Brand Awareness

What is Programmatic Advertising?

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Is this a good fit for your business?

The world of advertising is ever-changing. Technology continues to evolve and, in turn, changes the way that customers seek out information and the way they are exposed to brands and companies. It can be confusing and overwhelming to determine the best way to reach customers when there is such a vast world of information at their fingertips. The construction industry is no exception when it comes to the need for improved digital advertising, but it can be difficult to know where to start. This is where programmatic advertising comes in.

Programmatic Advertising Defined

Simply put, programmatic advertising is using software to buy digital ad spaces. This can simplify advertising because it automates the ad-buying process based on the target audience of a brand or company. The traditional advertising process involves humans deciding where and when certain advertisements should be available. This approach does leave a lot up to human judgement, which can be a great thing or can decrease your brand’s chances of being seen by the right audience. Programmatic advertising takes the guesswork out of choosing where to advertise and puts your message in front of the right folks at the right time. The algorithms within the programmatic software determine the people who are most likely to be interested in your brand or company and targets your ads towards them. For a more in-depth look at programmatic advertising, click here.

Once you understand how programmatic advertising works, the next step is determining if it’s a good fit for your business.

Here are four key points to think about when deciding whether to use programmatic advertising to reach your customers.

  1. Who is your target audience? If you know who needs to see your brand, then programmatic advertising may be right for you. The precise targeting process helps to eliminate ‘wasteful’ advertising. Only specific people will see your advertising, so you will end up spending less than if you were mass advertising.

  2. Due to advancements in algorithms, programmatic advertising has become even more efficient and reliable than humans in determining where to place ads. As technology continues to advance, it will only become more skilled at targeting specific audiences for your business. There are many different factors that an algorithm considers when deciding where, when and who will see your ad, which help to pinpoint those who will most likely be your customers.

  3. Programmatic advertising allows for real-time measurements of ad performance. This allows you to adapt your advertising quickly, when you know which ads are performing better than others. This is very beneficial to your business, because it increases your chances to bring in potential customers through improved advertising to your target audience.

  4. The last point to consider is cost. First, you need to determine how much you want to spend on advertising, and then make sure that your budget lines up with your needs. Programmatic advertising can save you money in the long run, because of the targeted approach to reaching clients. At Division 08 Marketing, we can work with a variety of budgets to optimize your advertising presence.

Advertising is an imperative component to growing your brand and business. As technology continues to evolve and shape our daily lives, using smart, online advertising becomes increasingly important to companies. Click here to see how programmatic advertising could impact you and your business as we enter 2019.

Division 08 Marketing is here to partner with you as you navigate this ever-changing advertising climate, so that you can advertise to the customers who need to see your products or services. Schedule your free, 30-minute consultation today and begin the process of reaching more customers through targeted, programmatic advertising.

 

 

Is Trade Show Marketing Relevant now that Digital has taken over?

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LEARN HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF TRADE SHOW MARKETING

Are you questioning whether you should participate in an upcoming trade show event? Is it worth the investment of your time and money? Absolutely. However, it’s a process and one that must be managed properly to achieve a successful outcome.

The ROI of a trade show can be exponential if you play your cards right.  But, before you invest thousands of dollars to be an exhibitor, do your research—and be selective. Make sure to participate in events that are exclusive to your target audience and key influencers. Define your objectives and think about how you will measure ROI.

According to Entrepreneur, here are 6 benefits of trade show marketing:

  1. Get a glimpse at the competition. While this shouldn’t be your main priority, being near other companies in the same industry will let you see what’s new and interesting in the marketplace. And, how your target audience is responding to all that is being offered.

  2. Great PR opportunities. Distribute an effective press release prior to the event to create some buzz around your product offering and drive traffic to your booth. Reporters that write specifically about your industry will be sharing highlights of the upcoming event and they will be attending, so if you can gain an interview or mention in their writing--video, then you have just earned yourself some great PR. Take advantage of every opportunity before, during and after the event.

