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MANUFACTURING
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Content Marketing: A strategic marketing approach
focused on creating and distributing valuable,
relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain
a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive
profitable customer action.
Success: Achieving your organization’s desired/
targeted results.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
m INTRODUCTION..................................................................... 3
m KEY FINDINGS........................................................................ 4
m STRATEGY, OPINIONS & OVERALL SUCCESS........................ 5
m TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING................................... 9
m CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION.............................. 13
m METRICS & GOALS............................................................... 24
m BUDGETS & SPENDING....................................................... 28
m LOOKING FORWARD............................................................ 32
m ACTION STEPS – BY ROBERT ROSE..................................... 36
m METHODOLOGY................................................................... 37
m ABOUT................................................................................. 38
LISA MURTON BEETS
Research Director & Report Author, CMI
STEPHANIE STAHL
General Manager, CMI
ROBERT ROSE
Chief Strategy Advisor, CMI
KIM MOUTSOS
VP Content, CMI
JOSEPH “JK” KALINOWSKI
Creative Director, CMI
AMIE CANGELOSI
Marketing Director, CMI
KAREN SCHOPP
Account Manager, CMI
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INTRODUCTION
Welcome to the Manufacturing Content Marketing
Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends with Insights
for 2022 report. This report looks back on the last 12
months and includes expectations for 2022.
This year’s research suggested that the pandemic
awoke a sleeping giant – content marketing, that is.
Without in-person events and face-to-face selling,
many who had previously paid little attention to
content marketing suddenly became aware of its
power. More content marketers got a seat at the table
and helped keep many businesses on their audiences’
radar. Some discovered new audiences altogether.
Videos and virtual events/webinars were big over the
last 12 months with the manufacturing marketers
we surveyed. In addition, 85% expect continued
investment in video in 2022, making it the top area of
predicted investment.
Yet manufacturing marketers continue to face content
marketing challenges within their organizations:
51% said they are challenged with creating valuable
content instead of sales-oriented content as well as
with overcoming the traditional marketing and sales
mindset. Fifty percent said they are challenged with
accessing subject matter experts to create content.
If manufacturing marketers can overcome these
challenges, they’ll improve their odds of achieving
greater content marketing success in the coming year.
Here’s to a successful 2022!
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KEY FINDINGS
Manufacturing marketers were asked to do
more with the same resources in the last 12
months.
75% of respondents said they were asked
to do more with the same resources in the
last 12 months. Most (59%) have small teams
serving the entire organization. See pages 7
and 10.
Videos were the top content type produced
as well as the top predicted area of content
marketing investment for 2022.
The top three types of content created in
the last 12 months were videos (86%), short
articles/posts (83%), and virtual events/
webinars/online courses (70%). Videos
also were the content type manufacturing
marketers said produced the best results.
It makes sense then, that 85% expect their
organization to invest in video in 2022. See
pages 16, 17, and 35.
The percentage of those who produced
virtual events/webinars/online courses
increased to 70% from 55% the previous year.
70% of respondents said their organization
produced virtual events/webinars/online
courses in the last 12 months. That’s up from
55% the previous year. See page 16.
Manufacturing marketers are mainly
using content marketing to create brand
awareness.
While 88% said they used content marketing
successfully to create brand awareness in
the last 12 months, only 67% used it to build
credibility/trust and 63% to educate the
audience. See page 27.
64% expect their 2022 content marketing
budget to be higher than their 2021 budget.
36% of respondents who are familiar with
their company’s content marketing budget
said their 2021 budget increased over 2020.
In addition, 64% expect their 2022 content
marketing budget to increase over their 2021
budget. See page 30.
56% expect to increase investment in
in-person events in 2022.
56% said they expect to increase investment
in in-person events, 31% in hybrid events, and
27% in digital events. See page 31.
Manufacturing marketers’ top three content
marketing challenges are internal.
Respondents said their top three content
marketing challenges are creating valuable
content instead of sales-oriented content (51%),
overcoming the traditional marketing and sales
mindset (51%), and accessing subject matter
experts to create content (50%). See page 33.
Changes to SEO/search algorithms and data
management/analytics are top-of-mind
issues in 2021/2022.
The top two content marketing-related areas
that will be important to manufacturing
marketers are changes to SEO/search
algorithms (62%) and data management/
analytics (61%). See page 34.
In addition to spending more on video,
manufacturing marketers expect more
investment in events, owned-media assets,
and paid media in 2022.
We asked respondents which areas of content
marketing they expect their organizations to
invest in during 2022. The top four answers
were videos (85%), events (68%), owned-
media assets (59%), and paid media (57%).
See page 35.
MANUFACTURING
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66% of manufacturing marketers reported that their organization has a content marketing strategy. Of those, 60%
said their strategy is moderately or slightly different now versus pre-pandemic.
Percentage of Manufacturing Marketers
With a Content Marketing Strategy
36%
24%
10%
30%
■ Yes, and it is documented
■ Yes, but it is not documented
■ No, but plan to within 12 months
■ No, with no plans
Difference in Manufacturing Content Marketing Strategy
Now Vs. Pre-Pandemic
10%
8%
2%
6%
40%
14%
20%
■ Extremely different
■ Very different
■ Moderately different
■ Slightly different
■ Not different at all
■ Unsure
■ We didn’t have a content
marketing strategy one year ago
STRATEGY, OPINIONS & OVERALL SUCCESS
Base: Manufacturing content marketers.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing
Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
Base: Manufacturing content marketers whose
organizations have a content marketing strategy.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing
Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
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Over the last year, 75% of manufacturing marketers have been asked to do more with the same resources.
STRATEGY, OPINIONS & OVERALL SUCCESS
Manufacturing Marketers’ Opinions About
Content Marketing in Their Organizations
80%
75%
55%
50%
8%
9%
13%
22%
10%
16%
31%
28%
0 20 40 60 80 100
m Strongly/somewhat agree
m Neither agree nor disagree
m Somewhat/strongly disagree
Our organization values creativity and
craft in content creation and production.
Over the last year, our content team has been
asked to do more with the same resources.
Our organization provides customers with a consistent
experience across their engagement journey.
Over the last year, it has become increasingly
difficult to capture our audience’s attention.
Base: Manufacturing content marketers who answered each statement.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
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25% of respondents said their organization was extremely or very successful with content marketing in the last 12 months.
The top contributing factor was the value their content provides.
