Content  | Zekelman

Transforming Perceptions of Manufacturing With Content

Showing the Evolution of Manufacturing Through Storytelling

Zekelman is the largest independent manufacturer of steel tubing in North America. For over 100 years, the company has been at the forefront of the U.S. steel industry, and today, Zekelman employs over 2,800 people nationwide. Along with sharing the positive impact it makes on the lives of teammates, the industry and the nation, Zekelman wanted to lead the conversation around the importance of domestic manufacturing— and the attractive careers it offers today’s job seekers.

Breaking From the Conventional Narrative

For years, the U.S. manufacturing sector has been dogged by outdated and negative stereotypes of the industry and careers in manufacturing. Working with Zekelman, we recognized the need to communicate how the modern manufacturing workplace has transformed. That meant sharing the stories behind the company’s purpose, culture and people to debunk common myths and highlight the latest industry innovations.

Crafting the Pillars

Collaborating closely with Zekelman’s team, we developed a dynamic content plan centered around three core themes: Pride, Innovation, and Impact. These themes were chosen to reflect the brand’s values and mission. Our plan aimed to bring these stories to life across Zekelman’s corporate blog and social media platforms, creating a cohesive and engaging narrative that resonated with their audiences.

Transforming Workforce Perceptions

Our focus for the Pride pillar was to showcase the Zekelman people and culture, countering dated views of manufacturing jobs. Blogs and social posts shared the pride that Zekelman teammates have in their work and its purpose, and celebrated how Zekelman supports career development. We also highlighted the wide range of manufacturing jobs available today and how they lead to impressive pay and benefits, technology-driven careers, and long-term job stability. Employee Spotlight posts put a personal face to these ideas on Instagram.

Shining a Light on Innovation

Innovation pillar content complemented these themes by upending views of steel manufacturing as staid and low-tech. Stories explored how groundbreaking new products and solutions are transforming manufacturing safety, efficiency and job satisfaction. And project snapshots educated audiences on the latest technologies, such as Zekelman’s Shuriken connection system that enables architects, designers and builders to streamline design with hollow structural sections (HSS). Together, these stories painted a picture of Zekelman as a place where visionary problem-solvers innovate to make communities and countries better.

Bringing Impact to Life

The Impact pillar brought the story full circle by highlighting Zekelman’s contributions to communities and the domestic economy. Engaging blogs and videos showed the impact of domestic manufacturing—how one factory can create jobs for multiple generations and build up local economies. Social posts and long-form articles also expanded that perspective by emphasizing the environmental costs of cheap, imported steel and promoting the benefits of a circular economy.

Measurable Impact

96.4%

increase in LinkedIn impressions

262.6%

increase in video views

159%

increase in Instagram accounts reached

7x

LinkedIn engagement rate per impression, vs 1-2% platform benchmark