  3. Potential partnerships. Not every other exhibitor at a trade show is your competition. Some may offer products or services that complement your business and creating new partnerships may prove beneficial. Trade shows and conferences provide excellent opportunities to network within your industry, conduct research and to share best practices.

  4. Increase your exposure. The promotion of the event includes promotion of the exhibitors and sponsors of the trade show as well, as for months in advance. The press coverage, social media and blogs can increase your searchability. As people search for information surrounding the trade show, your own content is more likely to found. For example, make sure to include @GlassBuild or @AIA18CON in your social media posts, and relevant # hashtags.

  5. Awards and recognition. Many trade shows give out awards and participating is worth the entry fee if you have a product or service that is innovative and effective. Volunteer to be a speaker or invest in a sponsorship. Awards and other recognition during the event will add credibility in the eyes of your customers.

  6. Create and build momentum. Participating in a trade show is a lot of work and your products, services and marketing must be on point. Preparing for a trade show event should also be an exciting time. Your sales team should leave feeling energized and inspired following a successful outcome.

The benefits are great, but how do you maximize ROI and brand awareness? As mentioned earlier, choosing the right trade show is important, but that alone will not make it successful. Maximizing your ROI at a trade show takes strategy.

According to statistics by Exponents Insta USA Inc., the average company allocates 31.6% of their total marketing budget to еvеntѕ and exhibiting. With more than $24 billion dollars spent by US Exhibitors for trade show displays, 70% of those exhibitors have no specific objectives for the trade show. On top of that, 81% of trаdе ѕhоw attendees have buуіng authority. If you are going to invest a large portion of your marketing budget to exhibiting, then it is essential that you set objectives and take advantage of the exposure you will have to all those attendees with buying authority. By doing so, you will both maximize your ROI and brand awareness.

To provide a little more insight into how you can maximize your ROI at a trade show, here are the 5 most important trade show investments according to Inc.:

  1. Location. Location. Location. It doesn’t matter if you have the best booth and a solid plan—if you are tucked away in the back corner where there is little to no foot traffic. A prime location is key. If possible, grab a spot near the entrance, next to the refreshments or a corner booth.

  2. Have a great giveaway. If you want attendees to share their business card with you, or scan their badge, then you are going to have to entice them. Offer one or two grand prize giveaways via a drawing that will set you apart from other exhibitors, and offer small, useful promo items to everyone.

  3. Staff your booth with the right people. For a trade show you are going to want your most extroverted marketing and sales staff that will represent your company well. Choose those you can count on to be heads up, alert and engaging with those who may otherwise just keep walking past your booth.

  4. Invest in pre-show marketing and training. Promote the event, and your participation as an exhibitor. Put it on your website, send it in a newsletter and post it across your social media channels. Offer customers a free guest pass. Also, if some of your top customers will be attending, send them a personal invitation to stop by your booth to visit. Have a pre-show meeting with your exhibit team to make sure everyone understands to reason for being at the events, trade show etiquette and expectations.

  5. Have a strong follow up system. Assign one person to oversee the process on how to capture leads during the event [hopefully with the ease of one or more lead retrieval devices], and the distribution of the leads following the event. Make sure leads are properly qualified, existing customers are acknowledged and make sure no one falls through the cracks. Follow-up and the timing of the follow-up is critical. Lack of follow-up will cause you to lose credibility and result in low ROI.

With the right strategy, your business will reap the benefits of effective trade show marketing and you will maximize the return on your investment. Trade shows are ideal for building brand awareness. Make the most of it!

If you are not sure how to properly research, plan and execute on trade shows and other event marketing opportunities, we can help guide you through the process—or completely manage your event calendar. Contact us today to schedule your free 30-minute consultation, and let us help you reap the benefits!

How to Market to Architects

What type of marketing will catch an architect’s eye?

 As a building products manufacturer or supplier, marketing to architects can be more challenging than marketing to your direct buyers. The needs and interest within the architectural community are different. Oftentimes, companies have innovative and useful building products that many architects would be interested in learning more about. But how can you get that information in front of the architect, so they can see what you have to offer?

