The Latest SEO Tips for Industrial Marketers

Google regularly updates its SEO algorithm, which means industrial marketers must stay on top of their SEO tactics to perform better on search engine result pages for their chosen keywords. SEO practices that worked a couple years ago may now be ineffective.

One SEO practice that never changes is optimizing your content for search. Quality content is the foundation of SEO. This makes perfect sense. Google’s goal in regularly updating their algorithm is to always deliver the best, most relevant results to user queries, and every user query is basically a request for relevant content.

Keeping the requirement for quality content always top of mind in your SEO practices, here are the latest tips to help you improve SEO results.

One page, one keyword

For any given page or post you are trying to optimize for SEO, focus on only one keyword (or keyword phrase). If you use additional keywords in the page content, you dilute the strength of all of them. If you use the same keyword on multiple pages, you end up with pages that compete with themselves for rankings.

Don’t overuse your target keyword in the text. The content needs to flow, be clear, and be helpful to the user—that’s the number one rule. Use keywords in page titles, meta descriptions, H1-H5 tags (headings, subheadings), URL names, and within the text of the page.

Use related words in page content

While each page should focus on one keyword, you should use related phrases and synonyms to that keyword to show a breadth of understanding about the topic. Google uses latent semantic indexing (LSI), which means it understands how words relate to each other. In addition, using similar phrases and synonyms will make your content sound more natural, as opposed to the awkward results of trying to stuff the keyword all over the page.

Create long-form content

Long-form content (in the range of 2,000 words), gives you the opportunity to explore your keyword topic in depth and to position yourself as an expert on that topic. Long-form content increases the likelihood of shares and back links from other sites, because your content becomes the authoritative word on a subject.

Users won’t read a long page of content? Not true. If it’s relevant, length doesn’t matter. But you can make the content easy to read by using appropriate subheadings, short paragraphs, lists, and other techniques to make the content more visually appealing.

Focus on pages that already rank

You might have important pages on your site that rank, but just not as high as you would like. Work on these pages. Add more detail, anticipate and answer user questions, add images and video, include statistic and examples, create an infographic, and include anything else that will make the page stronger. Keep the content fresh through regular editing—including both additions and subtractions. Your best pages can get even better.

Develop a linking strategy

Search algorithms love links. Incoming links from external sites are extremely valuable because they indicate your content is important, but only if the links are from relevant sites. You can get incoming links by working with your business partners in complementary fields, guest blogging, participating in interviews and roundups, and through respected industry directories.

Internal linking is equally important. These links can help maximize user engagement by pointing the way to related content. They can also help reduce bounce rates, which are a factor in SEO.

Have a fully responsive website

Many searches are performed on mobile devices and Google most often uses a mobile site for indexing and ranking. This means you need a fully responsive website with content that renders well across all devices.

A responsive website changes the layout to offer an experience based on the device being used, especially ideal for mobile viewing. If you don’t have a fully responsive website, you may need to allocate budget and resources for this important initiative. Without a fully responsive website, your page rankings will suffer.

Optimize for “position zero”

You’ve seen featured snippets on search results pages that show up on search engine results pages. They appear after the ads but before the ranked results. This is called position zero, and it’s coveted. Featured snippets usually appear alongside an image, list, or a video, making them stand out even more and putting them in an even better position to get clicks.

Often, featured snippets show up in results for queries that include “How” or “What” or “Why” and are an answer to that question. Try optimizing a page to answer this type of question. Include a short 40-60-word paragraph and a list, table, or image. To optimize for position zero means to optimize for user intent, and in this case, that means answering their question.

Marketing, General SEO
improve seo industrial marketers

The Marketing Metrics That Really Matter

improve seo industrial marketers

Industrial marketers track a variety of metrics in order to measure the success of their marketing programs and calculate marketing ROI.

According to the “2019 Trends in Industrial Marketing survey,” 57 percent of marketers use leads to measure the success of their marketing initiatives. Forty-eight percent use customer acquisition; 48 percent use sales attributed to marketing programs.

All three of these measurements can be summed up in a single statement: marketing’s mission is to implement programs that generate leads who become customers. It sounds simple.

But in the digital age, marketers have a trove of data and a myriad of metrics they can analyze and track to determine if they are fulfilling their mission. There are many ways to determine the results and value of each campaign, as well as the overall marketing program.

