Steps to Setting Up a Lead Nurturing Campaign

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Research has shown that 70 percent of new business comes from prospects that encounter your company in the early stages of their buying cycles, but they may not be ready to engage with sales or make a purchase decision.

What these prospects are ready for is nurturing campaigns that provide education, support and encouragement. These campaigns help prospects move through their buying cycle and reach a purchasing decision—hopefully with your company earning new business.

Without lead nurturing campaigns in place, most of your leads will grow stale and your prospects will buy from competitors who have cultivated stronger relationships with them.

Lead nurturing doesn’t need to be complicated, but you must carefully plan campaigns and execute with discipline. Technology such as marketing automation can make lead nurturing a lot easier, but if you only have an email list and a spreadsheet you can get the job done, albeit with a lot more sweat equity.

Follow these steps to set up a successful lead nurturing campaign:

1. Establish campaign goals and framework

The overriding goal of most lead nurturing campaigns is to convert more long-term prospects into sales-ready leads. If this is your first time conducting lead nurturing, you probably don’t have a baseline upon which to improve, so your first campaign may be a test to gather performance data.

The firm Invesp, which helps its clients increase conversion rates, reports that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50 percent more sales-ready leads at a 33 percent lower cost. These might be ambitious milestones to reach, but they do offer you a guideline.

You’ll also need to create a framework for your lead nurturing campaign. Will it last three months, six months or a year? That answer may depend on a typical sales cycle for your company. Will you reach out to your audience once a week, once a month or at some other interval—perhaps with declining frequency over time?

In this initial stage, make sure you work with your sales team. Get their input on key aspects of the campaign as well as the goals and vision. Collaborate on the definition of a sales-ready lead so you’ll know when to hand off a prospect from the nurturing campaign to the sales team.

2. Segment Your Database

Segmenting your database allows you to craft targeted lead nurturing campaigns for specific audiences. How you segment your audience depends on the data you have available and your customer types.

If your company has only one product and one type of customer, you might segment your database according to how long ago you generated the leads. Other common ways to segment include buyer persona and stage of buy cycle. You can also use lead scoring to weigh various factors such as source of lead, action taken by lead, buying time frame, product interest or other criteria to come up with a score for segmentation purposes.

The objective is to get similar prospects grouped together so that you can provide content and messaging that resonates with them and is directly targeted to their interests and needs.

3. Create a Variety of Content

For each lead nurturing segment, you must create content to use in your campaign. Prospects in the early stages of their buy cycle may not know much about your company and products yet, or even how to solve their problem. This group requires educational content such as white papers, articles, checklists, assessments and problem-solving approaches.

Buyers at the consideration and comparison stages need to know how your products can address their specific needs. Helpful content includes data sheets, case studies, webinars and videos. Prospects at the decision-making stage will find demos, free trials, ROI calculators, and support and warranty policies helpful.

4. Schedule and Send

Email is the most popular and effective way to communicate with engineers in a lead-nurturing campaign. You want to show up in their inbox with something relevant to offer and a call to action for your prospect to act on.

There’s no rule about how often you should reach out to prospects in a lead nurturing campaign. Many companies send more frequently in the first few weeks while the need that drove a prospect to your company is still fresh. Over time, frequency may diminish, depending on response.

If you make use of marketing automation, you can easily trigger automatic emails to prospects based on their behaviors during the campaign. For example, any prospect who downloads a certain white paper also gets sent a “Top Ten Tips” as a follow-up.

5. Hand Off Qualified Leads to Sales

You’ve already agreed with your sales team on what constitutes a sales-ready lead. When a prospect in your campaign checks off the appropriate boxes through their actions, get that prospect to a salesperson as quickly as possible.

When a prospect is sales-ready is up to you and your sales team. If they signal buying intent during the campaign, that’s a good sign. Another trigger might be if they interact with a certain percentage of your content, or achieve a certain score if you’re scoring based on behavior. The important thing is to make the hand-off as soon as the lead is ready.

