Hail & Fail
#13 18th May 2017
LinkedIn is a great place to promote your business because it has established itself as the social media home of business. LinkedIn users are looking for business solutions and lasting partnerships. Learn how an effective marketing strategy will put you in front of your most valuable prospects.
LinkedIn Marketing Genie in a Bottle
Plastic Bottle Supplies Limited is a company that just like its name implies, produces many different types of plastic bottles with a strong presence on LinkedIn. Their LinkedIn company page is strong, with over 450 followers wiling to receive their updates.
As with everything on social media, consistency brings the best results and Plastic Bottle Supplies’ LinkedIn company page is a great example of consistent posting. They consistently post updates of their products using clear, professional photographs.
Making use of great photography allows prospects to discover new and existing products that would suit their needs. Updates display a photograph and some text to entice the prospect to click through to the Plastic Bottle Supplies website.
The result is a great LinkedIn company page that will increase brand awareness and revenue. Plastic Bottle Supplies have successfully shown us they produce great products, which should then make it easier for them to convert prospects into valuable customers.
We have to Hail Plastic Bottle Supplies for their consistent posting and high quality images. As with everything in marketing, we must constantly think of ways to improve, so lets look at ways we can build on this great example. First and foremost, show, don’t tell. Prospects can see that the bottles could be useful, but are they suitable for exactly what they want?
Show Prospects the Results
Show your prospects the end result that can be achieved if they use your products or services. All of the best films show the audience important parts of the story. They don’t have each character sit down and explain who they are for ten minutes each. By showing images of bottles being used in real situations, Plastic Bottle Supplies will demonstrate the true value of their product.
A prospect that needs needs to solve a specific problem can instantly understand that yes, that particular style of bottle will suit my requirements. Without having to think, they’ve made the connection, made the call and Plastic Bottle Supplies have made the sale; all without any extra effort from the sales team. This is the power of effective marketing.
In the service industry, you can replicate this with images of products you supply. The logical next move would be to go from professional product images to showing prospects the products being fitted and what they would look like once in position.
The service management industry is one where it’s okay to share high quality images of your work from a camera phone. Your customers expect authenticity, not a professional cameraman and lights documenting every job.
Modern camera phones can produce great results and are suitable for almost any application. Your engineers probably already use phones to take pictures for your service management system that verify their work anyway.
Employee Engagement Leads to Success
Marketing objectives with LinkedIn will be generating more enquiries which Plastic Bottle Supplies’ experienced team will be able to convert into sales. To get the best results, everyone at Plastic Bottle Supplies with a LinkedIn account needs to be involved.
Aside from Plastic Bottle Supplies, there’s a major multinational company (ACME International) that has less than 150 followers. ACME International have thousands of employees worldwide, but clearly, almost none of them are following the company. None of them are liking or sharing the content produced by ACME International. If you want to be successful, you should start by getting your employees to buy into your strategy.
LinkedIn for SMEs with a sales team
For a smaller business, it is vital for you to make sure all of your employees have All-Star profiles with the right keywords. The main benefit of this is to show the expertise you have at your company, making it more attractive to prospects.
It can be worth investing in LinkedIn profile training session for at least one employee with a professional trainer. The employee you send on the training session will return to your business and help those who may not have the time to attend a full session to improve their profiles.
Now that all of your employees have great profiles, they will be more visible in LinkedIn searches. Extra visibility for keywords related to your industry will lead to your company highlighted as one with many highly knowledgeable employees.
The next step is for your employees to grow their networks and as they like and share your company page updates, your message will be exposed to an increasingly large audience.
LinkedIn for SMEs that don’t use a sales team
If you don’t use a sales team, then LinkedIn marketing is a great way to get you in front of prospects. If yo don’t have a sales team, it’s important that your website is set up to allow those interested in your business to make purchases or request services quickly and easily.
Using an eCommerce website or even your ebay store to fulfil orders for products is a great example of the kind of place to send prospects. Your LinkedIn marketing gets prospects interested and they already know what they want before they visit your website.
For service only and very small companies, you should have a process behind an easy to complete contact/ order form and have that form readily available.
