“It’s in There!” Why Pay Extra When It’s Included in HubSpot?

HubSpot, it's in there

For those of a certain age, you may remember the Prego commercial where the son convinces the father that Prego spaghetti sauce uses the same great ingredients as the old-world family recipe. The father keeps asking about this spice and that, and the line “it’s in there” is repeated.

Calendar Integration and Simple Meeting Booking

In sales, overcoming hurdles and converting prospects to customers quickly and easily is key. Any barriers, such as slow response to inquiries or landing appointments can send your coveted prospect looking elsewhere. Something as simple as booking an appointment directly with a representative may be the difference between getting an at-bat and being put on the bench.

There are many programs, for a fee, that allows scheduling. Calendly and TimeTap for example. For our customers, HubSpot is the default winner. Integration with their calendar is included in HubSpot at no extra fee. Book meetings online or in person. Embed calendars in blogs, emails, and landing pages to allow prospects immediate access to your calendar. You can have multiple meeting schedules (think Zoom, in-person, or just one event, such as the week of a tradeshow). With HubSpot, calendar links can be placed in email signatures, in chatbots, or even live on a website. And, since it is all within HubSpot, the history stays with your contact in one neat central CRM. Why pay for another application, especially when you miss out on all the free integrations? How easy is it? Rob Felber’s Zoom Calendar.

Live, Automated Chat Features

And, speaking of chat, why pay for that service? HubSpot chat allows live answering as well as automated responses. Don’t lose a prospect that has an immediate need or question by not being available. And, with HubSpot, you can start a CRM record with just their email address. Handle inquiries from pricing and material questions to order status and inventory, in seconds – oh, did we mention it does not cost extra?!

Survey Creation and Real-Time Data Collection

Creating surveys just got easier. Many of our manufacturing clients, especially those recertifying their ISO ratings, need to conduct customer satisfaction surveys. While Survey Monkey and Delight work, there are fees for using the premium features. All within HubSpot, we recently created a simple survey, complete with dropdown choices and comment text capture with a landing page – all branded to the client. Oh, and the data, collected for free, is captured on each individual contacts record. Did we mention this did not cost anything to execute?

HubSpot Has it All and is There to Help if You Need it

Calendars, chat, and surveys are just a few of the many features that enhance a modern, robust marketing software such as HubSpot. We use it, our clients use it and you should too. Reduce your tech stack by integrating multiple features and tools into one, easy-to-use platform.

By the way, HubSpot’s support is powerful, 24/7, and above all else, just pleasant, nice people that guide you through technology without making you feel, well, stupid. They know not all of us are tech wizards. They always ask what are you working on today and how they can help. Then they help.

Want to learn more? Here’s my calendar!

How to Pick the Trade Magazines to Target? Manufacturing Masters Video

Rob Felber was recently invited to be a featured expert in a series of Manufacturing Masters videos!

Manufacturing Masters is an operational training platform that’s built by manufacturers for manufacturers. The site offers training videos featuring real industry experts who cover hundreds of different topics. The videos cover anything from supply chain to HR and recruitment, or cybersecurity, finance, engineering and business strategy. No matter what topic you’re looking for, the training focuses on short wins that can be implemented in your business today. Manufacturing Masters is the “How To” site for manufacturing businesses.

How to pick the trade magazines that we want to target?

In this Manufacturing Masters video, Rob Felber details how to choose the best trade magazine for your business. There’s no sense in getting your business featured in a trade publication that isn’t being read by your prospects or potential customers. But how do you pick which publications to target? Rob shares a few industrial public relations tips that can help you make sure you’re delivering the right content to the right person at the right time!

To download the full video for FREE, please submit your email address below.

Best Practices for Approaching the Media

Approaching the Media Blog Graphic

Spam emailing journalists, reporters and editors with pitches, news releases, announcements, etc., is ineffective, and it establishes your organization as “one of the bad guys.”

So, what are the best practices for approaching an editor or journalist?

Attract, don’t chase

Contacting publications to pitch stories is only one way to get the media’s attention. Much of a journalist’s or reporter’s job is researching industry trends and finding newsworthy content. You should make sure your website and social media are places where these journalists and reporters might find great stories. 