STRATEGY, OPINIONS & OVERALL SUCCESS
How Manufacturing Marketers Rate
Their Organization’s Overall Level of
Content Marketing Success in Last 12 Months
17% 24%
1%
3%
57%
■ Extremely successful
■ Very successful
■ Moderately successful
■ Minimally successful
■ Not at all successful
Base: Manufacturing content marketers.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content
Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
Base: Manufacturing content marketers who said their organizations
were extremely/very successful with content marketing.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/
MarketingProfs, July 2021
Factors Contributing to Manufacturing Content Marketing
Success in Last 12 Months
74%
63%
47%
42%
42%
16%
11%
0 20 40 60 80
The value our content provides
Website changes
Search rankings
Adapting to changes brought forth by pandemic
Changing buyer/consumer behaviors
Strategy changes
Changing our products/services
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MANUFACTURING
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TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
Most organizations have small (or one-person) marketing/content marketing teams serving the entire
organization (59%).
Base: Manufacturing content marketers.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
Manufacturing Organizations’
Content Marketing Team Structure
18%
17%
5%
59%
■ We have a centralized content marketing group that works
with multiple brands/products/departments throughout the organization.
■ Each brand/product/department has its own content marketing team.
■ Both of the above — We have a centralized group and individual teams
throughout the organization.
■ We have a small (or one-person) marketing/content marketing team
serving the entire organization.
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TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
59% of respondents said their organization has either one or no full-time employees dedicated to content marketing.
Base: Manufacturing content marketers.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
Manufacturing Organizations’
Content Marketing Team Size
(Full-Time/Dedicated to Content Marketing)
30%
36%
5%
0%
29%
■ 11+
■ 6-10
■ 2-5
■ 1
■ 0 (no one is full time, dedicated)
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TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
59% of respondents said their organization outsources at least one content marketing activity. Their top challenge is
finding partners with adequate topical expertise (60%).
Top 5 Challenges When Seeking
Outsourced Manufacturing Content Marketing Help
60%
47%
44%
42%
33%
0 20 40 60 80
Finding partners with adequate topical expertise
Finding partners who understand/can empathize with our audience
Budget issues
Lack of clear return on investment (ROI) metrics
Finding partners who can provide adequate strategic advice
Base: Manufacturing content marketers who outsourced at least one content marketing activity. Aided list; up to five responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
Does Your Manufacturing Organization
Outsource Any Content Marketing Activities?
41% 59%
■ Yes
■ No
MANUFACTURING
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Approximately one in four manufacturing marketers rarely or never craft content for specific stages of the
buyer’s journey.
Base: Manufacturing content marketers who answered each statement.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Concepts Manufacturing Marketers Always/Frequently Take Into Account While
Creating Content for Their Organization
59%
56%
34%
33%
28%
40%
8%
16%
26%
0 20 40 60 80
m Always/frequently
m Sometimes
m Rarely/never
Prioritize the audience’s informational needs over your
organization’s sales/promotional message.
Differentiate your content from the competition.
Craft content based on specific stages
of the buyer’s journey.
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
The top technologies manufacturing organizations use to assist with content marketing are social media publishing/
analytics (85%), analytics tools (78%), and email marketing software (75%).
Technologies Manufacturing Organizations Use to
Assist With Content Marketing
85%
78%
75%
64%
49%
45%
25%
23%
9%
1%
0 20 40 60 80 90
Social media publishing/analytics
Analytics tools (e.g., web analytics, dashboards)
Email marketing software
Content creation/calendaring/collaboration/workflow
Customer relationship management (CRM) system
Content management system (CMS)
Marketing automation system (MAS)
Content distribution platform
Content performance/recommendation analytics
Other
Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
86% of respondents used videos for content marketing purposes in the last 12 months.
Content Assets Manufacturing Marketers Created/Used in Last 12 Months
86%
83%
70%
50%
46%
46%
45%
33%
30%
28%
22%
15%
3%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Videos
Short articles/posts (fewer than 3,000 words)
Virtual events/webinars/online courses
Infographics/charts/data viz/3D models
Case studies
E-books/white papers
Long articles/posts (more than 3,000 words)
Print magazines or books
Livestreaming content
In-person events
Podcasts
Research reports
None of the above
Base: Content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Respondents said videos produced the best results for their content marketing in the last 12 months (52%).
Manufacturing Content Assets That Produced the Best Results
in Last 12 Months
(Top 4)
52%
48%
47%
43%
0 10 20 40 50 60
Videos
Virtual events/webinars/online courses
E-books/white papers
Short articles/posts (fewer than 3,000 words)
Note: Respondents were shown a display list of the content types they used in the last 12 months and asked,
“Which content assets produced the best results for your content marketing in the last 12 months? (Select all that apply.)”
Base: Manufacturing content marketers who use each content asset listed. Multiple responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Among the video formats they used, respondents said how-to videos produced the best content marketing results in the
last 12 months (53%).
Manufacturing Video Formats That Produced the Best Results in Last 12 Months
53%
35%
30%
24%
20%
14%
12%
9%
8%
8%
0 10 20 40 50 60
How-to videos
Webinars/webcasts/web series
Interviews with industry experts
About our company
First-look product overviews
In-depth product reviews
Interactive video
About our customers
Industry research/analyst reports
Other
Base: Manufacturing content marketers who used videos in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
The top four owned-media platforms that manufacturing marketers used in the last 12 months were their
organization’s website, email newsletters, email, and blogs.
Owned-Media Platforms Manufacturing Marketers Used to
Distribute Content in Last 12 Months
92%
74%
63%
50%
34%
22%
18%
8%
5%
5%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Their organization’s website
Email newsletter
Email (other than newsletter)
Blog
Microsite (e.g., resource center)
Their organization’s branded online community
Digital magazine
Online learning platform
Mobile app
Other
Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
61% of respondents used media/public relations to distribute content in the last 12 months.
Organic (Nonpaid) Platforms Manufacturing Marketers Used to
Distribute Content in Last 12 Months
61%
51%
27%
26%
26%
24%
10%
4%
16%
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Media/public relations
Speaking/presenting at events
Collaborative social spaces
Guest posts/articles in third-party publications
Guest spots
Influencer partnerships
Listening platforms
SMS/text messages
None of the above
Base: Manufacturing content marketers who use paid methods to promote content.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
LinkedIn is the organic social media platform that manufacturing content marketers used the most and the one they
said produced the best results.
Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 Base: Content marketers who used the nonpaid social media platforms listed to distribute
content in the last 12 months.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
Organic (Nonpaid) Social Media Platforms Manufacturing Marketers
Used to Distribute Content in Last 12 Months
93%
86%
80%
66%
61%
13%
0 20 40 60 80 100
LinkedIn
Facebook
YouTube
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Organic (Nonpaid) Social Media Platforms
That Produced Best Results for Manufacturers
in Last 12 Months (Top 5)
79%
35%
34%
29%
18%
0 20 40 60 80
LinkedIn
YouTube
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Other organic social media platforms used in last 12 months:
TikTok (5%), Twitter Spaces (5%), Reddit (3%), Discord (1%), Snapchat (1%),
Quora (1%), Clubhouse (0%), Other (3%), and None (3%).
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Among the respondents whose organizations used paid content distribution channels, 77% used social media
advertising/promoted posts.
