LinkedIn is a unique social channel. Unique in a way that it is not only connecting people and companies at a fast pace, but also being utilized for Channel Marketing Strategies. More manufacturing companies are adopting Digital Marketing Strategies to reach new channel partners while leveraging LinkedIn to do so. This well rounded strategy is the quickest way to make real connections; meeting people and companies where they already are and where you want to be, online.
A successful LinkedIn strategy combines the power of company pages with employees' personal profiles. This makes it easier to connect the dots of who is who and what is important to target when creating content for your professional network.
The state of Traditional Channel Marketing
There is a wide landscape of vendor relationships involving complex marketing and technology stacks and because of this, channel marketers try to do a lot. Most Manufacturers generate their marketing campaigns to produce a long list of leads, of all kinds, as quickly as possible, which can leave a lot of long-term ROI opportunities on the table. The shift to focus more on organic marketing activities leads to high quality and deliberate leads, generating quality customers with life-time value who tell their network how much they like you. In fact, 66% of marketers say that leads created in a nurtured, account-based marketing campaign are more likely to provide positive references and advocate for their companies.
Account Based Marketing
Today's buyers and partners expect to be nurtured. To achieve this you must develop an identity outside and alongside your current partners that highlights your value and offers expert content to targeted accounts. Distributors, dealers, and suppliers are looking outside of their organizations for counsel on which products and manufacturers they want to partner with. Where are they looking? Online.
They are researching your company by looking at reviews and connecting on social platforms. Where do people go when they want to review a companies professional profile and network? LinkedIn.
55% of B2B decision-makers say thought leadership is an important way to vet vendors, and 33% of customers say they have abandoned a business relationship or potential relationship because support, flexibility, and personalization were lacking. Partners want to see you demonstrate your value by being a key resource before the partnership is even initiated and vice versa.
Combine company pages with employees personal accounts
Encouraging employees to leverage their social network for your brand can get complicated on other platforms, but LinkedIn is where personal social media and professional networking come together. Personal profiles put faces to ideas making it even more important to incorporate into your LinkedIn strategy.
Company pages get very little viral reach compared to personal pages. This can help target for better-qualified leads, and establish your employees as thought leaders in the manufacturing industry.
A few tips to create engagement:
- Get your team involved: encourage employees to post about their individual expertise on their accounts. Share the brands LinkedIn content and have them engage with it in their own unique way. At ManoByte whenever someone posts we share it in a slack channel so we can hop on engage in any way we want. It's a win in our eyes when someone posts and creates conversations that take our learning even further.
- Experiment with different post types: Text only, Long-Form Posts, Multi-Media, Stories
- Use the "Notify Employees" option that sends messages to a critical group of employees when a post is made.
- Early engagement is crucial. Be responsive! Posts that get engagement within 60 minutes of publishing are shown to more people and thus get more engagement overall. Posts that get a mix of reactions (like, celebrate, etc) and comments tend to perform the best, but LinkedIn favors posts with comments.
Leverage and Track with linkedin
LinkedIn is both a valued and expected place for business to happen. Marketers in the manufacturing space who do it right are seen as useful, not intrusive. LinkedIns lead conversion rates are three times better than any other major ad platform. You will find an endless list of members who are critical to specify and influence so you can target channel partners and buyers through the buying process.
LinkedIn can help measure impact, providing organizations with data needed to determine optimal partner investment and marketing program execution. Look at views/impressions, likes, comments, clicks, shares, and track them to your website. Conversion can also take place through LinkedIn via LeadGen forms and sponsored InMail. This is where you can capture contact information and start a 1:1 conversation. It's all about exposing customers to your content first.
On LinkedIn, we see 95% of channel marketers only utilizing Sponsored Content, and while that’s a good place to start, it’s not telling the whole story or staying with the buyer through his or her entire journey. Company updates, employee feed shares, influencer and employee posts are all touch-points available to generate awareness and engagement. Engagement with target end-user audiences can be tracked from first touch, through to nurture engagements driving final results. With LinkedIn you can tell your brand story and how it unites with your partners ultimately producing long-term leads.
Integrate Linkedin to your full campaign
Marrying your campaign goals to LinkedIns capabilities can produce deeper content that drives better results. Consider implementing and going further by:
- 1. Video: short videos speak to buyers, 90% say product videos are helpful in the buying process and 64% are more likely to purchase after viewing a video. Customer testimonials, demo videos and tutorials are great examples and very popular with Manufacturing companies.
- 2. Carousel Ads: These can contain multiple URLs, driving different actions from one single unit
- 3. Dynamic Ads: Customizable to meet campaign objectives and personalized for buyers. Your target is more likely to consider a brand if they receive personalized communication.
Spreading your message across a variety of content capabilities means your campaign is always on, but you are not stuck in constant or lead generation mode. On LinkedIn, manufacturing channel marketers can confidently target audiences by title, account, seniority, vertical, skills, and other areas of expertise. The most successful campaigns leverage LinkedIn to a fully integrated campaign across channels which is why it's so important to start using LinkedIn with your overall campaign strategy. Don't miss out on opportunities by ignoring the powerful social channel of LinkedIn.
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