The task of measuring can seem overwhelming. What do you really need to track? Here are four areas that deserve your attention and that can help you make marketing decisions.

Website Traffic

Your company’s website is your face to the market and your most important marketing asset. Sixty-two percent of industrial marketers currently measure website traffic. Website measurement offers plenty of insight for marketers:

  • Steady growth in website traffic indicates a strengthening brand and the ability to drive traffic through marketing programs. Any decline in traffic is reason to be concerned.
  • Popularity of pages and time spent on page provide insight into what content your audience is looking for and what is engaging them.
  • Internal click paths and page drop offs reveal how your audience journeys through your site and where they leave. You can get a sense of how your audience thinks and discovers, which can help you make improvements to your content hierarchy.

Email Metrics

Email campaigns are the most common type of marketing program in the industrial sector. Email offers a few important measurements:

  • You can measure your list quality by tracking deliverability, bounces, and spam reports. Deliverability should be increasing over time, while bounces and spam reports should shrink. If that’s not the case, it may be time to clean your list.
  • Measure engagement with your message and content by tracking the open rate, click-through rate, and forwards.
  • On your landing page, measure conversions (such as downloads/forms completed).

Account for All Touches

Most engineers and technical professionals engage in a methodical buying process. They typically have multiple contacts with a company over a period of time, with each touch-point helping the buyer move closer to making a buying decision.

That’s why it’s seldom accurate to attribute a customer sale to single marketing program, whether it’s the first touch a prospect has with your company (such as downloading a white paper) or the last touch (such as attending a webinar).

What’s important is to track every touch a prospect has with your company on their way to becoming a customer. Each touch is a contributor to the eventual sale. You can give each touch equal weight, or you can come up with your own system that assigns different levels of importance to each touch.

Marketing automation software makes this complex, but important, task a lot easier. If you’re not already using marketing automation, there are a number of low-cost solutions available for any sized marketing budget.

Measure Branding and Visibility

When deciding what to measure, many marketers focus on leads, which are obviously important. But before you land any leads, branding and visibility must smooth out the runway.

The vast majority of people want to do business with companies they have heard about and can trust. This is where campaigns such as display ads, tradeshows and directory listings come into play. Measuring views and visits can tell you how visible and noticed your brand is.

If leads are falling off, you might want to work on building awareness. Some campaigns, such as advertising in industrial e-newsletters, offer the benefit of raising visibility by connecting with an audience you might otherwise find hard to reach, and also lead generation benefits if you make an offer in your ad.

Do you want to know what other industrial marketers are doing to measure ROI? Access the latest Marketing Maven research for the answer.

Marketing Measurement Marketing, General

Key Statistics Reveal the State of Content Marketing

Content marketing might be the single most important marketing activity in the industrial sector. Notoriously wary of sales pitches and promotions, engineers and technical professionals seek relevant, educational content to help them make smart, informed buying decisions. They gravitate toward manufacturers and suppliers who can provide this content.

White papers, videos, articles, webinars, case studies, spec sheets—your audience is out there searching for content. Are you connecting with your audience and delivering the content they’re looking for? Could you be doing a better job?

The answers can be found in the results of the recent IEEE GlobalSpec survey, “2019 Trends in Industrial Marketing.”  The online survey addressed the marketing trends, challenges, and expenditures within the engineering, technical, manufacturing and industrial communities, including specific questions about content marketing.

The results show the state of content marketing in the industrial sector—what manufacturers are doing well, and what they must do better.

Sixty-one Percent Engage in Content Marketing

A definite majority of industrial marketers are using content marketing in their portfolio of tactics. That’s the positive spin. But given the importance of content to the engineering audience, what are the other 39 percent of manufacturers doing? They’re missing out on one of the most effective marketing strategies. The 61 percent should be a lot closer to 100 percent. Get on board, everyone. It’s the content marketing era.

Thirty-seven Percent Have a Content Marketing Strategy

A content marketing strategy should include your mission and objectives, an audience analysis, key performance indicators, measurement strategies, marketing channels, content types and anything else that will help ensure your content marketing efforts stay on track and produce desired results. You also might add in team members and roles, along with your content publishing schedule. If you’re engaged in content marketing, you should have a documented strategy.

Fifty-two Percent are Increasing Spending on Content Creation and Distribution

Most industrial marketing budgets are flat, but a greater percentage of available budget is being funneled to content marketing. Marketers are realizing the importance of content marketing—and also the resources required. Content marketing will be the second biggest area of emphasis for marketing teams over the next five years, after focus on the customer.