There are ways to connect with the media other than through one-way spam. Writing and sharing relevant content establishes your company’s credibility and increases your findability within the industry. To make sure reporters will find you on search engines and industry sites, you should prioritize SEO and keyword research. Posting keyword-rich content online will lead potential customers and reporters to find you on search engines. 

Establishing your own blog and posting regular content can help your organization get noticed by other industry bloggers and journalists. Blogging can not only help you be found by reporters but also possibly be looked to again for future stories. The bottom line is: when you create and post valuable content online, you reach people who are looking for what you have to offer, including reporters and the media. Pro tip: make sure the media are on your CRM. Often a simple announcement or news update shared via email to your contacts will pique their interest in a story.

Download our PR eBook

Make it personal

These days, we’re all bombarded by tons of notifications from social media, texts, calls and emails. Journalists are no strangers to this. Think about how you might be able to get them to open and pay attention to your email out of the thousands in their inbox. 

Rather than sending generic emails to a ton of reporters, you should take the time to research industry publications and find specific reporters who are likely to cover your story. Think about what the individual reporters like to write about by researching their previous stories, and then write specific, targeted pitches crafted just for them. It’s up to you to pitch stories to reporters who might actually be interested in writing about your industry or topic. Consider offering an exclusive story, free samples, product demonstrations or interviews with executives to sweeten the deal.

In my opinion, the best way to get coverage is by fostering real relationships with reporters. Connect with media in your industry by commenting on blogs, social media, and communication that doesn’t involve pitching anything. Relationships don’t form overnight but making sure your interactions with the media are personal might just lead to the formation of professional relationships that prove mutually beneficial for years to come.

Nail the pitch

So, you’ve selected a specific media publication and reporter you’d like to pitch to. Now, it’s time to send the email, make the phone call or set up the meeting. There are a few things to keep in mind when developing a pitch strategy. 

As we’ve already established, making your message personal is number one. Next, it’s important to help the journalist or reporter understand the big picture. You’re more than likely not the only pitch they’ll hear today, so make sure they understand the newsworthiness of your story. It is critical to mention their readership and why your story resonates with them. Give the necessary details but keep it simple. Show them that you value their time. Be prepared to give a compelling pitch and have any supporting material ready to send after your initial pitch. 

Don’t forget, it’s a 2-way street – journalists need ideas in order to write stories! Don’t be afraid to reach out, make a connection and get your story covered by the media. Want some help fostering relationships with the media? We can help improve your public relations strategy. Schedule a 15-minute consultation at your convenience, and let’s talk about it. RobFelber@FelberPR.com, (330) 963-3664.

How Do I Get Interviewed More Often? Manufacturing Masters Video

How do I get interviewed more often?

Rob Felber was recently invited to be a featured expert in a series of Manufacturing Masters videos!

Manufacturing Masters is an operational training platform that’s built by manufacturers for manufacturers. The site offers training videos featuring real industry experts who cover hundreds of different topics. The videos cover anything from supply chain, to HR and recruitment, or cybersecurity, finance, engineering and business strategy. No matter what topic you’re looking for, the training focuses on short wins that can be implemented in your business today. Manufacturing Masters is the “How To” site for manufacturing businesses.

How do I get interviewed more often?

In this Manufacturing Masters video, Rob Felber details how to get your business interviewed more often. It’s one thing to post content on your own platforms, but it’s another for your content to earn a place on a third party’s platforms. That media coverage could open the door to a wide audience of potential prospects and quality leads. Rob shares a few public relations tips for manufacturers who need help getting industrial trade media interviews and attention!

To download the full video for FREE, please submit your email address below.

The Trade Show is Over: Time to Maximize Your Investment 

The trade show is over: time to maximize your investment

So, you made an effort to capitalize on trade show chatter, before, during and after the show. How do you know you had a successful trade show? After the proper planning, preparation and practice, you met lots of people and started some great conversations. Excellent! 

Now, it’s time to make the most of those new connections.  

