Social Media and Digital Marketing can be a very effective way to promote an aviation business, but it’s not a magic button.  Most sales and marketing managers have “speed bumps” between their social media advertising and the rest of their sales process. Let’s clear that up right now . . .


Transcript – Aviation Marketing – How to Get Rid of Social Media and Digital Marketing Speedbumps!

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Paula Williams: Welcome to aviation marketing Hangar Flying episode number 82, about broken sales processes and speed bumps in your social media.

Paula Williams: So I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams: And I’m John Williams.

Paula Williams: And we are ABCI and ABCI’s mission is-

John Williams: To assist with the sales and marketing of aviation product and services.

Paula Williams: You say that different every time.

John Williams: I try to. I don’t want people to get bored.

Paula Williams: No, but branding. You want it to be the same every time.

John Williams: Well then we should write it down so that I do it explicitly.

Paula Williams: There you go, okay. So lesson of the day, branding, say your tagline the same way every time, use the same words. So anyway, if you have questions, comments, or anything else about this episode, you can use the hashtag #AvGeekMarketing. And we respond on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, social media of your choice.

Also on our blog and our YouTube channel. So the fastest way to get a response is probably on our blog. But we do watch everything, as much as we can, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay. So big ideas for today’s episode are that number one social media is a great entry point into a sales process.

John Williams: Notice it says sales process.

Paula Williams: Exactly. It is not a sales process in of itself. Number two, most people do it badly. And number three, the most common failures are in list building and a sales process. So we’ll talk about those two things and how to do them better using social media.

So in episode number 80, we talked about the rotation speed that is required to get an aircraft off the ground. And everybody in aviation knows similarly with that concept. So we wanna use it as something that’s kind of familiar. When you are doing marketing, you have to get up to a certain speed in order to get a sale off the ground.

You can’t put a bunch of speed bumps in front of your customer and expect that sale to really take place. They have to build up their confidence just like you have to build up thrust in an airplane to get it off the ground, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay, and when you have a big disconnect between your social media and everything else in the world, it’s like falling off the end of the aircraft carrier without a next step or without having sufficient thrust to go where you want to go, right?

John Williams: Then it gets expensive and wet.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Right. And most people are doing exactly that. They don’t have sufficient motivation for people to take the next step. When they leave your social media to take the next step with you or to do anything else with you.

So, you’re basically leaving them hanging without doing anything with them that would support sales process. So every time you stop, you lose momentum. So you need to make these connections between your marketing activities kind of seamless for the person that is doing the buying. They go to your social media.

They find something interesting. They want to take the next step. They maybe wanna go to your website. They maybe want to give you a call. They want to do something else. And you need to make sure that the next step is clear and also that it’s super easy for them, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay. So, this is where most people have a problem. So, we’re gonna get into the details of how this works and ways that you can smooth that out. And make sure that your next step is clear and safe and obvious and easy.

John Williams: Hopefully high level details.

Paula Williams: Exactly, okay. So this is an aviation marketing process that we used in episode number 80. So today we’re gonna go into a little bit more detail about that first bit, right. In this situation and this is actually a pretty good way to use social media is to have it as an entry point.

People find you on social media. Facebook is actually a pretty good search engine, so is LinkedIn. I think it’s number four or five on the web in terms of places that people search for information.

John Williams: Really, what is?

Paula Williams: LinkedIn, I think is number five. Facebook is a little bit down from there as far as their search activity, but it’s usually the number one to three visited website on the Internet.

So, lots and lots of people are on Facebook.

John Williams: Yeah, yeah, but you said search for information.

Paula Williams: Right, a lot of people are on Facebook. And accidentally run into information because you’ve placed an ad in front of them. But people also look in the search, there’s a little search window at the top of a Facebook page where you can look for who do I know that knows something about aircraft maintenance as an example.

Or who do I know that works at Cutter Aviation or something like that. So if somebody’s interested in a particular topic they might use Facebook since they’re there already.

John Williams: So you’re searching for personal information.

Paula Williams: You’re searching for companies, you’re searching for people.

John Williams: You just said search for who I know that does.

Paula Williams: Yeah exactly you might know a company or you might know a person.

John Williams: You said who.

Paula Williams: You might know a company or you might know a person.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Companies have pages on Facebook as well. It started out as a person to person network for college students and things like that where you could only look up people.

But over the last five years or so they have really beefed up the business side of Facebook. So that people can put business pages and you can search for business pages. You can also search for groups and other kinds of things. So yeah cool stuff.