Forty-five Percent Repurpose Content

This percentage should be much higher. Repurposing content to use in other formats across other channels helps to save resources and to maintain consistent messaging. Examples include the article that becomes a blog post, the white paper that becomes a webinar, or the case study that becomes a video. Before you create content, consider all the ways you might repurpose it.

Only Twenty-seven Percent are Satisfied with their Content Marketing Efforts

This leaves plenty of room here for marketers to increase their level of satisfaction with their content marketing efforts. Here are some tips that might help move the needle up: document a content marketing strategy, create a content publishing calendar, repurpose content for other formats and channels, and use marketing automation to help schedule, coordinate and track your content.

Twenty-one Percent Produce Content for All Stages of the Buy Cycle

Producing content for all stages of the buy cycle is a significant undertaking, which may be why the percentage of marketers doing it is so low. It requires that you understand your customers’ information needs at each buy cycle stage, from early needs awareness; to research, consideration and comparison; to purchase decision.

It also requires knowing what stage of the cycle a customer is in, based on their behavior. Finally, you must know your customer well. Creating customer personas, which are fictional descriptions of your different buyer types, can help in that regard.

Now that you know where your colleagues and competitors stand, where do you fit in with other industrial marketers as a content marketer? What can you do better in the second half of the year?

Content Marketing Marketing, General

Nine Ways to Stretch Your Marketing Dollars

Ask almost any industrial marketer and they will tell you there are never enough marketing resources. According to the research report, “2019 Trends in Industrial Marketing,” the leading marketing challenge is a lack of marketing resources—in terms of dollars, people and time. It was reported as a top three challenge by 37 percent of marketers, and as the single biggest challenge by 21 percent.

Further constraining resources, headcounts, and budgets are staying steady for the majority of industrial companies. Only 25 percent of companies are adding marketing people; just 31 percent are spending more on marketing.

Bemoaning the lack of resources doesn’t help, and subpar marketing performance because of a shortfall of marketing dollars simply isn’t acceptable. It’s up to marketers to find ways to stretch their budget and meet their marketing goals. Here’s what you can do:

1. Always Be Aligned

Your marketing programs should be perfectly aligned with your goals. This is the simplest way to make sure you are making the most efficient use of your resources. Before you invest in any program, always ask the question: Is this the best program for achieving our marketing goals? If not, don’t spend on it.

2. Repurpose Content

Content creation can be a resource drain. Look for efficiencies when creating marketing content. Make it a priority to create content that can be easily adapted for use across multiple channels, in multiple formats, and among different audiences. This offers the additional advantage of delivering a consistent message. Other content hacks include using templates to save on design costs, creating PDFs rather than printed pieces, and recruiting internal subject matter experts (SMEs) to help write technical content.

3. Use Marketing Automation Software

There is a good selection of low-cost marketing automation solutions on the market that can help you increase efficiency and save money. With marketing automation, you can easily segment lists, streamline lead nurturing, quickly access detailed reports and much more. A small investment can pay significant dividends.

4. Be Smart About Search Marketing

Optimize the pages on your website to rise in search results rankings for specific keywords that are important to your business. Keeping content fresh and current will also help. For paid search, focus on narrow search terms that will deliver more qualified traffic to your site. Don’t waste money on expensive keywords that everyone else is bidding on.

5. Focus Your Social Media Efforts

You don’t need to create and maintain profiles on every social media platform. It’s a waste of time and money, and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to keep up or attract the attention you’re looking for. Instead, choose the social media channels that work best for you and that engineers are more likely to use. LinkedIn and Facebook are the two most popular channels for engineers. They’re great places to promote that reusable content you’ve been creating.

6. Don’t Purchase Email Lists

Purchased lists are a bad idea. They historically and dramatically under perform a clean in-house list. Plus, are you sure every name on that purchased list is verified as opt-in? Purchased email addresses are expensive and if you’re not careful you can run afoul of data privacy and protection laws.

A better idea is to advertise in a respected industrial email newsletter that you know is opt-in and is targeted to the audience you want to reach. Plus, your media partner will handle all list management functions, helping you to preserve your resources for other projects.

7. Cut Back on Travel

Industrial marketers still find tradeshows an effective marketing channel. But if you exhibit or attend multiple shows every year, the expenses pile up. Can you free up resources by going to one less show this year? If not, can you opt for a more modest presence? Can you negotiate a better sponsorship deal if you also host an educational session of interest to attendees?