6. Measure and Refine

Throughout the campaign you should track important metrics, such as open rates on emails, accepted offers and unsubscribes. This will give you a good idea of how well your content is performing, or whether you are contacting prospects too often or too infrequently.

Other important metrics include number of sales-ready leads to emerge from the campaign, cost per sales-ready lead and revenue associated with leads from nurturing campaigns. Lead nurturing is an ongoing process, with new leads being added on a regular basis to your campaign and others dropping out or—better—making a purchase. At any time during a campaign, you can implement new strategies based on your analysis of key metrics.

 

 

 

 

Lead Management Marketing, General

Buyer Personas: Much More than Imaginary Friends

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Buyer personas are like imaginary friends. They’re not real, but they serve a real purpose. Just as imaginary friends can offer companionship and stimulate creative thinking, buyer personas can help you significantly improve the results of your marketing efforts.

Buyer personas are profiles of the different types of customers you have. This may sound basic, but you will need time and resources to develop thorough buyer personas. Don’t worry, the payback is worth the effort. With buyer personas as your guide you can:

Create targeted content for different customer types. The more closely content is targeted to the needs of your buyer, the more effective it will be. Potential buyers will pay attention because the information is relevant to them and they are more likely to believe you understand them. That, of course, translates into being more likely to make a purchase.

Creating different content for different personas doesn’t mean you’ll have a logistical nightmare on your hands. You can often use foundational content and make small tweaks in messaging and points of emphasis to customize the information for each buyer persona. File naming conventions, color-coding, and inventory management can help you efficiently organize and distinguish your expanded library of content.

Make smarter advertising decisions. Whether you are purchasing display ads, e-newsletter ads, directory listings or other advertising, by aligning your buyer personas with the profile of an advertising channel’s audience you can make more targeted and effective media buys. You won’t waste budget or resources on the wrong audience. Be sure to work with media partners who have in-depth profiles of their audiences and the ability to target them precisely.

Segment your internal email lists. A primary source of data for building buyer personas comes from customer information in your own database. Once the personas are complete, you can use them to segment your own email lists for more targeted and relevant marketing campaigns.

Fill in marketing gaps. Many companies discover that when they create buyer personas they might come up with three or four different profiles only to discover they’ve been producing marketing campaigns and content that are only relevant to one or two of those personas. You can easily identify the gap and devote resources to better reach an under-served potential customer.

What Does a Buyer Persona Include?

Buyer personas need to strike a balance between painting a clear picture of a customer type and providing more information than is useful. A B2B buyer persona likely includes a subset of the following information, depending on what’s important to you and what information you can acquire:

  • Professional title and area of responsibility
  • Industry and type of company
  • Day-to-day responsibilities
  • Pain points and challenges
  • Goals and motivations
  • What the customer needs to do their job better
  • How your company can help (messaging)
  • Potential objections to your solutions

B2B buyer personas typically don’t include extensive demographics and lifestyle information. This type of data is more useful to the B2C markets. For example, age, gender, and personal interests are not as important to B2B marketers. You might not want to invest in that type of third-party data.

How to Create a Buyer Persona

  • Start in your own database. Run reports to discover your best customers in each market segment you serve, then analyze the attributes of those customers to glean information you can use in building a buyer persona.
  • Speak to sales people. Your sales team can offer a lot of anecdotal information about pain points, challenges, needs, objections and successful messaging. They’re the ones closest to customers. Rely on their expertise.
  • Interview customers. Pick out a few customers in each market or product segment you sell into and request a short interview. Tell them exactly what you are working on with the goal of serving them better. There’s nothing like first-hand information from a customer to help you build accurate profiles.
  • Give each buyer persona a name. This might seem silly, but it’s actually quite helpful. Attaching a name to a buyer persona helps everyone understand who these buyers are and makes them more memorable. Who won’t remember Accounting Anna, Engineer Ed or Technical Support Specialist Sam?

