If you’re in marketing or manufacturing, you’ve heard the rumor. It’s that manufacturers aren’t quite positioned to effectively market their products and services in 2018 (and, in fact, that they’ve been lagging behind for a while). But rumors are rumors, right? At PMG, we decided to see if the grapevine was bearing any fruit.
Enter the PMG Manufacturing Website Study
As we mentioned in our previous blog posts on the manufacturing website study, which you can download here, we conducted a study of 100 manufacturing firm websites. After identifying 14 best practices that transform websites into lead gen machines and putting our randomly selected websites to the test, we generated some truly awe-inspiring stats.
One of those stats? Only 36% of manufacturing websites in our study have a blog on their website.
Blogging’s Bountiful Benefits
Educational content is paramount to establishing your brand. Not only that, but it’s integral to establishing relationships with prospects. As stated in this blog post on gated content, your prospects and customers are coming to you with more knowledge than any other customer base before them. The Internet is truly an amazing thing – but it’ll stack the odds against you if you’re not using it to its full potential.
The benefits of blogging are many. Positioning yourself as a thought leader is an important way to build trust with your audience. Not only that, but individual posts give you the ability to leverage social media (by sharing what you’ve written), invite partners and guests to participate and therefore strengthen and widen your network, and allow you to link to other pieces of content, either on your own site or elsewhere on the World Wide Web.
And then there’s the numbers. According to a survey by HubSpot, 60% of businesses who blog acquire more customers. When you post a blog, it gets indexed in search engines, meaning keywords that it ranks for will help it show up in years to come. Here’s where blogging differs from your more traditional method of direct mail campaigns (or, as I like to call it, recycling) – blogs last forever. As long as you continuously update your posts, your blog is a powerful tool to keep you relevant.
Within our manufacturing study, we specifically identify our blogging best practice as “Publish a Blog with Social Sharing Options.” Twofer!
If you don’t have a blog, just getting one and filling it with content you’re confident about is the place to start. But don’t wait to add social sharing options, even if you aren’t yet socially savvy yourself. If your readers see something they like, giving them the option to share it will increase the chance that your brand gets exposure. And back to those pesky search engine rankings – links shared on social media are stronger than those that aren’t.
Simply put: the more shares, the more likely you’ll drive traffic and generate possible leads!
Quick Blogging Tips:
Get started as soon as you can – and use these ideas to help you.
- Create a content plan. It’s easier to make a blogging promise to yourself if you have a set plan to follow. Diving in headfirst into the blogosphere is brave, but unwise. So create a plan. Identify the topics for which you want to be known as a thought leader. Create a content calendar—complete with headlines and deadlines—and stick to it.
- Pay attention to your audience. Which posts get the most views? Which fade into oblivion? Which ones get shared the most, have the most comments, and convert the most leads? Play on that data and give your audience more.
- DON’T duplicate. Duplicate content on your website (that is, pretty much exactly the same copy repurposed for another blog post or website page with a different headline) doesn’t index in Google well. In fact, it negatively impacts your website’s rankings. So be original in each post, even if it’s on virtually the same topic. Find the gap and fill it in a different way.
Want more tips on how to leverage your website to make it your most powerful tool? Get the manufacturing study here: Digital Lead Generation for Manufacturers in 2018: An Analysis of Website Effectiveness