A distributor of packaging machinery and materials (think shrink wrap, pouches, and stretch film), Industrial Packaging made a commitment in early January 2020 to bring in as many sales-qualified leads as possible through content, including e-guides, vidoes, and informational blog posts.

To do this, the company began using LinkedIn in a much more strategic way.

“LinkedIn is the largest network of business people in the world,” says Nathan Dube, Digital Marketing Specialist for Industrial Packaging. “It’s not easy to sell on LinkedIn, but if you have the right content strategy, you can generate sales-qualified leads.”

Content that educates prospects

To produce the content that helps prospects through the sales process, the Industrial Packaging marketing team tracks every single question it receives.

The team then produces two blog posts a week based on these questions, and feedback from the sales team, and posts them to the company LinkedIn page (as well as Twitter and Facebook) every Tuesday and Thursday.

Industrial Packaging LI page
The Industrial Packaging company LinkedIn page

Dube explains they have two goals when creating this content: The first is to help the sales team answer questions, and the second is to allow prospects to better understand the company and its products.

“Industrial Packaging has been in business 67 years,” says Dube. “We work with a select group of manufacturers and know which products are best suited for industrial as well as speciality applications.

“For example, a chef contacted us about which frozen food packaging applications would be best for packaging the large volumes of food she’s now sending out, due to COVID-19, for curbside pickup and delivery. This was actually a fantastic lead and one we’d not typically see if not for our content strategy.”

Dube says that 60% of the content the team produces for the website Learning Center is related to the questions the company receives.

“Our marketing and sales teams meet once a month for the specific purpose of brainstorming ideas,” he says.

Repurposing content into animated videos

One of the nice features of a LinkedIn company page is the ability to add videos – without needing a YouTube or Vimeo account.

Hiring an agency to create custom animated videos can cost $10,000 or more. However, Dube uses a tool that automates this process through the use of stock animated images. Dube writes the script and provides the voice-over in addition to editing the video with Adobe Premier.

When you visit the company’s LinkedIn page, you’ll find an animated series featuring characters that ask questions such as, “What’s the best solution for packaging fishing lures that protect my customers’ fingers while also remaining visually appealing.” A pinned video answers the seven FAQs about shrink wrap.

Tracking results

The company tracks all LinkedIn post views and engagements through Hubspot – a tool that integrates marketing data and a CRM. Dube says the marketing and sales team can track prospects from initial content viewed to sale.

“We track all interactions and clicks in a very detailed way,” he says, “which is how we know we’re seeing a huge increase in traffic and leads from LinkedIn.”

It’s also how they can track sales. Dube reports they attracted two deals in an SQL worth $65K from someone who used the LinkedIn “contacts” bar to search for an industrial packaging company.

“The gentleman actually private-messaged me on LinkedIn to ask if I could help him. I introduced him to our sales manager and three hours later, they had a meeting set up. The gentleman was using LinkedIn as a search engine – rather than Google – which shouldn’t be surprising really, but it was. It made us see LinkedIn in a very different way.”

To increase LinkedIn engagement, Dube recommended to his team that all corporate employees “like,” share or comment on the company’s posts. His president and leadership agreed.

“Once we implemented this tactic, we saw an immediate 150% increase in interactions,” reports Dube. “Now everyone cross pollinates the posts.”

When asked what smaller manufacturers can learn, Dube says that to make LinkedIn work, “you have to get the entire team involved. Having a LinkedIn account is free – and everyone should have one.”

He also says not to be afraid to connect with people you don’t know but agrees this is a personal preference.

Industrial Packaging, based in Worcester, MA, is a value-added distributor of industrial packaging materials and machinery. It also provides contract packaging and fulfillment. To learn more, visit the company website at: www.industrialpackaging.com