John Williams: Okay just wanted you to clarify.

Paula Williams: Okay thank you. That’s why you’re here [LAUGH] to keep me honest and non nerdy okay so. Starting with a social media post and then let’s say that goes to the next step. So rather than falling off the edge of the aircraft carrier you’re going to have them do something from the Facebook post.

So let’s say you’re going to have them click a button and download a free report right? Okay and then from that free report they go to a consultation or something like that. So what a lot of people do is they will put a lot of material on their social media that has nothing to do with any of this.

They’re what we call dead end posts. And there’s nothing wrong with doing these you might put an insightful article out there. But the purpose of that insightful article is to build your list. It’s not to connect them to your free report or your consultation or to make sales.

So you can’t hold that article responsible for having a return on investment, right?

John Williams: Not at all, not if there’s no CTA to go with it.

Paula Williams: Exactly CTA meaning Call To Action, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay So that insightful article might help build your list because it’s having people share it.

And it’s also building their credibility in your organization because you’re sharing useful information and you’re showing you know what you’re talking about in the industry. So it is serving a purpose, but it is not serving a sales purpose. With me so far?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay cool. So that did not work as far as a velocity of your marketing process.

John Williams: Yeah it was a dead end as you said.

Paula Williams: Exactly okay, so let’s talk about an interesting quote. You can put an interesting quote out there by Eddy Rickenbacker or something really neat out there. And a lot of people share it and it goes viral and it’s cool and it’s interesting, and everything is fabulous.

John Williams: But it doesn’t help any.

Paula Williams: Exactly, it does help you build your list. But it does not help people find your free report or schedule a consultation or do anything else that’s part of your sales process. Okay, so you do another insightful article. You’re gonna have to figure out what the ratio is for your particular social media channel.

For a lot of people it is one to one or two to one or three to one.

John Williams: Meaning what’s two and what’s three?

Paula Williams: Meaning do one list building activity for one sales activity, okay, or up to three list building activities for one sales activity.

John Williams: Okay.

Paula Williams: Okay, so that makes sense. But a lot of people never get past these list building activities. And so then they have hundreds of likes on their social media post but they’ve never made a sale.

John Williams: And then you got to say so what?

Paula Williams: Exactly, you can take all those likes to the bank.

John Williams: And that’s what you get [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: And show up at the teller window with a printout of all your Facebook likes and still not be able to pay your rent or pay your payroll so. It really does not help you unless you take the next step and that is download our free report, right?

John Williams: And when you do that, then before you let them do that you have to ask them some questions for some of their information

Paula Williams: Exactly. So if you get them to download your free report. And in the process of downloading that report they had to fill out a form with their name and email and everything else, then you’ve moved them one step further in your sales process.

John Williams: Which means that report’s gotta be useful to them.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So all of this is assuming that you’re doing quality posts. People like what you say, you’re building your credibility, you’re building your list. And then you get them to download a report, they also find that credible and useful and everything else, right.

John Williams: And they pass it along.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. Okay, or you can skip over that for your report and maybe put in a post that says, Request a consultation today. That is still moving them along the sales process, maybe even further along the sales process.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: But you do wanna test those things out and maybe try some different things.

And say, okay, you know what? People don’t want the free report. They just want a consultation. Cuz they want really custom information, they don’t really care what the report says, they wanna know about their own situation. So then you’ll realize, you know what? We’re not going to spend anymore money on that free report.

We’re gonna have to find another way to make this more appealing. But you learn something about your customers in that process. So yeah and they don’t necessarily need the free report, they just go straight to the consultation and life goes on. So, social media roadblocks. Thing number one is not having realistic goals.

If you put out nothing but quotes and articles and then you wonder why you’re not making any sales from your social media, we just explained why that’s happening, right?

John Williams: That’s right.

Paula Williams: Okay. But you do have to have a decent list before you start putting sales activities out there because let’s say, ten people like your Facebook page.

And then you offer a free report on ten reasons to buy a Piper Cherokee of the ten people in your list, how many of them are likely to be even interested in a piper share key.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Okay, you have to have a pretty decent list before you start doing sales activities.

So there is nothing wrong with those building activities but you have to recognize that’s what you’re doing. And not just be messing around with social media which is what a lot of people do. So list building activities include things like quotes, articles, photos, charts, graphs, jokes, any number of things, videos.

