Gated Content Marketing Strategy for Industrial Manufacturers
With more than 638,000 manufacturers in the U.S., you need every possible edge against the competition. Because you have a niche B2B audience that needs your products, you have already narrowed the list of prospects considerably.
How do you turn those prospects into leads before you winnow the list further to conversions?
Inbound marketing creates opportunities to nurture those prospects into loyal customers. It’s a long-term process that relies on providing valuable content your customers need. This methodology uses a flywheel approach of attracting, engaging, and delighting 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 leads, whether you’re remarketing email lists or targeting those new to your brand.
You can take it a step further by learning how to turn gated content, or content that requires an email address and other information, into a sales nurturing powerhouse for your manufacturing business.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
What should gated content look like?
As part of an overall marketing strategy, your gated content should solve the specific problems your target audience has.
For example, some prospects may need higher-quality concentrated syrups that are shelf-stable for up to one year. You produce a case study that shows how your quality assurance team helped create an almond-flavored syrup for a national food manufacturer with shelf stability that lasted 14 months, while maintaining the flavor, consistency, and color of previous products.
Your case study includes:
Details of the problem(s) you solved
Data points to back up your analysis
How your team accomplished the task for the customer
You can include details and relate how you replaced certain ingredients with others, and increased or decreased amounts of already-existing ingredients by exact percentages. Tell the story of how your team achieved the desired results over three months and delighted the customer.
How do customers request this gated content?
Setting up your infrastructure for gated content requires a simple, two-step implementation process.
Design a landing page to promote your case study. You can include the document’s title and a brief (two to three sentences) summary stating what it’s about. Provide a form that prospects can fill out to request the case study.
Let’s say you have a case study about how your wood screws, coated with an eco-friendly, castor bean-based substance, offer contractors a fail rate of just one in every 1,000 versus one in every 100. Your gated content piece has a landing page with a plug, “What if we could improve your wood screw defects by 10%? Download our case study to find out.”
Below the short blurb, potential leads have a simple form to fill out to get access to the content.
What data do I collect with the initial form?
You offer this case study in exchange for valuable information from your prospect. All you require is a name and email address with a simple form.
Now, your sales team has a soft lead to work with. Your content already intrigued this prospect, and now it’s time to engage the prospect with extra value while gathering more information about what your lead requires.
How do I use the emails I collect from the gated content form?
This is where your email nurture campaign begins in earnest. Nurturing means providing additional content based on your soft lead’s initial interest as well as responding to questions or concerns the lead may have.
You can create monthly newsletters to add value propositions as you develop relationships with prospects and industry experts. Use your email list to send the newsletters with relevant content your audience needs.
Your newsletter content strategy can include the following:
Another case study
Consider segmenting your newsletters with topics depending on which gated content pieces your soft leads signed up for.
For example, your manufacturing company produces brick, stone, and mortar varieties. You have three separate gated content pieces on your website that discuss each of these top-level products. Your marketing team then creates a separate newsletter for each of these segments of your prospects, speaking to their pain points.
What content do I use after the initial gated content hook?
The B2B buying cycle lasts an average of four months for 75% of buyers, so your nurture campaign can continue to work on your prospects through several touch points after the initial gated content offering.
You don’t have to limit yourself to a monthly newsletter. Consider this content in other nurture emails:
Links to relevant blogs and high-level services
Phone extensions of staff to find out more information
Videos are fast becoming a popular medium for the B2B segment. A 30-second video message from the CEO and how-to videos for your finished products can go a long way in building trust with your prospects.
For instance, let’s say 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 are easier to clean, while also saving labor costs.
How can I find the right software to help me with inbound marketing?
As you send nurture emails to prospects, you must collect data through analytics tools, email tracking software, and UTM codes in links to track results. When you see what campaigns have worked and which ones haven’t, you can refine messaging further to improve upon previous iterations of emails.
Discover more ways to improve your manufacturing business with these great reads:
5 Best B2B Marketing Examples of All Time, techradar