AMHF 0092 – Aviation Digital Marketing – Please Enjoy Responsibly!

Is Aviation Digital Marketing as effective as more traditional methods?

Our answer is – it can be even MORE effective, but only if you avoid a few common pitfalls.   Many aviation sales and marketing professionals are tempted to make shortcuts and then blame the medium when a campaign fails.

This episode on aviation digital marketing was inspired by another aviation marketing consultant, Rocco Cipriano of Aviation Marketing Consulting.

We’ve enjoyed several conversations with Rocco over the years and have even referred some business back and forth, so I don’t know that we’d call him a “competitor” as much as a “respected colleague.”

That said, we had to respond to a recent article on his blog – “Don’t be Impulsive with social media marketing.””

While social media marketing does, by its nature, lend itself to impulsive decisions, Rocky uses a case study in the article that we wanted to counter with a few of our own.  We’d also counter with our Rule #1 – “No Random Acts of Marketing.”

We’ve seen much MORE harm done to companies by an impulsive appearance at the wrong trade show or an impulsive purchase of a print ad contract in the wrong glossy magazine that happens to be askew of  their target market.

We also love Rocky’s provocative use of this quote –

“Social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. No one actually knows how. When finally done, there is surprise it’s not better.”

Avinash Kaushik

We agree.  A lack of information plus an excess of impulsivity can lead to bad (or at least disappointing) outcomes. But we would argue that social and digital tools used for online advertising are just as safe and effective (and just as dangerous in the wrong hands) as traditional marketing, including print, direct mail, trade shows, or any other  aviation advertising or marketing method.

Listen to the episode here:

Episode 92- Aviation Digital Marketing – Enjoy it Responsibly!

Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Market Hangar Flying episode number 92. Aviation Digital Marketing, Enjoy it Responsibly. This one was actually inspired by our friend Rocky Cipriano, of Aviation Marketing Consulting, right?

John Williams: Mm-hmm.

Paula Williams: Okay, so I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams: I’m John Williams.

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

John Williams: To help all you ladies and gentlemen out there in the aviation world sell more products and services

Paula Williams: Absolutely.

John Williams: In this case, responsibly.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] In every case, responsibly.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: No “random acts of marketing,” right?

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Okay, so if you would like to reply to this episode or any other, you can use the hashtag #AvGeekMarketing, and we will do our best to find and reply to every tweet.

Of course, you can also comment directly on our blog, or in any other way that you’d like, send us an email If you’d like it to be confidential. Anything you like, we love hearing from you, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

$10,000 Case Study – Digital vs. Traditional Marketing

Paula Williams: Okay so, the big ideas today are we’re going to do a case study of what your marketing team would do with a $10,000 marketing budget.

We are going to hopefully emphasize the point that aviation digital marketing  strategy is not a universally successful item, it’s not a magic button. It’s not an easy button, it’s not anything like that. In that we agree.

John Williams: And not a silver bullet.

Paula Williams: With Mr. Cipriano. He’s a great marketer, But where we disagree is that we do think that it is a very powerful component of a great marketing program and we’re going to give some examples of how that could work, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay, so let’s start with our inspiration. We thought this was a fantastic blog article because it gets attention, right?

John Williams: [LAUGH] It got yours.

Paula Williams: It’s controversial, and it gets people talking about it. So good job Rocky, you’ve got this, you got your competitors talking about this on a podcast
So what are the chances of that?

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] All right, and actually in aviation there are very few what I would call true or pure competitors, where one person is tooth and nail against another person and their locking horns over the same customers. And I think that’s true of us in aviation marketing and digital marketing channels as well.

Every aviation marketing company has its own specialty, and its own flavor, and its own style. And there’s plenty of business out there for the rest of us. Marketing  departments are hard to compare to one another.  We’re all competing against the Madison Avenue weirdos, right?

John Williams: As a matter of fact, we have recommended Rocky on various occasions and he has recommended us on various occasions.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, so there is nothing but love here between us and actually we thought this was a really great article. It just caught our attention and got us talking and we thought you know, we really need to talk to our customers about this, as well. So first of all, the headline, right?

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Or the tagline. It starts off with a quote. Don’t be impulsive with social media marketing or pay per click (ppc.) Totally agree with that. And then the quote, social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. No one actually knows how, and when it’s finally done, there’s surprise that it wasn’t better, right?

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: That’s too bad.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Very sad. Anyway, in the article, once he’s got you hooked into reading it, which that does very well.

