How to Create a Successful LinkedIn Content Marketing Strategy

What to Share on LinkedIn 
Many manufacturers we meet are nervous about what to post on LinkedIn. They don’t know even where they should start. Post industry news, case studies/customer success stories, infographics, blogs, and the list goes on and on.
Remember the golden rule. 1 out of every 4-5 posts should be company content, the rest should be what we
marketers call “curated” content, or content from sources other than you.

How Often to Post

There is no set amount of times you should post a week. However, I think 2x per week is an attainable goal that you can aim to work toward. The most important thing is to create a consistent stream of content. You never want to go weeks of posting great content and then not post for 2 weeks. That doesn’t make a great impression on your network.

The Value of LinkedIn Pulse
If you have expertise in a certain area, we suggest writing a Pulse post, which is essentially LinkedIn’s version of articles, that can be self-published by members. 500-750 words is the perfect word count. Any more than that and your connections won’t read on.

linkedin-for-manufacturers-ebookBy using appropriate keywords and hashtags, you can attract a much larger audience to your Pulse article, your personal LinkedIn page, and the company page. Recently the president of Felber PR & Marketing, Rob Felber wrote a Pulse post and the majority of his readers were 2nd connections! So it just goes to show that Pulse is a great way to expand your audience and build credibility and respect in your industry.

Social Selling on LinkedIn

Once you start to create a consistent stream of content, review the likes and comments you are getting. Reply to commenters on your posts and send connection requests to people who have liked or commented on your posts. If you have people that are constantly liking and commenting on your posts, ask them if you can add them into your database to keep them in the loop on what’s going on at your company. Don’t miss out on the chance to build deeper relationships with those engaging with your content. Keep the conversation going!

Register for How to Get the Industrial  Media to Pay Attention Webinar

 

Easy Steps to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Looking to improve your LinkedIn presence, increase profile views, and connection requests? In this week’s Tactics Thursday video, I delve into some easy steps to perfect your LinkedIn profile!

The Basics

Current background photo– No other people, plants, or pets in the background. Waist up or headshot only!
Background image– Change the boring blue patterned banner to a product photo or your logo and tagline to add some interest to your profile.
Targeted description line– If you don’t create a description line, it will default to your job title and company. Here’s a great example of a description line that makes you want to click on the profile from my boss Rob Felber! Example: “Owner and Marketing Executive that fights fires, literally. Marketing for Manufacturers”
Contact Info– updated email, phone, and website link to current company

linkedin-for-manufacturers-ebookThe summary

This section is an excellent place for you to make a knock-out first
impression.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider.

Do: Discuss the capabilities and products marketed by your company.
Don’t: Write paragraphs about yourself. One short paragraph and bullets will
suffice (let’s face it, people don’t have time to read anymore)
Do: List past clients you’ve worked with or verticals you serve (e.g. agriculture,
metalworking, aerospace, etc.)
Don’t: Include your life story, how many kids you have, or your political views. Focus solely on your career. Leave personal information to your private personal social media channels!
Do: Highlight experience on professional boards, volunteer experience, awards, and certifications!


Register for How to Get the Industrial  Media to Pay Attention Webinar

Do’s and Don’ts When Working with the Media

In this week’s Tactics Thursday video, I share some of our best media relations tips and tricks.

Media Do’s

  • Be respectful of deadlines
  • Be available when you launch your press release
  • Provide materials in a timely manner
  • Seek media training

Media Don’ts

  • Burn bridges
  • Pitch more than two angles
  • Pitch multiple reporters at the same pub
  • Attempt to buy with gifts or lunch

You’re on MUTE!

The most common phrase since the beginning of the pandemic and the use of video meetings such as Zoom is “You’re on Mute!”

You’re excited to contribute to the conversation, it’s your 6th video call of the day, and all people see is our lips moving and hands waving. Then you hear it, someone informs you that your microphone is not on, “doh!”. 

Comic relief famous internet in-person conference call spoof

Throughout this global crisis, companies have had to make tough choices. Do we forge ahead or tighten our belts? Do we protect our employees and assets at the expense of future growth (and maybe our very survival)? Sales and marketing almost always take a budget hit during a recession which seems counterproductive. Companies develop products and services and selling and marketing those products is part of the fabric of any business. Without sales and marketing, there simply is no business. My favorite saying is “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.” Contract manufacturers do not build without an order and raw materials are not requested without a production need. So the question begs, why stop promoting your company? 

In May 2020 as I am writing this article,  unemployment had surged to 14.7%, and 20.5 million jobs were lost. Salespeople and marketers need to be sensitive and empathetic to their customers and prospects during this uncertain time in our economy. One of the partner companies we’re proud to be associated with is HubSpot. See how they approached this crisis. 

Recently, I was speaking to a sales representative in my network, one of the few still on the road visiting and working with customers, and he mentioned he’s seeing signs posted “Absolutely No Sales Calls.” While the safety of our people should be the number one priority, what are business development people to do if they cannot sell? As doors open, will the signs come down? If not, how will they market and create deeper relations with customers? Fortunately, there’s inbound marketing. Our free eBook on the subject can be found at this link. Professionally and compassionately, you need to come off mute. 

