This post is designed to give CEO’s, Directors and those responsible for sales and marketing an overview and understanding of integrating digital marketing as part of your successful business growth.
I’m going to show you some things you should do and some things you should not do to improve your ability to get the attention of the right prospects.
As a company, your technology, services and solutions are consistently evolving. We believe in refined processes and efficiencies to help you stay ahead of your direct and indirect competition.
Having groundbreaking technology or solutions does not necessarily relate to having a full order book, in fact sometimes you are the best-kept secret.
Executives are busier yet their attention spans have shortened due to the bombardment of advertising through every conceivable medium.
Some businesses are still trying to sign contracts on the golf course, or the old lunchtime schmoozing that worked back in the day cars still had cigarette lighters – but no longer.
“Generating New business requires consistently focused marketing to the right prospects at the correct time.”
If you’re sitting with a contract order book that extends eighteen months into the future, that’s comforting. However, it’s the consistent marketing actions (touch points) you take today that will ensure you stay top of mind and guarantee an order book that continues to grow while delivering those projects.
The most successful companies in the engineering companies have integrated offline with online marketing (digital marketing).
As you know, relationships and trust are built up over time, and it’s not until you have earned this trust that the real magic happens (the right to pitch your technology or solutions).
What follows are the digital activities we recommend for all our clients:
The only piece of real estate that you own online is your website, it’s the only place you have full control of the message you want to convey. Make no mistake news about you will get out there but here is your platform to get your message and your take on your news across.
So, it makes sense that you take as much care over how your website is built, the content and information it displays and whether it can be viewed over several screen sizes and different technology.
Here are six of the biggest mistakes that businesses make on their website:
- Mobile Responsive design – customers are increasingly using tablets and smartphones to search for solutions in business. If you give them a slow, poor experience only intended to fit a PC or laptop you have lost them (when was the last time you looked at your website on tablet or smartphone?).
- Feature driven content – customers don’t purchase features they buy into benefits and solutions. So, if your website content is all me, me, me and technical speak they will switch off. What they are interested in is solving their business issues and problems and looking for the best solution.
- Dead content – we all know that if buyers are consistently exposed to your company’s “solution driven business”, the more likely you are to be chosen when they are in buying mode. If your website doesn’t have freshly updated, interesting content, why should they bother to return?
- Value – If your website content is all about your business (self-flattery), and not discussing your customers, their issues and their success stories, you will be perceived as just a commodity supplier and not a business partner interested in their needs.
- Case studies, videos, and downloads – Not everyone likes to absorb information in the same way. Some people prefer to read a case study (a vision of how it will help their business), some like to watch a video for information (think YouTube), and some like to download data to use later.
- No call to action – it may seem obvious to you that it’s a no brainer for a customer to make contact after visiting your website. But, unless you provide the means, reason, and ability to take action, they will “do it later” (which often means never).
Social Media Marketing
Some B2B businesses still take the stance that social media is either for watching videos of cats or only for B2C business. This may have been the fact when it began ten years ago, but we are now in a world where it has evolved into a B2B marketing environment.
Let me clarify something, “You don’t have to be everywhere on social media all the time, you just have to be where your prospects are”.
So for businesses like yours there are some great platforms to be active on such as:
- LinkedIn – a B2B environment to search out information on prospects and customers, connect with them and start a conversation. Also, a great place to get noticed with news stories about your technology and successful contracts.
- Twitter – a place to distribute articles, blog posts, case studies, PR, media coverage and success stories, and if done correctly, a great place to start a conversation.
- YouTube – a fantastic place to host videos to showcase technology, solutions, case studies and embed them on your website without slowing it down.
What is the purpose of social media you ask?
Social media allows you to be human, approachable and to get the customer to make direct contact through the platform or to direct them to your website.
Email is still one of the most effective ways of reaching a prospect/customer list, but as with any marketing, consistency is the key.
Scenario 1: Have you ever had an email from a potential supplier who you haven’t used, or never heard from before with a direct sales pitch, what do you do with it? Bin it of course.
Scenario 2: Have you visited an industry magazine/news site where they ask you to signup to notification of their latest industry news or to receive notification on a subject that you are interested in, what do you do? Sign up obviously.
What is the difference?
Scenario 1 was “interruptive marketing”, you didn’t ask for it, you didn’t want it and it caused a negative psychological impact.
Scenario 2 was opt-in marketing where you asked for the communication and they delivered on their promise, sending you value and information you asked for, resulting in a positive psychological impact.
Guess which one works best and gets closer to potential customers?
Earlier I talked about website development and “dead content”.
- Search engines have changed dramatically over recent years and have downgraded websites that are “static”.
- Search engines have one single job – to deliver the best up to date information that fits the search criteria at blistering speed.
If your website hasn’t changed in months/years then the search engines stop crawling it, when they stop crawling it they demote it further down search (not good for businesses trying to get found).
One of the ways you can change that is through having a blog or news section on your website. Regular blog posts (or articles) could discuss industry solutions, provide insights or just challenge current thinking in your industry.
Every time you post a new article (blog post) the search engines crawl your site, if you do this regularly (1, 2, 3, 4 etc times a month every month) it helps with your search engine optimisation (SEO) and pushes the search engine to see you as an authority in your industry.
And furthermore, it gives your prospects and customers a reason to keep coming back to your website. You can send an email to your list of prospects and customers sending everyone back to your website (which is one click away from navigating through your site).
I hope that this post has delivered what was promised, I will be writing more in the future where we break down each subject into specific details with data that proves the benefits to your business.
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