Following up three to 7 days after those initial trade show conversations is critical. Also in that first post-show week, your prospects will probably be contacted by a competitor or two – you want to look good in comparison.

It’s time for your CRM system to help you out. 

Managing New Contacts from a Trade Show

You just met a lot of people, and some of them expect to hear from you very soon. In fact, they’re looking forward to it. They’re warm leads. Some will be glad to hear from you IF you have something helpful for them. They’re qualified leads. And while others will barely remember you, you know you have something to offer them. They’re prospects or cold leads, and they’re valuable too. 

The right process will help you address each of them in turn. 

Before the trade show, you probably wrote targeted post-show emails for each type of prospect. You wisely mirrored the graphics and messaging that you used before and during the show. And you automated the process to be automated with triggering events that will keep each type of prospect engaged properly for wherever they are in the buying cycle. 

If this sounds complicated, it’s not! A user-friendly CRM simplifies the process and helps you track each prospect through the sales funnel. 

Want some help? Contact us.

Trade Show Review: How Did You Do? 

➡️It’s worth repeating: reaching out to new trade show contacts in a timely manner is your first priority after the show. ⬅️

Then, after catching your breath, it’s time to review the whole process. 

Trade shows are expensive, and designing a booth, staffing it and providing unique, meaningful promotions adds a lot of time (and more money) to the endeavor. Was it worth the investment? Ten different companies may have 10 different methods for determining the answer to that question.

Evaluating the total number and quality of leads generated is one way; tracking benchmarks to determine how valuable the show was for your organization is another. Most companies judge success based on a variety of factors including new accounts, new product lines introduced into existing accounts, and of course, based simply on sales order volume in the first few months after a show. 

Whew. Now it’s finally time to give yourself a pat on the back and then – get ready for what’s next! Soon, you’ll be having more in-depth conversations and developing new relationships with many of those new prospects. 

Already registered for your next trade show? Download the Trade Shows for Manufacturers Guide here.

Don’t Get SPOOKED by Reporters

Don't Get Spooked by Reporters

Contrary to what you may have heard, reporters and editors in the business-to-business manufacturing world are not scary. They are not ghoulish. They are not out for blood. They do not have razor-sharp fountain pens.

These media folks are professionals, curious to a fault, and looking to provide their readers (your prospects and customers) with the most accurate, up-to-date, insightful content. They certainly are not the people to be afraid of when conducting an interview. While we all might get nervous speaking in public or with a reporter, working with the key people that cover your industry is critical to getting the word out about your latest innovation or service. No need to carve a jack-o-lantern to scare them into printing your story. Establish a relationship first and it will be like talking to an old friend (although candy never hurts).

Here are three ways to calm the nerves before an interview and achieve the goal of placing your message in front of thousands of their subscribers:

1. Practice. We always tell our clients that the first time they say something should NOT be in front of a reporter. Practice what and how you want your message to be received. Consider media training or simply having a colleague role-play the interview or recording a practice interview for critique.

2. Plan out what you want to say and just as importantly, the topics you want to avoid. Way too many times we have seen a CEO tell us what they do not want to address only to get caught up in the excitement and spill the beans. Note, once it is said, it is hard to retract. If you already crossed the path of a black cat… well, he’s out of the bag! Said another way, we ask you what you would give your left arm not to have to discuss, then plan your answer should that topic come up.

3. Graphics, charts, and photos to the rescue. Having these tools at the ready can help you stay on point as well as provide the reporter with pre-written content for their story. Always, always, always have the high-resolution photos, videos and infographics packaged and ready to send at the conclusion of an interview. While the editors are not scary, the deadlines they work under are, and we have seen stories killed faster than Michael Myers on Halloween when materials are not ready. The editor may have no choice but to skip or delay your story for lack of decent “art.” Then, your story may have actually died.

So, pack up your giant pumpkin basket, a few coins for UNICEF, and get into costume. It’s time to tell your (ghost) story. Happy Halloween from Felber PR & Marketing!

Need some more PR tips? Download out free Manufacturer’s Guide to Public Relations eBook below!

