How Can Manufacturers Develop Their Brands?

Brand word on vintage broken car license plates, concept sign

USAMfgHour Twitter Chat Recap for March 12, 2020

“With the onset of social media and various new marketing tools available for manufacturing companies, it is imperative in this digital age that businesses utilize at least some of these options to improve brand awareness.”

– @MFGTalk Radio

This week, Chris Giglio of Manufacturing Talk Radio (@MFGTalkRadio) hosted a #USAMfgHour chat about brand development for manufacturing companies, and, after brief introductions by participants, he asked what tools and services they are using to increase their brand awareness. Top answers included social media platforms, PPC, digital and traditional advertising, videos, podcasting, trade shows, hosted events, branded materials, blogging, and newsletters. @NJMEP said that Google Alerts are great for reputation monitoring and @amatrol mentioned using SEMRush as a scheduler and tool for monitoring SEO and other metrics. [Other scheduler options: Hootsuite, AgoraPulse, Sprout Social, Meet Edgar, Strawberry Social, Social Bee, Later, and Planoly.]

Next, Chris asked what tools have been most and least successful for participants. LinkedIn was a popular response among B2B companies; however, it was emphasized that using the platform to connect and develop relationships was imperative to successful growth. Others did well on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, depending on their target audiences. Trade shows, PPC, webinars, press releases, and word-of-mouth referrals rounded out the responses.

Blogging was the topic of the third question. Chris said that staying consistent with a blog is an excellent way to boost SEO and sell products at the same time. Do participants blog? What do they blog about? Many of the participants mentioned that they do indeed blog about their products, services, and industry-related topics in order to help raise their brand awareness. The main reason people didn’t blog was lack of time to do so consistently. But did you know that you can easily repurpose your social media content into blogs and vice versa?

Next up was YouTube. How have participants found success there? Several of the participants mentioned they are either on the platform currently or plan to launch this year. Examples of content include facility tours, behind the scenes content, and product information. Chris said that YouTube is a great place to host your videos and post them on a blog/website, too.

What is the most challenging aspect of brand development for manufacturers?
@LiftWisco said, “…knowing who the actual buyer is and the best way to market to them. If you sell to companies, the decision maker and buyer can be two different people.”
@CVTPlastics said, “Our answer is, catching up. We have survived and thrived on word of mouth for many many years. We are building a broader brand now and that is going to take time to get established.”
@FSCabinetDoors said, “Typically, manufacturing and marketing educations are two vastly different worlds. When I was brought in w/ a mktg degree, I knew zero about cabinet door mfg. I’ve had to learn all the lingo and how to target customers in our industry.”
@NJMEP said, “Many manufacturing companies throughout the United States are small to medium sized companies. It can be difficult for these organizations to focus on brand development when they’re busy running a business.”
@BearPlumbing said, “It’s hard to keep up with the ever changing world in which we can reach people. What’s the newest platform? What’s outdated? While we want to let our quality work speak for itself, we need to be an active member of our community, while donating time & money to enrich people.”
@cdmcmachine said, “Finding the right balance between informing peeps on our machines and services and providing interesting #industry content. You want to push what you do but you don’t want to become blah, blah, blah”
@amatrol mentioned, “We’re pretty niche, and it’s tough to get in front of new customers sometimes. We take a multifaceted approach to make it work, and it does. But with everything else, you always want to make it work better.”
@SERVICECASTER said, “Brutal honesty here? Making casters and wheels interesting. Either you need them or you don’t. It’s not really an emotional purchase. So, we do what we can to make it fun.”

What’s your biggest brand development challenge?

Chris closed out the chat by asking participants to tag manufacturing companies who are great examples for proper brand development techniques. Companies tagged included: @NWolterHMmfg @NJMEP @FelixNater @DCSCInc @SERVICECASTER @USAMfgHourChat @NestbitMarketing @NJMEP @GraphicProducts @Volt_Protector @americorpusa @SpaceGuard @amatrol @BearPlumbing @NJ_BAC @dpistulka @SpecialTaps @FSCabinetDoors @witzshared @BillGarlandSpkr @LiftWisco @bigassfans @mfgdotnet @MFGTalkRadio @FasternerNews @HudsonFasteners @KnottsCompany @Thorlabs @FelixNater @BuyDirectUSA @neilpatel @Mnetnews @HooperHandling @amatrol @SecoToolsUS @burleyfires @AxisNJ @GroverPrecision @MakingChips @IEN_Now @DuraTechUS

Who else would you recommend?

On March 19, 2020, Jennifer Ratcliff of @MfrsNews will discuss sales resources and business development in manufacturing. We hope you can join us! In the meantime, go follow @MFGTalkRadio on Twitter for great manufacturing-based content.

The #USAMfgHour chat is founded by @DCSCInc @BIllGarlandSpkr @CVTPlastics @witzshared and @SERVICECASTER. Be sure to follow the official account for chat highlights, recaps, and information at @USAMfgHourChat and visit us on other platforms to keep in touch between chats.

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