8. Conduct Joint Marketing Programs

Work with a partner that offers complementary products and services to a similar target audience as yours. With two companies sharing the costs of a marketing program, your dollars can go a lot further. It’s also a good way to gain access to a potential new customer base.

9. Find a Trusted Media Partner

One way to help alleviate the lack of resources is to find a trusted, expert media partner who can help you optimize your mix and get the most out of your budget, while allowing you to free up some internal resources for other efforts. The right media partner will help you more efficiently reach your target audience and will be nimble enough to help you tweak programs along the way for better performance.

E-Mail Marketing Industrial Marketing and Sales Marketing Strategy

UX for Industrial Marketing: Your Top Questions Answered

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The concept of the user experience (UX) dominates the world of product design, but its reach has expanded much further. UX has an important role in industrial marketing. If you’re not familiar with UX and how it applies to your marketing efforts, this article will introduce you to the main ideas and how to incorporate UX in marketing.

What is UX?

There are many ways to define UX. Most definitions agree that UX is the process of designing products (digital or physical) that are useful, easy to use, and satisfying to the user. Because UX affects the user’s overall feelings or reactions to your company, a good UX can help to increase the value and desirability of your products, strengthen your brand, and build customer loyalty.

Steve Jobs once said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” That’s the essence of UX.

What is the relationship between UX and marketing?

There is a tight and natural bond between UX and marketing. Consider that product design often entails market research, focus groups, customer surveys, analytics, competitive research and other tasks that enable us to better understand user needs and desires.

Those same functions apply to marketing. We perform market research, conduct surveys, create customer personas, analyze data—all in the name of creating effective and targeted marketing that improves our audience’s experience with our message and content, and helps move them more smoothly along the path to conversion.

For example, a good UX that leads up to a clear call to action can result in greater conversion, while a bad UX may mean that the user never finds the call to action at all or drops off somewhere along the conversion path.

Why use UX concepts in marketing?

The goals of UX and the goals of marketing are very much the same: delight the customer to the point that they will purchase, and even advocate for, your products.

When applying UX concepts to marketing, these three goals stand out as the most important to pursue:

Get discovered—the user experience begins when a prospect discovers you. No discovery means no chance of a relationship. Marketers must pay attention to how engineers and technical professionals prefer to search for products, services and suppliers.

Engineers do most of their research up front and on their own, before contacting a supplier, using favorite channels such as search engines, websites, online directories, email and social media. Marketers must allocate their budgets to the appropriate channels in order to be discovered and initiate the user experience.

Offer a superb and intuitive visual experience—when users find you, do you make it easy for them to access the information they want? An intuitive visual experience can easily guide them. This can encompass everything from a clear and properly placed headline, to obvious places to click, to web pages and other content that can be quickly scanned, to conversion forms that are painless to fill out, and more.

Drive brand loyalty— UX affects a user’s overall attitude and response to your company and your products. A user who has a positive experience with your marketing and content is much more likely to convert, become a customer, and remain loyal. Your goal in tending to UX concepts is to always make it easy for them to like you.

Where should I apply UX principles in marketing?

The short answer is that UX should inform all your marketing decisions. But here are a few areas to pay special attention to and that should bring you the most benefit:

  • Targeting—The right message at the right place at the right time goes a long way toward creating an exceptional UX. Use your market research, customer personas and media partners to help choose appropriate channels to connect with your target audience. The first step of UX is finding the user.
  • Words—UX is not only visual; it touches other senses as well. Write copy for your customers, not for your company. Focus on what your audience needs and wants to know, provide all essential information, and use as few words as possible to get your points across. Explain any concepts that might not be familiar to them.
  • Layout—Display ads, spec sheets, web pages, forms, emails—everything you create and put in front of your audience must have a pleasing and functional layout that captures a user’s attention, directs them to what you want them to see, and persuades them to take action, whether that action is simply to click to download or to place an order. How we layout our pages and utilize on-page elements is central to our marketing efforts (and our success). A frustrated user who can’t find what they are looking for is unlikely to convert.
  • Accuracy—mistakes and errors can ruin the UX. If your content doesn’t project quality and attention to detail, a user will have a negative impression of your company and products, and will be unlikely to do business with you.