Final tips: create a one-page buyer persona template that makes the information easy to scan, comprehend and use. You could even make posters of your buyer personas and hang them on the walls of sales and marketing departments to remind everyone who you are targeting. Don’t forget to revisit your buyer personas once a year to make sure they are still up to date and accurate.

 

 

 

Market Research Marketing, General

How to Maximize the Performance of Your E-Newsletter Campaigns

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As most industrial marketers know, newsletters are one of the most valuable advertising mediums. As a newsletter advertiser, you benefit from access to a highly engaged audience of decision makers who rely on these publications as a source of valuable news and content.

When establishing a newsletter program as part of your overall marketing mix, you want to ask yourself the following tried-and-true questions:

• WHO am I looking to reach?
• WHAT do I want to communicate to this audience?
• WHERE can I reach them; what publications are they reading?
• WHEN should I schedule my advertisements?
• WHY am I running this campaign; what results do I expect?

Once you’ve built the framework for your campaign, then you need to ask yourself, How do I most effectively deliver my message to my audience?

You should be aware that newsletter advertisements do not perform like traditional forms of display advertising. Engineers and technical professionals look to these newsletters mainly for new, timely and relevant content. And research shows that advertisers who consistently use fresh ad copy see better results. On average, advertisers see a 20 percent decline in performance when reusing advertising content just one time. And this performance decline increases steadily after each reuse.

To make the most of your newsletter investment, submit original content for each ad placement. Even if you are focusing your campaigns around a single or limited number of products, technologies, or offerings, you will see better results with a frequent rotation of new ad copy.

Not sure how to get started? Consider these best practices when creating your next newsletter advertisement:

1. Create a clear, concise and compelling headline. Your subject line is your first
impression. Pull the reader in with your message.
2. Feature an image that complements your ad. A picture needs to work hand-in-hand
with your headline and copy. Our research shows that photos perform better than logos. An image with a white background is optimal.
3. Emphasize the benefits – and not necessarily the features – of your product or offer.
What will the audience gain by engaging with your ad? Think about content that either
shares knowledge (such as datasheets, product specs, design kits, technical documentation, and videos), or shows how your solutions rise above the competition
(shortening design cycles, speeding product to market, or delaying technological
obsolescence, for example).
4. Use links effectively. Depending on the goals of your campaign, direct readers to an action that creates opportunities for further engagement, or to additional content for
building thought leadership and awareness.

E-Mail Marketing Marketing, General

What’s Working Now in Email Marketing

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Email is one of the industrial marketer’s top marketing tactics. Most companies have a reliable house list and many publish a regular e-newsletter. But there’s also email fatigue setting in among your audience. Everyone’s inbox is overflowing. Inboxes are overflowing with emails that are irrelevant to their recipients, and unrelated to their interests and needs. Often, recipients delete emails without opening them.

Despite these challenges, email marketing can be cost effective and produce positive results in terms of reach, opens, clicks and conversions. In fact, according to  “2019 Smart Marketing for Engineers”, a report published by IEEE GlobalSpec and TREW Marketing, 89 percent of engineers said the email/e-newsletters they subscribe to are valuable sources of information on the latest engineering technologies, industry trends, products or services. Forty-three percent of engineers subscribe to 2-3 e-newsletters, while another 43 percent subscribe to four or more.

However, engineers are a busy and discerning audience. They won’t tolerate poor email practices on your part. When faced with their email inbox, 50 percent of engineers scan for subject lines that intrigue them and delete the rest. Without a subject line that gets their interest, your email might never get opened. Thirty-seven percent open most or all emails to scan for content or to read every one.

Every marketer that publishes their own emails understands it takes effort and resources to manage their subscriber list, including adhering to strict General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) for any subscribers who reside in the European Union. You also need production resources, which may involve content developers, graphic designers, and others. Faced with these challenges, its easy to see why not all emails are successful.

