Competitiveness can be a positive thing. It inspires companies of all sizes to innovate and improve over time, and the constant push to do better can lead to some creative, outstanding results. However, because most markets are growing increasingly competitive, it’s getting harder to sort excellent goods and services from the rest, leaving a lot of voices drowned out by the noise.
In the end, it all goes back to showing what you know, and adopting thought leadership as a key part of your strategy is key to distinguishing yourself from your competitors.
Many think thought leadership is just a marketing ploy, but manufacturing companies stand to earn many long-term benefits by posting blogs and other pieces of content that draw back to your expertise. Even if you’re in a niche market, demonstrating awareness of what’s going on in your industry/sector goes a long way; in fact, 93 percent of respondents in a 2016 Bloom Group study said high-quality thought leadership content improves their opinion of the company producing it (while 94 percent also pointed out that poor or no content lowers their perception).
But what can you do to ensure the content has good return-on-investment and gets you more leads, customers, and revenue?
Since people often go to a company website for more information, a blog that’s out of date is a big turn-off. To avoid this, it’s not only important to regularly publish original content authored by your team, but also post links to articles that may be relevant to your industry, which is known as “curated content”. Both of these keep your blog fresh, leading visitors to believe you always know not only what’s happening, but what’s to come.
Gate Your Best Content
Blogs are one thing, but how can you get more out of a whitepaper or ebook? Lock it up by requiring visitors to fill out a form with basic information before downloading. Not only does this capture more leads for the top of your sales funnel, but it gives you a good gauge on what people are interested (or not interested) in reading.
Create Content Partnerships
Relationships are always key to business, and it’s no different with thought leadership. Even if content you’ve written is solid and insightful, partners and like-minded companies – especially if you’re a startup or small manufacturer – can be the ticket to getting a wider audience (and therefore, more leads). Instead of acting alone in driving all traffic to your site, partner cross-promotion on social media, blogrolls, and other channels allows you to reach people in a much larger network without sacrificing the uniqueness of your content.