More manufacturing brands are opting to utilize the power of content marketing than ever before. In fact, in 2014, a whopping 86 percent of manufacturing marketers reported using it to develop their audiences, garner leads and procure customers. That is not far below the industry average of 93 percent of B2B marketers who have adopted content marketing. In 2015, though, gauging content marketing success will be just as (if not more) important than simply publishing.
So how can manufacturers prove success with content marketing?
For starters, brands can take a hint from Medium, a blog publishing platform that's been labeled the "Next Big Frontier for Content Marketing." The website released insight based on its own data regarding online content engagement. To determine how well published articles were received, Medium analyzed time on site rather than article views.
“Page views are interesting, but they aren’t the best metric," wrote Mike Sall, product scientist for Medium. "We care less about clicks and more about actual reading."
The research showed optimal engagement time is 7 minutes. But how can manufacturers secure reader attention for 7 minutes when 55 percent of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your website?
Yes, this includes high-quality images. But to reach that 7-minute mark, your content will need to become more advanced to include sophisticated video series, rolling content channels like Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest (yes, Pinterest) and SlideShare presentations.
Here are some great examples of manufacturers utilizing the power of visual content marketing and tips so you can, too.
The John Deere YouTube Channel boasts more than 30 video series based on the brand's audience preferences. Some are entertaining, like the Golf and Sports series, and others are extremely educational, like the Construction Safety Tips series.
Pro Tip: Determine what your audiences care about, then produce videos to entertain and inform. They don't have to be expensive. In fact, you can create them in-house with minimal equipment. Here are some tips to get you started.
When you think of content distribution best practices for manufacturers, Pinterest likely does not top the list. But GE has done the seemingly impossible and created one of the most visually appealing and engaging Pinterest profiles out there. And that's from a manufacturing brand.
Check it out; our bet is you will get lost inside all that engaging content!
Pro Tip: Don't stop at images. GE shares engaging infographics, memes, crossword puzzles and so much more on a channel users can't help but share content.
Rapid Micro Biosystems, which provides innovative products for faster detection of microbial contamination, has built up a variety of content marketing assets over the past few years and recently used SlideShare to distribute highly visual content.
Pro Tip: SlideShare is easy to use, plus it amps up your content distribution, SEO and ROI potential. Presentations can also be easily embedded on LinkedIn and blogs.
These are just a few of the many manufacturing companies creating engaging (and inspirational) visual content. Please feel free to share your favorites in the comment section below!
And if you want to continue discovering new ways to measure the success of your content marketing, download our free guide, "The ROI of Content Marketing."