Download our PR eBook

Capitalize on Trade Show Chatter, Before, During and After the Show

You have a lot to do before a trade show! While promoting your trade show presence ahead of time by having a killer booth design with engaging displays, maybe offering some swag, and setting up meetings with media connections who will be in attendance are all critical to having a successful show, there are other behind-the-scenes tasks you’ll want to handle before you leave.

5 Tips to engage visitors before and during a trade show

 

What to Do ASAP before the Trade Show

Huddle with your team. Make sure everyone inside your organization knows that your company is attending! Let your vendors know, too. Pre-show chatter with your employees and vendors isn’t just good “internal PR,” it helps your sales and customer service reps hone their presentation. And of course, no one knows your company and its products better than the people who make them. Their suggestions will make your trade show presentation better and post-show lead follow-up more productive.

Develop and practice talking points for in-person interactions. You don’t want to sound like a well-rehearsed actor, but you should practice some natural talking points around features and competitive advantages, and be prepared to answer all of the questions you expect to be asked at the show.

 

Trade Show Prep, Two Weeks Before the Show

Warm up the crowd with pre-show messaging: make sure your pre-show “chatter” includes all the pertinent hashtags and that your social media posts include @mentions of other attendees and exhibitors as appropriate. Try to engage your audience with questions and polls, and remember to share your booth number and images of your booth graphics in those posts. 

Review the attendee and exhibitor list. Data collection begins NOW!  

Review and update your lead generation form to ensure that it reflects your most current offerings. Also ask yourself, will it resonate with the prospects you’re most likely to see at the show? 

It should go without saying, but we’ll say it: test the lead gen form and your automated responses.

Not sure how to do that? We can help.

 

The Week Before the Trade Show: Ready to Go? 

Update your live chat popup box with a teaser like, “Want to chat at the show? Let us know when you’ll be there!” And we’ll say it again: test that updated chat window. 

Schedule a designated person (or two) who will be available for live chats both during the show and for three- to 10 days after it’s over. 

  • Give them a script or bullet list of answers to the FAQs you anticipate (based on show reps’ experience at the booth) and try to end all responses with a question, like “can we prepare a quote for you?” or the generic but effective, “is there anything else you have questions about?” 
  • Commit to responding to all chat requests and inquiries within 12 hours. Twenty-four hours is long enough for a “hot” lead to cool off (or reach a competitor). 
  • Why should you prepare for trade show leads to respond up to 10 days after a show? Because like you, trade show attendees will have a lot to unpack – literally and figuratively. And because different trade show leads will enter your funnel at different points in the sales process. 

We’ll discuss what to do with those leads in a future post. Can’t wait? Contact us!

 

Game Day: During the Trade Show 

Collect intel, both on other companies in your space and from your prospects. Not sure how to effectively collect info from leads? We help our clients pre-qualify leads and categorize prospects efficiently so you can maximize those face-to-face interactions and be ready to follow up as soon as you return from the show. 

Keep communication channels open. Just as important as connecting with potential buyers on a personal level, communicating back to your team at the plant is also vital to getting the greatest return for the time and financial investment you put into the show. 

What are you learning that might help engineering, manufacturing, or that could help customer service do their jobs better? What questions could the team back home answer for you, so you can pass along relevant information to a prospect you spoke with earlier at the show? If you respond to a prospect’s inquiry during the show, you’ll leave a great impression that will go a long way toward establishing a relationship after the show. 

 

More Trade Show Tips 

This isn’t a comprehensive list of all you have to do before a trade show, but we’ve covered some of the most important items to maximize your trade show investment. We help companies prepare before, during and after trade shows, from scheduling media interviews before the show to engaging their audience with creative displays and memorable promotional items during the show to following up on each lead in a timely, helpful manner.  The goal is to build great customer relationships! How can we help you?

 

While Trade Shows are primarily marketing events, there are plenty of PR opportunities in every show. We help our clients make the most of those opportunities and build long-term business relations. Want to discuss the possibilities? Get in touch

Manufacturing Day’s Impact on a Turbulent Economy

Manufacturers have been, and continue to be, on a wild ride. While supply chain is grabbing the headlines, companies know that the heart of the problem is recruiting workers at all stages of production. Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) is a long-standing initiative of The Manufacturing Institute, with the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association as a founding partner. Friday, October 7th, 2022 is the date, however, events take place throughout the entire month of October.