John Williams: Exactly.

The 10,000 Experiment

Paula Williams: He has a hypothetical in there, and this is a great hypothetical. And I think marketing departments should run hypotheticals in their marketing, what if we did this and we got that result?

And he’s doing a wonderful job of outlining the results you should expect, the benchmarks that you may set for yourself in a marketing plan, and so on. So let’s say I run a six-month $10,000 advertising campaign for a client in trade publication reaching their target audience of potential customers. Assume this campaign reaches 100 leads and a client closes 10.

The cost per new customer acquisition is $1,000. Great job on defining that right? Okay, and then he goes on to explain a social media program in which it’s going to cost more and do less good, okay? So this is where we get the gloves out.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Okay, it is more complicated than print versus digital, right?

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: And I think it’s fantastic that you’re setting a budget. I think that you’re setting a time frame and you’re setting an expectation of how many leads you’re going to pull in, in that amount of time, right? So getting 1,000 leads is a great goal and spending $10,000.

Getting 1000 leads and closing 100 of them.

John Williams: Hey, that’s not what he said.

Paula Williams: That’s not what he said?

John Williams: No.

Paula Williams: Let’s go back.

John Williams: He said getting 100 and closing ten.

Paula Williams: Getting a hundred and closing ten. Well that’s a reasonable goal as well.

John Williams: See?
Everybody got to keep you on track here.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Getting 100 and closing ten. This is why you’re the CFO right? 100 and closing ten. But it works with any marketing math you want to use here. We’ll use that math. Okay, Rocky your numbers are accepted and verified by Mr. Williams okay?

Carrying on, print verses digital.

Aviation Digital Marketing Infographic

John Williams: Actually, I would wager to guess that you use a little bit of both print and digital no matter who you are.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, the first thing I want to point out, is that every medium has it’s pros and cons, right? Trade shows are fantastic, and they’re kind of the king, [LAUGH] the reigning, traditional royalty of aviation marketing.

Are the results measurable? Usually, depending on how you do it. Does it target people who are looking for what you’re selling? Usually, depending on whether or not you pick the right shows. The Concepts that we’re talking about here, can you virally spread your appearance at a trade show from one person to the next and give visitors a sense of the customers experiences of actually working with you.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: No, it only works on the people who are actually physically in the room, right?

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: Does it last forever? No. It’s just while the show is going on, and whatever follow up you do for that particular event. Does it target people who are ready to make a buying decision.
Not necessarily people who are going to that show are going to that show for any number of reasons, not necessarily because they want to buy a new widget, whatever that widget is? right?

John Williams: Exactly, and they’re mostly doing research.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: And when you hear of large sales made an aviation trade show, those are all put together, advanced and done for publicity.

Paula Williams: Exactly. Are the results visible this week? No. The results that you hear about at trade shows, like John said, had been talked about for weeks, months, or years ahead of time. They are one of the more expensive versions of advertising in the aviation industry.

John Williams: Of course.

Paula Williams: But they can also be very effective. Now, if we take this same table and we look over at the one, two, three, four, fifth column in print ads and look at those same criteria, right?

John Williams: Yeah.

Are Results Measurable?

Paula Williams: Are the results measurable? Possibly, only if you put in a good call to action, right?

Do they target people who are looking for what you do? Maybe, if you pick the right magazine, but then again, these aviation magazines are going to people every month. So not necessarily at the time that they’re looking for what you’re selling.

John Williams: Precisely.

Paula Williams: Okay, or are they virally spread by internet users from person to person.
You could argue that if I see an ad in a magazine, I might pass it to John and say, John, I want one of these. [LAUGH]

John Williams: But that’s not viral, that’s all a one-to-one.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So the chances of it being spread from person to person are slim.
Does it last til it’s removed? No, you do an ad in a magazine, it gets thrown in the recycle bin the next month.

John Williams: And that’s done.

Paula Williams: Yep, absolutely. Does it target people who are ready to make a buying decision? Not necessarily, once again, they come out every month.

Are the results visible this week? No, absolutely not. There’s a lead time on magazines and-

John Williams: At least 30 days, roughly.

Paula Williams: Yeah, it depends. When the magazine comes out, sometimes you can get a call the day that it comes out so.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: That’s a possibility.
How expensive are they? We put them in the three dollar sign category.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Because they’re in the $1,000 or more for almost any publication in the aviation.