Three questions that will guide you to gaining a better understanding of what architects are looking for.

1.     What resources do architects need from your website?

  • BIM Objects

  • CAD Drawings

  • Case studies

  • Continuing Education

  • Environmental Product Declarations [EPD’s]

  • LEED [How your products contribute]

  • Performance data

  • Product information

  • Project images

  • Specifications

  • Technical support

  • Warranty information

  • White papers

The main thing to remember when assessing your website through the eyes of an architect is that they are busy professionals who need to be able to use your website quickly and efficiently to get information on your products. Keep that framework in mind as you work to design your website and present your products. It’s important that when an architect is viewing a product on your website they can quickly and easily obtain more resources about that product while on that page. For some tips on designing your website to draw in customers, take a look at this blog from Division 08 Marketing.

2.      How do architects prefer to receive information?

The main thing to remember when sending information to architects is to keep it simple, visually appealing and easy to digest. You want an architect to be able to quickly receive your information and to be inspired to learn more about it through your website or a consultation.

  • Printed literature. Even though digital marketing is a very important factor in marketing to architects, sometimes it is just better to be able to flip through real-life pages to see a company’s products. Remember that architects are problem-solvers. Demonstrate how your products can help solve the challenges they are facing. Use education and teaching to encourage architects to further explore your products.

  • Email. Transitioning to the digital side of things, emails are an excellent way to disseminate information about your products and company to architects. Remember to keep your emails clean, simple and informative. Make sure that your emails are easy to read and not too lengthy. Also, try not to send too generic of an email to an architect: Take time to discover their area of focus and to show that you care enough to do some homework. Make sure that what you’re offering fits what they need and be specific about which of your products would be helpful to their work. Click here for an article with more information about email marketing techniques.

  • Do not send unwanted samples, brochures and booklets, etc. The last thing an architect needs is more clutter. Send printed literature or emails that include information about how they CAN get samples, case studies, brochures and other materials as needed, but don’t send until you receive a request. Make your products accessible, but don’t bombard architects with items they didn’t request.

3.      How do architects’ value social media?

Architects, like most of us, are using social media. But, how can you engage with them on social media?

  1. Visual inspiration. Architects are using social media to share and view visually inspiring things. Architects value aesthetics and innovation, so make sure to utilize social media to showcase your products in a visually-appealing manner. Get creative!

  2. Passion projects. Architects are using social media to showcase the projects they really care about. You can use this knowledge to learn more about what an architect cares about and how your products can support those passions.

  3. Engage with other industry professionals. Social media is an excellent place for professionals to connect and exchange ideas. Architects, and professionals from many industries, are using social media to connect with others in their field in order to share ideas, find new products and network. It’s important to make sure that your social media presence encourages architects to engage with your company and products.

Social media is a fantastic tool for networking with architects. Use your social media presence to provide visually-inspiring content that encourages architects to engage in further conversations with your company.

Are you ready to take the next step?

Division 08 Marketing is here to assist your company to be the best it can be at marketing to architects. Schedule your free, 30-minute consultation today to start reaching your marketing goals and learn more marketing tips.

What is Employee Advocacy and How Can This Help Build My Brand?

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Here’s how an effective employee advocacy strategy can build loyalty in your organization and amplify your social media messaging.

What is Employee Advocacy? This may not be a term you’re familiar with, but it’s undoubtedly one that is impacting your business, and your bottom line.  A study from Weber Shandwick found that 50% of the U.S. workforce is voluntarily sharing about their employer via social media—that’s 60 million people talking about their place of employment. With that kind of exposure, ask yourself: What message are my employees sending out about my company?

Sales representatives using social media outsell 78% of their peers.