What is MFG Day and why is it important?

MFG Day is manufacturing’s biggest annual opportunity to inspire the next generation to start careers in modern manufacturing through a series of focused events to promote manufacturing to students, parents, and educators.

“Manufacturers in the United States need to fill 4 million jobs by 2030, according to a workforce study by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte. More than half of those jobs could be left unfilled because of two issues: a skills gap and misperceptions about modern manufacturing.” 

It is no secret that there is a labor shortage and skills gap in the United States. Manufacturers have felt this pain for years. What can you do this year to help? Start by looking for a MFG Day event in your area. Better yet, become a creator and host an event.

Need some inspiration? Check out our past articles on Manufacturing Day on our blog. We have articles and stories covering the past seven years. Participating and engaging your local market will impact your recruitment activities.

There are employees out there and, given a choice, they will want to work with a forward-thinking organization that cares about the community they call home. Partner with your schools and technical training organizations. Arrange a tour, create an internship program, and build tomorrow’s workforce today. Yes, it takes effort and resources but to not only survive but thrive, your manufacturing company needs to embrace multiple tactics. Make the commitment and join MFG Day.

5 Tips to Engage Visitors BEFORE and DURING Trade Shows

5 tips to engage visitors before and during trade shows

So you’re headed to IMTS 22 (the International Manufacturing Technology Show)? It’s time to think about attracting and engaging visitors. You don’t want to be lost in a sea of trade show booths, so what is the best way to draw visitors away from the competition and toward your business?

1. Invite and utilize your existing connections.

Trade shows can be a great way to interact with your current and potential connections. In fact, 79% of attendees believe going to a trade show helps them decide what to buy. (Source: Graphicolor Exhibits) Before the event, send an email to your current contacts and invite them to visit your booth. Be sure to include information about where to find your trade show booth and what they can expect from your exhibit. If they attend, interacting face-to-face is an excellent opportunity to network, make connections and share mutually beneficial contacts.

2. Research and connect with the media.

Having a great trade show booth is useless if you have few attendees and visitors. A great way to ensure you’re spreading the word about your exhibit is to get the manufacturing trade press involved. Do some research about what media outlets will be present at the show and reach out to your industry bloggers, influencers, journalists, and trade publications. It’s the perfect way to invite prospects, share exciting news or product launches, and promote your business before the trade show. Also, invite these journalists to your booth for one-on-one interviews. Taking the time to invest in advertising and press involvement could secure you more trade show booth visitors and viable leads.

3. Promote your exhibit on social media.

People from every industry are on social media, and these platforms can be a great way to promote your upcoming trade exhibitions. 61% of businesses use social media to promote their attendance at an upcoming trade show. (Source: Brandon Gaille) You should schedule social media posts to go out before and during the show to promote your booth and attract attendees. Don’t forget to include information about any presentations, product demos, or contests you’re hosting during the show. Scheduling the posts ahead of time will relieve some pressure and give you one less thing to worry about during the event. Building excitement online in the weeks leading up to the show will attract prospects to the trade show and encourage them to stop by your booth.

Posting to social media live during the show is also a good idea so you can share your booth location and pictures of your exhibit. If your current contacts or followers are at the show, they will know where to find you and what to expect. Lastly, check the show’s website for their social media and any hashtags to maximize impact. 

4. Nail your booth design.

Attracting prospects to the trade show is just one step. To generate leads, you’ve got to get them to engage with your exhibit during the show. The design of your booth is crucial for making a lasting first impression and drawing attendees to you. If you want to stand out among the other exhibitors your display should include engaging and interactive elements that make the encounter with your business fun. 74% of attendees believe engaging with the exhibitors makes them more likely to buy the products/services on display. (Source: Hill & Partners)

You can use photos and videos to draw the eyes of attendees to your booth. Touch screens and tablets can be used to collect contact information from visitors which will help you follow up after the show is over. Surveys and quizzes are another great way to get your booth visitors engaged and inform them of what your business has to offer. 92% of attendees visit a trade show to learn about new and exciting products and services. (Source: SpinGo)

Everyone loves gifts and freebies. Organizing a contest or giveaway can be an excellent way to capture prospects’ attention and leave a lasting impression. Consider giving away branded merchandise, swag bags, or even food and drinks. 

