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:
- Reach—are you using marketing programs that allow you to be discovered by your target audience?
- Frequency—are you maintaining a regular presence on your marketing channels?
- 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.