2 Business Tools to Thrive Working in a Coronavirus World


corona-virus-business-video

We are living in a Coronavirus World and it is evident that this is only the beginning of this pandemic and its impact on our businesses. It is essential that businesses adapt to working remotely when possible.  This week’s Tactics Thursday video focuses on the 2 business tools we use to connect with prospects and customers virtually. These tools are an essential part of our business and allow us to create a great customer experience for clients regardless of location.

Tools mentioned: 

Zoom— a video conferencing platform

I have used every other video conference platform out there and none have been as reliable as Zoom. I have used Zoom 20+ times a week over the last 2 years and never dropped a call or had any issues.

Vidyard– an all-in-one video platform for businesses. 

  • LinkedIn Videos– Such as these Tactics Thursday videos, company announcements, or announcements for Women in Manufacturing Ohio, which I serve on the board as Communications Chair.
  • Client Tutorials– I often do tutorials when clients ask questions showcasing how to perform tasks in HubSpot or walking clients through email campaigns and workflows.
  • Prospects Meeting Follow Up– If I have a strong meeting with a prospect, sometimes I will opt to do a video recap instead of a lengthy email follow up. This cuts through the clutter and adds a personal touch.

 

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How to Use Publication Media Kits to Target Better Prospects

Lead generation for inbound marketing using manufacturing trade publications

How to Use Publication Media Kits to Target Better Prospects

 

Inbound Marketing, and all sales tactics for that matter, require proper targeting of prospects. Lead generation is your ultimate goal – but who determines just the right lead. Consequently, the same targeting data is needed when researching manufacturing trade media for publicity and advertising alike. So, let’s learn How to Use Publication Media Kits to Target Better Prospects.

Defining your prospect persona is critical. We’ve covered this already, so please visit this article if you need a refresher: Why Developing Buyer Personas is Invaluable for Manufacturers

How to define if a publication is a good way to reach your prospects/customers you need to know a few tips. First, visit the publication’s website, those you “suspect” your prospect reads. Look for the advertising or media kit sections. Download the kits you deem worthy and look at the following critical factors:

  • Circulation (who does the publication reach?)
  • Do industry verticals match your target persona?
  • Do the titles or job descriptions match your personas?
  • Ultimately, do you have something newsworthy to offer these readers
Trade publication media kits - inbound lead generation

                      How manufacturing trade publications can be used                                                     for inbound lead generation

Most media kits package this information in easy to reach charts and graphs. The good publications cite their research on how they determined their facts and figures. Whether you are looking to advertise, place editorial, content of both, review these kits to see if they match your target audience.

Look at both the editorial calendar of topics to be covered by their editors, as well as trade conferences the publication is attending (hence bonus coverage). Armed with this information you are in a much better position to make an educated and researched decision.

How to Use Email Automation the Right Way + Top HubSpot Email Tools

Email automation is an incredible tool that allows salespeople to nurture prospects through the sales cycle efficiently. However, if used incorrectly, automated sales emails can be a relationship annihilator. We see email automation used the wrong way in our inbox constantly. There’s nothing worse than getting bombarded with lengthy emails about why you should use their product or service or generic copy and pasted wording with zero customization when you barely know the sender if at all.  In the video below, learn my top tips to create impactful, automated emails that are customized; allowing salespeople to strengthen relationships with their prospects and ultimately, acquire them as customers.

 

Related blog posts:

How to Plan Successful Manufacturing Panels

Panel discussions are often my favorite part of an event or conference because they provide audience members with a team of experts on a niche topic in a condensed and powerful format.  If you’re managing an event that includes a panel discussion, it’s important to plan these carefully in order to have the event be successful. In the past year, I planned and moderated 5 panel discussions for Felber PR & Marketing’s joint panel series with Alliance Industrial Solutions. I also moderated a panel discussion at the joint Women in Manufacturing Ohio and Ohio Aersopace Institute event on The Importance of Women in STEM and the Future of the Aerospace Industry. Here are a few things I’ve learned to plan a successful event and lead a strong panel discussion that positions your company as an industry expert and strengthens your relationships with prospects and customers.

In the video below, I discuss the following:

  • Picking a Topic That Will Fill The Room
  • Panel Selection
  • Email Campaign Tips
  • Social Media/Web Tactics
  • Event Planning Tips
  • Moderating Advice

Are you missing prospects on social media? Easy steps to grow your database.

