It's not that long ago that blogging was the next big thing for business, even if it feels like an eternity in internet time. We don't hear about blogging launching careers or making people into overnight successes anymore. But that doesn't mean that blogs are as quaint as an old MySpace page. When content marketing for manufacturers is handled properly—as a key part of your marketing portfolio, rather than an afterthought that you get around to every few months—it can reap significant rewards for your business.
Among the benefits of blogging for manufacturing businesses:
You've probably heard that customers don't pay attention to long-form content. We'd remind you that millions of people sat through all three hours of Avengers: Endgame, many of them more than once. People will engage with long-form content if they find it enjoyable or if it's something they need. Posts that answer questions and solve problems offer especially good traction and longevity.
There's a spillover effect when customers love your content: Google loves you too. Search engine optimization (SEO) matters, but it doesn't exist in a vacuum. Content that's relevant, timely, and substantial gets rewarded by search engines, pushing you closer to the top of the search results. Here, we'd sound a cautionary note: you won't see results overnight. It takes time, consistency, and discipline. But over time, your efforts will be rewarded with higher visibility.
In a sense, your product or service is tangential to your customers regardless of how important it may be to your business. Your customer's not looking for products, after all. They want solutions, and if you can show that you understand their pain points, you're better positioned to position your product as the solution. That, in turn, builds trust with your prospective clients and establishes you as an authority in your field.
There are many different platforms on which you can, and should, be visible. Each of them is positively ravenous for quality content. The problem is your time is finite; you don't have time to reinvent the wheel, tinkering and laboring over each piece of content for each individual platform. The long-form nature of blogs makes them ideal for repurposing across platforms, since it only takes minor modifications to turn a blog post into a video script, or to mine bullet points and pull quotes for shorter posts in venues like Facebook or Instagram.
We mentioned MySpace earlier. If you'd forgotten them—or Friendster, Ello, Orkut, Vine, or the dozens of other networks that either faded away or were practically DOA—you're not the only one. But they're worth remembering, and not just because of nostalgia. In their time, some of these platforms were ascendant or even dominant, but in a surprisingly short time, they were supplanted by competitors.
Even though it's hard to imagine now, even Facebook and Twitter may not be with us forever. While they're here, they're frustrating as often as not, with opaque and often seemingly arbitrary algorithm changes abruptly throttling your reach to your audience. Your blog is different. You own it. The rules, too, are yours alone. If Facebook halved your audience reach (again), if YouTube decided your videos should be buried several pages back, or if Twitter vanished tomorrow, you'd still have a repository of useful content with which to engage your customers. There's value in that, even if it's sometimes only visible in hindsight.
Of course, there's also a catch or two. For one thing, consistency counts. One good 500-word post every month trumps a thousand-word post that goes up whenever you happen to think of it. For another, strategy matters; your blogs should also serve a purpose for you and your customer alike. And if content is king, as we've so often heard, then quality is its humble servant. To make the most of content marketing for manufacturers, fall back on the experience of Cain & Company.