An Effective Alternative to the House List

One way many industrial marketers are easing the burdens of email marketing while still reaping its benefits is by advertising in third-party e-newsletters published by media partners. Depending on which media partner you work with and their expertise and ability to target your audience, the advantages of e-newsletter advertising are many:

  • The publisher handles all list management. This includes cleansing addresses, managing unsubscribes, adding new subscribers to the list, and adhering with all antispam laws and GDPR regulations.
  • The audience consists of only opt-in subscribers who have requested to receive the e-newsletter and are likely to expect, recognize and open the e-newsletter when it arrives in their inbox.
  • As a marketer, you can connect with hard-to-reach members of your target audience who are not on your own house list, yet would still be interested in your content, products and services.
  • Your required production resources are much less. Often, you need only provide an image and a few lines of copy and the publisher will design your ad for you.
  • The publisher provides comprehensive and timely reports demonstrating the performance of your e-newsletter ad, such as number delivered, opens, clicks and forwards.
  • The right media partner will be able to help you integrate your e-newsletter ads with other marketing programs, resulting in an approach that makes best use of your marketing resources.

With the right partner on your side, e-newsletter advertising works. Is it time to add this program to your marketing mix? IEEE GlobalSpec offers 70+ newsletter titles that focus on specific industry segments and products. These e-newsletters target the very professionals you want to reach via their inboxes, giving you access to a highly engaged audience of decision makers who use e-newsletters as a key resource during all stages of their buying process.

Find out more about e-newsletter advertising here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

E-Mail Marketing Marketing, General

The Power of a Strong Brand

 

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Industrial marketers sometimes overlook branding efforts in favor of programs that deliver easily measurable results such as clicks, conversions and engagement opportunities. But the fact is that branding is a powerful and necessary marketing strategy. Without a strong brand to influence your audience, those other more measurable programs may not work.

Research has shown that engineers and other B2B buyers are not simply rationally-minded decision makers. Emotions also play a role in B2B purchasing decisions. Customers feel better buying from a company that they recognize and respect; in other words, from a brand that makes them comfortable and confident in their decision.

A strong brand reduces risk for buyers

You’ve heard the expression, “No one has ever gotten fired for buying IBM.” That might be the most effective brand statement in history. What it means is that buying from IBM is the right choice because its brand is reputable and safe. Many companies who might have offered better products and feature sets lost business to IBM simply because of IBM’s brand strength. A strong brand mitigates the perception of risk and alleviates some of the fear that buyers inevitably experience when facing a purchase decision.

A strong brand provides clarity

Effective branding puts a stake in the ground that says to potential customers: “This is who we are, this is what we do, and this is why we do it.” Your customers will buy more confidently because they know what your brand stands for.

A strong brand creates trust

Business is all about relationships, even when the products offered for sale might be perceived as commodity components. And relationships are based on trust. Without trust, there is no transaction. If a potential customer trusts your brand, he or she is more likely to buy from you.

A strong brand fosters customer loyalty

Many industrial companies have customers they have supplied for years. These are your loyal customers. Very few industrial buyers will change their supplier if an unknown company comes calling with an offer of similar products for 10 percent less. If you show that your brand is worth trusting, customers won’t be tempted to make a change to a competitor.

A strong brand gets you in the game

For the majority of engineers, nearly 60 percent of the buying process happens online before they speak to a vendor, according the survey “2019 Smart Marketing for Engineers,” published by IEEE GlobalSpec and TREW Marketing. If you don’t have a strong brand presence, you might never be found by potential customers in the early stages of their buying process, and you won’t be in the game when it’s time for engineers to make a purchase decision.

A strong brand can shorten the sales cycle

If your brand is known and recognized in your market, your sales people can save a lot of time by not having to explain what your company is about and why a prospect should buy from you. With an unknown brand, sales people are starting at the bottom rung with every sales opportunity. They have to work to convince prospects that your company and products are worthy.