John Williams: Yeah, that’ll only get you an eighth to a quarter sometimes.

Paula Williams: Exactly. And how effective are they? We put them as moderately effective.

So that’s fantastic. And then, if you look at the digital media, digital marketing activity, search engine optimization and social media, and email marketing, social network,  mobile apps and so on, we’re kind of lumping those together as aviation digital marketing, digital marketing channels, or online marketing, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: That’s fair?

John Williams: Sure.

Paula Williams: Okay, so search engine optimization has its pros and cons, and social media also has its pros and cons.

So the ideal thing is to really cover your weak spots by using more than one form of advertising, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Pros and Cons

Paula Williams: Okay, so any marketing campaign that you put together, you’ve got pros and cons. So let’s talk about the pros and cons of print ads. The pros are that it’s very respected, it’s a very traditional media.

You can use that borrowed credibility. If you get an ad or an article mentioned in Aviation Week, you can put that Aviation Week logo on your website and say, As Seen in Aviation Week! , right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: That’s cool. The cons are the cost of it, and also the fact that aviation publications have been proliferating like nobody’s business in the last few years, right?

John Williams: And a lot of times, what they will do is they will look at their target demographics. And then, if they’re not selling enough, they will give away some so that they can say they got so many out there.

Paula Williams: Right, so their subscription numbers aren’t what they used to be.

Their circulation numbers aren’t necessarily what they used to be.  Many people are reading so much on their mobile devices that content marketers have caught on.  You have to put ads where people spend the most time, right?

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: And some of that circulation may be inflated because they’re offering very low cost subscriptions. We often get advertisements for aviation publications for a dollar a month or ten dollars a month or free just by proving that we’re in the industry and-

John Williams: We don’t prove it. They see that we are.

Paula Williams: Yeah, exactly.

John Williams: And they send it out to us so we’re surprised sometimes at some of the stuff we get.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So some of the people that are getting your print ads are not the same quality that they were five or ten years ago.
Which is not to say, once again, the pros aren’t worth it in some cases, right?

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: Okay, so let’s talk about pay per click, which is probably the shadiest of the aviation digital marketing tactic – the ugly stepchildren, right?

John Williams: Well, Google would love to hear you say that. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly.
It is fast. Okay, this is the fastest way to get an ad to the right people. If you set up your targeting right, and you have somebody who knows what they’re doing. You can have a digital ad out there in 45 minutes, and use marketing automation tools, so that from the time that you have your first conversation with someone that knows what they’re doing.

Or if you know what you’re doing yourself. And that really is the kind of the heroin aspect of this, [LAUGH] Or the sugar rush aspect. This is a family show, right?

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: We’re here talking about sex and drugs [LAUGH].

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Anyway.

John Williams: All we’re lacking is rock and roll.

What About Pay Per Click?

Paula Williams: Exactly. We need some rock and roll in this podcast. So yeah, they are super fast. And if you have an event or a training program or something like that and you’ve got one last seat to fill, there is nothing that can beat to market a pay per click ad, right?

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: And when I’m saying pay per click, that can be Facebook, that can be LinkedIn,the social networks,  that can be Google AdWords. That can be anything where you’re paying money to a digital media to post your ad right now, right?

John Williams: Next.

Paula Williams: Okay, so the cons are that they are expensive for popular keywords.
So there are really good reasons to do these. But we don’t recommend that you do these as a regular daily doing business kind of way of going about things.

John Williams: Yeah, I mean, we’ve done research before and we’ve seen aviation keywords as expensive as $2,639 per click.

Paula Williams: Yeah, I mean that’s insane.

John Williams: Who would do that?

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: Unless you’re selling something for half a million bucks, I mean.

Paula Williams: And have a close rate of one out of two, or something insane like that. So if you know what you’re doing, pay per click can really be a very valuable tool in your toolbox.
But it is definitely a sledge hammer that needs to be used very carefully.

John Williams: And every time a research says keywords that we’re familiar with are going up in price.

Paula Williams: Right, it’s more every time, it’s getting frightening. Okay, so let’s talk about Facebook, all right?

Facebook has numbers that you wouldn’t believe nowadays. There’s lots of places on the internet that are telling you what numbers of people are on Facebook. You can say, but I sell to serious people who don’t use Facebook, like John. [LAUGH]

John Williams: Watch it now.

Paula Williams: Chances are the people that buy your product or service either are on Facebook and may not advertise that fact.

