We decided to first look at marketers who work for B2B manufacturing organizations in North America. Marketers in the manufacturing industry have the same top three objectives for content marketing as their peers across all B2B industries: brand awareness, lead generation, and customer acquisition.
Manufacturing marketers cite video as their top content marketing tactic (it was ranked seventh by this group two years ago). Manufacturing marketers use print magazines at nearly twice the rate of their peers (60 percent versus 31 percent). While their B2B content marketing peers use an average of five social media platforms, manufacturing industry B2B marketers report an average use of three. Yet, manufacturing industry marketers use YouTube more frequently than the general population of marketers do.
Compared with the overall content marketing population, manufacturing marketers outsource content more often:  57 percent versus 43 percent.
When compared with their peers across all B2B industries, marketers in manufacturing dedicate significantly less of their total marketing budgets to content marketing (22 percent versus 33 percent). Like their peers, marketers for the manufacturing industry report that producing enough content is their biggest challenge. While it is noteworthy to understand how marketers in the manufacturing industry are managing content marketing tools and tactics, it’s also important to understand how demographics may play a role in these research findings.
Out of a total 1,416 B2B North America respondents, 88 respondents identified themselves as working in the B2B manufacturing industry. About 40 percent of the B2B manufacturing respondents work for companies with 1,000 or more employees (16 percent of that figure is for companies employing more than 10,000, so these results could also reflect what larger companies are doing).
For more insight on the state of content marketing in the manufacturing industry, register to attend the Manufacturing Summit at Content Marketing World in September 2013. Lisa Murton Beets is the director of CMI Books and is overseeing several new CMI research initiatives. Join Over 150,000 of your Peers!Get daily articles and news delivered to your email inbox and get CMI’s exclusive e-book Launch Your Own Content Marketing Program FREE! A video, shot on location, makes it easier to get your message across and with greater clarity.
Here’s a recently released infographic from IDG that supports what John and Ian have said relative to the benefits of video in B2B industrial marketing.
Manufacturing has had a tough decade in North America, so their marketing budgets have suffered.


These folks quickly grasp the benefits of a video that shows their product in context, like on a factory floor. I am guessing that effectiveness estimates shown above probably correlate with effort, or lack there of. I agree with Ian that the Facebook figure probably has more to do with companies that are simply on Facebook just to be on Facebook because everyone else is, rather than that it really working out as a great lead source. Yeah, I’m a bit surprised that Facebook is even on the list for industrial manufacturers. Microsoft Windows Media Player is the well-known application that Windows operating systems come bundled with in order to provide users with one of the most effective ways of playing and managing multimedia files. The first thing you'll notice when opening Microsoft Windows Media Player is that the interface is especially tailored to help you organize your media easier. Besides playing videos and music, the application offers a convenient way of synchronizing portable devices, like MP3 players, with the music libraries stored on your computer. The software also includes a dedicated function for burning audio discs with minimal effort.
Microsoft Windows Media Player offers you a set of enhancements designed to help you fully enjoy movies and music alike. For video playback there are also some settings you can adjust, namely those regarding brightness, contrast, hue and saturation. All things considered, Windows Media Player remains a good choice for those looking for an easy to use multimedia player that integrates seamlessly with the operating system.
While the findings give us insight into how B2B and B2C marketers are managing content marketing, we were still curious about the state of content marketing in specific key industries, and how content efforts in vertical markets were differing from those of their peers in other industries. This group has adopted content marketing at a slightly higher rate (94 percent) than their North American B2B peers across all industries (91 percent). However, manufacturing marketers place less emphasis on thought leadership (47 percent versus 64 percent) and website traffic (47 percent versus 60 percent) as organizational goals, which indicates a disconnect, as they also cite website traffic as the primary way they measure content effectiveness. Their overall use of tactics is fairly similar to that of the overall population of marketers; however, they place far less emphasis on blogs (54 percent versus 77 percent), which makes sense considering that this industry does not put strong emphasis on web traffic and thought leadership as objectives for content marketing, two areas where blogs can have significant impact. This could be because they rely more heavily on printed material, which often requires outside assistance.
However, 53 percent of manufacturing marketers say they are going to increase their content marketing spend over the next 12 months (31 percent say they will keep spending at the same level). One challenge they cite more often than their B2B peers is the inability to measure content effectiveness (55 percent versus 33 percent).


This shows a need for content marketing education and improvement in the manufacturing vertical.
She has deep experience as a B2B journalist, custom media projects director, and business book and publications editor. Video is more useful in B2B industrial settings because often industrial applications represent an integrated, but single component of a much larger product. One manufacturer I know of was able to go from 6 leads per month to 6 per day by offering their catalogue as a lead-generation device on their homepage.
The libraries are well structured and give you quick access to music, videos and pictures, as well as recorded TV shows or network locations that contain multimedia files. Plus, the Microsoft Windows Media Player comes with support for additional devices, including Xbox360. You can create burn lists with all the songs you want to put on a CD and then insert the disc to have the compilation written in a few minutes. There are options for crossfading and auto volume leveling, a graphic equalizer for easily adjusting the sound frequencies, SRS WOW effects and even three Dolby Digital profiles.
The list of supported formats is impressive and although some types of music files are not recognized by default, they can still be played, provided that the necessary codecs are installed on your system. This fundamental disconnect between goals and measurement was present with B2B manufacturers when CMI surveyed them two years ago, but it has shown some improvement. Given their increased usage of video, compared to other marketers, it is likely that they are outsourcing video creation as well.
And they’re not only challenged with measuring content effectiveness, many are not even sure if their overall efforts are effective. We will be addressing some of these issues at our Manufacturing Summit at Content Marketing World in September. We look forward to supporting the manufacturing and engineering communities as they become more educated in the principles and practices of content marketing.



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