Effective ways to strengthen your brand

Branding should be an integral part of your marketing strategy, if it isn’t already. Fortunately, branding tactics don’t have to work in isolation; they can also help to generate engagement opportunities with your target audience.

Here are ways to build and strengthen your brand:

Have a stellar company website. Not just a website—an exemplary one. Easy to navigate, fresh content designed for your target audience, and landing pages and conversion forms to capture leads. For most engineers (89 percent), a company’s website has an impact on their perceptions of them as a credible, technically competent vendor (Smart Marketing for Engineers).

Produce content. Ninety percent of engineers are more likely to do business with companies that produce new and current content. Your ability to continually educate and meet the informational needs of your audience during their buying process is one of the most effective ways to bolster your brand’s reputation.

Use display advertising. Display ads on industrial websites offer broad brand exposure to your target audience, helping to increase visibility and awareness. Ads can serve two purposes—branding and engagement—by driving users to landing pages containing offers and conversion forms.

Show up in an engineer’s inbox. Placing advertisements in targeted, industrial e-newsletters can get your brand into the inbox of motivated engineers and industrial professionals.

Keep up a social media presence. Don’t ignore social media just because it’s not a big lead generator. Social media is an effective way to keep your brand visible to your customers and the market. Use social media to distribute content, participate in conversations, and reinforce your position as a market player.

Exhibit at tradeshows. While tradeshow attendance has been declining in recent years, exhibiting at select events is still a good way to increase visibility to a targeted audience and to show your audience the people behind your brand. Choose your tradeshows carefully, as they require investment and planning.

 

Marketing, General

Has Your Marketing Reached its Expiration Date?

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Like fresh produce, meat or seafood, marketing programs have an expiration date after which they become stale or spoiled. For instance, ad fatigue can set in among an audience that has seen the same creative over and over.

No marketing campaign is designed to run indefinitely. While the marketing channels you use will likely remain relevant, the creative itself—content, imagery, messaging, calls-to-action—has a much shorter shelf life.

Here are some signs that it’s time to freshen up your marketing:

  • Declining metrics. Results are the most important signal that you need to make a change. If metrics such as click-throughs, page views, conversions, shares, engagement opportunities or other key performance indicators are showing sagging performance, your creative has likely run its course.
  • New offerings. When your company comes out with a new product or service, it’s definitely time to update your creative to promote the latest offerings.
  • New strategy. Companies shift gears all the time. What was important last quarter might be on the back burner this one, with new priorities coming to the forefront. You need to adjust campaigns and creative to reflect these changes.
  • New customer needs. If your product marketing teams identify new customer needs that can be met by your products or services, you’ll want to update your advertising to take advantage of the situation.
  • Timing-sensitive offers. If you’re advertising an event or tradeshow, make sure to swap out creative as soon as the event ends. Similarly, offers with deadlines should be removed as soon as the deadline passes. Poorly timed advertising is not making the best use of your media buys.

How to Freshen Up Your Marketing

Any one of the above signs could indicate the need for you to perform a complete overhaul of your creative and messaging. However, making smaller tweaks to creative or campaigns can often extend the life of your marketing programs and keep them performing well.

  • Update the headline in an advertisement to focus on a different benefit. This is a relatively minor but often highly successful tweak that can add freshness when products offer more than one significant customer benefit. You’ve already reached everyone you can touting the first benefit. Now extend your reach by extolling another benefit.
  • Replace imagery. You don’t want to start messing with your logo or company brand, but if you’re using stock photography or illustration, swap in something new. If you’re using product photos, show the product from a different angle, in a different setting, or in a different image style. Changing typeface and colors is also an easy way to give creative a fresh look and feel.
  • Change the offer. Maybe you’ve had a white paper offer whose performance has trailed off in terms of conversions. That means it’s time for a new content offer, but you may not have to start from scratch. If the white paper is still relevant in its content and messaging, try re-purposing it into a webinar and change your creative to promote it.
  • Advertise in a different e-newsletter. Media partners such as IEEE GlobalSpec offer dozens of targeted e-newsletters. If you’ve been focusing your media buy on only one e-newsletter, experiment with another, closely-related publication that also reaches your target audience. In this case, you might not be changing your creative, but slightly adjusting your media buy.
  • Exhibit at a different event. If you’ve been attending the same tradeshows year after year, look for a new event where your message can resonate and you can connect with your target audience. There might be boutique events that are targeted but very worthwhile. If your tradeshows are your tradeshows no matter what, come up with a new theme to promote when you exhibit.

