Marketing ideas for FBOs don’t always have to be expensive to produce.

Promo videos don’t have to be Hollywood-produced red-carpet VIP blockbusters. Most private aviation customers (passengers, owner-operators, pilots and dispatchers who choose FBOs) are far more interested in location, convenience and service than in luxury and glamour.

Transcript – Video Marketing Ideas for FBOs

Paula Williams: Welcome to this week’s episode of our aviation marketing Podcast, the bestselling aviation marketing podcast in aviation marketing podcast history, right?

John Williams:  Right.

Paula Williams: Being the only one, we’re doing all right, right? Which is cool. Actually, we’re really happy that you joined us today. Today, we’re talking about aviation promo videos for FBOs.

Last week, we talked about consultants and brokers and folks like that, and the week before that, we talked about video marketing in general and why you should be doing it and so, I would listen to those if you have any doubts about the fact that you really should be doing video marketing these days. It’s what most of our customers are talking about for 2020 more than any other topic I think.

John Williams:  We started at a high level general approach and we’re rapidly digging down.

Specific Marketing Strategies for  FBOs

Paula Williams: And descending into the weeds. Right. No, actually we’re talking about some very specific tactics that you can use as different types of verticals and today we’re talking about FBOs and some specific marketing ideas for FBOs. Exactly.

John Williams:  Which is what diving in the weeds in.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So a lot of folks wanted us to do this because they’re saying, you know, well, I don’t really have any great ideas for my vertical. So we thought we’d, we’d share some, some thoughts.

So this episode has been brought to you by our content marketing subscription service, where we do some form of content marketing for you each month. Whether that is a, an article, a press release, a video of course, a printed article, you know, anything along those lines.

Those are the things that we do with our content marketing and we want it to be flexible so that you can alternate a video every other month, a video every month, a very short micro video every week. You know, there’s lots of ways that you can use this service to your advantage depending on your particular situation, budget and scenario. Right?

John Williams:  Absolutely.

Misconception – Every Video Must Be Hollywood-Quality

Paula Williams: Okay, so now the first misconception about video marketing is that you need a full video crew for everything you do. And especially for FBO’s because kind of the, the standard has been set by a signature and some other folks who do these beautiful studio productions of an airplane pulling in and the red carpet going out

Fantastic lighting and the, everybody has their hair and makeup perfect and it’s all just this beautiful video and there are reasons to do a beautiful, perfect video of your FBO.

You know, if you’re doing this in a particular time and place where you have a guaranteed audience and you have their attention for a certain amount of time, then it’s certainly worth the money and worth the hassle and everything else to do a studio quality video. And we can do that for you as well.

We’ll arrange for the video crew and all the equipment and everything else to make that happen.

John Williams:  Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay. But what we’re talking about today is not that, okay, today we’re talking about something we’re calling real life quality and we’re talking about short or micro movies. So less than five minutes. Generally speaking, sometimes we do as many as 10 or 15 if we go into depth about a tour of your facility or something along those lines, but for the most part, this is real life. Just like we’re shooting video here today.

This is just our office. This is not a professional studio set or anything along those lines, but the interesting thing is sometimes this works better because it is more authentic. This is what people really want to see. Who are the real people I’m going to be doing business with? How do they really operate in real life?

John Williams:  There are people that will look at one of those polished studio broadcast quality, say, well, anybody with enough money can do that. I want to know about what’s really going on.

Paula Williams: Exactly, and something that’s a little bit more authentic and specific and all of those things and not quite so stock footagee and shiny. Okay, one thing that people say that work with FBO’s is, our competition to super high end. We’re competing against those big FBO’s. We have to look like that in order to attract high net worth and ultra high net worth people and I can’t afford a movie crew.

What Do FBO Customers Really Want?  Luxury is NOT First on the List!

A couple of things, and this comes from a couple of sources that are, that we respect a lot. One is Lori White who does a blog on luxury marketing and another is Dan S. Kennedy who wrote the book so to speak, on marketing to the affluent. What do high net worth and ultra high net worth clients want? It’s not necessarily the gold bathroom fixtures, right. In fact, you know there are a lot of myths about high net worth and ultra high net worth people. They are a lot more like, at least the ones that we’ve met and do business with are a whole lot more like Warren Buffet than Kim Kardashian. Wouldn’t you agree?

