Posted on March 22, 2017 at 13:16 PM
If you’re on the marketing team for a manufacturing company, then you are likely smack dab in the middle of trade show season. Coming out of first quarter shows and looking ahead at spring and summer, this is a busy time of year. Besides keeping the details, materials, and deadlines straight, there’s the ongoing challenge of proving the ROI of these events. Let’s face it: between travel, fees, and the booths themselves, trades shows add up quickly. While social media is probably already in your strategy, there’s several smart trade show social media tips for manufacturers that can keep the payoffs rolling in.
Take these 7 Trade Show Social Media Tips for Manufacturers for a spin after your next event:
- Turn your booth visitors into custom audiences. Facebook and Twitter (and soon, LinkedIn) allow social media advertisers to create targeted audiences based on contact information. After your next trade show, don’t just dump your booth visitors into your email database. Use them to build a custom audience. Target your Twitter and Facebook ads at your new contacts. Then, create mirrored audiences made up of users similar to your custom-built audience, and serve social ads to them, too.
- Don’t go cold turkey on event hashtags. If your Automotive Manufacturing trade show was in January but you’re firing out tweets with #AutoMfg2017 in April, it might be time to say sayonara. But a week or more after your trade show ends is still within the unwritten “half life” of an event’s hashtag. Keep conversation circulating, especially when it comes to the products and literature that you had on display. That way, attendees or people who didn’t make it to the show can still be in the know. Which brings us to Tip #3.
- Tell your followers where they can find more information. Trade shows are hectic. It’s easy to miss specific products — even entire booths. Remind your social media followers where they can learn more about the products and services you offer in case they missed it in person. Also, be sure to share your relevant content, everything from white papers to product bulletins. Take advantage of a captive audience and use that hashtag!
- Create Twitter Moments from trade show tweets. Now that Twitter Moments are available to all users (check out more about Moments in this post), why not try your hand at creating one? Find a few tweets from attendees, customers, or other exhibitors, and collect them together in a Moment. This not only can help showcase your company’s unique experience at the show, but also recognize other exhibitors you admired, and act as a summary of interesting sessions.
- Engage with other exhibitors post-show. Like you, other trade show exhibitors are probably flying high after a (hopefully) successful event. Use this window of time to share what you enjoyed about the event with other exhibitors, what you learned, and what you hope to see next year. Remember to use the event’s hashtag, but only for as long as it’s relevant (see Tip #2).
- Upload your photos into an album. One of the key trade show social media tips for manufacturers is to post photos throughout the event. But it’s also smart to collect all of those photos, and ones you’ve didn’t get to post, and create an album. Regardless of your social channel, use the show’s hashtag in the album and photo descriptions as well as your company name wherever possible to boost SEO. An album is a nice way for both your customers and your own employees to see what goes on at trade shows. Believe it or not, showing the personal side of your event or marketing team can go a long way.
- Connect on social media. Before you fly down to the comments section (though please do, we love to hear from you), this is NOT a typo! You’re probably already doing a good job getting content up before, during, and after each event. But if you’re not following, liking, and connecting with the people and companies you engage with, you’re missing out on lots of future engagement opportunities. Social media is still reciprocal, and a follow will often earn a follow back. Take advantage of the post-trade show fervor to help grow your communities on social and you’ll have new faces to engage with all year long.
If you’re one of the 68% of B2B organizations that consider in-person events to be an important piece of your content marketing strategy, you’re not likely to give up trade shows any time soon. Putting these social media tips for manufacturers to work can help fuel your strategy all year long, not to mention generate more ROI. Need a nudge in the right direction? Drop us a line!Continue Reading
by Emily Swet
Posted on March 16, 2017 at 14:25 PM
It’s official. Now that YouTube has finally joined it’s compadres and has begun offering live video, it’s time to start thinking about how your B2B brand can leverage it. If you haven’t started using the live video features already available from Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook Live or Periscope, it’s not too late to start. But why should you incorporate live video for B2B into your marketing strategy? And more importantly, what kind of content do you need?
Think Big Fish, Small Pond.
When it comes to live video, B2C brands have robustly adopted this tool as part of their strategy. B2B brands, however, have been historically slow on the uptake. Translation? Your brand has an opportunity to stand out against your competitors – the sooner, the better. If adding yet another social media tactic to your brand strategy seems overwhelming, there’s something you should keep in mind. This lull won’t last forever. The first B2B brands to begin using live video will reap the biggest gains on reach, engagement, and return. Fortunately, adding live video is nowhere near as daunting as it sounds.