 

Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t want, inbound marketing forms connections they’re looking for and solves problems they already have.

 

So how do you move beyond definition and theory and create meaningful campaigns? Allison Miller recently wrote: How to Discover Content Ideas Right Under Your Nose

It is the questions your prospects ask, it is the new concept R & D is talking about in company meetings, it is the case study on the great job your team did on a particularly challenging project. You have the content, you just need to develop it into a format that allows salespeople to sell and marketing people to market…enter the writers. 

Keeping your brand relevant and authentic is the topic covered in the entreprenuer.com article Best Practices for Marketing During and After CODID-19  by Andrew Reid, CEO of Rival Technologies. This is a playbook on balancing caring with sales growth. 

How will you “come off mute?” Drop us a comment below. And, if you need help, we’re only a Zoom away. 

How to Discover Content Ideas Right Under Your Nose

content-ideas-under-your-nose

What is content? 

  • Blogs
  • Webpages
  • Video
  • eBooks
  • White Papers
  • Case Studies
  • Infographics
  • Editorial features
  • Webinars/speaking opportunities

How to develop content ideas?

  • Review social media & website form submissions
  • Repurpose videos and webinars
  • Review your manufacturing network on LinkedIn
  • Set Google Alerts
  • Showcase industry research and case studies
  • Recap industry events
  • Highlight giving back
  • Survey prospects and customers

5 Steps to Crush Your Next Media Interview

For your typical interview, you should have a strategy for these five steps: 1) Know their audience, 2) Research the reporter and their history, 3) Have your facts straight, 4) know your desired outcome, and 5) Have your art ready.

When Your Prospects and Customers Became Humans

 

It was easy before virus-interruptus to just plow through prospecting. Sure we sent emails and viewed LinkedIn profiles but did we really get to know our contacts at a personal level? Did we see the human smiling back at you in their profile picture or just click through to see how large the company is or where they are located? When you visited their offices and factories, you did not meet their dogs, see the art in their living room, or watch their kids searching for a snack in the kitchen while you zoomed.

In our new normal, we’re seeing each other with less of the armor of business and more of what makes us human; and that’s a good thing. Remember these experiences and cherish this time. I know that is strange to say, but this is the silver lining. For me, having my college sophomore twins home has led to the most consecutive family dinners since they were toddlers. Share your silver linings and your frustrations with your human prospects and you will certainly discover the person behind the lead.

So, turning 55 in a quarantine birthday was unique. In all the sadness and struggles it was uplifting to have a special day with family and friends. And, if you know my family, we make a habit of including the local news media. Watch me get totally surprised:

Rob Felber birthday surprise, Fox8

https://www.facebook.com/Fox8NewsCleveland/videos/1192163104448329/

 

Remember when having a dog barking or the kids making noise in the background was so unprofessional? It took the world being put on pause to realize what we were missing – the human connection. Share – laugh – cry, but remember, We’re all in this together. We will be better humans having this experience. Who will you connect with on a new level this week?

My chief barking officer

I would love to hear your stories. Share below in the comments. Here’s to getting to know you better!

The Most Common Mistakes Manufacturers Make When Implementing Inbound Marketing


Inbound marketing is one of the most buzzed-about topics among manufacturers. Many manufacturing companies have implemented successful inbound marketing strategies, which are bringing them more qualified leads and giving them better insight into their prospects and customers. However, for as many manufacturers that have successfully implemented inbound, there are just as many who have dropped the ball and made some major marketing blunders. Keep reading to learn the top inbound marketing mistakes manufacturers make and my top tips on how you can avoid these pitfalls at your manufacturing company.

  1. Not Integrating Sales with Marketing

The beautiful thing about inbound is that it ties sales and marketing together. With an inbound minbound-marketing-mistakesarketing platform, such as HubSpot, you can track your prospects and their behavior. In one, easy-to-view command center, you can look at prospects and customers individually and see what emails they’ve opened and clicked, where they’ve been on your website and what content they’ve downloaded.

When integrating an inbound strategy, it is necessary to get sales onboard. By integrating CRM with an inbound platform, sales managers get a “360” view of who the prospect is and receives a valuable insight on that individual’s needs, wants, and goals. That way, when a sales rep reaches out to a prospect, he or she is equipped with solutions tailored to that prospect. When sales are disconnected from inbound, you will not see optimal ROI from your marketing efforts.

2. Eliminating Traditional PR & Marketing Tactics from Their Strategy

Inbound marketing allows manufacturers to track just about everything from website visitors to leads and sales. We’ve seen a lot of manufacturers dropping the ball on public relations thinking that inbound marketing is replacing the need for the name recognition and eyeballs publicity delivers. However, PR & traditional marketing (editorial, advertising, direct mail, etc.) have an important place in an inbound strategy. How you may ask? The first step in the inbound marketing process is to attract.