Or they know people who are on Facebook. And somebody’s going to throw this in front of their nose like I do with John all the time saying, look at this thing on Facebook. And they’ve got coworkers or kids or somebody who’s going to throw Facebook under their nose, if there’s something that’s very targeted to them.

Big Data for the Little Guy

John Williams: But the bottom line is this is how the individual or a small firm can have access to the term everybody uses is big data.

Paula Williams: Big data, or artificial intelligence.

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: Both.

John Williams: They have both there. And you have to get into it to figure out how to make it work to its best advantage.
But they do have it and they have some very nebulous instructions. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Right, so and the really cool thing about Facebook is it’s probably the very best way for people who are not in the advertising industry. Or who are not in Fortune 50 or Fortune 10 companies to have the resources to do things like targeting behaviors.

You’re at Oshkosh and you want to target only the people who are at Wittman Field right now. There is no other way to do that besides Facebook that I know of.

John Williams: And as far as serious people, we have sold everything from software to jets on Facebook, so I don’t want to hear the serious crap.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Absolutely, so I guess you could target the people on Wittman Field by having somebody tow a banner around the field.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: But-

John Williams: With the drones.

Paula Williams: With a drone, there you go. So that’s using AI and it’s using technology and everything else. But the easy way to do that is with Facebook.

And to set what they call a geotagging or a geolocator on your ad, saying you only want to advertise to people who are within a certain location, right? Okay, also re-targeting people who have visited your website, you want to re-target them using Facebook. That’s really cool. So there’s lots of things that you can do to target people who exhibit certain behaviors.

Who are probably more likely to see your ad and act on it because they are at AirVenture. So, they’re going to drop by your booth, or they have been to your website before so you know they are interested in your product or service. So you’re not wasting money on people who aren’t, right?

John Williams: Right, exactly.

Paula Williams: Cool, the cons are that it is not-

John Williams: For those of you that are watching this, she types like I do. That is by, not bv. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: By some, exactly, okay, fine.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Actually, what happened is, I didn’t make the text box long enough to cover the little tail of the y.
What is that called, the hangy thing on the letter?

John Williams: Yeah, the anchor or whatever, I don’t know.

Paula Williams: Yeah, okay, anyway, that is not seen as credible by some. So some people are not going to respect your Facebook advertising as much as they respect your ad in Aviation Week magazine.

The Credibility Stigma of Digital Marketing is Going Away

John Williams: But the number of people who don’t see it as a credible marketing channel is reducing daily. It’s a perfectly convenient way to help the customer journey.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so it really depends on the content and the targeting and a lot of other things. So how do you know what you want to advertise in? The only way that you can tell what’s working for you is to look at your last year’s results.
This is our last year’s results.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Where did our customers find us, right? And most of them found us on our website, blog, or podcast. And unfortunately, we don’t differentiate between our website, blog, or podcast, because many people use different media to access that same material, right?

John Williams: Yeah, it would be kind of interesting and long and drawn out to try to [LAUGH] –

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah, to figure that out.

John Williams: Differentiate that.

Paula Williams: Right, so anyway that’s the big blue section, and that is 44%. The people that bought something from us last year found us on our website or blog.

A smaller amount than that found us on Google. A smaller amount than that found us on LinkedIn, then postcards, then Internet in general. And this is just what people tell us when we ask them, how did you find us, right? 3% found us at an NBAA education session, 3% on Twitter, 2% on Yahoo, [LAUGH] 2% on Facebook.

I suspect that’s going to be bigger this year than it was last year. 1% on YouTube, 1% at an Aviation Pros show. This was actually two years ago, I apologize. 1% on email, and 1% in our online webinars, and 2% miscellaneous. In other words, they didn’t remember how they found us, right?

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Okay, so once you have this pie chart and you’ve been keeping track for a number of years, you have an idea. But even so, a lot of the people that found us through our website or blog found that website or blog through LinkedIn, you know what I mean?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: It gets messy because people find you more than once. And they also will only remember the last contact they had with you, so.

John Williams: Guilty as charged when I talk to other people when I try to buy as well, so.

Multiple Contacts – Must be Affordable and Achievable

Paula Williams: Exactly, [LAUGH] now, this is a graphic that’s been floating around the Internet for a number years.

And there are a number of people who take issue with it in a number of different directions, either saying that the source is not credible, or it’s too many or too few or whatever. But it’s been quoted by everybody from Zig Ziglar to to HubSpot. So we’re going to use this to prove a point.

