This week we’re excited to launch the latest edition of the Global Content Impact Index. For this new report, we decided to mix things up. Rather than analyze lots of different industries, we instead focused on manufacturing specifically. Why? Because the industry is rapidly adopting content marketing to help it overcome one of its greatest challenges: achieving growth at a time when the global economy is pretty uncertain.

Of course, to be successful at content marketing, manufacturers have to create high-quality content on a consistent basis. We wanted to know if they were up to the task and decided to find out.

To do so, we pointed our linguistic analytics engine at the websites of 47 different global manufacturing companies. We’re talking about companies that make everything from cars and car parts to healthcare products, machinery, and chemicals.

What the companies all have in common is that they’re large, global operations with $250 million or more in annual revenue. Many, like Toyota, Caterpillar, and Bosch, are also household names. All told, we analyzed 4,751 individual web pages as part of our research. That’s more than half a million sentences and just over 4.2 million individual words.

Here are some of the highlights of what we learned about the manufacturing industry’s content:

Quality varies considerably across the industry

The companies we examined earned overall content impact scores (a measure of how effective their content is) of between 51.6 and 87.3 points. To put that in perspective, we think of a score of 72.0 as the minimum that a piece of content needs to achieve to be effective. With manufacturers earning such a wide range of scores, it’s clear to us that while some companies are creating great content, many are not.

Interestingly, although the industry as a whole earned an average content impact score of 70.1, certain manufacturing specialties earned scores well below that. Engineering and construction, for example, had an average score of 67.4, while iron and steel came in at 66.9, and chemicals below that at 64.6.

Relative to some of the other industries we have studied, manufacturing is performing at the middle of the pack. While on average it’s publishing higher quality content than say the retail, aerospace and defense, and insurance industries, it’s behind many others, including pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and mining.

Quality is also highly inconsistent within individual companies

In our experience, companies might be really good at creating high-quality content in one area (say on their blog) and not so good in another (like in their product information). The manufacturing industry is no exception. Nearly three-quarters of the companies we looked at had inconsistent content quality across their sites, meaning that there was a variance of more than seven points between their best and worst content.

Take it from us, that’s a problem. When the quality of your content is inconsistent, it can confuse visitors, degrade your brand, and ultimately turn off buyers.

One of the most telling findings of the report is that just one company had high-quality content appear consistently across its entire website. Conversely, one in five companies not only had low-quality content, but also extreme levels of inconsistency. We’re talking about a variance of 15 points or more between their best and worst content. Not only that, the average content variance across the industry was 15.7 points, one of the highest of any we’ve studied.

Where to from here?

Although the manufacturing industry has largely embraced content marketing, when it comes to getting it right, many still have a long way to go in terms of the quality and consistency of their content.

Our latest report gives the blow-by-blow of how the industry is stacking up and outlines a clear solution to meet these challenges head-on. To find out more, download the full report.