We write a lot about LinkedIn as part of an inbound digital marketing strategy for B2Bs. That’s because it’s an extremely useful and underutilized social media tool, with applications that are particularly suited to industrial manufacturers and other B2Bs. To help you truly take full advantage of this platform, we’ve compiled all our content on LinkedIn in one place for you. Click the header of the section most relevant to you for more in-depth information on using LinkedIn to promote your B2B.
LinkedIn Ads are one of the best forms of PPC for B2Bs for numerous reasons, the most important of these being that your audience, business professionals in your industry, is using LinkedIn, and you can target them with a great deal of accuracy, almost down to the exact person you want to sell to. Plus, LinkedIn offers comprehensive metrics to help you improve your campaigns and discover who you’re reaching.
Creating LinkedIn Content
A major benefit of LinkedIn is its publishing platform, which allows you to produce and promote content to your professional network and to others in your industry, boosting your credibility and name recognition. But just because it’s easy to hit the publish button doesn’t mean you should be posting anything. With LinkedIn and other online content platforms, it pays to be intentional with your topics, titles, length, and all other aspects of your writing.
LinkedIn also has a great way for you to showcase specific products or services with their Showcase Pages. These pages create curated feeds that users can follow, and where you can post and share relevant content. They’re a useful way to organize content as well as segment and target specific customer types with specific interests and needs.
LinkedIn has a ton of features that you can be using to market your business, from the social networking features like sharing content and making connections to advance search and premium accounts. And when we say easy ways, we really mean easy. These features are all just waiting for you to take advantage of, and require little expertise or time to get started.
Company pages are an excellent tool for marketing with LinkedIn, but you’ve got to be intentional about how you build your page to attract your ideal clients. Our visual guide will help you create the perfect page for your company and enhance your online presence and social impact.
If you’re ready to expand your digital reach and start using LinkedIn to its full potential, Evenbound can help. We have a lot of experience with LinkedIn, content creation, inbound marketing, and PPC advertising, and we can create a digital strategy that gets results. Get in touch and let’s get started.
If you’re not on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn these days, it’s almost like you don’t exist. Nowadays, social media is just as crucial for B2B companies, including industrial manufacturers, as it is for B2C companies. Sure, social media marketing seems more intuitive for B2Cs, but the truth is that nearly everyone is using social media, which means that your customers, and the decision-makers at those companies, are using social media.
And just having a profile for your business isn’t going to cut it. If a page exists on the internet and no one reads it, does your company get more leads? No, it doesn’t. That’s why you need to invest in your social media presence and attract followers on the platforms you use. Your social media presence will create the network where you can share and promote your company and your digital content, attracting and converting leads.
LinkedIn: A Great Place to Start
If you read our blog regularly, you know how we feel about LinkedIn. For B2B manufacturers, it’s the social media platform you should be using to reach your potential clients, for a variety of reasons; most importantly, it’s where your target audience is networking and researching suppliers. Getting more followers on your company LinkedIn page requires that you regularly post relevant, insightful content specific to your industry and your potential customers’ pain points. You can even target each of your different types of client with specially tailored showcase pages (read more about how showcase pages work for B2B marketing here).
On your personal LinkedIn account, you can search for specific people in specific positions at the companies you’re looking to make clients out of, and then connect with those people. Joining discussion groups relevant to your industry and sharing your knowledge and expertise is also a great way to establish your credibility and gain new followers. For more on LinkedIn, read our 6 Easy Ways to Make LinkedIn Work For Your B2B Marketing Strategy.
Social Media Campaigns
Another critical aspect of gaining, retaining, and making leads out of your social media followers is by executing targeted social media campaigns. Just like other advertising campaigns, strategy is necessary to make your efforts successful. Well-planned social media campaigns will help you accomplish goals such as increasing brand awareness and promoting your digital content. To do this, you’ll need to determine the exact type of client you want to attract, and target them specifically with content matching their place in the buyer’s journey and their needs and pain points, through indirect (social sharing) and direct (PPC ad promotion) means.