Whether or not you agree with the data, you probably agree with the fact that most people don’t do enough follow-up. And most people don’t do enough advertising to sell a product or service. It takes a lot more than once to qualify, well, to get somebody’s attention, to get them to take action, to enter your system as a qualified lead, and to get the attention of one of your salespeople, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Okay, and what it says, for those of you that are just listening, 48% of salespeople never follow up with a prospect. 25% of salespeople make a second contact and stop. 12% make a third contact and stop. Only 10% of salespeople make more than three contacts, and so on.

The bottom line is, 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact.

John Williams: And this is not in aviation, this is in retail.

Paula Williams: Retail, right, so in our experience it is worse than that.

John Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah.

Paula Williams: Depending on the product or service, and the larger and more complex the product or service, the more touches it’s going to take.

So in a lot of cases, it’ll take 20 or more contacts to make a sale. And those might be that they saw an ad, or they read an article, or they talked to your sales guy, or they got an email or, or, or, or, right?

John Williams: Yeah, as a matter of fact,

John Williams: We were trying to buy something for our home, once upon a time. And I was having this conversation with the saleslady. She said, no, no, no, that’s not true. And I said, really? This is the fifth contact with you.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: And this is something we wanted.

John Williams: That’s right, this is something we wanted to spend money on. And she got so upset, she wouldn’t call us back. So we went with a different company.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] We’re not trying to be difficult, we just have questions. And we rescheduled a couple of times, and things happened and everything else.
But we bought from someone else, and it probably took her five, six, seven, eight contacts. And that was just for drapes, right?

John Williams: That was just for drapes, yeah.

Paula Williams: Something simple. So if you’re selling aircraft maintenance software or something that is more of a time and money commitment on the part of the person making the purchase, you can expect to be in this conversation for a really long time.

And you’re going to have to expect that you’re going to have to provide a lot of marketing information, a lot of advertising, a lot of contacts to get where you want to go.

John Williams: And you just as well like the people you sell to, because even after you make the sale, you need to keep in contact for subsequent sales.

The Data on Aviation Digital Marketing

aviation digital marketing - post dataPaula Williams: Absolutely, okay. So you want to do something that is cost-effective to contact people multiple times, right, or for them to find you multiple times.

So if you do things that allow you to do multiple contacts, you can adapt as you go. And if you’re doing something digital, you can see the results of each of these contacts.

So for example, I put on a screen grab  from our Facebook Insights.

And it basically shows some of the Facebook posts that we’ve had in the last week or two. And you can see how many people saw it, how many people responded to it, by either clicking on it or sharing it or commenting on it or so on.

So  for the best digital marketing planning for aviation, I take the ones that worked the best, we make more like those.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: We take the ones that did the worst, and we make less like those.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: And so we can measure different things, like time of day, like headline, like the image that goes with it, like the message, like the offer, and so on.

And by testing, we can make this better over time. If you do something where you can only afford to do it once, twice, or three times, you really can’t adapt to, well number one, you may not get the data back. Number two, you may not be able to adapt quickly enough to make that really worth the money, right?

John Williams: Yeah, exactly.

Paula Williams: Okay, so the good news is that with aviation digital marketing you get more than one shot to advertise to people. You’re going to have to advertise to people more than one time. The good news is also that you can use more than one media, right? Nobody says you have to use one thing or another.

John Williams: No, you can use more things and many times.

Paula Williams: Right, and our curmudgeonly mentor, Dan Kennedy [LAUGH]

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Says, diversity equals stability, right?

John Williams: That’s what he says.

Paula Williams: Okay, so if you have a great ad or a great message or a great article or something like that, you can adapt it to multiple different platforms, right?

So if you have something that is a great offer or a great story, you can do that as a press release if there’s something newsworthy about it. You can make a postcard, you can put it on social media, in several different formats. You can do search engine optimization, create some content on your website about that item.

And do search engine optimization to get other people to link to it. Do all kinds of things to make that reach a number of different people in a number of different ways. So if you’ve got a great ad, article, any piece of content that you want to use, you want to recycle and repurpose that in a number of different ways, right?

John Williams: And printed could be one of those ways.