These are just a few of the factors that contribute to UX. If your company has UX product designers, you should consider forming a cross-functional team that shares insight into users and contributes to the produced product (think of marketing campaigns as products). You can improve the user experience through your marketing; it’s imperative that you do so.

Marketing Trends Marketing, General

Six Tips to Make the Most of Your Summer Marketing

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Some industrial marketers believe they should scale back on marketing during the summer. They assume that many of their customers and prospects on vacation, and that dollars are wasted trying to connect with an audience that isn’t paying attention.

While many of your customers probably wish they could take a hiatus, in reality, engineers and technical professionals are still working during the summer months. Even if 10 percent of them are out of the office at any given time, that leaves 90 percent still searching for products and services, still researching and gaining exposure to your brand—that is, if you’re still marketing. If you’ve scaled back, your customers might see your competitor who has jumped in to fill the void.

Marketing is an imperative in every season. But summertime does present an opportunity to make some adjustments. Offices do tend to be a little quieter. Not everything you have on your to-do list is fire-drill urgent. So here are six summertime marketing tips, three for connecting with customers and three for your internal marketing operations.

Curate a Summer Reading List for Customers

Plenty of engineers and industrial professionals put aside time during summer months to research favorite ideas, new projects, innovative technologies, and potential suppliers. You could prepare and send them a package of your best content, both original and curated: articles, white papers, interviews, case studies and more.

You could even call such a package “Summer Reading.” Let them know in your introductory letter how easy and useful it would be to pack this folder with them if they take a summer trip. How about including a gift card for a cup of coffee?

Create a Podcast for Car Drives

Podcasts aren’t the most popular marketing channel in the industrial sector, but what a nice touch to have a downloadable podcast your customers could listen to on car rides or during flights. Try an interview with an industry expert on a popular topic. Ask a customer to narrate their case study story. This will take some planning, and you’ll need to write a script, but a ten-minute “news” segment can make for an interesting summer listening experience for your audience. This would be particularly doable if you have existing content that you could repurpose into an audio format.

Host a Subject Matter Expert

Summer is a good time to recruit your subject matter experts to host an online Q&A. Customers and prospects find great satisfaction when interacting with the technical and engineering minds behind your products. Everyone can learn from each other. Live “coffee and breakfast” chats can fill early morning hours. You can also archive the chat for later access, and just like that, you’re creating and repurposing valuable content.

Conduct a Content Audit

Content is the fuel that runs your marketing engine. You can’t afford to run out of or use inferior quality content. And yet, keeping content updated is often one of those important tasks that tends to slip down the list.

Summer is a good time to conduct an audit of marketing content. What do you have in your library? What’s popular and what’s not? What needs to be updated? What holes need to be filled? Don’t forget to include your web pages in the audit.

Once you’ve determined what content you need to produce or update to support your marketing efforts, you should prioritize and combine the tasks, then start recruiting internal and/or external resources to get the job done. Do this now and your fourth quarter marketing will run much smoother.

Analyze Six Months of Marketing Performance

You’ve got half a year of marketing in the books. How well are you doing? Summer is a good time to analyze the performance of all your marketing programs. Pull reports, compare channels, calculate ROI where you can. Work with your media partners to analyze how well you are meeting your goals.

Summer is often the time when budgets get adjusted for the second half of the year, hopefully up, possibly down. Armed with the insight as to how well your programs are doing, and with a second half budget established, you can make adjustments to channels and programs, moving dollars away from underperforming channels and into those that show more promise.

Research New Technologies and Channels

Maybe you’ve been putting off doing some of your own professional homework. Are there marketing channels you’ve heard about or other companies are using that you’re not familiar or comfortable with yet? Now is the time to research further. Media partners can help you here as well.

 

Marketing Strategy Marketing, General

How Data Privacy Laws are Impacting Industrial Marketers

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You may remember that the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018. GDPR impacts how every business handles the personal data of EU citizens, even if the company does not have a physical presence in Europe.

Following in the footsteps of GDPR, California passed its own digital privacy law, called the California Consumer Privacy Act, set to go into effect January 1, 2020. The law will allow consumers to know what information companies are collecting about them, why they are collecting that data and who they are sharing it with.

When GDPR went into effect, many marketers weren’t sure how to react, and questioned how this would impact the future of data and privacy. Now that California has passed its own law, it seems that this trend towards privacy isn’t going anywhere.