Do You Use Paid Methods
to Promote Content?
15%
85%
■ Yes
■ No
Over the Last 12 Months, How Has
Your Spending on Paid Content
Distribution Channels Evolved?
34%
17%
7%
42%
■ Increased
■ Stayed the same
■ Decreased
■ Unsure
Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
Paid Content Distribution Channels
B2B Marketers Used in Last 12 Months
77%
55%
45%
45%
32%
2%
0 20 40 60 80
Social media advertising/promoted posts
Search engine marketing (SEM)/pay-per-click
Sponsorships (e.g., events, booths, workshops)
Native advertising/sponsored content
(not including social media platforms)
Partner emails promoting our content
Other
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Among the respondents who used paid social media platforms, the majority chose Facebook (76%) and LinkedIn
(62%). Respondents said LinkedIn produced the best results.
Base: Manufacturing content marketers who used social media platforms for paid content
promotion in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
Base: Manufacturing content marketers who used the social media platforms listed for paid
content promotion in the last 12 months. Multiple responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
Paid Social Media Platforms Manufacturing Marketers
Used in Last 12 Months (Top 5)
76%
62%
26%
32%
16%
0 20 40 60 80
Facebook
LinkedIn
Instagram
YouTube
Twitter
Paid Social Media Platforms That Produced
Best Results for Manufacturers in Last 12 Months
(Top 3)
74%
66%
50%
0 20 40 60 80
LinkedIn
Facebook
Instagram
MANUFACTURING
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METRICS & GOALS
75% of respondents said their organization measures content performance. Among those, 73% said website traffic
provided the most insight into performance.
Does Your Manufacturing
Organization Measure
Content Performance?
16%
75%
9%
■ Yes
■ No
■ Unsure
Base: Manufacturing content marketers.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content
Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
Base: Manufacturing content marketers who measure content performance.
Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
Metrics That Have Provided Most Insight Into
Manufacturers’ Content Performance in Last 12 Months
73%
69%
67%
67%
55%
42%
42%
29%
29%
15%
2%
0 20 40 60 80
Website traffic
Website engagement
Email engagement
Social media analytics
Conversions
Search rankings
Email subscriber numbers
Quality of leads
Quantity of leads
Cost to acquire a lead, subscriber, and/or customer
Other
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METRICS & GOALS
Among the 75% of respondents who measured content performance, 26% indicated they’re doing an excellent or
very good job.
How Manufacturers Characterize Their Team’s
Ability to Demonstrate Content Marketing ROI
55%
22%
15%
2%
4%
4%
■ Excellent
■ Very good
■ Average
■ Below average
■ Poor
■ Unsure
Base: Manufacturing content marketers who measure content performance. Aided list.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
Excellent — We have measurement data
showing ROI on overall content marketing
approach.
Very good — We have measurement
data showing ROI on at least one content
marketing initiative with well-informed
insights in other areas.
Average — We have well-informed insights,
but lack measurement data showing ROI.
Below average — We have only speculative
insights at this point.
Poor — We have little insight into what works
and what doesn’t.
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METRICS & GOALS
The top goal content marketing helps manufacturing marketers achieve is creating brand awareness.
Goals Manufacturing Marketers Have Achieved by Using
Content Marketing Successfully in Last 12 Months
(All Respondents)
88%
67%
63%
58%
55%
53%
41%
38%
34%
33%
1%
0 20 40 60 80 90
Create brand awareness
Build credibility/trust
Educate audience(s)
Support the launch of a new product
Generate demand/leads
Build loyalty with existing clients/customers
Nurture subscribers/audiences/leads
Drive attendance to one or more in-person or virtual events
Build a subscribed audience
Generate sales/revenue
None of the above
Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
MANUFACTURING
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BUDGETS & SPENDING
78% of respondents said they had knowledge of their company’s content marketing budget.
Do You Have Knowledge of Your
Organization’s Budget/Budgeting
Process for Content Marketing?
22%
78%
■ Yes
■ No
Base: Manufacturing content marketers.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
Base:Manufacturingcontentmarketerswhoknowtheirorganizations’budget/budgetingprocessforcontent
marketing.Aidedlist.
12thAnnualContentMarketingSurvey:ContentMarketingInstitute/MarketingProfs,July2021
Percentage of Total Marketing Budget Spent
on Manufacturing Content Marketing
0%
7%
17%
12%
20%
25%
14%
5%
0 20 40 60
100%
75%-99%
50%-74%
25%-49%
10%-24%
5%-9%
1%-4%
0%
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BUDGETS & SPENDING
▶ 36% said their 2021 content marketing budget increased over 2020 levels.
▶ 64% expect their 2022 content marketing budget to increase over their 2021 budget.
How 2021 Manufacturing Content Marketing
Budget Compares With 2020
49%
10%
5%
36%
■ Increased
■ Stayed the same
■ Decreased
■ Unsure
How Manufacturing Content Marketing Budget
Will Change in 2022 Compared With 2021
2%
9%
0%
15%
49%
25%
■ Increase more than 9%
■ Increase 1%-9%
■ Stay the same
■ Decrease 1%-9%
■ Decrease more than 9%
■ Unsure
Base: Manufacturing content marketers who know their organizations’ budget/budgeting
process for content marketing. Aided list.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
Base: Content marketers who know their organizations’ budget/budgeting process for content
marketing. Aided list.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
31
▶ In a post-COVID-vaccine business environment, investment is expected to increase in in-person events (56%).
▶ Investment in hybrid events is expected to increase (31%) more so than stay the same (26%), even though 29% do not use hybrid
events at all.
▶ Regarding digital events, many marketers appear to want to stay the course (39% say spending will stay the same), although 27%
plan to increase spending.
Increase Stay the same Decrease
Will be a
new area of
investment
Do not/will
not use
Digital/virtual events 27% 39% 19% 5% 10%
In-person events 56% 20% 15% 3% 5%
Hybrid events 31% 26% 5% 9% 29%
Base: Manufacturing content marketers who know their organizations’ budget/budgeting process for content marketing. Aided list.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
How Manufacturing Organizations’ Investment Will Change in Following Areas
BUDGETS & SPENDING
MANUFACTURING
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32
32
33
LOOKING FORWARD
Manufacturing Organizations’ Current Content Marketing Challenges
51%
51%
50%
41%
37%
36%
34%
33%
33%
32%
26%
11%
9%
5%
3%
0 10 20 30 40 50
Creating valuable content instead of sales-oriented content
Overcoming traditional marketing and sales mindset
Accessing subject matter experts to create content
Creating content that appeals to multi-level roles within the target audience
Internal communication between teams/silos
Difficulty in reaching target audience(s)
Ability to be agile when change is needed
Differentiating our products/services from the competition
Technology integration
Consistency with messaging
Accommodating for a long decision-making process
The shift to virtual selling necessitated by working from home
Government/legal regulations
Other
No challenges
Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
Respondents said their top three content marketing challenges were creating valuable content instead of sales-oriented content,
overcoming the traditional marketing and sales mindset, and accessing subject matter experts to create content.