Paula Williams: Exactly, lots of ways to do that. Printed materials there’s lots of options. Website there’s lots of options. Social media, lots of options. If you have a podcast or know somebody who has a podcast, there’s lots of options. [LAUGH] Webinars, lots of options there, right?
So amateurs put one hook in the water at a time, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Professional people, professional marketers put multiple hooks in the water at any given time and they’re a lot more likely to catch a lot more fish, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Back to the $10,000 Case Study

Paula Williams: Okay, so let’s get back to the $10,000 case study.

Okay, $10,000 and our goal is to get as many qualified prospects as we can for that $10,000. And one of our options is to, and the one that Rocky suggested is print advertising. So if we look at these four publications and three out of the four have a quarter page ad is $3,000 or more.

Now granted nobody pays rate card, everybody negotiates. [LAUGH] You know, but.

John Williams: But this is also from two years so it’s more expensive now.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly, so there’s a couple of things wrong with this. Number one is that nobody pays rate card. The second thing is that it is from a couple of years ago so it’s probably gone up.
So we’ll stay those things are a wash. Let’s say $3000, to make the math easy, $3000 times 4 is $12,000. So we’ve already exceeded our budget but-

John Williams: And that’s only for quarter page.

Paula Williams: Right, to make that reasonable, let’s say it’s $12,000 for a quarter page.
Or let’s say we can get a one full page ad for $10,000.

John Williams: Yeah, but that means either four issues or one issue.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so those are our options. We can do one ad and spend our whole budget, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: That’s an option, and it might work.

But your chances of getting 100 qualified leads out of a single contact if they’ve never heard of your company before are slim and none. If that’s the only marketing that you do in that six months, and in this hypothetical, we said let’s say we have a six-month period in which we’re going to spend $10,000, this is one option.

Okay, another option is we’ll be generous and say that you’ve negotiated four quarter-page adds for $10,000. It’s a possibility. So you’ve got four ads in the same magazine for $10,000. Also an option, you may or may not get 100 qualified responses for four ads within six months. Our experience is probably not.

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: People tend not to be that responsive to print ads, it’s not quite that successful. I’ve never heard of anybody getting 25 qualified leads from one advertisement, right? Because the goal is 100.

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: You’re doing the math for me, right?

John Williams: Well, yeah. Especially in aviation.

There are other things where you might, but in those cases you’d need more than that to make it worth your while.

Content MarketingPaula Williams: Absolutely, once again, that’s four quarter-page ads. An alternative would be to do ten articles or press releases, for $10,000. And then you would only need to get ten to qualify leads from each of them in order to get to your number of 100, right?

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: And that’s a lot more likely, I think, because when you do a press release, it is seen as, people have a different category in their brain for an article than they do for an advertisement, right? So they see an article in one of these magazines.

And often when we do press releases we find something newsworthy to say about a client, or a product, or an offer. And we’ll get picked up by maybe three or four different, for each article we would get picked up by at least one usually. Aviation publication or financial publication, or whatever it is that we’re targeting.

John Williams: I don’t know that we’ve ever had one that low.

Paula Williams: Right, but we usually get at least somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 to 100 pickups in credible publications, maybe not all would be your target.

John Williams: Well, I know, but I don’t think we’ve ever done low enough to be just one aviation publication.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah. Exactly.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Aviation NewsPaula Williams: So you get mentioned in several different magazines in each of those articles.

If you do ten articles, chances are you’re going to be mentioned by some of these magazines more than once.

You’re going to be mentioned, possibly, in your local newspaper. You’re going to be mentioned, possibly, in digital media, like the Aviation eBrief, and so on.

John Williams: And, you need to be clear. Ten articles, that’s not in one week, right?

Paula Williams: No, ten articles within six months or you could do it in ten months. Our usual scenario is one article a month. I don’t know that I’d recommend in six months because that would be kind of fast.

But one article a month for ten months is reasonable and I think that’s a lot more likely to get your 100 prospects.

John Williams: Yeah besides I mean you need to be looking ahead. You don’t just go out and spend ten grand, expect something to happen in the first four, five months.

Paula Williams: Right, that’s true.

John Williams: I mean, in aviation, if you do, then maybe you’ve figured out how to do antigravity.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Something. Yeah, if you’re selling antigravity units, I guarantee you’re going to have a lot of interest. So-

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: If you have one, talk to John.

He really wants to get into that. To be honest here, these are not going to be all print publications. In fact, most of them are going to be online publications because most of these articles have an online version. They’re going to pick you up in their online version.