With live video, your followers can comment and ask questions in real time. And live testimonials both build trust and increase your conversions. Watching live video with other consumers creates a sense of community amongst your audience that they associate with your brand. The in-the-moment nature of live video encourages feedback in real time, and can be compellingly shareable. And because live video is off-the-cuff, your B2B stands to gain a level of familiarity with your audience that’s hard to attain through more traditional marketing tactics.
Lights, Smartphone, Action.
The good news is live video is easy for any marketing department to produce: all you need is a decent smartphone, and you’re ready to roll. And there’s no shortage of ideas for live video for your B2B brand. Still need some inspiration? Here are a few to get the ball rolling:
- Ask The Expert: host an interactive live interview with one of your company’s experts and open the floor for a live Q&A.
- Up Your Customer Service: livestream a video dedicated solely to customer assistance and quality assurance.
- The Big Reveal: build some buzz for a new product or service with a live video revealing your new offering.
- Testify: interview a satisfied customer and get a live testimonial.
- Take Your Clients With You: live stream from major industry events and conferences.
- Go Behind the Scenes: show your customers your company, introduce them to your employees, and give your B2B some life.
Live video may seem daunting at first, but with a little practice, it will become as easy as any other tool in your social arsenal. And with live video taking increasing ownership of internet traffic, the time to start using it is now.Continue Reading
Posted on March 13, 2017 at 08:13 AM
The Myth: My Email Blast Should Be a Product Promo Machine
The Truth: Email Should Be Used to Distribute Relevant Content (with Some Product Promo Mixed In)
How many emails do you delete a day? Perhaps you don’t even take a peek before deleting. A barrage of daily promotions often ends up in the trash folder. The fact is, people don’t want to be bombarded with B2B product promotions in their already-crammed inboxes. Audiences will get email fatigue if you send them product promotions every day. So how do B2B companies successfully keep their prospects interested? Answer: Engaging content.
Email blasts can be a powerful tool, especially since the lists of contacts you’ve created are people who have willingly supplied you with their information. You’ve already captured them in your marketing funnel: they know of your company and your products, and have probably expressed some interest or purchased in the past. They’ve subscribed, so you’ve already won half the battle. But how do you create emails people actually want to open? The goal is to regularly send relevant insights via email, to provide information and position yourself as a trusted brand in the minds of your prospects.
Newsletters Are Great, But You Can Do More
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 77% of B2B content marketers are using email newsletters to update their audiences. These scheduled blasts are informative, often contain links to blog posts and other interesting pieces of content, and can be easily sent out to your audiences en masse. But you can go further, especially with tall of the automated email programs out there today.
B2B prospects are especially hungry for informative content that is relevant to their list. And going beyond the newsletter enables you to segment, and target by industry and interest. You are the experts in your field. All you have to do is own it. One of your engineers could write an article on using a product, to help clients who have already purchased. A manager could create a blog post with his take on industry trends. No matter where your client is in the buying cycle, there is information that they want. It’s up to you to create and deliver it.
Segment Your Audiences, Then Tailor
In another B2B Monday Myth, we busted the idea that all audiences are the same. As it turns out, not all audiences are created equal, and content must be personalized for each one. Email is one of the easiest channels to distribute personalized content. Instead of sending out one email blast to everyone on your list, you should segment your contacts. This could be based on vertical/industry, phase of the buying cycle, position in the marketing funnel, or even the subscriber’s job title. A sales representative is interested in different content than a software engineer. Those in the medical industry have different preferences than those working with consumer products. The long-time buyer wants different information than the prospect who expressed interest in your capabilities. Keeping your segments in mind when tailoring different emails will help you target more successfully, and wield better conversion rates.
It’s About Them, Not You
You’ve got your segments and have created emails that they would find insightful. Now, shift your focus off yourself, and turn it to the subscriber. Many companies get caught up in getting their message across and their product sold immediately. But you can’t force people to buy products by sending them dozens of emails all the time. By distributing relevant content, you will show you are trustworthy and establish yourself as an authority in your industry (and theirs). A good mix of relevant content and new product introductions can drive people to your website. Or it might put you at the top of the list the next time a prospect needs a job done. A little promotion tastefully thrown in is okay, but the content should be your primary focus.
While it’s easy for your company to fall into the trap of sending generic, promotional emails out to your entire contact list, start to go about crafting your emails more strategically. Tailoring your engaging content to relevant segments is a great place to start.Continue Reading