content manufacturing by manufacturers!

  • CMI 2017 Percentage of Manufactures using Content MarketingMore content will be offered - 30% anticipate doing 'much more', and 36% anticipate doing 'somewhat more' so in total 68% anticipate producing more content in the next year than in the last year. This shows that content marketing is working well for manufacturers and demonstrates that they will be 'doubling down' with more content!

  • CMI 2017 How Manufacturers truly can measure success of their Content MarketingReal measures of success - here are the top measures by which manufacturers truly know they can measure the success of their content marketing - Website Traffic, Sales, Sales Lead Quality, SEO, Higher Conversion Rates, Sales Lead Quantity. This shows that manufacturers are correctly focusing of ensuring that their content marketing is driving real business success.

Based on more than 10 years experience helping suppliers of industrial components (bearings, gears, fasteners, etc.) and engineered products (motors, gearboxes, etc.) we're delighted with this progress and continue to believe that effective industrial content marketing should include:

  • Industrial specific Online Catalogs (with excellent SEO and local site search)
  • Industrial specific Configurators (if applicable)
  • Both producing 3D CAD models of the products for online viewing and download for inclusion in customers' CAD designs.

The 3D CAD models are the most effective type of content for industrial suppliers of industrial components because of their high conversion rate to sales (see this case study showing very high lead quality with conversion rates up to 50%).

If you are not sure whether CAD models should be a type of content in your content marketing please read the CMI report for yourself then call us to discuss your situation or click either button below - especially if you want to include product CAD model viewing and/or downloads in your 2017 website and content marketing.

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