Don’t fall behind the competition by neglecting your social media presence, either by failing to have one at all or by not investing time into engaging with your followers and working to attract new ones. If you’d like to learn more about social media marketing for B2Bs, or digital marketing in general, you should talk with the team at Evenbound.
Be sure to check out our other posts on how to make social media work for your B2B, such as this one on LinkedIn Ads and B2B Marketing, as well as the free case study below, that shows how paid search and social worked wonders for one B2B:
Everyone is using email, so it’s a great way to reach out to customers and potential customers. But if you’re doing it wrong—and a lot of companies are—your email marketing efforts can be at best ineffective and at worst harmful. Here are a few tips to help you avoid email marketing pitfalls and ensure your email campaigns aren’t in vain:
Don’t Overwhelm your Customers
Everyone with an email address has gotten annoyed with a company that sends them too much email. If you’re bombarding your clients and leads with email everyday, chances are they’ll notice you, and not in a good way. Send too many, and your recipients will be looking for the unsubscribe button.
Also, don’t spam people. We shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t. You don’t like it, and your leads won’t like it either.
Send the Right Content at the Right Time
Your content must not only be relevant, it should also be timely. If there is seasonality in your industry, ensure that the content you’re sending right now aligns with those trends. Additionally, your content must be timely in terms of the lead’s point in the buyer’s journey. Leads who are further along in the journey and are nearly ready to purchase won’t respond as well to content explaining what your product does—they already know—as would a lead who is just discovering their need for a solution your product provides.
Intuitively Segment your Leads
Another way to turn off potential clients is to send them an irrelevant email. To make sure you’re sending the right content to the right leads, double-check that you’re segmenting your leads properly. Separate your marketing qualified leads (MQLs)—leads with demonstrated interest in your product or service, but who aren’t ready to make a purchase—from your sales qualified leads (SQLs)—leads who are further along in the buyer’s journey and are closer to purchasing.
You’ll probably also want to segment your leads based upon their company size, job title/responsibilities/authority, and pain points; if you’ve created buyer personas, you can use those to segment your leads. Luckily, in email marketing programs like MailChimp and others, it’s easy to segment your leads—so there’s really no excuse not to!
Dumping all of your contacts into your mailing list is not going to be effective. If they aren’t leads or customers, you don’t need to send them email—it’s not going to generate sales, and like we mentioned earlier, it’s just going to annoy people. Plus, it’s going to throw off your numbers: it will be harder to get an accurate picture of your open and click-through rates and the overall effectiveness of your email campaigns.
If you’re interested in implementing techniques for effective email marketing or adding email marketing to your marketing strategy, let’s start that conversation.
For more information on how Evenbound has helped B2B manufacturers draw in qualified leads and massively increase sales, check out the case study below:
B2Bs have often done advertising wrong, from mimicking B2C techniques to not doing any marketing, at all. But now, digital technologies and greater, widespread access to information has changed the way businesses across all industries, especially B2Bs market their products and services.
Why cold calling is out
The difficult task of selling rather unsexy products is a constant problem in the B2B world,, and traditional marketing and sales rhetoric stipulated hard sells with direct, loud, interruptive messaging. Think: radio commercials, direct mail, cold calls. The truth is that these tactics were never the most effective for B2B products, which are in some cases compulsory purchases for the customer (like screws needed to assemble their product) and in other cases large, expensive, once-every-ten-years kinds of purchases (like heavy machinery).
This is why many B2Bs, especially those with steady customers, perform very little marketing at all, instead relying on the necessity of their product within its niche and their company’s industry reputation. When recessions hit, however, B2Bs who rely on such methods often find themselves losing income from struggling loyal customers and without the strategies in place to replace those revenue streams.
How to update your B2B marketing plan
Instead of essentially shouting at potential clients to buy a product, inbound marketing uses soft sell techniques to educate potential clients about the value of a product or service, how to use/implement/integrate said product or service, and other topics related to the product, service, or industry that will be of interest to the person responsible for sourcing, purchasing, or approving purchase of said product. No longer do you sell your product, you sell future clients on your company by providing high-quality information that addresses the needs of your target buyers and building trust and brand recognition.
