Gated Content Marketing Strategy for Industrial Manufacturers

With over 638,000 manufacturers in the United States, you need every competitive advantage possible.[1]. Because you have a niche B2B audience that needs your products, you’ve already narrowed the list of prospects considerably.

How to turn these prospects into leads before winnowing the list following conversions?

Inbound marketing creates opportunities to turn those leads into loyal customers. It’s a long-term process that relies on delivering valuable content that your customers need. This methodology uses a flywheel approach to attract, engage, and delight prospects to keep them interested in your products.

Inbound marketing for manufacturers typically includes informative blog posts, emails, newsletters, infographics, and videos that inform, educate, and entertain your prospects, whether you’re remarketing mailing lists or targeting those who are new to your brand.

You can take it a step further by learning how to turn secure content, or content that requires an email address and other information, into a sales promotion powerhouse for your manufacturing business.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What should closed content look like?

As part of an overall marketing strategy, your secure content should address the specific issues faced by your target audience.

For example, some prospects may need higher quality concentrated syrups that will keep for up to a year. You produce a case study that shows how your QA team helped create an almond flavored syrup for a national food manufacturer with shelf stability that lasted 14 months, while maintaining flavor, consistency and color of previous products.

Your case study includes:

  • Details of the issue(s) you resolved

  • Data points to support your analysis

  • How your team accomplished the task for the client

You can include details and indicate how you replaced certain ingredients with others, and increase or decrease the amounts of already existing ingredients by exact percentages. Tell the story of how your team achieved the desired results in three months and delighted the client.

How do customers request this protected content?

Setting up your infrastructure for secure content requires a simple two-step implementation process.

Design a landing page to promote your case study. You can include the title of the document and a brief summary (two to three sentences) indicating what it is about. Provide a form that prospects can fill out to request the case study.

Let’s say you have a case study of how your wood screws, coated with an eco-friendly castor seed substance, give contractors a one in 1,000 failure rate to one in 100. Your closed content item has a landing page with a caption, “What if we could improve your wood screw defects by 10%?” Download our case study to find out.

Below the short blurb, potential prospects have an easy-to-fill form to access the content.

What data should I collect with the initial form?

You offer this case study in exchange for valuable information from your prospect. All you need is a name and email address with a simple form.

Now your sales team has a nimble prospect to work with. Your content has already intrigued that prospect, and now it’s time to engage the prospect with additional value while gathering more information about what your prospect needs.

How do I use the emails I collect from the secure content form?

This is where your email nurturing campaign begins in earnest. Nurturing means providing additional content based on your prospect’s initial interest as well as answering any questions or concerns the prospect may have.

You can create monthly newsletters to add value propositions as you develop relationships with prospects and industry experts. Use your mailing list to send newsletters with the relevant content your audience needs.

Your newsletter content strategy can include the following elements:

  • company announcements

  • Data sheets

  • white papers

  • Another case study

  • Practical manuals

Consider segmenting your newsletters with topics based on closed pieces of content your flexible leads have signed up for.

For example, your manufacturing company produces varieties of bricks, stones, and mortar. You have three separate secure content pieces on your website that discuss each of these high-level products. Your marketing team then creates a separate newsletter for each of these segments of your prospects, talking about their pain points.

What content should I use after the initial content hook is closed?

The B2B buying cycle lasts an average of four months for 75% of buyers, so your nurturing campaign can continue to work on your leads through multiple touchpoints after the initial gated content offer[2].

You don’t have to limit yourself to a monthly newsletter. Consider this content in other nurture emails:

  • Videos

  • Links to relevant blogs and high level services

  • Special offers

  • Exclusive webinars

  • Staff phone extensions for more information

Videos are quickly becoming a popular medium for the B2B segment. A 30-second video message from the CEO and explainer videos for your finished products can go a long way in building trust with your prospects.

For example, suppose you manufacture industrial equipment that transfers high-pressure liquids from tanks to mixers and other points along a production line. Your second email to prospects is a newsletter, while the third offers three how-to videos on cleaning those high-pressure lines. A fourth email then touts your products and how they’re easier to clean, while saving on labor costs.

How can I find the right software to help me with inbound marketing?

When you send nurturing emails to prospects, you need to collect data through analytics tools, email tracking software, and UTM codes in links to track the results. When you see which campaigns worked and which didn’t, you can further refine messaging to improve previous iterations of emails.

Discover more ways to improve your manufacturing business with these great reads:

Sources

  1. Manufacturing in the United States – Number of companies 2005-2027, IBISWorld
  2. 5 Best B2B Marketing Examples of All Time, techradar

William L. Hart