The jury is in! Most sales and marketing professionals agree that Aviation Digital Marketing is a very effective way to connect with customers and prospects. It can also be a frustrating and confusing waste of money.
What’s the difference? At the request of our clients, we’ve boiled the basics down to some simple “dos and don’ts!”
Digital marketing methods, like targeted social media ads, search engine optimization, pay per click ads, and retargeting people who have visited your website can help you keep a full pipeline of prospective customers.
And why is a full pipeline important?
The reason we want to help people sell more of their products and services is because we want our clients to have the freedom to refuse any particular project or client for any reason. And we want them to have the prosperity to treat their clients, team and family very, very well.
How do they do that?
We’ve divided this episode into three sections –
Plan, Execute and Measure.
Aviation Digital Marketing – Planning Dos and Don’ts
One thing NOT to do -Random Acts of Marketing!
Because of the ease and relative low cost of digital marketing tactics, it’s sometimes tempting to “just do things” without thinking about them strategically and in line with the big picture of your company sales goals.
Individual team members might even “take the initiative” and take it upon themselves to invest time and money into digital marketing activities. Sometimes these are not marketing campaigns, they’re just isolated activities that are not coordinated with the rest of the team.
Of course we LOVE it when teams take the initiative, but there are some down sides to “random acts of marketing.”
- Spending time and money without a defined objective, or with an objective that isn’t relevant to the bottom line or overall company goals. (“We got 1000 engagements!” “Great! Let’s deposit them in the bank to pay for all the time you could have spent making sales calls to hot prospects!”)
- Surprising other members of the team. (“What? You found us on Instagram? Cool! What the heck did you SEE on Instagram about us?”)
- Allowing scope to creep. (“You spent 50% of your time this week interacting with Facebook followers?”)
So, what SHOULD you do?
You can prevent “random acts of marketing” by planning your marketing program and sharing that plan with your team! (Or better yet, get them involved in the planning process!)
Some items to consider as you plan digital marketing for your aviation company:
- Target your most profitable audiences. The granularity in social media is really unprecedented. You can target people by geography, demographic factors, FAA data like ratings, registrations and flight plans!
- The smaller the audience, the more customized the ads you can present. And the higher your response rates (and return on investment) will be!
- Grab you name on all platforms, even if you don’t have immediate plans to use them. You can complete a simple profile on each platform for free or at a minimal cost. This prevents a competitor from obtaining your company name (or some version of it) on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!
- We like to set 90 day objectives. This is a short enough time to be low-cost and nimble, yet long enough to really get a sense for whether an effort is yielding results.
You can retain an aviation marketing consulting firm like ABCI to get your started with your digital marketing strategy, then use the talents of your own team!
Aviation Digital Marketing – Execution Dos and Don’ts
Automated messaging on any platform is obnoxious, and recent efforts on LinkedIn are John’s biggest pet peeve. (And he’s probably your target demographic!) There is nothing less sincere than getting a generic connection request, accepting it, and being immediately hit with an irrelevant sales pitch.
“Bots” or automated software that tries to make conversation or generate leads are just not good enough yet.
If you approach prospects on LinkedIn, that’s fine, but have the courtesy of doing the homework about the person you’re connecting with and the company he or she works for. We have limited audiences in the aviation industry – “burning them” with a poor first impression isn’t worth the efficiency of some time-saving software or cut and paste technique.
It’s not necessary to become an expert at every social media platform. Pick the one that you’re the most comfortable with. For John, that’s LinkedIn. For me, that’s Facebook. Post some content, engage with the respondents. Follow how many of those fans and followers become qualified leads and customers.
Aviation Digital Marketing – Measure Dos and Don’ts
Digital marketing trends change incredibly rapidly. “The only constant is change,” particularly when it comes to technology! The digital world moves even faster than the physical one!
Today’s most popular platform may become tomorrow’s relic. Continue to watch your analytics, and as you see a social media channel falling off, experiment with new ones. Those 90-day experiments will serve you well in ensuring you’re not devoting a lot of time and resources to a channel that is not performing as well as it was a year ago.
Watch your metrics. For our Marketing Lab members, we use SEMRush. For our Lead Generator clients, we also use the CRM SharpSpring, which ties together social media interactions, web site interactions, emails, phone calls and personal visits by the sales team.These programs work really well for b2b marketing clients as well as flight schools and charter organizations that market directly to end consumers.
High quality content marketing works MUCH better when you use digital methods to measure performance!