To get the most out of your media buys, you not only have to choose the right channels to reach your audience, you also have to adjust your creative strategies to keep your message fresh and relevant and to capture your audience’s interest.

Marketing ROI Marketing Strategy Marketing, General

How Industrial Marketers Track ROI

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More and more, marketers are being tasked with proving the return on investment (ROI) of their marketing initiatives. This can pose a challenge, because there are many ways to determine the results and value of each campaign. For our most recent Marketing Maven survey, we wanted to know more about how industrial marketers handle proving ROI and what challenges they encounter.

For our most recent Marketing Maven survey, we wanted to know more about how industrial marketers handle proving ROI and what challenges they encounter.

First, we asked them for which marketing channels they measure ROI. Traffic to the company website was the most popular answer, with 62 percent of respondents measuring ROI. Other popular answers are email marketing and tradeshows. 12 percent of respondents don’t measure ROI at all. Only 22 percent track ROI on webinars, 19 percent track e-newsletter advertising, and 17 percent track display advertising.

Industrial marketers that measure metrics focus on clicks first and foremost, with 60% reporting that they look at that metric when comparing the performance of their media spend and making purchasing decisions. Engagement rate (CTR) was the next most popular metric, followed by cost per click and cost per lead. Acquisition channels and cost per sale were the least commonly tracked metrics.

The majority of industrial marketers (53 percent) run campaign performance reports monthly. 19 percent choose to run them quarterly, and 10 percent check every week. Two thirds of respondents don’t have an outside partner that handles any part of their reporting and tracking.

When it comes to challenges in reporting, industrial marketers report a variety of issues. 24 percent of industrial marketers say their greatest struggle is that their data is too siloed. 21 percent have trouble showing ROI for their investments/marketing programs. 12 percent aren’t sure which factors to pay attention to.

Overall, these results show us that many industrial marketers aren’t digging extraordinarily deep into their metrics. Only three marketing channels are tracked by over half of respondents. In the same vein, clicks are the only metric that
over half of marketers track. Additionally, ROI might not be top of mind for all marketers, who tend to run reports monthly. We understand that marketers today wear many hats, and tracking analytics can be overwhelming and easy to put on the back burner. However, tracking the ROI of your marketing programs will only lead to more successful and efficient portfolio of campaigns. Consider transitioning some of your programs to a media partner that can help you track and interpret their results.

Marketing Measurement Marketing ROI

How to Increase and Measure Marketing Visibility

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Increasing your company’s visibility in the marketplace is essential to capture the attention of your target audience. High visibility equates to high brand awareness, and potential customers want to do business with brands they recognize and trust.

Additionally, high visibility helps your company get discovered by engineers and other technical professionals in the early stages of their buying process. Because engineers prefer to search and research independently and wait to contact vendors, you must be seen early and often in the marketplace to have a chance at the sale.

Programs and Channels that Increase Visibility

Marketing visibility is a function of three variables:

  1. Reach—are you using marketing programs that allow you to be discovered by your target audience?
  2. Frequency—are you maintaining a regular presence on your marketing channels?
  3. Timing—are you reaching your target audience when they are actively searching for products and solutions?