Fun things that you’re

John Williams: Whatever it is, you have to be exactly accurate.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: Precisely accurate.

Paula Williams: Exactly, because you’re building your credibility based on the information that you’re providing, so you get a reputation.

John Williams: That’s right, and then when you go to ask them to fill out a form to get something even better, they say, okay.

Paula Williams: Right. So I would say you want to do nothing but list building until you get to a certain number, and that number is different for every company. A thousand is usually a really good number because then you have some statistical chance of having some number of people who are interested in your product and service at any given time.

John Williams: Plus isn’t there something on Facebook needs a minimum of a 1,000 before we could use it.

Paula Williams: Yeah, some of the ad targeting options require a list of 1,000 before you’ll even have the opportunity to do some of the cooler advertising activities. Where you do more specific targeting and things like that.

So that is great. Once you get to a certain number then you can start doing things like questions and engagement. Like are you flying somewhere neat this weekend and then you can get people to actually reply and send in pictures and things. Engagement is even better than just liking your page, because then they’re actually participating with you.

And they’re starting to build a relationship where they at least trust that you’re not gonna troll them right [LAUGH], right?

John Williams: Right.

Digital Marketing for Charter CompaniesPaula Williams: Okay, so all of that stuff is good. And all of that stuff is worthwhile. But you wanna make sure that you’ve got it planned. So that if it’s worth it to you to spend an hour or two hours a week doing list building activities.

That’s worth something to you if it eventually turns into something else right? Okay and then the second Part of that is [LAUGH] If you don’t do this second part then the first part is completely wasted.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: And the second part is the sales process activities. And the two that we used in this example are download a free report or request a free consultation.

But whatever that thing is that moves them along the sales process, there has to be a step that takes them beyond social media. Yeah, and I can’t stress that too much.

John Williams: Because we had clients that refused to do sales processes and wondered why they weren’t selling anything.

Paula Williams: Exactly, they’ve done years of interesting quotes, articles, photos, charts, graphs, all that stuff.

John Williams: They refuse to get into a sales process.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and they spend three, four, five hours a week on social media, maybe even getting to the point of questions and engagement. But they never get beyond that.

And then they wonder why is it that social media isn’t working for me?

John Williams: That’s right, well, it is. They just aren’t using it correctly.

Paula Williams: Exactly, it is doing exactly what it’s supposed do.

John Williams: No, it’s doing what they ask it to do.

Paula Williams: Yep, list building, so that’s cool up to the point where it’s not.

John Williams: [LAUGH] Right.

Paula Williams: Once you figure out how much time and money and energy you’ve spent building a list that list is only as good as how responsive those people are and how likely they are to but–

John Williams: And how well you built it. If you were accurate and precise throughout all this information you laid out then that should be a good list.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: But then you gotta use it as a list.

Paula Williams: Exactly, right, okay. So next steps we have a digital marketing process that basically was included with digital marketing as we do an analysis of any digital marketing that you’re doing currently and we improve on that.

So if it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Retargeting. Also we have a system that allows us to see what’s on your website or who is on your website and what companies are visiting your website and providing that kind of information our digital marketing package.

John Williams: And if you don’t have digital marketing going on, we can certainly help you get started in fine shape.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so if you’re already doing some of this and it’s not working the way you want to or if you think you want to get started with some of this. Either way, this is a great package because it starts with that analysis and then it moves into doing a lot of this work for you.

For some of our clients it ends up being a great partnership. Because whatever level they’re comfortable with participating on social media, we like to take it to the next level and suggest improvements that are going to help move things along your sales process. And help you make more sales from that activities you’re already doing or doing all of this for you, and basically kind of your social media valet is what we’ve become.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Okay, so if you hate social media, we’ll do it for you, if you love social media, we’ll help you do it better.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Okay so what’s up with the Insiders? The folks that we’re doing social media with and if you want to see some examples of social media that we’re doing.

Special Services Corporation, the Aero Expo Panama Pacifico, Wx24Pilot which is a great weather app. Those are social media accounts that we are assisting with, and with different levels of partnerships. Doug Goldstrom is really fantastic at SSC, with responding to customers and everything else. And we just do a little bit of pointing for him, to help him spend his tme in good ways because he is wearing a bunch of hats and doing a bunch of things and his time is really valuable.

