If you're reading this and you're a manufacturer, you may have incorporated a blog as part of your overall marketing efforts. If not, you may have either considered a blog or just ruled out the option altogether. I'm here to say that blogging for manufacturing companies stinks! It's not that blogging stinks in itself, but it's that the term "blogging" stinks, partly because many business owners and others fail to understand what a blog really is.
I'm a huge proponent of content marketing and presenting your knowledge and expertise through thought leadership and by describing product benefits in an online forum where people can engage with the content and learn more about your industry and your products, services or organization. The problem I have with the term "blog" is that people tend to think of it as so many different things. Many business owners and consumers outside of the marketing industry don't understand the difference between a blog, a discussion string, a forum or a chat. That's why I think blogging stinks.
Your manufacturing website is most likely all about your company, your team, your products and the services you provide. Your website is a validation tool. If you are serious about online sales and marketing, it's a lead generation tool or maybe a place where consumers can buy products. But, if your site is viewed as an educational website or forum, it becomes uniquely different from what is commonly perceive as a "website." It becomes a space where consumers, vendors and employees can obtain useful information or an aid in fulfilling their basic need for knowledge.
These types of experiences are becoming increasingly important as consumers are looking for better and more engaging content with the people and companies or organizations with whom they choose to do business. They want to be engaged, they want additional information and they want to know that you're an expert in your field. When considering whether or not to implement a blog or before you have already formed misconceptions about the value of a blog, take a step back and consider what it is that your clients/customers are really looking for. Substitute the term "blog" for "educational website". Think about the questions they've asked and the ones they may have in mind but haven't yet expressed.
You can help your prospective buyers and existing customers make informed buying decisions by becoming an informational resource and portraying your position as an expert and thought leader in your particular industry or niche. This will help in gaining trust and building rapport with your target audience.
There are a million blogs out there and too often these blogs are full of useless information and aren't really providing your followers with what they're really after – useful content that will help them in their search for whatever they happen to be looking for.
Blogging can work for manufacturers, just don't call it a blog.