But then of course, you can link to that in your emails. You can link to that in your social media. You can send that in emails to interested customers. And you can print those in PDFs and send them to people. There’s lots of things that you can do.

John Williams: Yeah, because every time we get any publication, we get a link back to exactly where, and how and what it looks like. And we give those to our clients.

Paula Williams: Right, absolutely. Okay so that’s one option is to do ten articles or press releases, then you have, as we talked about, ten more opportunities to adapt.

You can see which ones get the most response, which get the least. Every time we do this we’ll look at the last one that we did and say, did this work, did it not work, what are we going to change? Once we have three, we get really good at seeing what worked, what didn’t work, what we can change.

John Williams: Yep, they put a real fine point on it.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: Not to put too fine point on it.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly. Okay, to put an even finer point on it for $10,000, you could do 40 social media ads. So that would be ten months of our social media program which is about four ads a month in that category.  And you can do corresponding targeted email marketing.

Once again, those are going to be targeted, those are going to be using the media that your customers are likely to use most.  We’re going to be using some of those features, like geotargeting, or retargeting, so people who have visited your website and other things.

John Williams: And have used Facebook.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: You can get so granular down to. Well, I’m probably overstating, what they have for breakfast every morning?

Paula Williams: I don’t know if they have an algorithm that-

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Would figure out what you had for breakfast in the morning. You have to [LAUGH]

John Williams: But you, hey, have very granular-

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: What you’re targeting.

Paula Williams: Okay, and you might say, okay, well, my customers don’t use social media

Social Media Survey of Aviation Professionals

Paula Williams: BS, okay, we do surveys every year that show that a great number of aviation professionals do use social media of some kind. And John will tell you I don’t use social media.
But John will also tell you that he does use Facebook. Or he does use LinkedIn, sorry. [LAUGH] Slander, my goodness. John does not use Facebook, but he does use LinkedIn, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: I do LinkedIn, it’s been a good thing, actually.

Paula Williams: Right, and I have seen you look at things on YouTube before.

John Williams: Perish the thought.

Paula Williams: Perish the thought, [LAUGH] exactly. So those are things that you can look at. Twitter is actually used more often by other journalists, and things like that, then by customers. So, there are reasons to use it and reasons not to. We’d have to talk to you individually and figure out what would be the best media for you and what would be the best targeting for those media.

John Williams: And we can help you figure that out actually, down to very good reasoning.

Paula Williams: Exactly. Okay and from that same survey, you might say, well that’s all lower level people. You know that’s not Founders and C Level Executives and things like that. That’s all the interns and kids and weirdos in marketing departments, right?

John Williams: No.

Paula Williams: No! [LAUGH]

John Williams: In work?

Paula Williams: Yeah, 40%, almost 40%, 39%. Don’t exaggerate, Paula. I told you a million times, never to exaggerate.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: 39% of the people that responded to our survey were Founders or CEO Level Executives, that said that they do use social media of some kind, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Okay, and of those, how often do you log into any social media? 58% said more than once a day. Every time we do this survey, this light blue section gets bigger.

John Williams: Well, what’s interesting and we say log in.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm. Maybe it’s how many times do you reference-

John Williams: Well, no, no, no, no, no, no-

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: Because, no. Because once I decided to put the LinkedIn app on my phone, every time you touch, it would be considered log in.

Paula Williams: That’s true.

John Williams: And I just wait til the possible red indicators on it and I touch it.
So every how often that happens is what I do.

Paula Williams: Yeah and a lot of people get alerts from social media, and they respond to those alerts. So that would be a time-

John Williams: But that was only LinkedIn, because it’s the only one I do and it’s a problem.
Averaged over a month, probably close to once a day.

Paula Williams: Okay, so you would be in the purple category.

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: The 28% that do about once a day.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: And that’s just one social media. So if you’ve got three or four it’s going to put you in light blue, automatically.

Paula Williams: Yeah. And I more than make up for your-

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: 28% because I log in to social media very often, right. Okay. So that’s social media. Let’s say that you, instead, do 10 months of search engine optimization. Okay? What you can expect from 10 months of, you say, well, what good will ten months of search engine optimization do for you?

John Williams: Well, now, this presupposes that you have a decent website.

Paula Williams: Yeah, exactly.

John Williams: [LAUGH] Because we have some that don’t.

Paula Williams: Right, and if you don’t have a decent website, and you may want to spend that $10,000 revamping your website, And we would certainly give you that advice before we take your money for search engine optimization, Because we’re not going to sell you something that’s broken, [LAUGH] right?