John Williams:  I don’t know about Kim Kardashian, but…

Paula Williams: They are not like Kim Kardashians. They’re a lot pull up more like Warren Buffett, you know, drives the same car, lives in the same house, eat the same cereal as the rest of us.

John Williams:  Okay, I misunderstood what you said. Okay, fine.

Paula Williams: Yeah, versus Kim Kardashian, who you know, is the Instagram star and…

John Williams:  Glitz and glitter and so forth.

Paula Williams: Right. Exactly. Yeah, there are celebrities and yes, there is a certain market for luxury, which is real. But I think people overestimate the number of folks in the emphasis that they put on those luxurious details as opposed to the things that most high net worth and ultra high net worth clients actually want. Which in our experience and you know from those other sources, time savings and convenience and privacy and security, those are the top three. And those can come in different orders, but they’re always the top three.

John Williams:  In fact, there was a book published some years back, the Millionnaire Next Door.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams:  You never know.

Paula Williams: Right. So those are the things that they want, and if you think about it, if money was no object, what becomes the next limiting factor for you? What can you not get any more of? And that’s time, right?

John Williams:  That’s true.

You’re in the Logistics and Convenience Business, Not Just the Luxury Business

Paula Williams: So you know, just like everybody else, they want to spend their time doing what they want to do and less time doing the logistics of what they are doing, you know? And being an FBO, you are in the business of logistics. So the more you can save them time and give them convenience and give them privacy and security, the more they’re going to like it and they care less about, you know.

Okay. So those are the top three and then four or five, six and seven are kind of other things in various orders. Right? And then luxury comes somewhere down on the list after a bunch of those other things, right?

John Williams:  Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay. So don’t worry too much about being perfect and luxurious and you know, making those super polished videos because most people are looking for that. They’re looking for, you know, what am I after?

John Williams:  And if you’re an FBO, it’d be real and emphasis on real customer service.

Marketing Campaigns for FBOs

Paula Williams: Exactly, right. So three elements of a campaign list, offer and presentation.

Assuming that your list is some subset of high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals, people who do private travel or people who are working for the industry that you support. So some FBO’s are in fairly industrial areas and you know, are serving a particular vertical.

And you know, what do you offer that is different from all the others in your area and how do you present that in the most conceivable possible way.

So every video has to have three elements, a story branding and a call to action so that they remember who you are, what it is that you are doing and what you want them to do next as a result of that.

John Williams:  Absolutely.

Paula Williams: And whether you want them to do next is to switch their, switched their arrangements to your FBO’s as opposed to the other one on the field.

John Williams:  That’s right.

Paula Williams: And that’s another thing is a lot of times the people who are making the decision about which FBO to go to are not the high net worth and ultra high net worth people. They are the pilots who are repositioning the airplane.

John Williams:  The dispatchers.

Paula Williams: The dispatchers, the administrative assistants, the handlers, the security people who are a lot less interested in luxury than they are in convenience for them and for their client because they know how their client gets when they get held up.

John Williams:  Exactly.

Paula Williams: And they don’t want to be on the bad end of that stick. Okay, so your FBO is not the loop, right?

Give a Guided Tour on Video

But a guided tour can be really, really helpful.

And one thing that we’ve told people to do in some cases, and this is really fairly raw or fairly real life, is to drive up to your FBO, have your passenger film, you know, this is what it looks like to drive up to your FBO, get out of the car, walk through the front door and introduce the people that they’re going to meet and say, this is, you know, who’s at the front desk.

These are the things that they handle for you, this, these are our line guys. These are the kinds of things that they handle for you, line guys and girls. I use that term androgynously.

John Williams:  Of course you do.

Paula Williams: And you know, these are our facilities. These are some of the things that you can do here. So that guided tour can be really low budget and still very effective.

John Williams:  And you don’t have to put the whole thing out in one piece. You can slice and dice and have just pieces and parts go wherever you want.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly. So that guided tour, just kind of a, an idea sparker for you. If you want to do the whole thing as a 15 minute video, you can do that. If you want to do it as a set of three minute videos, you can do that too.

And just do, here’s the front office, here’s our FBO, here is the ramp and some of the services we offer here.

Here’s our pilot labs, some of the services we offer here. So that can be the whole thing or it can be just a section at a time. Another really cool thing is maps. So where are you located in relation to the things that your customers care about?