By exhibiting at a trade show, being featured in an industry publication, or by advertising in the right magazine, you are enhancing your brand. Going to a notable industry trade show or having a case study of yours featured in a respected industry publication is a great way to intrigue prospects and attract them to your website! Read my blog “Why Manufacturers Still Need Traditional PR & Marketing in a Digital World” for more information on the importance of inbound.

3. Underestimating the Power of Social

Many manufacturers are not tapping into the power of social media. If social isn’t integrated into your inbound marketing plan, you are missing out. You can write all the relevant content you want, but you still need to distribute that content. Social provides just the right mix of channels to broadcast your message. Let’s face it: we’re living and breathing in a social media driven world. More and more people are getting their news from Twitter instead of television news outlets and making connections on LinkedIn instead of cold calling or email introductions. If you read Rob’s blog on social selling, you’ll understand the impact social has on the sales process and how easily social selling incorporates into the manufacturing sales process.

I'm ready to increase lead generation with inbound marketing

Why Your Content Strategy is Failing (Content Mapping 101)

 

 

This week’s Tactics Thursday video is all about how to make a strong content strategy through the process of content mapping. You’ve heard it before: content is king—and the way to create relevant, consistent content is by creating a content map.  Content marketing is not a short-term campaign. Just like the manufacturing sales cycle, it is a long-term strategy to attract, convert, close and retain customers. Below, learn my best practices for creating a content map that will ensure your content strategy doesn’t fall to the wayside!

 

 

 

Download Here Industrial Manufacturer's Guide to Inbound Marketing

Why Your Pay-Per-Click Ads Aren’t Working

Are you currently utilizing pay-per-click ads in your marketing strategy? Are you seeing little lead conversion or ROI from your efforts? Creating an excellent pay-per-click ad is about more than writing snappy copy. It’s a mix of creativity and data-driven science that focuses on the right keywords, the right budget, the right pay per click rate, and engaging copy that answers your audience’s search questions. Below, you’ll learn the foundation of paid search—the difference between pay-per-click and paid social ads, how to find who to target and keywords, what offers to get the best lead conversion, and more.

The two types of paid ads we primarily use for our business-to-business manufacturing clients:

Google/Bing pay-per-click: Advertisers pay to display brief advertisements, service offerings, product listings, video content, and generate mobile application installs within the Google or Bing ad network to web users. For example, if a contact search “lathe cut gaskets” or “food-grade gaskets”, our lathe cut gaskets manufacturing client will most likely come up in the search.

Paid social ads:

LinkedIn ads can help your business reach a powerful audience of professionals. Not only are LinkedIn members influential, but they also have two times the buying power of the average web crowd.

  • Sponsored ads are essentially promoted LinkedIn posts
  • There are three different formats available for Sponsored Content ads: single image, video, and carousel
  • Campaigns can run as native news feed ads and lead generation forms

Download Here Industrial Manufacturer's Guide to Inbound Marketing

To create a sound pay-per-click strategy, it is essential that you take the time to identify your ideal customers. This process is called creating buyer personas. Buyer personas help manufacturers identify their best prospects. The profile of your best prospect and how they buy is the buyer’s’ journey.

What Are Buyer Personas?

Semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on select educated speculation and real data about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.

Looking to develop your own buyer personas? Read “Why Developing Buyer Personas is Invaluable for Manufacturers”

Selecting the Right PPC Keywords

A well-organized PPC campaign will include a number of different types of keywords such as:

  • Brand keywords: These are keywords that include the name of your company. Brand keywords tend to be low in cost and have very high quality scores. In addition, they yield excellent results in terms of click-through and conversion.
  • Commercial keywords: These are keywords by prospects who are closest to the close stage of the sales cycle with the highest likelihood to buy. Whether to refer a given keyword to the commercial depends on the site niche.
  • Broader, low-intent keywords: In order to expand your business’s reach, it’s important to also bid on some broader PPC keywords that have low intent, but give you the capability of increasing brand awareness. You can increase your conversion rate on broad keywords through remarketing strategies.
  • Long-tail keywords: These are highly specific, longer, unique phrases that are often very low-cost and have less keyword competition. However, long-tail keywords often have low search volume.
  • Competitive keywords: It’s a good idea to allocate some budget toward keywords your competitors are also using. This allows you to get your brand and offerings in front of people who are searching for the products and services of your competitors

Grouping and Managing Your PPC Keywords

Once you’ve established PPC keywords as your base to start with, you need to be able to put them to use in an organized way that optimizes your time and money investment. Proper keyword grouping allows you to stay organized so that you can target your customers more successfully, thereby improving quality score and reducing cost.

Check out this great HubSpot article on How to do keyword research for more great tips

Increasing PPC Conversion Through Great Content Offers: 

A great way to increase conversion on your paid ads is by offering a great piece of content. Your prospects are much more likely to fill out your forms if they are getting something valuable in return. Our clients have seen great success by offering the following pieces of content in their pay-per-click ads.

  • eBooks
  • Technical/White Papers
  • Capabilities Papers