A 3D Look at the Power of a Manufacturing Marketing Knowledge Base

Ed Marsh | Aug 22, 2018

A Manufacturing Marketing Knowledge Base - Cure for Stale Content

knowledge base is perfect SEO optimized content marketing tool for manufacturers. finding appropriate manufacturing marketing opportunities are key to implementing a manufacturing marketing strategy to help a manufacturoing company increase brand awareness and grow their manufacturing business.Constantly generating relevant, effective and interesting content is the elephant in the room in most industrial digital marketing strategy discussions. It's anywhere from a challenge to a monstrous task.

It doesn't need to be, even for traditional manufacturing companies.

Various approaches to marketing efforts including answering common questions for customers and prospects, transcribed interviews with your internal SMEs (subject matter experts) and survey type articles which use HARO to collect field perspectives, all simplify the creative and execution requirements.

Nevertheless, it takes ongoing execution. Companies have to grind it out, and someone has to have ownership of the effort. As a result, many manufacturing marketing programs that start with great energy, eventually wither. Even when they persist, often content ends up in a repetitive rut. Blog articles often circle around a couple topics, basically saying the same things. This certainly reduces subscriber engagement, and eventually as Google discerns the repetitive nature, it tends to reduce the new visitor/search value as well.

Easy to Create

Perhaps the biggest barrier to the creation of fresh content that appeals to user perspectives in the industrial manufacturing space is the natural inclination of companies to write about their product/service. Many B2B companies look at the world through the lens of their product/service and have a hard time stepping outside to explore the outcomes that their buyers seek and need.

That's important, and often an outside consultant can play an important role in uncovering the topics that can enrich the content.

However, there's an approach that simplifies the process by building on a company's inclination to talk about product / service.

Creating extensive manufacturing marketing knowledge base content in articles and videos on the company's domain is a wonderful way to generate a strong flow of content that's natural and easy. Knowledge base articles are simply a digital version of the conversations that companies have every day. They have a secondary benefit of being great for customers searching for help and answers in a way that's convenient for them. 

The consistent creation of new content is recognized as an important search ranking criteria, and knowledge base articles are almost always naturally keyword rich and built around topic clusters that enhance search results.

Naturally Optimized for SEO

Marketing and sales content that's stuffed with keywords is ineffective and unsuccessful. However, knowledge base content is almost always naturally keyword dense and grows around similarly natural clusters.

If you write an article offering tips on how to set your category of machine up to do certain manufacturing tasks, not only will you use a large number of technical and industry terms, but you also will be answering questions that might be applicable to a broad swathe of industry users beyond your existing customers.

And that creates a wonderful secondary benefit of knowledge base articles - attracting new visitors with helpful content.

Natural and Effective Content for Industrial Manufacturers

As more industrial companies recognize the importance of digital/content/inbound marketing, the content creation barrier becomes more pervasive.

Knowledge base content addresses many of the challenges in a way that's easy and natural for manufacturers to create - and it delivers many of the benefits of content marketing.

Plus it delivers a better customer/buyer experience particularly in technical and complex industries.

Manufacturing Company Marketing Strategy Execution Tips

Sounds interesting? Great, it should. While I don't want to dampen enthusiasm or momentum, a bit of planning and proper tools will help to really maximize the value.

First, you need to ensure that your knowledge base content is properly presented, well organized and searchable - both from Google Search and for website visitors/users. HubSpot's Service Hub provides the publishing, interface and optimization capabilities among other important ones. 

Decide on your schema for categories and subcategories. Be clear about the keywords and content pillars which are important to your performance. Design titles and URLs to optimize for those (but do it naturally as outline above - not artificially in a way that will detract from user experience.)

In many cases you can record and transcribe actual or recreated customer calls (obviously editing to remove customer specific details.) HubSpot's new video collaboration with Vidyard allows you to embed easy to create videos and screenshares right in the articles as they're being created - or later updated.

And remember that many visitors may want to access through bots. Design your knowledge base to allow them to access and search knowledge base articles through a bot as well.

Keep the Big Picture of Manufacturing Marketing Strategy in Mind

Did any of your "manufacturing marketing" agency advisors ever suggest a customer focused knowledge base as an enormously beneficial content marketing tool? Probably not - because most industrial marketing tends to be formulaic and based on the process that's evolved for tech and SaaS companies.

