Marketers report that their biggest challenge is a lack of marketing resources—dollars, people and time. This is one of the key findings in the upcoming 2017 Industrial Marketing Trends survey conducted by IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions.
Not only are marketers struggling in the face of limited marketing resources, and with budgets that have remained mostly steady over the past few years, they are operating in an era of increasing marketing complexity. Technical professionals use more channels than ever to research information and aid their buying process, forcing marketers to allocate limited resources across an array of marketing channels and programs.
No marketer has an unlimited budget, or the time to do everything on their list. Yet many industrial marketers are still achieving their goals and objectives. How do they do it? Here are a number of tips to help you solve the marketing resource challenge.
Make Content Marketing More Efficient
Many marketers are increasing their content marketing spend, but make sure you spend smartly. Developing fresh content on a regular basis can drain resources quickly. Follow these tips to alleviate some of this stress:
- Re-purpose content from one format to another. For example, a white paper can become an article as well as a series of social media posts, a webinar can become a video, and a support page on your website can become a how-to tutorial. In addition to having more content, your audience will be able to access content in their preferred formats, since preferences vary.
- Conduct a content audit. You might find you have old content no longer used that can be easily updated. Or, you may decide to purge and stop updating content that no longer serves an appropriate purpose.
- Curate third-party content. Provide links (and attribution) to content that others produce and will be of interest to your target audience. Curated content is often less salesy because it doesn’t come directly from your company.
- Rather than always focusing on producing and distributing original content, try commenting via social media or in comments sections on third party content. You can still create brand visibility and focus on your company’s positioning and messaging while providing thoughtful, helpful responses.
Double-Dip On Your Marketing Programs
Most marketers use a combination of programs, some intended to generate engagement opportunities, others to increase brand awareness. Try choosing programs that can serve both masters. Tactics such as sponsored listings on product directories/online catalogs, webinars, e-newsletter advertising and display advertising can highlight your brand while including a call-to-action to create engagement opportunities with prospects.
Work Incrementally On Your Website
Marketers should continually invest in their websites. While a complete overhaul can be cost prohibitive, you may be able to make incremental changes to your website that still create impact. Focus on the home page or on specific landing pages associated with campaigns. Consider outsourcing a searchable product catalog to a media partner with expertise. Add short video clips—interviews, presentation snippets, tutorials and more—which you can create on a limited budget using a smartphone.
Be Smart on Social Media
Social media, with its array of platforms, can eat up resources. Accounts must be regularly updated and monitored. Rather than spread yourself thin trying to keep up with multiple social media channels, choose one or two (LinkedIn and Facebook are most popular with technical professionals) and focus your efforts on those. If you post interesting information regularly, respond to comments, and comment on postings you follow, you will end up being more effective than you would by having a limited presence on multiple social media platforms.
Find a Trusted Media Partner
This an ideal time to find a trusted, expert media partner who can help alleviate your marketing resources challenges. The right partner can help you optimize your marketing mix, laser-target your audience of engineers and technical professionals and get the most out of your budget, while allowing you to free up some internal resources for other efforts.
Some media companies offer extensive solutions and partnering, including content marketing, co-sponsored white papers and webinars, targeted email marketing, and extensive reporting on program performance. Keep in mind that the right media partner is your essential ally, not only during strategic planning and budgeting, but while you are in the midst of executing and measuring campaign results.