Industry research studies can serve as a barometer to measure the change in key metrics over time. They are useful for pointing out trends, progress, and challenges among similarly situated companies. They help you compare your own experience and performance to others.
In the recently released Manufacturing Content Marketing 2020 report, there are many areas where manufacturers have made positive strides in their marketing efforts. Some highlights include:
- 82% rate their overall level of success with content marketing as moderately to extremely successful
- 41% have a documented content marketing strategy (versus only 21% in 2019)
- 65% say their organization is much more or somewhat more successful with content marketing compared with one year ago
All good and encouraging news. Content marketing is working for manufacturers.
Along with the successes, industry reports can be equally as valuable, or more so, in pointing out improvement opportunities. You can peel back the layers of these reports to see what the group may be missing out on.
And in the 2020 report, there are several areas in the content creation and distribution section that standout as opportunity areas that could be exploited by savvy marketers for their benefit.
They are as follows…
Create and Distribute More Content for the Bottom of the Funnel
Inbound and content marketing is not just for attracting prospects and generating leads. It’s also wise, and profitable, to have a content strategy for all phases of the buyer’s journey, which includes your existing customers, too.
After all, your loyal customers would also like to know about and be offered new product versions, upgrades or accessories. But if you’re primarily spending content resources on acquiring new customers, chances are you’re spending more on new customer acquisition costs than you need to and missing out on deeper sales opportunities.
Surprisingly, however, the report found that 71% of all content created by manufacturing marketers went towards top-of-funnel and mid-funnel purposes of generating awareness and consideration. Only 10% of all content was created for post-sale goals such as loyalty, retention, and brand advocacy.
If your business model values repeat sales, up-sells, referral sales, and customer retention you’ll want to focus more on this opportunity area. It may just give you a leg up on the competition.
Here are some content and program ideas to spark your interest and creativity in bottom of funnel marketing initiatives:
- Product upgrade nurturing emails based on products purchased
- Personalized, thought leadership and culture videos
- Develop and launch customer success programs
- Create and support affiliate programs
- Utilize customer satisfaction surveys / Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Conduct expert interviews with customer product champions
- Create a loyalty or customer upgrade program
- Create offers designed to give current customers your best deals
- Include customer loyalty topics in your editorial calendar
- Tap into social monitoring for identifying customer needs
Ramp-up Content Marketing in Support of In-Person Events
Survey respondents were asked which content types are the highest performing for their organization in specific categories. Their top response for each is as follows:
|To Build Brand Awareness||To Secure Leads||To Nurture Leads||To Convert Leads|
|Social Media Content (36%)||In-Person Events (24%)||Email Newsletters (31%)||In-Person Events (33%)|
What’s interesting about this is the fact that in-person events are a high-performing content category to secure and convert leads in the manufacturing sector. The report doesn’t give us more than this to go on except that 65% of manufacturing marketers say they’ve used in-person events as a content type in the last 12 months. Additionally, it was reported 43% used “speaking/events” as an organic content distribution channel.
Clearly, there’s an opportunity here for manufacturing to generate content for in-person events. By taking a broader view of content marketing to include not just digital marketing, but also printed materials, tradeshow displays, seminars, workshops, speaking/events and the like, manufacturing marketers stand to capture and convert more leads than ever before.
Start Measuring the ROI of Your Content Marketing Efforts
The third opportunity area for manufacturers to consider falls in the metrics and goals section of the 2020 report:
- 42% say they don’t measure content marketing ROI
- 12% say they don’t know if they measure content marketing ROI
That’s the bad news. The good news is manufacturing marketers are tracking content performance in the following top five metric categories:
- 88% track social media analytics
- 87% track website engagement
- 85% track email engagement
- 84% track website traffic
- 80% track conversions
Yet in light of all this commendable tracking activity, 64% say they don’t track or know if they track ROI of their content marketing. So let’s dive into how to get started with tracking the ROI of your content marketing initiatives.
What is Content Marketing ROI?
Content Marketing ROI
A measure of how much revenue is gained after subtracting your costs for creating and distributing content.
Measuring your ROI is arguably the most important content marketing success measurement because it’s directly tied to revenue. You should consider measuring the ROI of each area of content in your content marketing and distribution tactical execution.
Start with the big picture in mind. As discussed in the article, Digital Marketing for Manufacturers: Improve Leads, Sales, and Retention, there are four major areas in a template approach:
- Attract: Strangers to Visitors
- Convert: Visitors to Leads
- Close: Leads to Customers
- Delight: Customers to Promoters
All of the content creation and distribution costs that go into attracting, converting and closing are then subtracted from the revenue gained to measure your ROI acquisition metric. Likewise, the costs associated with the bottom of funnel activities to delight existing customers can be used to determine the ROI of customer retention and loyalty derived revenue.
How to Calculate Content Marketing ROI
Once you have organized your content creation and distribution costs in each key area, you’re then ready to formulate the ROI. Here’s a formula by Convince and Convert to help you calculate ROI like a pro:
Return (Revenue) - Investment (Creation + Distribution Cost) / Investment = ROI (Expressed as a Percentage)
Example: $20,000 Revenue Gained - $8,000 Investment = $12,000 / $8,000 = 150% ROI
Not only will tracking content marketing ROI help you measure the overall success of your efforts, but it will also give you insights into what’s working and what you can improve or substitute to grow revenues.
Which opportunities will you focus on in 2020? Will you create more content for the bottom of the funnel or in support of in-person events? Are you interested in learning how to better measure your content marketing ROI?
Whether you’re intent on taking advantage of these opportunity areas or you’re looking to get out of the blocks with content marketing creation and distribution for 2020, email yourself the free ebook: Digital Marketing for Manufacturers. It’s full of helpful tips and strategies you won’t want to be without.