Marketing is no longer just print ads, press releases and handout brochures. Today, marketing has gone digital, and aviation companies are having to shift away from outdated, long-worn processes they’ve used for years – maybe even decades – if they want to stay successful.
But digital marketing encompasses a vast array of strategies and processes: web design, social media, PPC, SEO, blogging, content marketing and so much more. For an old-school aviation marketer just getting their toes wet, it can be a little overwhelming to say the least.
Have you started delving into digital marketing? Are you overwhelmed by all the options? Unsure about what areas to pour your money into for 2016? We can help.
Here are the 5 must-have pieces of the digital marketing puzzle:
1. A sleek web presence.
No matter what side of the industry you’re in – business aviation, MRO, heli, defense, air medical, etc. – there’s one thing we all have in common: We’re in a high-tech world. There are few industries that rely on state-of-the-art, cutting-edge and often expensive technology as much as we do. And in such a high-tech sector, our customer-facing collateral needs to reflect that at all times.
Most important on this list? Your website.
In the aviation and aerospace sectors, a “decent” website just doesn’t cut it. If you want to draw in high-paying customers, not to mention promote your reputation as a knowledgeable, on-the-cusp-of-technology business, your site needs to be downright seamless. That means it needs a professional color scheme, a well-thought-out architecture and navigational menu, a sleek, pleasing design, and high-performing, fast-loading pages that give customers the information they need without a lot of hassle.
2. The right social media accounts.
In this day and age, every business should be on social media in some way, shape or form. That includes even B2B and higher-income sectors like aerospace and aviation.
Now, I’m not saying you need to go sign up for Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and everything else all at once, but you should definitely get on – and get active with – the ones your customers are using.
Do you run an FBO? Chances are your customers are checking in on Twitter and uploading photos to Instagram as they make their travels. Be there to interact with them, answer their questions and cultivate their loyalty. Operate a B2B avionics supplier? Head to LinkedIn and join various professional aerospace groups, connect with senior-level decision makers, and get networking.
Take a bit of time to research where your customers are congregating and make your presence known.
A lot of business in our industry comes from word-of-mouth referrals, but those that don’t? The bulk come straight from the king of the Internet itself – Google.
SEO helps ensure your brand and your website are visible when potential customers search. Whether that’s for “private FBO,” “avionics systems,” or even just “aviation marketing” like us, do a little research and hone in on the keywords that can bring in qualified, ready-to-buy customers. Then hire an SEO pro to optimize your website – both on- and off-page – and start making your presence known on the web.
4. A well-segmented email list.
When properly tailored and segmented, an email campaign (or even a monthly newsletter) can be a real boon to business. It can bring in qualified customers, help promote brand loyalty and repeat business with existing ones, and even encourage referrals from past clients.
To start, you should actively work to gain email addresses at every turn: on your website, from potential customers at trade shows and even just referrals or industry connections. Then, segment those into different groups. Have one for their different interests – bizav, avionics, MRO, etc. Create another for the point they’re at in the sales process – leads, past customers, current customers, etc. And even create one for where you met them or where they’re located.
The more you segment these lists, the better you can tailor your messaging – and the higher your open, click and conversion rates are going to be. An example? At Christmastime, you could send an email coupon code to your leads, inspiring them to move forward with that purchase and become a real paying customer. For your existing customers, you could send them a Christmas card, thanking them for their business and even giving them a free gift. These would both be more effective than sending a one-size-fits-all greeting that doesn’t really speak to where they’re at in the process or what their needs are.
The result? More conversions and more sales.
5. A blog.
Blogs are no longer just online journals for teens and tweens. Now they’re a bona fide marketing tool that can make a marked difference on your reputation and your bottom line.
What do I mean by this? Well, first, a blog helps you convey your expertise. By offering readers free information on topics of interest, you’re showing them how much you know and how much experience you have. Essentially, you’re telling them that you’re THE business to come to when they’re in need.
Second, blogs help from an SEO perspective. They give you a chance to work in your keywords, they create more URLs for Google to crawl, and they give you more fodder for posting to social media and other sites on the web. All this equals more SEO clout and higher rankings in search results.
Still unclear on how to best use digital marketing to your brand’s advantage? Contact the team at Haley Aerospace today. Our expert aviation marketers are here to help.