John Williams: Yeah, some of these $9.95 for a month websites are made with stuff that you just can’t go in And tag keywords that put stuff in it without a major rewrite.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So that would be like selling you a $10,000 paint job on an airplane that has no engine in it.

John Williams: We don’t do that.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So what search engine optimization does is it helps people find you. And as we talked about earlier, most of the people that found us last year that bought from us, found us on Google. Or at least that was a pretty big percentage.
Most of them found us on our blog or podcast. But there was a fairly large number that found us on Google. And I would suspect that a lot of people that found our podcast and so on, found it on Google, right.

John Williams: Very likely.

Paula Williams: Okay. So, a lot of people, especially in business-to-business, they’re looking for something in particular, are going to go to a search engine and look for aircraft maintenance software or avionics.

A certain type of avionics, especially, because they’re looking for something very specific and particular. So, search engine optimization can really do a lot of good for you and 10 months is, people ask, well, what can that do? Here’s an example of a site that we did search engine optimization for 10 months.

And we got them over 40% more traffic over the previous 10 months. And the other nice thing about search engine optimization is that it lasts for a long time. So when you have a good site that’s performing well and you’ve got good backlinks and everything else, those tend to stick around.

Even though Google does change its algorithm so you may need to touch this up three or five years later, you are going to continue to get good results for quite some time. This is not like pay-per-click advertising where as soon as you stop paying it stops being good, right?

John Williams: No, not like that. These are people that are interested in your product or service because that’s what they’re looking for.

Paula Williams: Exactly, you can’t get more specific than somebody who’s looking for ADS-B compliance or King Air.

John Williams: Yeah and there you go.

Aviation Social Media Marketing Companies

Paula Williams: Yeah, exactly. Those are people you really want to talk to if that’s what you sell.

Okay, so yeah, 10 months of search engine optimization SEO is a good option. So what we really recommend rather than print media, spending that $10,000, if that’s all you have to spend for six months, use a variety of media. This would be a recipe that would depend on a number of things.

Who your customers are, what your competitors are doing, and a lot of other factors, but we’d probably recommend some recipe that looks like this. Maybe in this case, six press releases, blog posts, mobile marketing, four months of social media, four months of SEO, and two postcards. That would be a really effective package that would help your ideal customers see you everywhere.

And it is so much more credible when they see you in a magazine and then see you in their Facebook, And go to your website and then you’ve retargeted them, so that they see you when they log in to Facebook, and then they get a postcard from you.

And then they see another article two months later. That is so much more credible than just a single ad, right?

John Williams: Or even three ads.

Paula Williams: Or three ads, or four ads, that are all in the same place. And also, you can adapt. So as you can see, as we learn from doing those press releases, or that social media, we’re adapting to what your customers respond to and not what they don’t, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Cool, all right. So once again you get more than one shot. You can use more than one media. Diversity equals stability. And I think you have a much better chance of getting those 100 qualified leads out of a wide variety of things that includes digital media.

John Williams: I’d be willing to bet that you get, well, it depends obviously but five or six months additional versus I would think, at least double to triple.

Paula Williams: Yeah, absolutely. And we are not against print. If you had $20,000 to spend, then we probably would advise you to get those four ads in a print publication, plus a variety of digital media.
And  press releases, right?

John Williams: An integrated marketing plan.

Paula Williams: An integrated marketing plan, absolutely. So for more about the various advertising methods, you might check out Episode 28 of our podcast, Print Versus Digital- Round 1, [LAUGH] and Episode 29, Print Versus Digital, Round 2. In one round, print wins.

In one round, digital wins just to-

John Williams: [LAUGH] You gave it away.

Paula Williams: I did give it away but you don’t know which is which. There you go. So subscribe to our podcast, aviation marketing Hangar Flying on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever fine podcasts are sold. And please do.

John Williams: Podcasts aren’t sold.

Paula Williams: No, they’re given away.

John Williams: Okay, see?

Paula Williams: There you go.

John Williams: I’ll keep you straight.

Paula Williams: And please do leave us a review. That really helps other people find us and get good information about aviation marketing, and not be running off doing random acts of marketing, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay, so, yeah, enjoy it responsibly and have a great week.

John Williams: Yep, that’s it.

Paula Williams: See you next time.

John Williams: See you next time. Ciao.

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