It’s likely that other states will follow by passing laws to regulate how businesses use personal data. There is even some momentum for a federal law. Mark Benioff, Salesforce CEO, has called for a national privacy law.  Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, believes the U.S. should pass its own version of GDPR.

The trend toward regulating how businesses use the personal data they collect from consumers has significant ramifications for industrial marketers. You need to devote resources to complying with the laws and change your marketing practices. Noncompliance can upset your customers and prospects—and draw unwanted attention from regulators. Fines for violations can be significant. Brand reputations can suffer.

Here are five actions you should take to help ensure your marketing tactics are aligned with privacy regulations:

1. Conduct a Comprehensive Reconsent Campaign

Thirty-five percent of marketers worldwide are asking everyone on their marketing lists to reconsent, while another 35 percent are taking a limited, country-by-country approach to reconsent. (eMarketer, subscription required).

Email is the most common way to execute a reconsent is a campaign. Reach out to everyone on your list and ask for their permission to continue to market to them. You may have already done this as part of GDPR compliance or as a list hygiene initiative. It’s a good idea to run a reconsent campaign every year.

As part of your reconsent campaign, ask people to confirm their opt-in decision. Give them clear and easy access to your data privacy policies, let them know how you will use their data, and remind them they can always opt-out.

Don’t just focus your reconsent messaging around compliance with privacy laws. Give your audience a business reason to reconsent. Remind them of the benefits of hearing from you, such as all of the great content and information they will have at their fingertips if they continue to opt-in to your marketing communications.

2. Create a Preferences Center

This action goes hand-in-hand with a reconsent campaign. A preferences center is a web page that allows your customers and prospects to select which channels they prefer for communication with you (email, text, etc.), what specific types of content they would like to receive, how often they want to hear from you, and other preferences.

3. Strengthen Options for Consumers

A typical scenario: you ask a prospect to fill out a form in order to download a white paper and your form includes an opt-in checkbox that’s already ticked, forcing the user to uncheck it. This is not only inconvenient for the visitor, it’s not in compliance with GDPR.

Also, make sure it’s easy and obvious for email recipients to access your polices and preferences center, and to unsubscribe from your communications. These links should be clearly labeled in every email you send. You can also put these links on your web pages headers and/or footers.

4. Keep Accurate Records

You should keep records of who consented, how they consented, when they consented, and what they consented to. When questions arise, the burden of proof for consent often rests with the company, not the consumer.

In addition, you should keep a “do not email list” of anyone who has unsubscribed or has not reconsented. Screen any new email addresses you get against this list to make sure you don’t add someone to your permission-based list who doesn’t belong there.

5. Vet Your Media Partners

Your media and marketing partners have to be as rigorous about compliance with privacy laws as you do. For example, before you sponsor or place an ad in a partner’s e-newsletter to their subscriber base, be sure to ask if they have conducted reconsent campaigns. Ask if their subscriber database is compliant with GDPR or other applicable data privacy laws.

If you are experiencing challenges understanding or complying with data privacy laws, consider working with a reputable partner that has an accurate, opt-in database comprised of engineering, technical and industrial professionals and has the marketing expertise to help you connect with this audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marketing Trends Marketing, General

When to Pull the Plug on a Marketing Campaign

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Almost every marketer has experienced the distress of a lackluster marketing campaign. You might get all the fundamentals right—target audience, relevant message, appropriate channel, strong creative, and lead capture—yet the results you expected still aren’t there.

It happens. Despite all the data available on which to base decisions, marketing remains an inexact science. External events and even luck play a part in marketing performance.

If you’re faced with a program that’s not meeting expectations, you might be tempted to cancel the campaign and cut your losses. On the other hand, you might hang in there and hope performance improves. A third option is to make changes to the program midstream and see if that helps.

Which decision is right for your situation?

Continue the campaign

In some ways, this is the easiest decision, because you don’t have to do anything except wait and see what happens. But it’s also difficult to simply hope things get better, especially when you’re reporting on your metrics to other colleagues. It’s natural to want to intervene.

Here are reasons to keep the campaign running in its current form:

  • Your campaign fundamentals are solid and you need to be patient.
  • If you’ve gotten positive results but not to the point you’ve hoped, it could be your expectations and not your campaign that needs adjustment.
  • The campaign has pulled in a new or unexpected type of customer and you’d like to get more of these.
  • An external event has caused a temporary disruption to your marketing flow. This could be anything from big industry news to a national crisis to a major storm.
  • The campaign is entirely new for you and you haven’t been able to accurately estimate the time it takes to see results.

