The last couple of years have been tough for British manufacturers but, as 2022 kicks off, things are looking increasingly positive. There are many forms of digital marketing that can help your business to grow this year but LinkedIn really is the place to be. It may be a social platform but LinkedIn isn’t the place for photos of your Sunday dinner or selfies from your cocktail evening.
This blog will cover the benefits of LinkedIn for manufacturers and how you can use the platform to your advantage.
Stephen Phipson, CBE, Chief Executive, Make UK said:
“It’s testament to the strength of manufacturers that they have emerged from the turbulence of the last couple of years in such a relatively strong position. While clouds remain on the horizon in the form of rapidly escalating costs, access to key skills, and the ominous emergence of the Omicron variant, the outlook is more positive for those that remain adaptable, agile and innovative.”
There’s reason to be optimistic. 73% of manufacturers believe that conditions for the sector will improve and 78% foresee an increase in productivity in 2022, according to research by Make UK and PwC.
LinkedIn is the social media platform for business. With almost 800 million users, LinkedIn is the largest networking platform in the world, spanning more than 200 countries and territories.
As LinkedIn themselves say: “You can use LinkedIn to find the right job or internship, connect and strengthen professional relationships, and learn the skills you need to succeed in your career.”
Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is the ideal place to show what you can do and what you sell.
Whether it’s products or services you want to promote, people are expecting you to confidently showcase who you are professionally and ultimately how your content can benefit them.
You can do this directly: here’s what I’m selling and why it’s so great. Or with educational content such as this frequently asked questions series from Camloc Motion Control.
Of the nearly 800 million LinkedIn users, more than 31 million of those are in the UK. So, if you’re a British manufacturer, that’s a lot of people you can connect with. Here are some people with whom you can expand your network:
With so many people using LinkedIn, your competitors are bound to be there, too, and it’s a great way to keep an eye on what they’re up to. Whether it’s just scrolling their latest company news and developments or more structured, in-depth competitor analysis, the information is available for you to learn from.
Competition analysis gives you the opportunity to assess your own offerings and marketing, and drive innovation forward. There’s nothing wrong with taking a little inspiration from others in your industry.
If you’re selling to other businesses, LinkedIn advertising is the place to be. Their advertising platform gives you a great deal of control of who your adverts will be shown to. You can narrow down by industry, connections, location, job titles and more.
While you can absolutely use LinkedIn to generate leads and expand your business network without advertising, using ads helps to get you in front of the right people faster.
And don’t worry about whether your industry is using LinkedIn or not. The estimated number of people who can be reached through LinkedIn advertising is 790 million (ie pretty much every user).
There are two main ways you can use LinkedIn. The first is with your personal profile, where you can display your experience and education and interact with your network. If you’re looking to attract potential clients on LinkedIn, it’s a good idea to make sure this contains the information they want to see.
The other main way of using LinkedIn is to create a company page. You can display your products, share links to other content such as blogs and videos, post customer feedback or share updates from others. LinkedIn is the perfect platform for sharing your business knowledge and expertise, as well as other snippets your target audience might be interested in. The aim is to create a resource your audience can use.
We even have a whole blog on amplifying your company LinkedIn page for you to go and check out.
According to LinkedIn, every new connection you make introduces you to up to 400 new people and 100 new companies. So, if you have an event to promote, LinkedIn is a great place to do so.
It could be a webinar, an online training course or an in-person event – whatever the occasion, there are plenty of new people to get in front of. Not only can you post about it, as IGEM have done here, but LinkedIn has fantastic built-in events features.
Not everything on LinkedIn must be about selling. When was the last time you bought from someone simply because they told you their product was great? Not recently, I’d bet.
Sharing your knowledge online helps you to demonstrate your expertise in your particular field. I’m not suggesting you give away all your manufacturing secrets, but giving snippets of information is a great way to boost your credibility. It shows you know what you’re talking about and, when your audience is ready to buy, they’ll come to you because they trust you.
Last but certainly not least, the LinkedIn news feed is a fantastic source of information. Keep up to date with the latest manufacturing trends, what’s happening in the industry you sell into and changes in your network.
LinkedIn shouldn’t be difficult and it shouldn’t be boring. Let’s look at the (made up) Odyssey Lighting team and how LinkedIn can work for them. We can guarantee you’ll see the similarities with your business.