One of the most dangerous sentences in business is, “It’s always been done this way,” and that is doubly true when talking to material handling and manufacturing companies. The way we do business is always changing due to customer demands, and the way we market ourselves must change, too.
Marketing itself is changing from the advertising and cold calls of the past to the digital versions of today. But when it comes to digital marketing, a lot of us have little idea of where to start (and an even smaller budget). Luckily, there are a few quick ways you can get started in digital marketing that will make a big impact in your leads and online presence.
Find your audience
The number one question you need to ask yourself when you’re creating a marketing campaign is this: Who am I talking to? Knowing your audience is more than just demographics—it’s about understanding their pain points and needs so that you can create messages that resonate with them. If you only know you’re talking to a 50-year-old woman, that doesn’t give you a lot to go on. But, if you know you’re talking to a VP of Finance whose career hangs on the success of a project? Now, you’re getting somewhere.
But, finding your audience means both knowing who your audience is and knowing where they get their information. Do they read industry magazines? Scour LinkedIn? Wherever they are, make sure you have a presence there.
Part of creating a presence is to convince the audience to visit your site or to give you a call, but the other big part of this is to make potential customers aware of your brand. Just like you (probably) wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date, you shouldn’t ask a potential customer to buy a product from you the first time they hear about you. Creating a presence in the right spaces builds trust and, ultimately, puts your company in someone’s mind without the need for cold calls.
Create valuable content
Now that you know who you’re talking to, the next step is to create content that speaks to them. This content is part of your entire digital strategy—from search engine optimization (SEO) to converting leads.
There are several formats you can use when creating content, and you can mix and match as you go. Some of the most-used formats are:
- Comparison charts
Remember that all content should have the ultimate goal of providing information that is valuable to your potential customer—not just selling your product. This also makes it easier for people to find you when researching answers to their problems through a search engine like Google.
Maximize your SEO
With 3.5 billion searches per day, Google is so popular that it’s a verb! When we talk about search engine optimization (SEO), this is why it’s so important. SEO is the way you ensure your site appears near the top of search engines like Google for the solutions your company offers.
As with everything, SEO can get complicated, and quickly. But, there are a few best practices that can be implemented quickly and without a ton of resources.
Use a Google My Business listing: Providing information in Google My Business will enable your company to show up in search results, so customers looking for solutions near them will be able to quickly find your company. You can update your hours, respond to reviews, and enter other information in this listing to make sure you show up as a relevant result for what your customers are looking for.
Make sure your NAP is correct: Nap stands for Name, Address and Phone Number, and to make sure you show up in search engine results, you should make sure it’s listed exactly the same wherever your company is listed—from your website to social media accounts and business directories.
Create content: Seriously! Know what kind of content your users want and make it easy for them to find. Use keywords your audience is looking for, and keep it up to date so that it continues to be applicable year after year.
Understand paid search: PPC stands for pay-per-click. These are ads that are often found on search engines, rather than the organic traffic that comes to your site otherwise. PPC lets you bid for placement of an ad and pay a small fee for each visitor that ends up on your website. You get to determine your own budget for these ads and can stop or pause ads that aren’t performing well.
Going digital with your marketing takes some thought, but these quick wins can get you started and on your way to mastering your online presence.
Interested in working with Hytrol? See some of the ways we can work together to boost your marketing efforts.
About the Author
Whitney Blackburn is the Brand Manager for Hytrol, where she oversees the marketing department. Whitney has a BFA in Graphic Design from Arkansas State University, is pursuing an MA in Leadership and Organizational Development from Saint Louis University, and has previously served on the Board of Directors for the American Advertising Federation of Northeast Arkansas and The Woman's Discovery Center.