The AV industry is never going to be “big market.” We don’t sell anything that every person on the planet, let alone every business, needs.
This may make the market seem really small, but it’s actually a good thing. Why? In a business where we often have no (or a very small) marketing team, we’re not well suited to “spray and pray” to find business leads. Instead, we’re well positioned to be extremely targeted in terms of who we’re marketing to as we search for quality opportunities.
How do businesses get better at effectively targeting the right customers? In today’s age of big data, social media, content marketing, and social selling, it is more possible than ever before; however, you have to follow the right path. Let’s look at the “right path,” and how every integrator can become more effective at using marketing to drive leads to the business.
Your website doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to be up to date and optimized for mobile (a responsive site). Make sure your site makes a strong first impression so that, when people look at your company online, they understand your professionalism and your offerings. Publish a blog at least once a week to give your brand more personal identity and keep your site up to date with fresh content. And speaking of content …
Develop a few high-value pieces of content that can be used for a lead generation campaign (more to come). This may be an e-book, a white paper, or a video you can put behind a gated page where interested readers can exchange their contact information for the opportunity to download the content. For example, a potential customer may be willing to provide his or her name and email address to download a short e-book on ways to make mobile videoconferencing simpler for the enterprise.
Creating a link to a gated page on your website is something web developers can easily do, but it’s important to use different channels to promote your lead-generation content. The four channels I recommend:
- Social promotion (your company promotes its content on its company pages and its groups)
- Paid social (ads on LinkedIn or Facebook are purchased to target certain audiences)
- Social selling (individual sales professionals and employees share company info on their individual networks)
- Email (send messages to your email list)
There are more advanced programs, such as cost-per-lead programs and email blast services, to reach even more people, but this is a good start.
When someone downloads your content, that person is an unqualified lead. They are interested in the topic, so it’s important that you quickly reach out to them. Leads followed up on within one hour are seven times more likely to buy than leads that are followed up on later.
Follow-up can be done a few different ways. The leads should go to a salesperson who can call or email. These leads should be added to your email list and, more specifically, a list of people who responded to a particular campaign. This way, their interest in the topic and the business is documented so you can continue to engage them where and when appropriate.
Lead generation is not easy; however, with customers increasingly doing their research online and looking for more passive, early buying journeys, it’s important not only to provide them information that helps them with their needs, but also a way to capture customers in the buying cycle. This blueprint is a good starting point.
There is much more to be learned here, and I’m happy to share a few tips with interested parties. Just reach out to me here. Happy hunting! —Dan Newman, Cofounder of V3*Broadsuite
Image by: Sujin Jetkasettakorn