Delivering the right piece of content to the right audience at the right time is a major win when deploying your content strategy. And a key part of that is knowing how and where your audience(s) consumes content.
If that audience is engineers, you’re about to hit a goldmine.
“How engineers find information,” is Engineering.com’s annual survey on how roughly 1,540 engineers consume content. Before giving you the 411 on all the juicy insights, let’s first talk about the survey respondents –
- Most engineers, 54 percent, are United States-based with engineers in EMEA and APAC coming in second (19 percent) and third (13 percent), respectively.
- Engineers made up 70 percent of respondents with management making up the remaining 30 percent.
- 79 percent of respondents were involved in purchase decision making.
- The bulk of respondents ranged in age from 25-65, covering those new to the field through seasoned professionals.
How do engineers consume content?
According to the survey, engineers are consuming 24 percent more content than a year ago. The rise is attributed to a rapidly changing industry, motivating engineers to be hungrier for information than they were in the past. And the heaviest consumers of content? Those with final purchasing decision power. They’re consuming content more than 12 hours a week.
What this means for manufacturing marketers: There’s elevated pressure on churning out higher volumes of high-quality educational content in order to stay relevant. Moreover, with decision makers being large consumers of content, you can more easily reach those with purchasing power, particularly if you sponsor it through paid media.
Speaking of, most engineers respect sponsored content, with 42 percent applying the same amount of skepticism as they would to all media. Success lies in having their peers author the content. It can help boost relatability and trustworthiness. Consider having engineers take the byline on contributed content or doing profiles on the ones at your company.
What types of content should I create?
Short-form articles, social media, long-form articles, recorded videos and white papers are the top five most-consumed types of content. Alternatives to traditional text and paragraph types of content, such as infographics and podcasts, also made the list, but are consumed less frequently.
What this means for manufacturing marketers: From a tactical standpoint, make sure your deployment strategy includes a variety of content formats, including the ones that didn’t make the top five. Why? A variety of formats can help ensure engineers are getting the right information at each stage of the buying journey. Also keep in mind that some ideas are better fit for certain formats over others – don’t shoehorn something based on how you’ve historically presented it.
How does age play into how and where engineers consume content?
For the first time ever, across all age groups, at least one in two engineers are using their mobile phones to view content. In addition, younger engineers are more likely to source content via their social channels than by picking up a print trade publication. The opposite is true for engineers older than 55. Vendor sites are also rated as the second most popular information source for engineers ages 35-65 looking for technical content.
What this means for manufacturing marketers: Engineers are interested in an in-depth, educational experience from suppliers and manufacturers. Follow through on your end of the bargain by giving them what they want – a variety of educational and instructional resources to help them do their jobs better. And it’s in your best interest to make sure it’s all mobile-friendly.
Any insight into a correlation between content and buying?
Having a content strategy will do you good. Thirty six percent of engineers and 42 percent of senior level leadership (directors and above) are more likely to request a proposal based off a strong piece of educational content.
What this means for manufacturing marketers: Continue to prioritize educational content that shows off your company’s expertise and value. Doing so will help increase loyalty and trust with your brand when it comes to purchasing.
Summary of need-to-know stats
- Engineers are consuming 24 percent more content than a year ago.
- Engineers with purchasing power consume over 12 hours of content a week.
- Vendor sites are rated as the second most popular information source for engineers ages 35-65 looking for technical content.
- The top five most consumed types of content:
- Short-form articles
- Social media
- Long-form articles
- Recorded videos
- White papers
- Most engineers respect sponsored content with 42 percent applying the same level of skepticism as they would to other forms of media.
- One in two engineers consume content on their phones.
- Younger engineers are more likely to consume content via social media than print trade pubs. The opposite is true for engineers 55 and older.
- 42 percent of senior level leadership and 36 percent of engineers are more likely to request a proposal based off of educational content.
Exciting tidbits, right? Wield this newfound knowledge for the betterment of your content. And if you’d like assistance in creating and deploying a content strategy, we find that kind of stuff exciting, too. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.