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Why Manufacturing Can Build Pipeline with Educational Offerings

October 9th, 2019 Ciera Nahale

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been exploring how marketers and professionals in the manufacturing sector are adapting to an always-on digital age. We’ve taken a look at the challenges and opportunities the industry faces in a digital world and how manufacturers can use digital tools to nurture relationships.

This week, we explore how and why manufacturers ought to consider providing educational resources for prospects and clients — and the tools they may use in doing so.

Research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute suggests most manufacturers are failing to put their audience’s informational needs before their sales or promotional message.

While around two-thirds of manufacturers surveyed claim they have used content marketing successfully to educate audiences (69%) and generate leads (66%), just over half (51%) say they ‘always’ or ‘frequently’ prioritize their promotional message over the audience’s informational needs when creating content for marketing purposes. Additionally, only 47% use their content initiatives to nurture leads.

ON24 Tip: Use educational content to ensure a steady flow of sales qualified leads.

It might sound counterintuitive, but sharing your expertise instead of pushing products will help you bring your lead generation efforts to the next level, particularly at the early stages of the buying process. Use our white paper to learn how you can use webinars to shift focus from ‘more leads’ to ‘better leads’.

Even in the B2B world, customer experience is the new battlefield. Content that is insightful and engaging is the foundation of any lead generation and nurturing program. It can become a strong competitive differentiator, particularly when properly distributed with clients and partners.

Manufacturers should use content to ensure a steady flow of qualified leads that they can either nurture themselves or share with their distributor network. Overcoming the traditional sales mindset was identified as a key challenge, along with creating content that appeals to multi-level roles and types of decision-makers during prolonged sales cycles. Addressing these issues takes time, and requires a comprehensive content strategy, but the results are worth the effort.

Encouragingly, the commitment is there. Fifty-two percent of manufacturers report that their organization is ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ committed to content marketing and two-thirds have increased their use of audio and visual content, such as webinars, in the last year. The future is rife with opportunities for manufacturers that understand and prioritize the information needs of their audiences.