Industry Gets Savvy with Digital Marketing
A spring 2011 ESA Sales & Marketing Practices Survey was telling on the level of use and planned use of digital marketing techniques.
Seven out of the top ten marketing techniques were in the digital/online realm.
Not surprising company websites are a near universal marketing element, with email marketing and email newsletters (the essential digital content marketing technique) filling out the top three.
Then it’s social media staples, like Facebook and LinkedIn generating web traffic, along with search word marketing. Online video (another content marketing tool) and Twitter (traffic generating social media) bring up the rear. Every one of these digital marketing tools was either used or planned for use by 2013 by more than half of the integrators surveyed.
So let’s get beneath the raw usage numbers and address the topic with a little more perspective.
A tour of integrator websites large and small shows increasing sophistication. More and more detailed information is now provided about different types of solutions offered. Video is increasingly used to tell the benefits story of newer technologies like interactive services and home automation. And information and offers are increasingly broken down for specific personae—not just differentiating business and home solutions, but calling out to specific verticals like retail and education or, in the case of ADT.com, even calling out specifically to pet owners/lovers about Pulse video monitoring.
Companies are collecting more and more success stories and testimonials and hosting them in news sections on their websites. This richer content on websites when teamed with appropriate meta tagging and set in the right website architectures means better success on organic search — more web traffic.
Those same stories can and should be used as content in newsletters sent to customers and prospects. This is a great way to keep your brand and value proposition in front of customers and prospects, to educate them about all the solutions you offer without being so promotional that they prompt “unsubscribes.”
As email inboxes get worn out, social media is becoming an increasingly important source of traffic generation and leads. Per the survey, roughly three-quarters or integrators are up with company pages on Facebook or LinkedIn. The quality, maintenance and operation of those pages and push efforts on Facebook and LinkedIn is another story. We encourage getting a base in place and then assigning roles to team members to work these social media. For instance, Safety Technologies president, Michael Pope, religiously endorses clients on LinkedIn, knowing counter endorsements are likely, creating testimonials and referrals.
ADS Security of Nashville Marketing Director, Kristin Milner, describes the evolution of digital marketing over the last couple of years as follows:
“During the past year we have turned a lot of our focus towards organic search initiatives. Having numerous branches in towns throughout the southeast makes it imperative for each branch to have a presence in local search. Staying current with SEO best practices and Google standards has proven to be valuable in driving targeted traffic to our website.”
“Our web content has started to closely align with our customer-focused mission statement. A lot of our content is now customer-driven and features both written and verbal testimonials from customers we refer to as ‘raving fans.’ It's much more impactful for us to allow our customers to share why someone should choose to do business with ADS, rather than having that message come from us.”
“In 2013 we expanded our use of online video, particularly in the area of customer testimonials. Looking towards 2014, we plan to continue this strategy and also turn our attention towards the creation of video content that improves customer experience online.”
A number of business services providers are exhibiting at and sponsoring ESX and can help you develop and enhance your strategy and tactics. Be sure to check out these sessions in the ESX Sales & Marketing Seminar Track for more methods, info and advice.
The Sales & Marketing Seminar Track is sponsored by CMS.
Register your team for Deluxe Passes and get access to not only these sessions, but the entire educational program, networking line up of social events and the most focused expo floor in the industry. Discounted registration rates expire March 31.