This is where an Employee Advocacy Plan comes into play. Studies indicate when you have specific employees talking about your brand on various social media platforms, brand awareness can increase by 14x. This is because your employees are already on social media, and the average employee has 10x more followers than a corporate network. Not only that, but 90% of their audience is new to your brand. If that isn’t enough to convince you that your employees may hold the key to your next big marketing push, consider this: Only 15% of people trust recommendations from a brand. But, if that same recommendation comes from a person they know, that number jumps up to 84% (WeRSM).

How is a social media policy different from employee advocacy?

If you have a social media policy in place, that’s great—but, it’s not the same as an Employee Advocacy plan. Your policy is simply telling your employees how they can act on social media channels. Or, in most situations, that they should NOT be participating in social media activity while at work. It’s the best way to stave off legal or security problems, but it doesn’t guarantee that your employees are posting anything positive about your brand.

This is the big difference between social media policies and advocacy plans: One gives boundaries for your employees, the other tells specific employees how they can advocate for your brand within those bounds. Of course, you don’t want every employee speaking on behalf of your company!

Who makes a good advocate?

Why not use every employee as an advocate? After all, the more employees you use, the more exposure your brand receives, right?

Wrong. This is NOT what we’re talking about.

Do you really want every employee in your organization sharing posts on behalf of your company, and adding their own ‘unedited’ comments? Absolutely not. There is a time and place for strategies that invite all employees to participate (I’ll touch on that later), but you should be selective about who is acting as your brand ambassador. Good advocates are employees who have a direct connection to your customers and prospective buyers—and, who have already received training on how to communicate your message. They are individuals you know will use good judgement in what they “like”, “share” and “comment on”. Potential candidates include management (specifically sales and marketing), field sales representatives, and perhaps customer service representatives.

5 Tips on Creating Your Employee Advocacy Plan:

  1. Make the benefits clear. No employee wants to spam their social network. Participation should be voluntary since this does rely on the employee using their personal social media channels. What do they get out of blurring the lines between work and personal life? Create a competition and offer an incentive to the advocate that generates the highest number of leads. Of course, you need to define the measurement up front and make sure to keep simple.

  2. Invest up front. If you’re considering attaching your advocate’s social media profile directly to the company (e.g., your head marketer has a secondary Twitter account that’s linked to the company), hire a photographer to take professional headshots. Consider holding a special training on how they should interact on behalf of your brand: Is your company’s voice fun and youthful? Serious and professional? Make sure they can be both themselves and consistent with the brand.

  3. Choose the right social platforms. The days of feeling obligated to have a presence on every social media channel are over. Based on your industry and target market, choose the social media channel(s) that are best suited to build your brand, and deepen your relationship with existing customers. Did you know that 80% of those who participate on LinkedIn do not engage on any other social media channels? LinkedIn is the top B2B lead generating social platform when it comes to reaching professionals and key decisionmakers. Here are some statistics for you. Another underestimated social channel is Pinterest. Building product manufacturers, architects, designers…there is so much more B2B activity on Pinterest than you would ever expect. Need a project or product showcase? Pinterest makes it easy!

  4. Communicate and monitor. Make sure you clearly communicate the difference between your social media policy and your employee advocacy plan. Designate someone on your marketing team to be responsible for monitoring your social media activity to ensure everyone is complying—at least until you are comfortable

  5. Focus on the benefits. Be cautious, but don’t overthink the potential negatives because the employees you choose to be advocates for your brand—already are, right? They are on the front line for you every day talking with customers and prospects. All you are doing is asking they “tune in” to what your marketing team is posting on social media to “like” and “share” with their connections and followers—many of whom are customers and influencers.

Look at the number of social media connections on your company page. Now, look at the number of connections some of your key sales representatives have. People connect with people, not as much with company pages. The company page is more of a repository—a place to share information that should be shared exponentially by its employee advocates and external influencers.

Ultimately, your Employee Advocacy Plan needs to reflect your company. What works for one company won’t work for another. It’s up to you to know your employees, your product or service, and your customer base well enough to marry the three into a successful plan. If you’re unsure of where to start or how to create a plan that works for you, we’re here to help. Take action with our marketing team, and let’s get your Employee Advocacy Plan off the ground.