Your Website = Digital Brand Foundation
There’s no denying that it is incredibly important to have a clear, helpful website as the foundation of your digital brand. Once your website is updated and being managed, it’s time to to take ownership of several other digital aspects to truly own and control your digital brand.
Traditionally, manufacturers have delayed taking the leap into digital brand management. It can feel like a new world for those who rely on in-person trade shows and traditional sales techniques to reach their customers.
While it can be an undertaking, a strong digital brand strategy is really about taking what already exists—the value of your products, the expertise of your team, the way you give back to your community—and sharing those stories online.
Strong digital brand strategy is really about taking what already exists—the value of your products, the expertise of your team, the way you give back to your community—and sharing those stories online.
Strategy House works with manufacturers to develop a brand strategy that is clear, consistent, comprehensive, and informative. All the facets you need to create a powerful digital brand.
While there are several nuanced, smaller moving pieces to taking control of your digital brand, below we share three core components to give you a great starting point.
Digital Profile Management
When someone Googles your company, a few different things are going to show up on the first search page. The first will likely be your website, your locations, and your social profiles – your Google business profile, LinkedIn, and Facebook – any other social media platforms you participate in.
Potential customers or employees will appreciate up-to-date information and engaged brand profiles. A dormant profile sends a negative message and may prevent a visitor from taking the next step.
This is where core messaging and key positioning statements come into play. Stay consistent with how you describe your company in your digital profiles to paint a clear picture of your business for customers and properly represent your brand.
When the time comes for a prospective employee, customer, or other stakeholder to Google your business, they are immediately met with consistent and accurate information about who you are today.
What Platforms Are Most Relevant to Manufacturers?
For some manufacturers, social media is new territory. It is becoming increasingly important and is no longer optional in your brand strategy. In fact, over 69% of people in manufacturing follow social media channels focused in their field. However, manufacturers don’t need to go and sign up for every social media platform under the sun. Instead, concentrate on 2-3 relevant platforms that you can invest your resources and energy toward.
Leveraging LinkedIn for Manufacturing
The first platform to leverage is LinkedIn. There’s a good chance your business already has signed up for a LinkedIn profile, and perhaps your sales and marketing team members list you as their employer, and are using their own LinkedIn profiles regularly.
LinkedIn is the best platform to reach customers, other industry professionals and potential employees, especially for your sales, engineering, HR, and marketing teams.
On LinkedIn, you can share posts about your brand, your products, and services, how you give back to your community and thought leadership pieces.
Thought leadership and educational information are quickly becoming one of the most important tools manufacturers can use to provide value to their audience.
A whopping 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders. This can be first-party information, pieces you or your team have written that add value and offer solutions for your customers, or third-party information – helpful and appropriate articles that you share from other sources.
By focusing on thought leadership, brand, sales, and community, you are painting a positive and comprehensive picture of the value of your company, and positioning yourselves as leaders in your industry.
Facebook as a Culture Platform for Manufacturing
Facebook is a great platform to really humanize your brand. Concentrate on reaching your team members, their families, and potential employees through consistent messaging.
Share messages about your company, your values, and your team on Facebook, where your team and their family have profiles and can all celebrate and champion each other, and your company.
Culture posts are important in this space, especially if you’re on a hiring push. Potential team members want to see how you support employees, and what it means to be a part of your company.
Content on Facebook doesn’t need to be exactly rigid or calculated either—share photos from a company picnic, the results of a recent fundraiser, or talk about the local baseball game your team attended.
Any insight on the culture and community of your team will help build the story of your brand, help your team feel celebrated and appreciated, and attract others to join your team.
Other Social Media Platforms Relevant to Manufacturing
You may find that your audience is on other social media platforms as well. Once you feel comfortable implementing your social strategy on LinkedIn and Facebook, you will be able to free up time to start building a strategy for Instagram or Twitter.
Digital Reputation Management
Another facet of digital brand ownership is reputation management. Websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and Google review capture reviews from both customers and team members.
Unfortunately, most people only remember to leave a review if they’ve had a bad experience. However, you can get in front of the problem by quickly addressing any concerns brought up on reviews and attempting to make it right.
You can also encourage your team members and your customers to leave reviews that represent all the positive aspects of being a team member or a customer. When you finish a sale, follow up with a sincere thank you, and ask your customer to share their experience on a Google review.
For team members, after a promotion or 90 days after hiring, send them an email with a request to leave a review from their point of view on Indeed or Glassdoor.
Over time, these strategies will help your digital reputation match the real lived experiences of your team and customers, and give future customers or employees a chance to see what it’s like to work with you.
The Value of Tapping Into Third-Party Talent
Really taking the reins on your digital space ownership can seem daunting or overwhelming to your marketing team. You may find there comes a time where manufacturers need to step back, and partner with a third party to help align digital brand strategies, and make every effort count.
If you’re wondering how we help manufacturers like you better own and control your digital brand, reach out to us today.