Once you have fully researched, developed and manufactured an industry-disruptive product, what should the first steps be? How do you take the biggest installation you have ever completed and turn it into a business-development tool? Having an effective content and digital-marketing strategy in place can help you get the recognition that you deserve.
Speaking To A Wider Audience
In the commercial AV industry, we benefit from being exposed to technology that makes people’s lives easier and more exciting. That includes everything from direct-view LED (dvLED) videowalls that cover the sides of high-rise buildings to sound stages that electrify audiences all over the world. So, then, why do many of us struggle to explain to others what we do? Although AV integrators’ and manufacturers’ capabilities are being showcased more and more every day, there’s still a lot of work to be done for AV professionals to get the recognition they deserve.
Developing solutions and integrating systems is what we do best. However, everyday people often struggle when presented with information that is too technical. One of the problems right now is that our marketing messages are targeted to a select group of people—namely, those who have an education in AV. If we want to get a larger group of people excited, we must focus on not only the technical information but also the storytelling. We must tell stories effectively…tell them in ways that captures everyone’s attention. The more effectively you can tell stories, the more interest you can generate in your organization and what it brings to the table.
Telling Your Brand’s Story
Defined simply, content marketing is telling your core audience what you do and why you do it best. Although documenting your success is a big part of the content-marketing equation, there’s another element that is often overlooked. When you’re creating content, ask yourself one simple question: “How much value can I provide a reader who comes across this?” When you can provide readers with information that stimulates their thoughts or their senses, the messaging within that story is bound to stick. That includes mentions of your product, project, company and capabilities, which, when embedded in captivating content, are sure to stand out.
The next step, after you have identified a story that you want to tell, is to embark upon the content-creation process. The storyboard you create in terms of documenting your innovative idea or noteworthy project should serve only as the basis for what the audience will eventually consume. It must be translated into media that can be used to capture readers’ attention. Video and graphics will help emphasize what you’re trying to communicate and catch people’s attention early. It’s becoming increasingly critical to capture photos and video as best you can; these serve as a visual first impression that reflects upon your capabilities. Make sure, as you’re testing products as they’re developed, or throughout the project installation, that you’re documenting the progress through media that can be transformed for marketing purposes at the conclusion.
Getting The Word Out
Once you’ve written your story and polished your media, the next part of your strategy should be to leverage digital-marketing channels to get your message out there…out in front of a relevant audience. Many digital-marketing channels—for example, social media, email marketing, high-traffic landing pages and even paid search—can be used to drive impressions for your content. Each of those channels is a bit different from the others; that means it can be a bit time-consuming to try to understand how to present your content in each format. However, because people come across your content day after day, you must emphasize getting things right.
One thing to note when you distribute content is the need to diminish the “bounce percentage” among readers. When they’re reading your blog, scrolling through your infographic or watching your video, what opportunities do you have to keep them on your pages and looking at your materials? How can you dissuade them from deciding to invest their time elsewhere?
Marketing Is Key
A marketing strategy is complex, but it’s key for success and growth. Having the right personnel in place helps everything come together smoothly. Having experts in place means less oversight and more time for storytelling. Although everything in the AV industry requires investment, having a rock-solid marketing team can be something that generates positive return on investment (ROI) and meaningful dividends.
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