AeroExpo Panama Pacifico 2017

AeroExpo Panama Pacifico 2017

Aero Expo Panama Pacifico did a lot of live video and other fantastic things using their social media channels to advertise in a really interesting market. I was amazed at how well Facebook did in Latin America in English and Spanish. So that’s a really great example that you can look at for some of the activities that really worked for them.

WX24 pilot is brand new. We just started working with them recently and they have a really neat weather app that is like nothing I’ve ever seen.

John Williams: That thing for those of you that remember the flight service stations when they actually provided service.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah service what a concept.

The Best Weather App for Pilots

The Best Weather App for Pilots

John Williams: They would interpret all the charts, the prog charts, all the radar, all the Teletype stuff. This thing does that for you at the touch of a button. I mean, it just lays it out, it’s just instant flight planning. Amazing!

Paula Williams: Yeah, absolutely, and it’s really a neat weather app, but it is kind of complex.

So a lot of people I think in the culture will just kind of download apps and very casually play with them and expect them to just work. This is a serious amount of information for serious pilots and people who are really serious about whether, as everyone should be that is flying.

So it is definitely worth the time to learn to use it.

John Williams: Yeah, but he has a video that shows you how to use it. And even if you’re flying a J-3 cross country below all of the airspace and staying at 500 AGL, this thing you need. [LAUGH] And I don’t work for the guy, other than for marketing, but I’m telling you something, this is an amazing thing.

Paula Williams: Right, absolutely, and what we’re doing with social media with them is helping to break down some of those more complex things that you can do with it into what we call information snacks. Because it’s really hard to get people to sit down for a long tutorial these days and then they may not remember what they’ve learned.

So these little information snacks are little things you can do. Did you know that you can also do this with this app? And that’s really good for a lot of aviation companies because they sell a complex product or service that people don’t necessarily know everything they need to know about it.

So using social media for those information stacks is a really good way of helping make that work right?

John Williams: Yeah I just remember flying into Joliet Illinois in a Light Twin. And it’s winter time and we get ready to leave on a Sunday. She called flight service on the ground, and then you get on the airplane and you can’t talk to her until you get on a patent elevation.

So we got up there and I said I like the weather update before I fly far to where I was going. And the guy comes back and he says, let’s see, I think he said, three thunderstorms, four tornadoes, and ice along my current flight path.

Paula Williams: No.

John Williams: I said, thank you very much, cancel and we landed.

[LAUGH] And we go next day. But if I had this app, well we didn’t have iPhones back then.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: [LAUGH] But if we had smartphones and the app I mean I would have ran the ground and never even taken off.

Paula Williams: Right exactly. And that’s one of the cool things about that I’ve seen.

And here we could go on all day about this app. But you can change the departure time and then watch how your entire flight changes because it adjust for the time you’re likely to be at any given point along the way.

John Williams: You just put in your TAS or your expected career speed and there you.

Paula Williams: Exactly. And then you can just say let me depart an hour or later and the weather will be fine. [LAUGH] Which is so much better than having to guess and do all those things across all those data points by hand, so.

John Williams: Anyway.

Paula Williams: Yeah. Carrying on Follow Fridays are really good way to find out what’s going on in aviation marketing and social media.

Just about every Friday, we have some kind of an activity that we do with our group, and you can follow that along. On ABCI’s Facebook page is probably the best way to see those kinds of things. And we’ll either have a list of Facebook pages to follow, a list of LinkedIn pages to follow, a list of Twitter pages to follow.

Some ideas about things that you can do with your social media to follow your top ten list or your top 20 list or further your sales process using your social media. So those are free. Anybody can play along from the studio audience and it’s a really nice way to stay connected to the aviation industry in social media.

John Williams: Of course.

Paula Williams: Of course, so go sell more stuff.

John Williams: America needs the business, quote Zig Ziglar.

Paula Williams: Absolutely so do subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play. And please do leave us a review on iTunes, those make us very happy. And also let us know what you’d like to hear if you have an idea for a future podcast or somebody you’d like us to interview or anything you’d like to know more about, anything driving you crazy about marketing in aviation.

There’s probably a lot of that going around. We’ll see you next week.

John Williams: Have a great time ciao.

More on Social Media for aviation marketing:

Aviation Marketing – Social Media Speedbumps

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Book Club Conversation – No BS Social Media Marketing

Direct Response Social Media – An Interview with Kim Walsh-Phillips

NBAA Social Media Panel Discussion Transcript

Social Media Survey Results – More Mythbusting!

Five Marketing Tasks You Can Accomplish Using Social Media Tools