Using a company mascot is one of the most fun and effective ways to draw attention to your exhibit. A mascot will make your trade show booth unmissable and provide a fun photo-op for visitors to share on social media.

5. Don’t attack, attract.

No one likes to be bombarded by salespeople, especially as you walk by every booth at a trade show. Stopping uninterested people as they walk by and pushing them to look at what’s on sale is not the best approach at trade shows. A better strategy is to attract them to you and your exhibit. But a great display is only the first step. You should make sure that your trade show staff is knowledgeable, personable and engaging. 85% of an exhibitor’s success at a trade show is dependent on the performance of the staff they bring. (Source: Highway 85 Creative)

When a visitor approaches your booth, it means they are interested in what you have to offer, so it’s important to have the first person from your staff there to help. Dressing professional and wearing company logo apparel is a must for making sure your staff is easily identifiable among the crowds. You should be sure that your booth provides its visitors with valuable information that is easily digestible and useful to them. Consider using presentations and product demonstrations to draw people in without having to attack them as they walk by.

For tips on your next step after the show, read our blog The Trade Show is Over – Now What?

Need more help? Download our Trade Shows for Manufacturers Guide or contact Rob Felber at RobFelber@FelberPR.com, (330) 963-3664.

3 Digital Tactics for Lead Generation for Manufacturers

What do B2B Manufacturing buyers want

Generating and maintaining viable leads is at the core of any successful manufacturing company. Lead generation is the process of initiating consumer interest for products or services with the goal of converting that interest into sales.

But what are the best ways for manufacturers to generate leads? How can manufacturers use digital marketing to generate new leads?

1. Design your website to optimize conversions

The easiest way for consumers to research product and company information is online. 73% of B2B buyers said they pay attention to a supplier’s website when deciding whether to submit RFIs, according to a recent Thomas industrial buyers survey. If your company’s website is not user-friendly, you’re missing out on a ton of potential customers. Using your website to encourage visitors to take action could be a valuable source of new leads.

 

Click here to learn how a website SEO Audit can improve site discoverability

 

For instance, try using a contact section on your site’s homepage where visitors can get in touch immediately to ask questions, or an e-newsletter subscription pop-up to encourage regular communications from your business.

2. Create and share valuable content

The most effective marketing strategies anticipate consumer needs & provide content to meet those needs, even before they ask. In fact, 67% of buyers rely more on content to educate themselves and inform purchase decisions than they did in prior years, according to Demand Gen’s 2020 report.

Inbound marketing can be used to establish trust and symbiotic relationships between your company and its consumers. This process involves generating valuable content which attracts and educates prospects while providing them with information that benefits them. A recent Corporate Visions study reports that 74% of buyers choose the supplier that’s first to add value and insight.

The use of infographics, blogs, and news releases can help satisfy consumers’ informational needs by focusing on their problems & detailing how you can help solve them. Trade shows and webinars are another great way to educate consumers while increasing your company’s awareness and establishing an industry presence.

3. Establish a strong and reliable social media presence

The potential reach for manufacturers on social media should not be underestimated. Owned social pages can be a great place to share valuable content and connect with prospects. It creates a space for manufacturers to create a brand persona, introduce themselves, and communicate with potential consumers on platforms they’re already using.

Another advantage of social media is the potential to research prospects and identify what they are looking for from your company. Knowing more about your audience can help you tailor content to meet the specific needs of your buyers. 80% of marketers said that their content marketing objectives are better met when content is personalized, according to a Seismic demand metric report. Learning how your company can help expand the manufacturing industry is a great way to establish consumer confidence and generate leads.

Need help with your digital marketing strategies? Felber can help. Schedule a 15-minute consultation at your convenience, and let’s talk about it. RobFelber@FelberPR.com, (330) 963-3664.