But understanding your business, your buyers and even your channel partners - and understanding sound industrial marketing strategy for manufacturers - provides a different perspective. That's where ideas like this come from. Ideas that drive results rather than complete a checklist.

Want to talk about ideas like this for your biz? Great!

Taking a Deeper Dive into the Strategic and Tactical Value of a Knowledge Base for Industrial Marketing

As buyer behaviors and digital marketing evolve, companies in the manufacturing industry must find innovative ways to elevate their marketing efforts. This entails ensuring a significant impact on search engines, bolstering website traffic, and enhancing the synergy between marketing and sales teams.

The implementation of a strategic approach that intertwines search engine tweaks, social media platforms, and a myriad of other marketing tactics is not just an option but a necessity for a successful marketing strategy.

Expanding Marketing Efforts with a Focus on SEO and Social Media

Understanding the critical role of search engine optimization (SEO) in driving website traffic cannot be overstated. For manufacturing companies, this means crafting content that serves the informational needs of their target audience and aligns with the algorithms of search engines. This dual focus ensures that potential customers can easily find them online, thus increasing brand awareness and supporting the sales team in generating leads.

Simultaneously, social media marketing has emerged as a powerful tool for manufacturing firms to promote and distribute their content. By leveraging social media channels, companies can engage directly with their audience, share valuable content, and build a community around their brand. This engagement is pivotal in creating repeat customers and attracting new ones through platforms where buying process influencers frequently reside.

Integrating Sales and Marketing for Unified Success

A successful marketing strategy in the manufacturing sector also hinges on the seamless integration of marketing and sales teams. This collaboration is essential in ensuring that marketing campaigns are aligned with sales objectives, leading to a more cohesive approach to attracting potential customers. Through shared insights and data, both teams can better understand buyer personas, tailor their strategies accordingly, and achieve marketing targets. And collaboration is necessary to successfully sell to buyers whose buying journey is often largely complete before talking directly with sales.

The Role of Content Marketing and Customer Feedback

Content marketing strategy plays a fundamental role in this integrated approach. By producing high-quality, relevant content, manufacturers can effectively communicate their expertise, showcase their products, and address the needs of their target audience. Furthermore, incorporating customer feedback into content creation can help refine marketing strategies, ensuring that the content resonates with and meets the needs of the audience.

But it's hard for most manufacturers to produce an endless stream of interesting, valuable content.  Creating a knowledge base lets them create content around the topic they find easiest - their products and services.

Leveraging Email Marketing and Online Advertising

Email marketing remains a vital component of a strong marketing strategy, providing a direct channel to communicate with potential and existing customers. Through targeted emails, manufacturing companies can nurture leads, promote new products, and keep their audience informed about the latest developments.

Online advertising, including pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns (particularly on professional social media channels like LinkedIn), offers another avenue for manufacturers to increase visibility and drive traffic to their websites. By carefully selecting marketing channels and tailoring advertising efforts to the interests of their target audience, manufacturers can efficiently allocate their marketing budget to maximize ROI.

Achieving Marketing Goals Through Strategic Planning

Developing a comprehensive marketing plan that encompasses marketing objectives, tactics, and channels is crucial for manufacturing businesses looking to thrive in the digital age. This plan should detail how to utilize content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and online advertising to attract potential customers, convert them into leads, and ultimately, secure them as repeat customers.

A knowledge base is a way to deliver great customer value while supporting key strategic objectives of industrial marketing.

The Path to Marketing Success in Manufacturing

Digital marketing is challenging many in the manufacturing industry. By focusing on search engine optimization built around solid, valuable and meaningful content, effectively utilizing social media channels, integrating marketing and sales teams, leveraging customer feedback, and employing a mix of marketing tactics, manufacturers can achieve marketing goals. This holistic approach supports the sales team in achieving its objectives and ensures a steady increase in website traffic, enhances online visibility, and fosters lasting relationships with customers. Through strategic planning and execution, manufacturers can achieve their marketing objectives, driving growth and innovation in an increasingly competitive marketplace.