 

Need more and better leads? Would you love to engage those that already are familiar with your company?

In this video you will learn:

  • How social media can provide leads
  • How to grow your prospect database
  • How to see social engagement with your content
  • How to expand your reach into the organization chart of prospects and customers alike

You’ve done the hard work. Content has been developed, posted on social media and targeted to multiple manufacturing channels. You are seeing all types of engagement from likes to comments and shares.

So, now what? Well, watch this video to see just how to garner more prospects.

Check out this Video

 

Questions? Want to discuss further? Send me your thoughts at RobFelber@felberpr.com. And, if you try it I’ll give you a shout-out on our channels. Just think who might see your success story!

Also, see these articles for more tips:

How to Increase Manufacturing Sales with Social Selling

How to Increase Social Selling with LinkedIn

 

 

The #1 Mistake Manufacturers Make at Trade Shows & How to Fix It!

 

In this week’s episode of Tactics Thursday, I delve into trade show marketing strategy. Manufacturing salespeople do an incredible job of connecting with prospects and customers, deepening relationships, and closing sales at trade shows. However, they are missing out on a major step that could make a huge impact in their sales and marketing success: engaging with the media that are attending the show.  Media attend industry trade shows to find stories to tell for the next year. Why not have them tell your company’s story? Not only is editorial coverage in industry publications a great way to build your reputation, but it is also a great way to drive traffic to your website. I discuss the method we use at Felber PR & Marketing to get the media’s attention and book appointments at our client’s booth at the show.

Interested in discussing your trade show strategy? Email me at allisonmiller@felberpr.com.

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How to Make This Year The ‘Year of Content’

This week’s Tactics Thursday video is all about how to make 2020 the Year of Content! I walk you through the steps of creating a strong content plan to release one piece of content a week. Here are some simple ways to create content topics that are relevant and engaging for your prospects and customers.

 


 

  1. Review Social Media & Website Form Submissions– Jot down common themes and if you don’t have content on each of these topics, develop it!
  2. Repurpose videos and webinars– Webinars and videos can be repurposed! Consider including the video of your latest webinar and transcribing the script or creating a blog or ebook which includes your video!
  3. Review your manufacturing network on LinkedIn– I’m sure you’re following influencers in your industry on social media. See what they’re talking about, write down common themes, and consider taking your own spin on hot topics.
  4. Set Google Alerts– Google Alerts allow you to stay up-to-date on industry news. Consider writing an opinion piece while the news is fresh!
  5. Showcase industry research and case studies– White papers and case studies offer third party credibility to your brand. They show customers that you are legit, knowledgeable, and a company worth considering as a partner.
  6. Recap industry events– Take a video at your next trade show and create a recap video of the trade show or write a blog on what you learned at the industry conference you attended.
  7. Highlight giving back- Remember, your customers do not want to buy from a “vendor” they want to buy from people. Making the public aware of the company’s volunteering brings a human aspect to your brand and helps you develop deeper relationships with your prospects.
  8. Survey prospects and customers– If you’re stumped for content go directly to the people who are consuming yours. Create a simple 5-minute survey about your content to gauge if your prospects and customers like your content or if not, what types of content they would enjoy seeing from you in the future.

Once you have a strong list of content topics, create a plan to make sure you have a clear understanding of what content is going out each week for the next year. Our blog Why Manufacturers Need a Content Map for Inbound Market Success walks you through how to take these content ideas and create a strategy to execute developing strong content.

 

How to Incorporate Video into Your Manufacturing Sales Strategy

This week’s Tactics Thursday video is about how to incorporate video into your sales strategy! Developing impactful videos doesn’t take a hefty budget or fancy equipment! There are so many free or extremely affordable video platforms on the market that allow people to produce short, simple videos. We use a free video platform called Vidyard internally and for our manufacturing clients throughout the sales process. It allows you to take videos through your computer webcam or your phone on the Vidyard app. When using Vidyard on your computer, you have the option to record just yourself, yourself and your screen, or just your screen.