Inbound marketing and modern technology
The transition to inbound marketing has somewhat coincided with the advent of wifi and smartphones; consumers have access to information, and they’re using that information to research products and services before making purchase decisions. This applies to people buying consumer goods, but it applies also to buyers for industrial and manufacturing companies. Buyers and component sourcing specialists at the companies who are B2Bs’ ideal customers are performing online research to compare suppliers and products and find the best product, and deal, for their application. Salesmen are no longer the arbiters of information regarding their products; clients can and do educate themselves and make informed decisions.
If you’re ready to transition from traditional B2B marketing and advertising techniques to a more buyer-centered inbound marketing approach, HA Digital Marketing can help. Contact us online now, or give us a call at (616) 841-9082. Our inbound marketing strategy is proven to produce exceptional results for B2B clients just like you. Check out the case study below to see exactly how HA Digital Marketing delivers for B2Bs:
If you’ve been looking into inbound marketing, you may have heard the term “buyer persona” bandied about. Buyer personas are critical for inbound and digital strategy, because they define your audience, allowing you to create content and deploy marketing techniques that will reach your ideal buyers, convert them to clients, and provide an exceptional ROI on your marketing efforts.
Buyer persona definition
A buyer persona is a fictionalized version of your ideal client types. The persona defines what these clients are like: demographic information like age and gender, job title, job responsibilities, purchasing power, and more. Creating a persona allows you to visualize and understand your audience better, which allows you to hone your content and marketing efforts to be highly effective.
How to create buyer personas
You probably have a good idea already of what your typical client is like. If you create plastic injection moldings of automotive components, you know that your ideal client is a sourcing specialist or product engineer for an automotive OEM, and that this client is usually male, in his late twenties to early forties, and is under extreme time pressure to source components. From your work experience, you probably have this same background information on your other client types (e.g. a Tier II supplier who makes automotive assemblies) as well.
Use the information you have, but don’t just rely on your assumptions. One effective method for understanding your ideal buyer is to interview your best clients. Find out about their job responsibilities, the challenges they face in their work, and how your company can help them and meet their needs. This information can help you
Simple example persona:
Sourcing Specialist/Product Engineer
Late 20s–early 40s
Sourcing components for vehicles
Working under extreme time pressure
Needs quick turnarounds, on-time delivery, products that can meet OEM specs
Needs suppliers with capability to produce high volume of moldings
To source quality components quickly, at the best possible price, from a reliable supplier
Your buyer personas can be as simple (like the example above) or as detailed as you like, and as works for your application. Once you’ve written buyer personas for your major client types (probably two or three different personas) you’ll better understand your buyers and your audience, and better be able to market to them.
Creating content for your buyer personas
The way that you take advantage of the personas that you’ve created is through creating targeted content that addresses those specific personas. You’ll need to create content—blog posts, infographics, social posts, ebooks, white papers, videos, etc.—specifically geared toward the goals and challenges of your buyer persona. Returning to our previous example, if you are creating content for OEM Oliver, you might write a blog post about how to select a plastic injection molding supplier, create an infographic about the plastic injection molding process from design to receipt by the customer, or publish an ebook about maximizing your plastic molding’s design to reduce structural and cosmetic imperfections. These pieces of content address the needs of OEM Oliver, which include finding suppliers (blog on selecting injection molders), quick turnaround times (process timeline infographic), and high-quality, spec-meeting components (ebook on minimizing defects). This content is useful and interesting to OEM Oliver, which may prompt him to read it, convert from a site visitor to a lead by providing contact information, or reach out for more information or even a quote.
Buyer personas are a useful and under-utilized tool for understanding the prospective customers you want to target with your marketing efforts. By researching and creating buyer personas and then creating content that addresses the needs of those personas, you can become visible to the type of person you want as a client and peak their interest about your company’s offerings.