A Video Map

And this is for the Guam FBO.

A lot of people don’t have a really good feel for where Guam is, you know, it’s West of Hawaii somewhere. It’s out there in the ocean and a lot of water.

So you know, to put that in proportion, what is the flight time from the Pacific Rim? Places that people are usually coming from or going to, you know, so it is the most convenient spot in a lot of cases between these Asian cities and the US mainland.

So it’s a great place to do customs, great place to get fuel, great place to get your catering done and you know, your line service and everything else, especially if you’re repositioning between the Pacific rim and the US mainland.

So giving people an idea of how this fits, helps them do the planning. And once again, you’re talking to the dispatchers, you’re talking to the security folks, you’re talking to the logistics people that work with the principal or the decision maker or the aircraft owner and a lot of these cases. So the really helped them do that. You can do the origin story of your FBO.

Often these have really fascinating stories. You know, maybe it started as a, an oil filled service area or you know, something along those lines or started for the golfers in, you know, on this particular British island or you know, whatever.

Your Origin Story

Just about every FBO has a fascinating story when you think about it and how that came to be and why it’s positioned where it is and what their specialty is, what it is. So you know, that’s sometimes a fascinating story to tell. All right.

I’m going to skip this for this purpose. Okay.

Line services, hanger, et cetera. You can go into detail about, you know, here’s what our hanger looks like. Here are some of the available amenities. You know, here’s some of the places you can go. You want it to be clean.

John Williams:  You should take a look at the pictures in this video cause that one is really nice.

Paula Williams: It is really nice. That’s a nice hanger. Very well lit. A lot better than most of your scene. But yeah, I mean if you have beautiful facilities, you want to show them off. And even if they are ordinary facilities and well positioned, they’re worth showing off because people can see for real, this is what they’re expecting to see when they get there. So that’s fantastic. You also want to show off your facilities and amenities. So maybe you’ve got laundry, right? That’s not glamorous. But it is very necessary in some cases.

John Williams:  Laundry facilities.

Paula Williams: Laundry facilities, exactly.

John Williams:  Everybody’s got laundry.

Paula Williams: Well, okay. Laundry facilities or laundry service, some places have laundry service where you can drop off your bundles and get them back.

Things like that. It doesn’t have to be glamorous to be important and for people to really see your facility is the place to go. I mean you don’t know what they’re making decisions on.

Sometimes that’s it. Right? Okay.

Talk About Your People

Team member profiles. We talked about this in last week’s video when we were talking about a consultant, but your FBO has people in it and those people have fascinating stories and fascinating hobbies.

This is Doug Rumminger or at a Special Services, which is a fantastic FBO in the Southeast United States and Doug, if you are ever at SSC or in, you know, flying through, stopping in Greenville, South Carolina, ask Doug about his one five 25th scale model aircraft because I had never seen anything like this.

These are amazing.

Some people do the railroad tracks with the scenes and the tracks and the clouds and the sky and the, you know, what he’s done here is some scenes with some world war one aircraft.

John Williams:  And II.

Paula Williams: And world war II aircraft. And these are so small, you look at these compared to a coin or a key or a pen. These are amazing. And anyway, you never know what people do for fun or for a hobby or anything else. And the people in your FBO are just as fascinating as the people in any other FBO. But if you can talk about them and if they are, you know, willing and able to have relationships with the folks that come through the, the airport and you know, are open to that sort of thing. It is so neat to tell stories about people, right?

John Williams:  Yep.

Happy Customer Stories

Paula Williams: Okay. And equally cool, or even slightly better from a marketing perspective is happy customer stories because your customers are fascinating and some of them do want publicity, some of them don’t want publicity, but you know, maybe willing to do this in a limited sort of a way.

But a lot of them, if you ask them, will do a happy customer video with you and you know, just talk about what they like about your FBO, why they keep coming back, you know, those kinds of things.

All right, so this episode has been brought to you by Content Marketing. People avoid advertising, but they seek out information. So this is kind of the difference between the studio produced videos versus the real life videos. These are information, not necessarily all glossy.

John Williams:  Advertising.

Paula Williams: Advertising, and people I think have developed a filter for advertising. So something is too glossy. It can actually turn them off. That’s why we like to do a lot of these real life videos and really transparent views inside our client companies. All right, so thank you for joining us and we’ll see you next week.

John Williams:  See you next time.



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