I use Vidyard to create the following:

  • LinkedIn Videos- Such as these Tactics Thursday videos, company announcements, or announcements for Women in Manufacturing Ohio, which I serve on the board as Communications Chair.
  • Client Tutorials- I often do tutorials when clients ask questions showcasing how to perform tasks in HubSpot or walking clients through email campaigns and workflows
  • Prospects Meeting Follow Up- If I have a strong meeting with a prospect, sometimes I will opt to do a video recap instead of a lengthy email follow up. This cuts through the clutter and adds a personal touch.

This video specifically highlights how to use Vidyard to develop LinkedIn videos. Video is an excellent way to promote yourself and highlight your company’s products and services. As long as you are providing value and keeping the videos short, sweet and to the point, you’re golden.

For more information on video strategy, check out my blog “Why Video Should Be Part of Your Sales Strategy

How to Get Stronger Manufacturing Referrals in 2020

Ever have a strong meeting with a manufacturing colleague that results in them promising to refer you to a few companies but then weeks go by and the referral never happens? Manufacturing referrals open doors to new business opportunities but getting your business colleagues to introduce you is easier said than done. While I’m sure most people have great intentions when agreeing to refer you to a contact in their network, oftentimes, they get bogged down with work and forget or keep putting it off. By using this method, you are taking the pressure off your colleague and making the referral process as easy as copying and pasting!

Deep Search Your Business Connection’s Network on LinkedIn

Have a good relationship with a business connection? Why not ask them for a referral. Instead of asking them blankly for a referral, it’s better to see who they are connected to and ask for specific referrals, by name. I always take a deep dive into who my colleague is connected to on LinkedIn, what professional organizations they are involved in, and what schools they have attended to identify any opportunities for referrals they may have. I try to come into our business lunch with 3-5 contacts I think could be a fit for my services.

At the Meeting and Follow-Up Post Meeting

At your business meeting, say the following:

“Hi [Business Contact], I see you are connected with [Name] on LinkedIn. After reviewing their website, I think they could use our products/services. Would you be willing to introduce us?”

If your contact agrees to refer you, send a follow-up email immediately after your meeting saying something along the lines of the following:

“Thank you very much. Below I’ve attached a draft email introduction which you can use or tweak as you see fit.”

Sending a draft intro is helpfulfor a few reasons:

  1. You are taking the pressure off your contact to draft an introduction.
  2. Your contact will be more likely to refer you in a timely manner since it’s as simple as a quick copy and paste
  3. You can control how you are introduced and ensure that the first introduction to you and your company is as strong as possible.

Drafting Your Referral Intro

Stumped on how to draft your intro, here are some tried and true tips and tricks I learned from Caleb Townsend, co-founder of Factur—Manufacturing Referrals Network.

  1. Keep it short and sweet 4-6 brief sentences. Nobody has time to read a novel so keep it straight and to the point.
  2. Make your name a link to your LinkedIn profile and your company name a link to your website.
  3. Don’t bury the lead- keep the ask at the beginning of the intro. People shouldn’t find out that your contact is looking to refer you to the last sentence.
  4. Put a sentence about your differentiating factors in the paragraph.
  5. Any notable awards or industry certifications? Include those in a sentence.
  6. Soft-close that puts the ball in their court and gives the person being asked the ability to say no.

 

The #1 Lead Qualifying Tip for Manufacturing Websites

In this week’s Tactics Thursday episode, I break down my #1 lead qualifying tip for manufacturing websites. While this tip is very simple, it makes a huge impact! I implore you all to take an inventory of all the forms on your website and asking yourself, “are our form doing a good job of qualifying leads on the website?” If not, ask yourself how can we ask more poignant questions that will help us determine if this is a good, qualified lead.

Below, is a list of some common questions the Felber PR & Marketing team has implemented on our clients’ websites that may be valuable for you to implement as well!

  • Drawing file upload
  • Do you require an NDA?- include a file upload with this question
  • Estimated annual usage?
  • Does your part require ‘difficult’ alloys such as aluminum or copper?
  • What is the end-use of your product?
  • How would you like to be contacted- drop-down question where someone can select email or phone

When we onboard new manufacturing clients, we always ask what are the top 5 questions you ask every prospect when you first engage them? These qualifying questions can easily be placed in a descriptive form that, when filled out by your prospect, provides your sales team with a more detailed image of the prospect’s potential to turn into a customer. Strengthening your forms is an easy tactic to refine your lead generation strategy. Enhanced forms have the ability to empower salespeople with knowledge of who this prospect is, what they require, and how your company can best serve their needs.

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