You can increase marketing visibility by choosing marketing programs that help you optimize these three variables, such as:

  • Company website—Your number one brand ambassador, and always on so that your audience can always find you
  • Email—allows you to stay in touch with your house list and keep your brand top of mind with customers and prospects
  • E-newsletters—Advertisements in industry-focused e-newsletters can extend your reach to new markets, build brand awareness and drive qualified traffic to your website.
  • Social media—Regular updates on social media channels that your target audience prefers (LinkedIn, Facebook) help keep you front and center with engineers. Relevant posts can be easily shared by users, helping to further increase your reach.
  • Display advertising—Used on a network of targeted industrial sites, display ads offer high visibility and brand awareness.
  • Industry-specific websites—Directory listings, content hubs and online catalogs offer you an opportunity to level the playing field with companies of every size and reach potential customers during their search process.
  • Media relations—Public relations efforts such as pitching stories, writing by-lined articles, providing expert opinions on newsworthy topics, and sending press releases can increase the number of mentions your company receives.
  • Webinars—Whether hosted by your company or with an industry partner, webinars are powerful branding opportunities that deliver a captive audience.
  • Tradeshows—Still an effective way to increase visibility –  choose the one or two events that are most important to your company.
  • Video—One of the fastest growing marketing tactics for manufacturers, watching video is soaring in popularity among engineering and technical professionals.

Metrics that Help Measure Visibility

All the above-listed marketing programs can help increase your visibility. The challenge is to track the relevant metrics so that you can measure performance. The most important factor about metrics is not what they reveal in a single snapshot of time, but trends over time. If your results increase month over month and quarter over quarter, you’ll know that your visibility is increasing as well.

Another point to keep in mind is that measuring visibility is a lot easier if you use technology. According to the Content Marketing Institute the top technologies that manufacturers use to help manage their efforts are social media publishing/analytics, email marketing software, and analytics tools.

Key metrics to track include:

  • Website traffic: Measuring new vs. returning visitors gives a sense of visibility with a new audience. If the percentage of new visitors rises in relation to returning visitors, your visibility is increasing because new audiences are discovering you.
  • Search volume of your brand name: How often users type your company name into search engines is a good measurement of brand awareness.
  • On industry-specific websites, the number of visitors to your directory listing or content hub measures visibility; additionally, the number of click-throughs to your website measures engagement.
  • Social media metrics such as the number of followers, shares and retweets all measure visibility. Shares and retweets, along with comments and likes, also measure engagement.
  • The number of times a user sees your display ad or page, measured by impressions, is a simple metric that is easy to measure and provides a strong indication of visibility. Clicks on display ads measure engagement with your content. These metrics hold true for e-newsletter advertisements as well.
  • Video metrics are available through video sharing platforms such as YouTube. Number of views measures visibility. Length of view and comments measure engagement.
  • To measure the impact of media relation efforts, use the free service Google Alerts, which will notify you of specific keywords mentions such as your company name, product names or other relevant keywords in news articles, blog posts web pages.

Visibility and Engagement are Both Important

As some of the metrics above demonstrate, you can measure both visibility and engagement. Both are important. Visibility is exposure, but engagement goes one step further and indicates audience interest. To increase both factors, stay active with your marketing programs, produce and deliver content that is relevant to your audience, and make your content easy to share.

Marketing Measurement

The Secrets to Tradeshow Success in the Digital Age

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Although manufacturers exhibit at fewer tradeshows now than in the past, and engineers attend fewer, tradeshows can still be a very effective marketing tactic if exhibitors tweak their marketing approach.

For exhibitors, tradeshows offer visibility in a market, an opportunity to meet prospective buyers and a chance to keep tabs on competitors. In addition, according to a recent survey by TREW Marketing and IEEE GlobalSpec, 86 percent of engineers say that tradeshows are a somewhat or very valuable source for seeking information on the latest engineering technologies, industry trends and products or services.

However, this is the digital age, and manufacturers must use digital tactics before, during and after tradeshows in order to achieve success and produce positive ROI from a traditional and often resource-intensive marketing program.

Generate Pre-show Momentum

Give prospects a reason to seek you out at a tradeshow by building excitement about your presence.