34
LOOKING FORWARD
Content Marketing-Related Areas That Will Be Most Important to
Manufacturing Organizations in 2021/2022
62%
61%
46%
37%
18%
17%
13%
8%
3%
4%
0 20 40 60 80
Changes to SEO/search algorithms
Data management/analytics
Changes to social media algorithms
Content marketing as a revenue center
Artificial intelligence
Data privacy/regulations
Voice/audio (e.g., social audio, voice search)
Content security (e.g., HTTPS encryption)
Other
None of the above
Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
Changes to SEO/search algorithms (62%) and data management/analytics (61%) are top-of-mind for manufacturing
content marketers in 2021/2022.
35
LOOKING FORWARD
Areas of Manufacturing Content Marketing Investment in 2022
85%
68%
59%
57%
41%
40%
32%
32%
27%
25%
19%
13%
9%
4%
1%
3%
0 20 30 40 50 60 80 100
Video
Events (digital, in-person, hybrid)
Owned-media assets
Paid media
Earned media
Social media management/community building
Getting to know audiences better
User experience (UX) design
Staffing/human resources
Content marketing technologies
Content distribution
Experiential campaigns
Audio-related content
Data privacy solutions
Other
None of the above
Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
85% predicted their organization will invest in video in 2022, followed by events (68%), owned-media assets (59%), and paid media (57%).
36
ACTION STEPS
As we mentioned in the beginning of this report, the pandemic has
awakened a sleeping giant (content marketing, that is). Our research
points to transformational shifts to make content marketing an ever
more important part of the integrated marketing mix.
But what can go unnoticed are the dangers that
lurk when we’re so close. There’s a wonderful
scene in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last
Crusade when the rich investor, Walter Donovan,
is trying to convince Indy to go after the Holy
Grail. He says, “We’re on the verge of completing
a quest that began almost two thousand years
ago. We’re just one step away.” Indy responds,
“That’s usually when the ground falls out from
underneath your feet.”
In today’s modern business, everyone creates content — from the
web team to the marketing automation/demand gen executives, even
frontline account representatives. It’s probably easier to count who
DOESN’T create content-driven experiences for customers these days.
But we must realize that this explosive trend is actually the awakened
giant. And our attempts to slay the giant require us to develop a content
marketing strategy. Without a strategy, an inconsistent voice and
inability to measure success make our failure imminent.
But don’t over-correct and let the ground fall out from underneath you.
When businesses create a content strategy, there is a tendency to
limit the production of content and remove the voices of all frontline
managers. We centralize the “storytelling” function, and not only
centralize the creation of the voice but the expression of it as well.
What happens? Increasingly we see companies creating much more
consistent and customer-centric sets of content. They get their voice and
story back. But unfortunately, they remove their best storytellers — the
rest of the business — from telling it. And as a friend of mine who was
cut from a huge Hollywood movie once told me, “It’s hard to be excited
about a story that you were removed from telling.”
My advice?
A scalable, successful, and differentiating content marketing strategy
will help you more easily create, manage, activate, and measure digital
content. You will define success by how well the content marketing
strategy empowers everybody on the front line (sales, account reps,
executives, and even accounting and legal) to tell your stories — and the
best “next stories” — to your audience.
A strategic content marketing operation isn’t the storyteller of the
business. It’s what enables everyone else to be the storytellers.
Remember: It’s your story — don’t forget that you need everyone to
tell it well.
Robert Rose
Chief Strategy Advisor
Content Marketing Institute
37
METHODOLOGY & DEMOGRAPHICS
This report was produced by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and sponsored by GlobalSpec.
The results are from the CMI/MarketingProfs 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey. The online survey was emailed to a sample of marketers using lists from CMI and MarketingProfs.
A total of 1,275 recipients from around the globe — representing a range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes — replied to the survey during July 2021.
This report presents the findings from the 82 respondents who indicated:
• Their organization is a for-profit manufacturing company (69% indicated B2B, 26% indicated both B2B+B2C, and 5% indicated B2C, with the majority based in North America).
• They are a content marketer, involved with the content marketing function, and/or someone to whom content marketing reports.
Note: Use caution when comparing this report’s findings to past years, as our methodology changed slightly. For the last several years, one of our qualifying criteria was that the respondent’s
company had used content marketing for at least one year. This year, we enabled respondents whose companies have not been using content marketing for at least one year to complete the survey.
We also broadened the respondent pool to include worldwide respondents rather than North America only.
Find all CMI research at contentmarketinginstitute.com/research. Special thanks to MarketingProfs for their assistance with the annual survey and the B2B and B2C reports.
SOPHISTICATED
Providing accurate measurement to the business, scaling across the organization
MATURE
Finding success, yet challenged with integration across the organization
ADOLESCENT
Have developed a business case, seeing early success, becoming more sophisticated with measurement and scaling
YOUNG
Growing pains, challenged with creating a cohesive strategy and a measurement plan
FIRST STEPS
Doing some aspects of content, but have not yet begun to make content marketing a process
Manufacturing Respondent
Profile by Organization’s
Content Marketing Maturity Level
29%
32%
22%
14%
3%
■ Sophisticated
■ Mature
■ Adolescent
■ Young
■ First Steps
Size of Manufacturing Company (by Employees)
Manufacturing Job Function
■ Small (1-99 employees)
■ Medium (100-999 employees)
■ Large (1,000+ employees)
■ Marketing management
■ Content creation/content management
■ Senior leadership (e.g., CEO, owner, CMO, VP, GM)
■ Marketing operations
■ Advertising/PR/communications management
■ Other
23%
45%
32%
50%
17%
12%
8%
8%
5%
38
Thanks to the survey participants, who made this research possible, and to everyone who helps disseminate these
findings throughout the content marketing industry.
About Content Marketing Institute
Content Marketing Institute is the leading global content marketing education and training organization, teaching enterprise brands how to attract
and retain customers through compelling, multichannel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World event, the largest content marketing-focused
event, is held every fall in Cleveland, Ohio, and ContentTECH Summit event is held every spring in San Diego, California. CMI publishes Chief Content
Officer for executives and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. Watch this
video to learn more about CMI. Content Marketing Institute is organized by Informa Connect.
About Informa Connect
Informa Connect is a specialist in content-driven events and digital communities that allow professionals to meet, connect, learn, and share
knowledge. We operate major branded events in Marketing, Global Finance, Life Sciences and Pharma, Construction and Real Estate, and in a
number of other specialist markets and connect communities online year-round.
About GlobalSpec
GlobalSpec is a provider of data-driven industrial marketing solutions designed to help companies promote their products and grow their
businesses.