Take Content Marketing to Another Level
We have our platform, our employee advocates and a growing audience. The next stage is to create a content marketing strategy. This means having not just a strategy for creating and publishing content, but also the story you want to tell.
Publishing pictures showing prospects ways they could use the product is great, but we can now move to the next level. The next level is a strong content marketing strategy. Create great content about recycling plastic and even environmental clean-ups on beaches. Responsible use and recycling of plastic could become just one story they can tell.
Example content marketing story
A manufacturer of plastic based in a large urban area could develop a story by firstly picking a day in the summer to have an environmental clean-up day. Although knowing the British summer, there’s no guarantee the weather will be any good! The location could be a local inner city area or it could be at the seaside.
The event’s location would change the story and associated content. For example, a local event would make stories about discarded rubbish in the local area, local recycling and ways Plastic Bottle Supplies were helping local people to improve their environment.
An event held at a beach would allow for a more international story to be told. Stories of the damage plastic can do if not disposed of correctly and demonstrating the steps taken to make sure all plastic produced can be disposed of responsibly.
Once this the clean-up event has been organised, Plastic Bottle Supplies can then begin to develop content about the way plastic is used and impacts on our environment:
- Statistics on the amount of time it takes for plastic to decompose
- The number of articles discarded every year
- he amount of plastic found in our oceans
And many more interesting issues regarding our use of plastics.
There should be a build-up to the event, efficient coverage of the event that includes videos, pictures and other media. This will be useful for the wrap-up which will really show the difference made by the clean-up day.
The content created has become a library that can be shared with Plastic Bottle Supplies’ audience. Over the course of the next few months, it is a great opportunity to drip-feed the content to an engaged audience in the build-up to future events. Much of the content will remain relevant independent of any clean-up events.
To take marketing to the next level, Plastic Bottle Supplies could generate great PR by offering a service for recycling any plastic products returned to them. This instantly places Plastic Bottle Supplies as a socially responsible company.
Results from good content marketing
We all value social responsibility, but this can be a side of our business people don’t get to see. Through effective content marketing, it is possible to gain a reputation for social responsibility. Far more than just a slogan or words slapped onto a website, but something real, backed up by actions.
Roll all of this into shareable infographics and posts on your website to increase your number of leads from LinkedIn and other social media. All of the activity will help you to grow an email marketing list and of course, boost your SEO, getting you more prospects from search engines.
Can you see how a great content marketing strategy can produce great results? It’s not about coming up with great ideas and running with them, it’s about having a great strategy from which great ideas will come.
Roll Out Successes to Other Social Networks
Once you have one channel operating well,adapt your existing content to other social media channels such as Facebook.
You might even start looking outside of the usual platforms of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to attract new prospects?
Pinterest, which is great social media for images, works really well with an image based marketing strategy. If your company installs kitchens and bathrooms, Pinterest could be a goldmine. Provide images of your products individually and in a kitchen setting, pinning great designs supplied by your company.
As part of your strategy, research your audience because what you think you know about them may have changed. Understand who they are and where you can find them online. Is there a better channel for you to use like Pinterest? How does your audience on LinkedIn like to consume content compared to your Pinterest audience? Could the people that consume your content on LinkedIn different from the people looking at your pins on Pinterest?
You need to vary your tactics for each platform depending on the demographics involved. To get the best results, it’s important to master one platform before moving on to others. What looks good on LinkedIn doesn’t always look so good on Pinterest and vice versa.
- Create a content marketing plan
- Demonstrate the best way to use your products
- Use images installing products you sell
- Tell compelling stories
LinkedIn is great for B2B marketers. You should definitely give serious consideration to having more than just a LinkedIn business page. If you don’t use LinkedIn, apply this week’s marketing actions to the social media platform of your choice.
Remember, the whole point of marketing is to make the job of your sales team easier. That’s exactly the road Plastic Bottle Supplies have taken, and you should join them.
Need some tips on how you can improve your social media marketing using content and story telling? We’re offering free consultations throughout the months of June and July. Book now to secure your place.