  •  Create show-specific display ads to run on industrial sites. This will make your brand highly visible and give potential attendees a reason to visit your exhibit.
  • Use advertisements in targeted industrial e-newsletters to announce the tradeshow. This is great way to connect with a hard-to-reach audience that is not part of your house list yet may be interested in meeting you.
  • Email your internal list on multiple occasions leading up to the tradeshow, giving prospects an opportunity to register and make travel plans.
  • Reach out via email to individual customers/prospects, bloggers, influencers and media professionals. Try to set up one-on-one meetings at the tradeshow with the most important people.
  • Announce your upcoming tradeshow presence on your website. Include a form for those who’d like to request a meeting.
  • Post to all of your social media accounts that you will be exhibiting at the tradeshow. Promote the benefits of attending and give your audience reasons to stop by your booth, such as hands-on opportunities with your products or a special presentation.

At the Show

Tradeshows used to be places where prospects collected brochures and other content. Now all of that information is available online on your website. Today, tradeshows are all about engagement and building community.

  • Make sure all of your booth staff are trained regarding your goals for the show.
  • Use digital data capture capabilities on site for gathering prospect information for post-show follow-up.
  • Continuously run a video in your exhibit space. This doesn’t have to be a one-time-use video. You can also post the video on your website and link to it from emails and social media to get extra return on your investment.
  • Take digital photos—lots of them—and identify the people in each shot. A great follow-up after the show is to send your prospect of photo of themselves with people from your team.
  • Use social media during the show to post updates and share the experience. Shows will often have their own hashtag to use.
  • Make sure you have a comfortable space to conduct face-to-face meetings, either within your exhibit area or in a convenient space nearby.

Post-show Marketing

Don’t make the mistake of thinking your marketing efforts are over when the tradeshow ends. Often, your marketing is just getting into gear. 

  • Quickly follow-up via email with everyone you met at the show to say thank you for visiting your booth. Offer links to exclusive content related to the show, including educational information such as white papers and articles as well as fun stuff such as event photos and videos.
  • Segment or score your attendee list into prospects who deserve immediate attention you’re your sales team and those who belong in your lead nurturing program.
  • That video you premiered at the tradeshow? Make sure it’s posted on your website and other platforms where prospects can view it.
  • Follow-up with any contacts you made with media professionals, bloggers or other influencers. Remind them of what you spoke about. Try to make appointments with those you’ve missed so you can pitch your story.

Despite the time, resources and person-power required to exhibit, tradeshows can still be an effective marketing program. Just make sure to integrate your efforts with digital market at all phases: pre-show, on-site and post-show.

Tradeshows

Your Favorite Articles of 2018

2018-year-in-review

This year, Maven readers got down to brass tacks. You were focused on learning new skills like SEO, as well as improving your strategies, like measuring and proving the ROI of your marketing programs. As always, you’re focused on your plans and programs, even tweaking them throughout the year. If you read the Maven regularly, you’ll know that we’re committed to leaving no stone unturned in the marketing world — from SEO to content creation to programmatic advertising and more.

If you missed any of our most popular articles, now’s the time to take them in. Even our most loyal readers will find them valuable on a second read. In the coming year, we look forward to offering you more marketing insights and expertise. All of us at the Marketing Maven wish you the best both personally and professionally in 2019.

SEO Basics All Marketers Should Know

There are some basic SEO tactics that almost every industrial company should deploy to help improve their rankings. Let’s look at each one of these in turn and how they can help improve your SEO rankings.

5 Tips for Measuring Marketing ROI

To improve your ability to measure ROI—and to gain the insight you need to make meaningful adjustments to your marketing programs—follow these tips.

Give Your 2018 Marketing Plan a Final Tune-Up

Whatever point you’re at in your 2018 marketing planning, the “2018 Industrial Marketing Planning Kit” can help. This guide offers advice, tools and tips to efficiently target your audience of engineers and technical professionals and get the most out of your marketing efforts.

Marketing, General