Our audience of engineers and technical professionals relies on the GlobalSpec family of brands as a trusted resource for content, community, and
engagement at all stages of the research, design, and purchasing process.
Our clients count on us to deliver deep industry intelligence, customized marketing programs, and measurable campaign performance.
For more information about GlobalSpec, visit www.globalspec.com/advertising.
ABOUT

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Manufacturing Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends - Insights for 2022

  • 2. 2 Content Marketing: A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Success: Achieving your organization’s desired/ targeted results. TABLE OF CONTENTS m INTRODUCTION..................................................................... 3 m KEY FINDINGS........................................................................ 4 m STRATEGY, OPINIONS & OVERALL SUCCESS........................ 5 m TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING................................... 9 m CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION.............................. 13 m METRICS & GOALS............................................................... 24 m BUDGETS & SPENDING....................................................... 28 m LOOKING FORWARD............................................................ 32 m ACTION STEPS – BY ROBERT ROSE..................................... 36 m METHODOLOGY................................................................... 37 m ABOUT................................................................................. 38 LISA MURTON BEETS Research Director & Report Author, CMI STEPHANIE STAHL General Manager, CMI ROBERT ROSE Chief Strategy Advisor, CMI KIM MOUTSOS VP Content, CMI JOSEPH “JK” KALINOWSKI Creative Director, CMI AMIE CANGELOSI Marketing Director, CMI KAREN SCHOPP Account Manager, CMI
  • 3. 3 INTRODUCTION Welcome to the Manufacturing Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends with Insights for 2022 report. This report looks back on the last 12 months and includes expectations for 2022. This year’s research suggested that the pandemic awoke a sleeping giant – content marketing, that is. Without in-person events and face-to-face selling, many who had previously paid little attention to content marketing suddenly became aware of its power. More content marketers got a seat at the table and helped keep many businesses on their audiences’ radar. Some discovered new audiences altogether. Videos and virtual events/webinars were big over the last 12 months with the manufacturing marketers we surveyed. In addition, 85% expect continued investment in video in 2022, making it the top area of predicted investment. Yet manufacturing marketers continue to face content marketing challenges within their organizations: 51% said they are challenged with creating valuable content instead of sales-oriented content as well as with overcoming the traditional marketing and sales mindset. Fifty percent said they are challenged with accessing subject matter experts to create content. If manufacturing marketers can overcome these challenges, they’ll improve their odds of achieving greater content marketing success in the coming year. Here’s to a successful 2022! 3
  • 4. 4 KEY FINDINGS Manufacturing marketers were asked to do more with the same resources in the last 12 months. 75% of respondents said they were asked to do more with the same resources in the last 12 months. Most (59%) have small teams serving the entire organization. See pages 7 and 10. Videos were the top content type produced as well as the top predicted area of content marketing investment for 2022. The top three types of content created in the last 12 months were videos (86%), short articles/posts (83%), and virtual events/ webinars/online courses (70%). Videos also were the content type manufacturing marketers said produced the best results. It makes sense then, that 85% expect their organization to invest in video in 2022. See pages 16, 17, and 35. The percentage of those who produced virtual events/webinars/online courses increased to 70% from 55% the previous year. 70% of respondents said their organization produced virtual events/webinars/online courses in the last 12 months. That’s up from 55% the previous year. See page 16. Manufacturing marketers are mainly using content marketing to create brand awareness. While 88% said they used content marketing successfully to create brand awareness in the last 12 months, only 67% used it to build credibility/trust and 63% to educate the audience. See page 27. 64% expect their 2022 content marketing budget to be higher than their 2021 budget. 36% of respondents who are familiar with their company’s content marketing budget said their 2021 budget increased over 2020. In addition, 64% expect their 2022 content marketing budget to increase over their 2021 budget. See page 30. 56% expect to increase investment in in-person events in 2022. 56% said they expect to increase investment in in-person events, 31% in hybrid events, and 27% in digital events. See page 31. Manufacturing marketers’ top three content marketing challenges are internal. Respondents said their top three content marketing challenges are creating valuable content instead of sales-oriented content (51%), overcoming the traditional marketing and sales mindset (51%), and accessing subject matter experts to create content (50%). See page 33. Changes to SEO/search algorithms and data management/analytics are top-of-mind issues in 2021/2022. The top two content marketing-related areas that will be important to manufacturing marketers are changes to SEO/search algorithms (62%) and data management/ analytics (61%). See page 34. In addition to spending more on video, manufacturing marketers expect more investment in events, owned-media assets, and paid media in 2022. We asked respondents which areas of content marketing they expect their organizations to invest in during 2022. The top four answers were videos (85%), events (68%), owned- media assets (59%), and paid media (57%). See page 35.
  • 6. 6 66% of manufacturing marketers reported that their organization has a content marketing strategy. Of those, 60% said their strategy is moderately or slightly different now versus pre-pandemic. Percentage of Manufacturing Marketers With a Content Marketing Strategy 36% 24% 10% 30% ■ Yes, and it is documented ■ Yes, but it is not documented ■ No, but plan to within 12 months ■ No, with no plans Difference in Manufacturing Content Marketing Strategy Now Vs. Pre-Pandemic 10% 8% 2% 6% 40% 14% 20% ■ Extremely different ■ Very different ■ Moderately different ■ Slightly different ■ Not different at all ■ Unsure ■ We didn’t have a content marketing strategy one year ago STRATEGY, OPINIONS & OVERALL SUCCESS Base: Manufacturing content marketers. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021 Base: Manufacturing content marketers whose organizations have a content marketing strategy. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
  • 7. 7 Over the last year, 75% of manufacturing marketers have been asked to do more with the same resources. STRATEGY, OPINIONS & OVERALL SUCCESS Manufacturing Marketers’ Opinions About Content Marketing in Their Organizations 80% 75% 55% 50% 8% 9% 13% 22% 10% 16% 31% 28% 0 20 40 60 80 100 m Strongly/somewhat agree m Neither agree nor disagree m Somewhat/strongly disagree Our organization values creativity and craft in content creation and production. Over the last year, our content team has been asked to do more with the same resources. Our organization provides customers with a consistent experience across their engagement journey. Over the last year, it has become increasingly difficult to capture our audience’s attention. Base: Manufacturing content marketers who answered each statement. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
  • 8. 8 25% of respondents said their organization was extremely or very successful with content marketing in the last 12 months. The top contributing factor was the value their content provides. STRATEGY, OPINIONS & OVERALL SUCCESS How Manufacturing Marketers Rate Their Organization’s Overall Level of Content Marketing Success in Last 12 Months 17% 24% 1% 3% 57% ■ Extremely successful ■ Very successful ■ Moderately successful ■ Minimally successful ■ Not at all successful Base: Manufacturing content marketers. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021 Base: Manufacturing content marketers who said their organizations were extremely/very successful with content marketing. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/ MarketingProfs, July 2021 Factors Contributing to Manufacturing Content Marketing Success in Last 12 Months 74% 63% 47% 42% 42% 16% 11% 0 20 40 60 80 The value our content provides Website changes Search rankings Adapting to changes brought forth by pandemic Changing buyer/consumer behaviors Strategy changes Changing our products/services
  • 10. 10 TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING Most organizations have small (or one-person) marketing/content marketing teams serving the entire organization (59%). Base: Manufacturing content marketers. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021 Manufacturing Organizations’ Content Marketing Team Structure 18% 17% 5% 59% ■ We have a centralized content marketing group that works with multiple brands/products/departments throughout the organization. ■ Each brand/product/department has its own content marketing team. ■ Both of the above — We have a centralized group and individual teams throughout the organization. ■ We have a small (or one-person) marketing/content marketing team serving the entire organization.
