When we think of manufacturers, it’s common to imagine massive companies like Toyota, General Electric or Apple. While these successful organizations are most well-known, there are many businesses on a smaller scale that represent the manufacturing industry. Whether for clothing, technology, transportation, paper products, or food production, manufacturing companies create many of the products we rely on today.
Manufacturing companies who want to get the most out of their marketing efforts, should look to certain social media networks such as LinkedIn for opportunities, as LinkedIn is the largest business focused network.
While this robust resource for making connections can be valuable, it can also feel overwhelming when just starting out. A great first step is to audit your LinkedIn profile and identify your manufacturing company’s buyer personas, which will help you narrow down your focus by industry, region, or job title. This will set you on the right path to identifying the right groups and people with whom you should connect and share content with.
But you also have to be sure you’re sharing the type of content that these prospects need. Of course your content should be a part of a bigger inbound marketing content strategy, that ensures the content you create will help educate your buyers and naturally lead them through the stages of their buying cycle.
A look at the Inbound Marketing Funnel
You might have an understanding of how the Inbound Marketing Funnel works. Whether you’re learning it for the first time or ready for a refresher, here is a look a the basics:
The marketing funnel is made up of three stages:
- Top of the funnel - This is referring to prospects in the “awareness stage”, or those who know they have a need or problem, and are researching and learning about solutions.
- Middle of the funnel - This is known as the “consideration stage”, often the stage in which someone is aware of the solution to their problem, but is shopping around or comparing their options.
- Bottom of the funnel - Known as the “decision stage”, the bottom of the funnel represents the small portion of people who are ready to become customer.
Why does understanding and optimizing the marketing funnel matter? With up to 90% of the buyer’s journey complete before a prospect reaches out to a salesperson, it’s essential to have all the steps in place to lead a prospect on their journey to contacting you.
As a manufacturer, how can LinkedIn add fuel to your Inbound Marketing Funnel?
Start from the top
Identify the need: People in the top of the funnel (the majority of your site visitors) need to know more information about how to solve their problem. They may not know about your product or service yet, so focus on educational information first, without a heavy sales aspect.
LinkedIn Solution: Create educational articles and videos to publish from your company page and from influential members of your team (including yourself). This information should be helpful and relevant to problems those in the top of the funnel may have. Also, consider answering questions and providing tips on industry-related content to show your business’ expertise on these topics.
Move to the middle
Identify the need: Prospects who are in the middle of the funnel are usually aware of what is needed to solve their problem, but they may need more information to consider and compare solutions. Think of the middle of the funnel as “why choose you.”
LinkedIn Solution: Share in-depth, valuable offers (case studies, guides, webinars, trials) in exchange for contact information to follow up with these new leads and connect with them on LinkedIn. Next, look to your second and third-degree connections on LinkedIn to find more quality groups to connect and share content with.
Bring it together at the bottom
Identify the need: Usually, the smallest percentage of people who visit your site are in the bottom of the funnel. This stage represents those who are ready to buy or in some way become your customer. How can you speak to these people?
LinkedIn Solution: Leverage your connections and exposure on LinkedIn to make contacting your company, purchasing products or placing orders simple and easy. Provide links on your company page or in content to a contact form or another site page where interested prospects can either reach your company for questions or make a purchase. Include simple hyperlinked calls-to-action that spell out how to “contact” “learn more,” “request a sample,” or even “buy now.”
Want more tips for using LinkedIn for your manufacturing business? Our guide offers 20 great ways to use LinkedIn to attract B2B leads.