By Mark Andrews
By day – Global Sales Manager at Mobile Viewpoint / IQ Video Solutions
By night – Marketing guru and content writer at Rain Dance Digital
To say we have all witnessed gigantic changes in the past 12 months would be a massive understatement. Consequently, this has impacted how we go about succeeding with our marketing efforts. One major lead generation initiative, that of the humble exhibition, was ruthlessly severed with immediate effect. Whether it was IBC, NAB, MPS or one of the many more localized seminars where we get the opportunity to network, meet new people and re-establish old relationships, that face-to face interaction has gone. Welcome to the virtual world where you are attempting to influence people in the comfort of their living rooms.
So as the traditional exhibition is put on hold, so in rushes other initiatives: –
- The webinar! Many companies were quick to adopt them as a low-cost lead generation platform utilizing zoom or a-n-other webinar platform. As a user or buyer, there is currently no shortage of webinars to choose from, so if offering them you need to make them stand out above the rest. They are relatively easy to do. But don’t make them a product pitch, the best chance of increasing registrations, especially amongst new contacts, is to make them educational. Invite interesting guests, invite your better-known customers, try and use the webinar as a platform to establish your credentials as a thought leader. Bear in mind that the major broadcasters and production companies have also had to cope and adapt with the pandemic and other potential customers are interested in what they have done in these crazy times. It’s an opportunity to pitch your products or services but only as part of a bigger picture.
- The Virtual Exhibitions – These have evolved over a short period and many of the traditional exhibitions have turned virtual. They have virtual meetings rooms with the advantages of meeting people as you are randomly selected into the same room but meeting relevant people is matter of luck. Normally you can also message other attendees, but experience tells me they do not often reply. The investment is hard to justify as the costs are relatively high, and the return is intangible in terms of brand awareness, but they do have value.
- Virtual seminars – These may not attract massive audiences, but they can be very focused on key people. Some of the typical ones in our industry such as SVG and IABM have personally proved to be to be very successful for me for lead generation.
- Digital Marketing – this is not new, but if you are not now using this as your prominent lead generator, then it is time to ramp up your online content marketing. Using the internet 24x 7 to find leads and build brand awareness, a global audience who have never heard of you will be banging on your virtual door for more information. Content creation is still the main key, traditionally this is written content such as PR, thought leadership articles, blogs, whitepapers, success stories and its online distribution scattered with relevant and researched keyword links. Multi-media content such as videos and images are having more influence on search engine optimization (SEO) initiatives. Known as visual searches, it is important that images are also optimized so they can be ranked highly with people using search portals such as Google Lens.
- Combining your sales CRM with a marketing hub – Not new but starting to get more traction is to have a CRM platform combined with a marketing hub. Examples include HubSpot but a much lower cost platform I have also used is EngageBay. The marketing hub can automatically nurture leads, allows you to build landing pages for specific campaigns, can be used to implement Call To Actions (CTA’s) and tracks those suspects who seem to be taking a healthy interest in your company’s online presence. These suspects can be passed to sales to follow up as a semi-warm introductory sales call.
- Influencer Content and live streaming- there is a major increase in paying for external influencers to showcase your products as if they are end-users, and many of these people position themselves as impartial. They have quite an audience and some are fairly whacky which actually just makes them compelling to watch while they promote your products and services.
- Culling Social Media Channels – Forbes quote the following “Companies are starting to reduce the number of social media channels they are using to share and influence, and rightly so. With so many channels available, and many companies having tried to stay relevant on all of them, the need to declutter is almost pervasive. Reducing social media channels will be not only popular but necessary.”
Personally, I feel having many social media channels is not a bad thing to reach a larger and more diverse audience but putting too much content out there is akin to spam email – people start to ignore it.
- Podcasts – Apparently this is becoming a major thing reinforced with studies from ETBRandEquity claiming that, at least in the USA, that up to 55% of adults regularly listen to podcasts. This is something I will be trying this year. I can let you know how we get on!
- Segmenting your CRM – Don’t forget existing customers and the ability to upsell and cross-sell. By segmenting your CRM and using a marketing platform as described in 5) above, creating relevant content and targeting newsletters can have a positive response for specific users and demographics. Understand your prospects and target accordingly. A scatter gun approach will avoid you being lost in the noise and reduce unsubscribes.
About Rain Dance Digital: Rain Dance is a digital marketing company that specializes in online promotion and lead generation techniques for technology companies selling globally into the broadcast, live streaming and video surveillance arena. With consulting, content writing, PR and distribution services, Rain Dance can complement your existing marketing team to enhance your inbound lead generation initiatives. Rain Dance can be both technical and commercially orientated and can write content and provide consultancy to suit. Services can start form Euro 250/month and can work with companies anywhere in the world. https://rd-software.net