  • 11. 11 TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING 59% of respondents said their organization has either one or no full-time employees dedicated to content marketing. Base: Manufacturing content marketers. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021 Manufacturing Organizations’ Content Marketing Team Size (Full-Time/Dedicated to Content Marketing) 30% 36% 5% 0% 29% ■ 11+ ■ 6-10 ■ 2-5 ■ 1 ■ 0 (no one is full time, dedicated)
  • 12. 12 TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING 59% of respondents said their organization outsources at least one content marketing activity. Their top challenge is finding partners with adequate topical expertise (60%). Top 5 Challenges When Seeking Outsourced Manufacturing Content Marketing Help 60% 47% 44% 42% 33% 0 20 40 60 80 Finding partners with adequate topical expertise Finding partners who understand/can empathize with our audience Budget issues Lack of clear return on investment (ROI) metrics Finding partners who can provide adequate strategic advice Base: Manufacturing content marketers who outsourced at least one content marketing activity. Aided list; up to five responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021 Does Your Manufacturing Organization Outsource Any Content Marketing Activities? 41% 59% ■ Yes ■ No
  • 14. 14 Approximately one in four manufacturing marketers rarely or never craft content for specific stages of the buyer’s journey. Base: Manufacturing content marketers who answered each statement. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Concepts Manufacturing Marketers Always/Frequently Take Into Account While Creating Content for Their Organization 59% 56% 34% 33% 28% 40% 8% 16% 26% 0 20 40 60 80 m Always/frequently m Sometimes m Rarely/never Prioritize the audience’s informational needs over your organization’s sales/promotional message. Differentiate your content from the competition. Craft content based on specific stages of the buyer’s journey.
  • 15. 15 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION The top technologies manufacturing organizations use to assist with content marketing are social media publishing/ analytics (85%), analytics tools (78%), and email marketing software (75%). Technologies Manufacturing Organizations Use to Assist With Content Marketing 85% 78% 75% 64% 49% 45% 25% 23% 9% 1% 0 20 40 60 80 90 Social media publishing/analytics Analytics tools (e.g., web analytics, dashboards) Email marketing software Content creation/calendaring/collaboration/workflow Customer relationship management (CRM) system Content management system (CMS) Marketing automation system (MAS) Content distribution platform Content performance/recommendation analytics Other Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
  • 16. 16 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION 86% of respondents used videos for content marketing purposes in the last 12 months. Content Assets Manufacturing Marketers Created/Used in Last 12 Months 86% 83% 70% 50% 46% 46% 45% 33% 30% 28% 22% 15% 3% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Videos Short articles/posts (fewer than 3,000 words) Virtual events/webinars/online courses Infographics/charts/data viz/3D models Case studies E-books/white papers Long articles/posts (more than 3,000 words) Print magazines or books Livestreaming content In-person events Podcasts Research reports None of the above Base: Content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
  • 17. 17 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Respondents said videos produced the best results for their content marketing in the last 12 months (52%). Manufacturing Content Assets That Produced the Best Results in Last 12 Months (Top 4) 52% 48% 47% 43% 0 10 20 40 50 60 Videos Virtual events/webinars/online courses E-books/white papers Short articles/posts (fewer than 3,000 words) Note: Respondents were shown a display list of the content types they used in the last 12 months and asked, “Which content assets produced the best results for your content marketing in the last 12 months? (Select all that apply.)” Base: Manufacturing content marketers who use each content asset listed. Multiple responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
  • 18. 18 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Among the video formats they used, respondents said how-to videos produced the best content marketing results in the last 12 months (53%). Manufacturing Video Formats That Produced the Best Results in Last 12 Months 53% 35% 30% 24% 20% 14% 12% 9% 8% 8% 0 10 20 40 50 60 How-to videos Webinars/webcasts/web series Interviews with industry experts About our company First-look product overviews In-depth product reviews Interactive video About our customers Industry research/analyst reports Other Base: Manufacturing content marketers who used videos in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
  • 19. 19 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION The top four owned-media platforms that manufacturing marketers used in the last 12 months were their organization’s website, email newsletters, email, and blogs. Owned-Media Platforms Manufacturing Marketers Used to Distribute Content in Last 12 Months 92% 74% 63% 50% 34% 22% 18% 8% 5% 5% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Their organization’s website Email newsletter Email (other than newsletter) Blog Microsite (e.g., resource center) Their organization’s branded online community Digital magazine Online learning platform Mobile app Other Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
  • 20. 20 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION 61% of respondents used media/public relations to distribute content in the last 12 months. Organic (Nonpaid) Platforms Manufacturing Marketers Used to Distribute Content in Last 12 Months 61% 51% 27% 26% 26% 24% 10% 4% 16% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Media/public relations Speaking/presenting at events Collaborative social spaces Guest posts/articles in third-party publications Guest spots Influencer partnerships Listening platforms SMS/text messages None of the above Base: Manufacturing content marketers who use paid methods to promote content. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2021
  • 21. 21 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION LinkedIn is the organic social media platform that manufacturing content marketers used the most and the one they said produced the best results. Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 Base: Content marketers who used the nonpaid social media platforms listed to distribute content in the last 12 months. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 Organic (Nonpaid) Social Media Platforms Manufacturing Marketers Used to Distribute Content in Last 12 Months 93% 86% 80% 66% 61% 13% 0 20 40 60 80 100 LinkedIn Facebook YouTube Twitter Instagram Pinterest Organic (Nonpaid) Social Media Platforms That Produced Best Results for Manufacturers in Last 12 Months (Top 5) 79% 35% 34% 29% 18% 0 20 40 60 80 LinkedIn YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter Other organic social media platforms used in last 12 months: TikTok (5%), Twitter Spaces (5%), Reddit (3%), Discord (1%), Snapchat (1%), Quora (1%), Clubhouse (0%), Other (3%), and None (3%).