Continue the campaign with changes

This is the most tempting option. If something is broken or not working properly, you want to fix it. Can you do it? Here’s why you should:

  • Some components of the campaign are performing well, while others lag. For example, you might be doing a great job driving prospects to a landing page, but they’re not completing a conversion form. You could tweak the landing page or simplify the form. Another example: Prospects are clicking to watch your video, but dropping off. You might need to edit the video to make it more compelling.
  • You’ve discovered a mistake in the campaign. You’ve used the wrong image, there’s a typo, the offer is misstated, a landing page url has changed, etc. In this case, you make the necessary repairs, keep going, and hope that does the trick.
  • You’ve had feedback from customers or salespeople that something is off about your messaging or channel approach. If this is the case, you could make suggested changes and keep the campaign running.

Cancel the campaign

Pulling the plug on a marketing campaign that isn’t working is a tough decision. You’ve already invested time and money. You hate to think you made a mistake. But sometimes, canceling a campaign is the best choice. Here’s when:

  • You’re far enough into the campaign to know that no matter how much performance improves it won’t cover your costs.
  • A change has created conditions in which your campaign is no longer viable. It could be a strategy change at your company such as the discontinuation of a product line. Or it could be a change in the market, such as a new technology or product that makes your campaign obsolete.
  • You have a better marketing opportunity and decide to take resources off of an underperforming campaign and devote them to another.

If there does comes a time when you must pull the plug on a campaign, think of it as a learning opportunity rather than as a failure. It happens to every marketer, sooner or later. Apply what you’ve learned, and do better next time.

 

 

Marketing Strategy

Can Influencer Marketing Work in the Industrial Sector?

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Influencer marketing is a huge topic in current consumer marketing. Influencer marketing uses advocates, spokespeople and content creators to drive conversations and engagement around a brand or products. These “third-party” voices add authenticity to brand messages and help companies reach and persuade an extended audience.

In the consumer space, you can recruit and utilize many influencers, from everyday consumers to celebrities who talk about your products, most often on social media. Think Instagram posts, Snapchats, blogs or Tweets that show photos of products being used or endorsed.

However, content spread through social media influencers doesn’t easily translate to the industrial space. Social media platforms are not the primary way engineers and other technical professionals discover products and services or advance through their buying process.

The industrial audience uses search tools, email, product directories, supplier websites and other “traditional” digital media for their product research. So, can influencer marketing work for industrial companies?

You might already be doing it

While influencer marketing is not a good fit for every industrial company, some companies are finding success with influencer marketing as a tactic. You might already be using it, but not necessarily applying this label.

For example, if you have relationships with industry thought leaders or analysts who talk about your company or products, or if you have a customer who presents at a conference about how they use your products, this constitutes influencer marketing.

The fact is, engineers are apt to listen to third-party influencers, which means influencer marketing can work in the industrial space. But to be successful, you must make a concerted effort to build an influencer marketing initiative, rather than rely on the occasional analyst comment or customer testimonial to spread your word.

Discover who is influential

The first step is to identify potential influencers. These might be bloggers, consultants, authors, engineers, academics—in short, anyone with a respected point of view in your industry and an audience that listens to them.

How do you find and engage this group of people? You might already have some relationships cultivated, but if you want to dig deeper and discover other influencers, what they are saying and who is listening, you can use a number of tools in your search, including:

These tools help identify influential voices and trending content that is relevant to your message and goals. Each tool has its own capabilities and sweet spot, so you’ll want to look at several to see what’s right for you.

Engage with content

If you approach an influencer and are able to establish a relationship, they may want to use your content or they may create their own using your content as source material and reference. One way to build relevant content to pitch to influencers is to focus on topics that influencers care about and that also intersect with your message and mission. Do some rs, ram posts, Snapchats, blogs ogyresearch about the influencer and their relevance to you and your content to help narrow the focus.

Partner with influencers

Engaging influencers with content is one way to jump into influencer marketing. However, unless a formal relationship with an influencer exists, you can’t control when or how they talk about your products or brand.

To gain more control of the narrative align yourself with a select number of influencers by engaging in tactics such as:

  • Inviting an influencer to write a guest post for your blog
  • Co-authoring a white paper with an influencer
  • Jointly hosting a webinar with an influencer
  • Creating a video interview with an influencer

These types of influencer tactics can work in the B2B space the way that Instagram or Snapchat might work in the consumer space.

