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Content Marketing For Aerospace & Defense

Over the past few years, you have probably heard of Content Marketing. It has steadily gained popularity and is now one of the most widely adopted marketing practices. In fact, according to a presentation given at Digital Annex University, content marketing accounts for 25-35% of total marketing budgets. While this may not be the case in the aviation industry, content marketing is on the rise and rightly so – especially now as our industry (a highly traditional marketing industry) has been forced to quickly adopt more digital methods due to a global pandemic. 

Let’s dig into content marketing more and explore four big questions:

  1. What is content marketing?
  2. Why is it content marketing effective?
  3. Will it work for the Aerospace industry?
  4. How can I create good content?

What is content marketing?

Content Marketing is defined as…

“Content marketing is 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 actions” – Content Marketing Institute.

“A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.” – Oxfords Languages Dictionary

“Providing helpful and relevant content, along the entire buyers journey, that empowers a person to make a purchasing decision.”  – AERPOWER Marketing

Why is content marketing effective?

In our technologically advanced world, buyers are more educated than ever. Meaning “marketing fluff” is becoming less and less effective. Instead of pitching products or services, buyers are wanting relevant and useful content that helps them make their own decision and solve their own challenges.  According to a recent GE Shopper Research study, 81% of consumers go online before heading out to the store, increasing from previous years, and spend an average of 79 days gathering information before making a major purchase.  Another study by Forbes, indicates that B2B buyers conduct 70% of their research online before ever engaging with a sales representative. 

So why is content marketing effective?  Because that’s what our consumers want – to be informed and to make their own decisions. Providing useful and relevant content enters your company into consideration as users conduct their own online research. 

Think about your own purchasing decisions – how often do you go online and conduct a quick search? How many articles or webpages did you visit? Did you start to see one or two company names stand out as they kept appearing in search results? Did you start to lean towards those brands because they provided helpful information and seemed to be the experts on what you were looking for? That’s content marketing.

Will content marketing work for Aerospace?

Absolutely, in fact we have seen it first hand and continuously recommend and execute it for our clients. We also practice what we preach as content marketing is our own main form of marketing. In fact this blog itself is a form of content marketing. But let’s talk more about why the concept of content marketing works for our industry.

Our industry faces very long and complex sales cycles. Our products and services aren’t cheap! Trust is a huge factor. Decisions aren’t made on a whim but after procurement teams or buying committees spend hours researching, comparing options, and ultimately making a final decision. So why don’t we help them make that decision easier – by providing them with the information they want and need? Seems simple, right?

Additionally, our products and services are very niche. We provide very unique solutions and technologies, some of which aren’t widely known or understood. But isn’t that all the more reason to create content that helps to educate our market and to place our products and services up for consideration?

How can I create good content?

Ultimately, the answer sounds quite simple. Good content is providing your customers with answers to their questions – it’s providing helpful and relevant information that will help them make a decision. But if I left it at that, this wouldn’t be a good or helpful content piece for you. So let’s break it down a bit more.

How can we create good content for our aerospace audience? Well let’s take a look at some of our industry’s common characteristics/challenges.

1 ) We face very long and complex sales cycles (as previously mentioned). One blog isn’t going to do the trick. Content marketing isn’t creating a single piece of content, its creating a strategy of touch points that helps the decision maker throughout their entire buying journey; keeping your company top of mind. For example, you may have a piece of content that simply explains who your company is, what products and services are available – introducing your company to potential buyers. Another piece may go into more detail about how your products/services solved a challenge for a client – ultimately building trust and credibility through real world examples. The next piece may talk about your pricing structure and how it compares to your competitors – this information would be invaluable to procurement teams as they get closer to making a final decision. 

2) We are often risk adverse. We don’t want to say too much over fears of sharing our “secret” sauce or sometimes we aren’t allowed to talk about winning contracts as they are confidential – BUT that shouldn’t stop us from creating great content. Even with these limitations we can still talk about what challenges we solved without divulging sensitive information or customer’s names, all while building the confidence and trust that our consumers crave. There is a balance that we can strike being transparent and helpful to our clients but still having parameters in place allowing us to be comfortable with the information shared. We just need to be creative. 

3) We are held to a higher standard. Our products and services aren’t cheap and safety is key in our industry, which leads us to trust. Our potential customers need to be able to trust our products. If you were to search just about any aerospace website right now  I bet you would find an area of logos depicting “brands who trust us”. But why stop there? Instead let’s craft the full story and really earn our buyers trust through case studies, white papers, long form testimonials and more satisfying content that paints a much stronger picture.

4) Historically, our industry is very traditional when it comes to marketing methods. Which means there is a lot of opportunity for aerospace companies to quickly adopt and realize the benefits of content marketing. But that doesn’t mean we should quickly write blogs to write blogs; content still needs to be helpful and what better place to start than by answering common questions. What are your buyers Googling? What questions are they asking your sales team? What answers can we give them before they have to ask? Start by jotting down a quick list of all of the questions you get asked.

So to recap, and to provide a more digestible answer, great aerospace content includes:

  • Multiple content pieces designed for the various stages of the buyers journey, crafted to integrate with your marketing channels
  • A story to help build trust and credibility 
  • Honesty and transparency 
  • Answers to your customers questions
  • Helpful, relevant and educational information (avoid marketing fluff) such as: Case Studies, White Papers, Testimonials, Examples, and Comparisons

Want to learn more about content marketing or to discuss your own? We would be happy to setup a call to discuss. Let’s chat.