  • 22. 22 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Among the respondents whose organizations used paid content distribution channels, 77% used social media advertising/promoted posts. Do You Use Paid Methods to Promote Content? 15% 85% ■ Yes ■ No Over the Last 12 Months, How Has Your Spending on Paid Content Distribution Channels Evolved? 34% 17% 7% 42% ■ Increased ■ Stayed the same ■ Decreased ■ Unsure Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 Paid Content Distribution Channels B2B Marketers Used in Last 12 Months 77% 55% 45% 45% 32% 2% 0 20 40 60 80 Social media advertising/promoted posts Search engine marketing (SEM)/pay-per-click Sponsorships (e.g., events, booths, workshops) Native advertising/sponsored content (not including social media platforms) Partner emails promoting our content Other
  • 23. 23 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Among the respondents who used paid social media platforms, the majority chose Facebook (76%) and LinkedIn (62%). Respondents said LinkedIn produced the best results. Base: Manufacturing content marketers who used social media platforms for paid content promotion in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 Base: Manufacturing content marketers who used the social media platforms listed for paid content promotion in the last 12 months. Multiple responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 Paid Social Media Platforms Manufacturing Marketers Used in Last 12 Months (Top 5) 76% 62% 26% 32% 16% 0 20 40 60 80 Facebook LinkedIn Instagram YouTube Twitter Paid Social Media Platforms That Produced Best Results for Manufacturers in Last 12 Months (Top 3) 74% 66% 50% 0 20 40 60 80 LinkedIn Facebook Instagram
  • 25. 25 METRICS & GOALS 75% of respondents said their organization measures content performance. Among those, 73% said website traffic provided the most insight into performance. Does Your Manufacturing Organization Measure Content Performance? 16% 75% 9% ■ Yes ■ No ■ Unsure Base: Manufacturing content marketers. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 Base: Manufacturing content marketers who measure content performance. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 Metrics That Have Provided Most Insight Into Manufacturers’ Content Performance in Last 12 Months 73% 69% 67% 67% 55% 42% 42% 29% 29% 15% 2% 0 20 40 60 80 Website traffic Website engagement Email engagement Social media analytics Conversions Search rankings Email subscriber numbers Quality of leads Quantity of leads Cost to acquire a lead, subscriber, and/or customer Other
  • 26. 26 METRICS & GOALS Among the 75% of respondents who measured content performance, 26% indicated they’re doing an excellent or very good job. How Manufacturers Characterize Their Team’s Ability to Demonstrate Content Marketing ROI 55% 22% 15% 2% 4% 4% ■ Excellent ■ Very good ■ Average ■ Below average ■ Poor ■ Unsure Base: Manufacturing content marketers who measure content performance. Aided list. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 Excellent — We have measurement data showing ROI on overall content marketing approach. Very good — We have measurement data showing ROI on at least one content marketing initiative with well-informed insights in other areas. Average — We have well-informed insights, but lack measurement data showing ROI. Below average — We have only speculative insights at this point. Poor — We have little insight into what works and what doesn’t.
  • 27. 27 METRICS & GOALS The top goal content marketing helps manufacturing marketers achieve is creating brand awareness. Goals Manufacturing Marketers Have Achieved by Using Content Marketing Successfully in Last 12 Months (All Respondents) 88% 67% 63% 58% 55% 53% 41% 38% 34% 33% 1% 0 20 40 60 80 90 Create brand awareness Build credibility/trust Educate audience(s) Support the launch of a new product Generate demand/leads Build loyalty with existing clients/customers Nurture subscribers/audiences/leads Drive attendance to one or more in-person or virtual events Build a subscribed audience Generate sales/revenue None of the above Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
  • 29. 29 BUDGETS & SPENDING 78% of respondents said they had knowledge of their company’s content marketing budget. Do You Have Knowledge of Your Organization’s Budget/Budgeting Process for Content Marketing? 22% 78% ■ Yes ■ No Base: Manufacturing content marketers. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 Base:Manufacturingcontentmarketerswhoknowtheirorganizations’budget/budgetingprocessforcontent marketing.Aidedlist. 12thAnnualContentMarketingSurvey:ContentMarketingInstitute/MarketingProfs,July2021 Percentage of Total Marketing Budget Spent on Manufacturing Content Marketing 0% 7% 17% 12% 20% 25% 14% 5% 0 20 40 60 100% 75%-99% 50%-74% 25%-49% 10%-24% 5%-9% 1%-4% 0%
  • 30. 30 BUDGETS & SPENDING ▶ 36% said their 2021 content marketing budget increased over 2020 levels. ▶ 64% expect their 2022 content marketing budget to increase over their 2021 budget. How 2021 Manufacturing Content Marketing Budget Compares With 2020 49% 10% 5% 36% ■ Increased ■ Stayed the same ■ Decreased ■ Unsure How Manufacturing Content Marketing Budget Will Change in 2022 Compared With 2021 2% 9% 0% 15% 49% 25% ■ Increase more than 9% ■ Increase 1%-9% ■ Stay the same ■ Decrease 1%-9% ■ Decrease more than 9% ■ Unsure Base: Manufacturing content marketers who know their organizations’ budget/budgeting process for content marketing. Aided list. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 Base: Content marketers who know their organizations’ budget/budgeting process for content marketing. Aided list. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021
  • 31. 31 ▶ In a post-COVID-vaccine business environment, investment is expected to increase in in-person events (56%). ▶ Investment in hybrid events is expected to increase (31%) more so than stay the same (26%), even though 29% do not use hybrid events at all. ▶ Regarding digital events, many marketers appear to want to stay the course (39% say spending will stay the same), although 27% plan to increase spending. Increase Stay the same Decrease Will be a new area of investment Do not/will not use Digital/virtual events 27% 39% 19% 5% 10% In-person events 56% 20% 15% 3% 5% Hybrid events 31% 26% 5% 9% 29% Base: Manufacturing content marketers who know their organizations’ budget/budgeting process for content marketing. Aided list. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 How Manufacturing Organizations’ Investment Will Change in Following Areas BUDGETS & SPENDING
  • 33. 33 LOOKING FORWARD Manufacturing Organizations’ Current Content Marketing Challenges 51% 51% 50% 41% 37% 36% 34% 33% 33% 32% 26% 11% 9% 5% 3% 0 10 20 30 40 50 Creating valuable content instead of sales-oriented content Overcoming traditional marketing and sales mindset Accessing subject matter experts to create content Creating content that appeals to multi-level roles within the target audience Internal communication between teams/silos Difficulty in reaching target audience(s) Ability to be agile when change is needed Differentiating our products/services from the competition Technology integration Consistency with messaging Accommodating for a long decision-making process The shift to virtual selling necessitated by working from home Government/legal regulations Other No challenges Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 Respondents said their top three content marketing challenges were creating valuable content instead of sales-oriented content, overcoming the traditional marketing and sales mindset, and accessing subject matter experts to create content.
