Manufacturers are finding ways to create content that will help them stay relevant and reach customers across the web.

The latest research from the Content Marketing Institute revealed that manufacturing companies are ambitiously approaching the web, but they aren’t quite sure how to execute campaigns. In a survey of 125 B2B manufacturing marketers, the vast majority said they use content marketing to reach customers (86 percent). However, far fewer have turned their campaign ideas into tangible plans with measurable goals.

According to the survey, only 21 percent have a documented strategy at present, a statistic that could explain why a slim 3 percent rate themselves as “extremely effective” with digital content. On the whole, most manufacturing companies think they have a handle on their campaigns – 42 percent say their content is effective – even if they have some room for improvement before they reach the top-tier of proficiency.

It’s expected that traditionally offline industries have made a slower migration to the web, as they may have a hard time believing their prospects are looking for vendors online. On the contrary, 85 percent of American adults have internet access and conduct well over 17 billion searches a month – not counting smartphone queries.

Innovating manufacturing organizations have recognized they need to extend beyond the traditional outlets they have always used to reach customers. In fact, the No. 1 goal of content marketing for these professionals is to increase brand awareness. To achieve this end, manufacturers are going beyond the written word and leaping straight for video marketing. When asked about the types of online content they used, 80 percent of marketers said they were producing videos, much higher than the portion creating blogs (54 percent).

Content marketing isn’t about fitting a square peg in a round hole. Smart businesses will consider how they can create assets that best serve their ideal customers and deliver them on at the best channels at the right moment.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.