Marketers of manufacturing and industrial companies invest a lot of time and money creating authentic, relevant content to reach their target audiences. Developing videos, email, website resources and more seem to be the most appropriate vehicles for their messaging because they have the perception of being substantive tactics.
Social media, on the other hand, may not seem to have the gravitas that they’re looking for in their overall marketing campaigns. After all, the sales lead times are typically longer than in other industries and the price tags of some of the products are significantly higher than those in other industries. So, it just doesn’t make any sense to use something lightweight like social media, right? Think again.
The key to the most effective content marketing is to be where your target audience is and they are most definitely on social media. Consider these B2B social media stats that may change your view on social media:
- 83% of B2B marketers use social media; making it one of the most common B2B marketing tactic.
- B2B marketers have generated leads from social media as follows: 44% via LinkedIn, 39% from Facebook and 30% on Twitter.
- Average B2B companies have a presence on six social media platforms.
- In 2017, 32% of B2B marketers used social media paid ads as part of their marketing strategies.
Implementing and maintaining a social media program as a manufacturing business takes some planning and discretion. Having a social media presence will not entail the same actions as B2C companies because the audiences are different. And it’s certainly different from any personal social media activity.
Manufacturing and industrial businesses should view social media not so much as places to do direct selling, but to build relationships and partnerships. Sharing useful content is the foundation of those important relationships. If you can inform people about how you can solve their pain points with great products and solutions, it’s a softer sell that will draw them to you instead of blasting sales messages repeatedly.
Social media is a great way to engage prospects and customers because it gives them a chance to join the dialogue. They will be able to share the positive impact your products have had on their own businesses and there is nothing stronger than third-party endorsement. This may be a less direct method of communicating than you’re used to, but it’s powerful, inexpensive and timely.
Having a social media presence will also help you engage with manufacturing industry influencers and, ultimately, engage with their audiences and gain more exposure for your business too.
It’s easier than ever to develop and maintain a social presence today. Whether you do it yourself or outsource the work, there is great value in being present where your prospects and customers are looking for information. They may not be ready to make a purchase today but you can start building relationships and capture leads that you may not have even known about when using more traditional marketing tactics. So, the major takeaway is to find out where your manufacturing tribe is online and be there with an authentic, relevant social media presence.