  • 34. 34 LOOKING FORWARD Content Marketing-Related Areas That Will Be Most Important to Manufacturing Organizations in 2021/2022 62% 61% 46% 37% 18% 17% 13% 8% 3% 4% 0 20 40 60 80 Changes to SEO/search algorithms Data management/analytics Changes to social media algorithms Content marketing as a revenue center Artificial intelligence Data privacy/regulations Voice/audio (e.g., social audio, voice search) Content security (e.g., HTTPS encryption) Other None of the above Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 Changes to SEO/search algorithms (62%) and data management/analytics (61%) are top-of-mind for manufacturing content marketers in 2021/2022.
  • 35. 35 LOOKING FORWARD Areas of Manufacturing Content Marketing Investment in 2022 85% 68% 59% 57% 41% 40% 32% 32% 27% 25% 19% 13% 9% 4% 1% 3% 0 20 30 40 50 60 80 100 Video Events (digital, in-person, hybrid) Owned-media assets Paid media Earned media Social media management/community building Getting to know audiences better User experience (UX) design Staffing/human resources Content marketing technologies Content distribution Experiential campaigns Audio-related content Data privacy solutions Other None of the above Base: Manufacturing content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 85% predicted their organization will invest in video in 2022, followed by events (68%), owned-media assets (59%), and paid media (57%).
  • 36. 36 ACTION STEPS As we mentioned in the beginning of this report, the pandemic has awakened a sleeping giant (content marketing, that is). Our research points to transformational shifts to make content marketing an ever more important part of the integrated marketing mix. But what can go unnoticed are the dangers that lurk when we’re so close. There’s a wonderful scene in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when the rich investor, Walter Donovan, is trying to convince Indy to go after the Holy Grail. He says, “We’re on the verge of completing a quest that began almost two thousand years ago. We’re just one step away.” Indy responds, “That’s usually when the ground falls out from underneath your feet.” In today’s modern business, everyone creates content — from the web team to the marketing automation/demand gen executives, even frontline account representatives. It’s probably easier to count who DOESN’T create content-driven experiences for customers these days. But we must realize that this explosive trend is actually the awakened giant. And our attempts to slay the giant require us to develop a content marketing strategy. Without a strategy, an inconsistent voice and inability to measure success make our failure imminent. But don’t over-correct and let the ground fall out from underneath you. When businesses create a content strategy, there is a tendency to limit the production of content and remove the voices of all frontline managers. We centralize the “storytelling” function, and not only centralize the creation of the voice but the expression of it as well. What happens? Increasingly we see companies creating much more consistent and customer-centric sets of content. They get their voice and story back. But unfortunately, they remove their best storytellers — the rest of the business — from telling it. And as a friend of mine who was cut from a huge Hollywood movie once told me, “It’s hard to be excited about a story that you were removed from telling.” My advice? A scalable, successful, and differentiating content marketing strategy will help you more easily create, manage, activate, and measure digital content. You will define success by how well the content marketing strategy empowers everybody on the front line (sales, account reps, executives, and even accounting and legal) to tell your stories — and the best “next stories” — to your audience. A strategic content marketing operation isn’t the storyteller of the business. It’s what enables everyone else to be the storytellers. Remember: It’s your story — don’t forget that you need everyone to tell it well. Robert Rose Chief Strategy Advisor Content Marketing Institute
  • 37. 37 METHODOLOGY & DEMOGRAPHICS This report was produced by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and sponsored by GlobalSpec. The results are from the CMI/MarketingProfs 12th Annual Content Marketing Survey. The online survey was emailed to a sample of marketers using lists from CMI and MarketingProfs. A total of 1,275 recipients from around the globe — representing a range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes — replied to the survey during July 2021. This report presents the findings from the 82 respondents who indicated: • Their organization is a for-profit manufacturing company (69% indicated B2B, 26% indicated both B2B+B2C, and 5% indicated B2C, with the majority based in North America). • They are a content marketer, involved with the content marketing function, and/or someone to whom content marketing reports. Note: Use caution when comparing this report’s findings to past years, as our methodology changed slightly. For the last several years, one of our qualifying criteria was that the respondent’s company had used content marketing for at least one year. This year, we enabled respondents whose companies have not been using content marketing for at least one year to complete the survey. We also broadened the respondent pool to include worldwide respondents rather than North America only. Find all CMI research at contentmarketinginstitute.com/research. Special thanks to MarketingProfs for their assistance with the annual survey and the B2B and B2C reports. SOPHISTICATED Providing accurate measurement to the business, scaling across the organization MATURE Finding success, yet challenged with integration across the organization ADOLESCENT Have developed a business case, seeing early success, becoming more sophisticated with measurement and scaling YOUNG Growing pains, challenged with creating a cohesive strategy and a measurement plan FIRST STEPS Doing some aspects of content, but have not yet begun to make content marketing a process Manufacturing Respondent Profile by Organization’s Content Marketing Maturity Level 29% 32% 22% 14% 3% ■ Sophisticated ■ Mature ■ Adolescent ■ Young ■ First Steps Size of Manufacturing Company (by Employees) Manufacturing Job Function ■ Small (1-99 employees) ■ Medium (100-999 employees) ■ Large (1,000+ employees) ■ Marketing management ■ Content creation/content management ■ Senior leadership (e.g., CEO, owner, CMO, VP, GM) ■ Marketing operations ■ Advertising/PR/communications management ■ Other 23% 45% 32% 50% 17% 12% 8% 8% 5%
  • 38. 38 Thanks to the survey participants, who made this research possible, and to everyone who helps disseminate these findings throughout the content marketing industry. About Content Marketing Institute Content Marketing Institute is the leading global content marketing education and training organization, teaching enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multichannel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World event, the largest content marketing-focused event, is held every fall in Cleveland, Ohio, and ContentTECH Summit event is held every spring in San Diego, California. CMI publishes Chief Content Officer for executives and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. Watch this video to learn more about CMI. Content Marketing Institute is organized by Informa Connect. About Informa Connect Informa Connect is a specialist in content-driven events and digital communities that allow professionals to meet, connect, learn, and share knowledge. We operate major branded events in Marketing, Global Finance, Life Sciences and Pharma, Construction and Real Estate, and in a number of other specialist markets and connect communities online year-round. About GlobalSpec GlobalSpec is a provider of data-driven industrial marketing solutions designed to help companies promote their products and grow their businesses. Our audience of engineers and technical professionals relies on the GlobalSpec family of brands as a trusted resource for content, community, and engagement at all stages of the research, design, and purchasing process. Our clients count on us to deliver deep industry intelligence, customized marketing programs, and measurable campaign performance. For more information about GlobalSpec, visit www.globalspec.com/advertising. ABOUT