MM 005 – Content Marketing Success at a Large Global Manufacturer

content marketing in welding

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Manufacturing Marketing Matters Podcast – Episode MM 005

Guest Expert: Craig Coffey, Marketing Specialist at Lincoln Electric

Topic: A Content Marketing Success Story at Lincoln Electric

Highlights:

    • Lincoln Electric focuses on engaging with the audience by teaching people to weld using their products.
    • The biggest challenge is turning information that is heavily technical into good marketing material.
    • ARC Magazine, a retread of an older product called The Stabilizer. The ‘inflight magazine’ for welders.  If the magazine was designed to sell products, it probably would not have near the success rate as helping welders to be better welders.
    • The Stabilizer – what do you think Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose, is The Stabilizer a good example for ‘This Old Marketing’?

    • Helping welders advance their skill and knowledge with content and a new welding technology center in Cleveland.
    • Although no formal content mission statement exists at Lincoln Electric, they use the test “so what” from the audience perspective to determine if the content is meaningful to the audience.
    • Advice Craig has given to members of Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) – the manufacturing firm must own the technical aspect of any content, outsourcing the creation is an option.
    • Lincoln uses outside journalists in some cases just to keep the material as objective and brand agnostic as possible to ensure the writer is not pitching the Lincoln products.
    • David Murray wrote a recent article in ARC Magazine – an example of using outside journalists for objective copy.
    • Craig talks about measurement and how he approaches the demand for ROI on educational content and even lifetime value of a customer as related to educational content.
    • Lincoln Electric is so convinced educating welders pays off, they are building a $30 million dollar welding technology facility in Cleveland.
    • The cost of producing one issue of ARC magazine is less expensive than one trade show.
    • Tweet this “An easy way for marketing to become obsolete (in a manufacturing organization) is for marketing not to be part of the revenue stream.”
    • Marketers need to get out there and participate in organizations like MAPI and BMA to bring in fresh ideas to their manufacturing organizations.  Attend shows and conferences that are not about manufacturing like Content Marketing World.
    • Tweet this “There is a need for manufacturers to market marketing. Put a bigger emphasis on its value and not its cost.”

 

Interview questions:

Question 1 – In viewing the website, Lincoln Electric is ahead of most mfg companies in offering useful content that is not necessarily about the product.  I see ‘Ask the Experts’, Welding How-to’s, and a bunch of Application Stories in addition to the printed magazine ARC.  Was this content marketing approach your idea, a top down initiative, or has it always been in the culture? If it is a relatively new approach, how did it get started? Would you classify it as successful?

Question 2 – Is there a specific objective behind this content?  A formal content mission statement?

Question 3 – Most manufacturing companies have limited resources (people and budget) How is content created at Lincoln Electric, is there a content marketing team, outsourced, or some other group internally or externally

Question 4 – Are you able to measure the success of the educational or knowledge based content like ‘Ask the Experts’ or ARC magazine as compared to the product based content?  How do they compare?

Question 5 – According to the last annual report, Lincoln Electric is a $2.8 billion dollar company.  Do you feel like the marketing function at Lincoln Electric is valued as a strategic component of the business?

Challenge Question:

Today’s challenge question is submitted by Roger, who works for a California manufacturer of valves and fittings.   His question is –  “We’ve been trying some content marketing by creating case studies and posting them on our website behind a form.  We don’t get much interest with maybe a few downloads per month.  Any ideas about how we can increase the interest?”

Takeaway:

We need to create marketers about now and the future and not the past. If you get the chance to do something different to prove educational marketing, choose something that will show tangible numbers and stay away from subjective results.

Leave a Comment:

3 comments
Content marketing success at a large manufactur... says December 7, 2015

[…] Listen to Craig Coffey of Lincoln Electric talk about a content marketing success story where educational content trumps product marketing.  […]

Reply
Content marketing for manufacturing requires a strategy says January 11, 2016

[…] Craig Coffey at Lincoln Electric, ARC magazine as an example of good content marketing. (Craig was the MM Matters Guest Expert on 12/7/2015) […]

Reply
Marketing for manufacturers within the 7th Era says January 18, 2016

[…] Real life success story, Craig Coffey at Lincoln Electric and ARC Magazine. […]

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