How much effort should you put in?

While influencer marketing is certainly a valuable marketing tactic, it’s not time to put all your eggs in that basket. Your budget, time, and resources can only spread so far. That means you should focus most of your marketing energy on proven digital programs that have historically delivered results for you. These might include email, e-newsletter advertising, search engine marketing and product directories.

However, it would be wise to identify key influencers in your specific market sector, engage with them, and better understand their points of view and the types of topics they find important. Then you can decide on launching a concerted influencer marketing program.

Even if you only experiment with influencer marketing, by building some of these new relationships, you’ll raise the visibility of your company, brand, and products. Aligning yourself with key influencers in the industry can only lead to positive results.

 

Market Research Marketing Strategy Marketing Trends

The Fundamentals of a Successful Email Campaign

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If you’re like many industrial marketers, you’ve been using email marketing for many years. Email remains the number one marketing tactic in the industrial space. But at this point, you may not be getting the same level of audience engagement that you have in the past.

The issue could be that email marketing has become so familiar that you might not see simple opportunities to improve performance. Sometimes the answer is to go back to the fundamentals that made you successful in the first place, and to make sure you’re doing everything right that you can control—from subject line to sign off.

Always keep the number one rule of email in mind: Relevancy drives engagement. Each of these fundamentals forces you to think about relevancy, with the ultimate goal of increasing engagement.

Choose a Template to Fit Your Purpose

Consider the typical emails you might send:

  • Offer to download gated content
  • Invitation to a webinar or other event
  • Link to watch a video
  • Share a case study
  • Promote a new product
  • Provide a collection of links to curated content

Each of these emails has a different purpose and a different call to action. If you consider your purpose first, choosing an appropriate template becomes an easy decision.

For an email with an offer you would use a template that has bold and highly visible buttons for the user to take action. A product promotion would use a template with room for product photos. A video email would use a template that allows the video to play within the email itself, or at least highlights the video prominently. A collection of links might use a simple list-format template.

Most email marketing platforms offer a variety of useful templates. Whatever template you use, remember that busy professionals tend to scan through emails quickly. Use layout elements that make it easy to quickly absorb content: bold headlines, a strong image, bullet points, short paragraphs, and a highly visible call to action in both text and button formats.

Get Your List Right

Rarely should you send the same email to your entire list. What’s important and relevant to a field engineer may not be to a product director, so they shouldn’t get the same email.

A sure way to increase engagement is to send the right email to the right audience. This requires list segmentation. The lists you create depend on the data available to you and your marketing objectives. New customers get welcoming emails. Current customers get upgrade emails. Hot prospects get purchase offers. Users of Product A get promotions for Product C.

Teamwork: From Line and Subject Line

This is what your audience sees first in their inbox, and it’s your first opportunity to be relevant and engaging.  Your email must be from a person’s name or a company name that your customers and prospects recognize. Otherwise, there’s no relevancy, and your email will likely be discarded unopened.

Subject lines are worthy of a long discussion, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that a subject line’s singular function is to motivate the recipient to open and read your email. Subject lines should be benefit oriented and convey a sense of urgency so that recipients open your email immediately rather than save it for later or pass it by completely. Here are several subject line examples:

  • Just published: Top ten reasons why hydraulic pumps fail
  • Registration closes Friday for Webinar on lasers
  • June 12, Orlando: Solar cell expert to speak at conference

Include a Strong Call to Action

‘Action’ is the key word here: download, read, view, register, get. These are all action verbs. That’s just the start. Relevancy comes in with the rest of the call. It can be longer when you use text: ‘Download five ways to boost battery power.’ Or: ‘Watch how to install an oscillating pump.’ On a button: ‘Download now.’ Or: ‘Register now.’ Use both text and graphics for the call-to-action—they lead to the same place.

Focus on Conversion

If you’re offering a download or video, conversion takes place when your recipient clicks through. Other times, you will direct your audience to a landing page form. Use similar graphics and messages in the email as in the landing page, to provide continuity and to let people know they’ve come to the right place.

If you’re using a registration form, keep it simple and easy, asking only for the minimum information you need to begin a dialog with customers and prospects. In other words, make it easy for them to engage.

 

 

E-Mail Marketing