Not too long ago, when it came to marketing your business, that usually meant placing an advertisement in a newspaper or magazine, sponsoring an event or face-to-face networking. There are still many companies that engage in these techniques, anticipating it will result in more business.
Now with the widespread use of the Internet and social media, engineering firms are finding there are new opportunities available that can help build the company’s brand, showcase their work, and even attract top talent.
Experts say that effective marketing in the digital age is critical for engineering firms looking to achieve sustained business growth. According to a research report from Engineering.com, “Engineering Marketers’ 2017 Spending Plans,” it was found that top marketers were planning to allocate more of their budgets this year to digital media. The report stated that 37% of all respondents said they intend to have a larger video budget in 2017, 23% were increasing social media marketing and 26% planned to expand blogging.
Five must-have marketing tools for your engineering firm:
Nearly every company now has a website. It’s an imperative part of doing business. Not only does it provide customers access to information around the clock 24/7/365, it is a convenient and affordable way to build credibility. An online presence helps showcase your brand, while demonstrating to clients how you differentiate your business from the competition. You’ll want to ensure your website is up-to-date, easy to read on a mobile device and includes your firm’s projects, people and perspective in an engaging and creative way.
One of the top priorities for businesses, including engineering firms, is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Although often misunderstood by many businesses, SEO can help generate new leads and bring an excellent Return on Investment (ROI) compared to traditional forms of advertising. By incorporating certain key words and elements, it will enable your website to rank well in the Google search engine. SEO also helps with business branding and visibility, ultimately bringing more people to your website.
Many engineering firms often overlook email marketing as a viable method to interact with clients and potential employees. Email marketing is more than just posting an occasional blog. Instead, it delivers specific messages to your target audience, building a relationship with potential clients and strengthening the one you already have with current partners. In addition, it will help you reach a wide range of clientele, including those who don’t regularly use social media. More than likely your clients all have email addresses. Email marketing is a cost-effective strategy to help generate sales/new businesses and you can easily measure your marketing campaigns by tracking the “open rate” and “click-through” rate every time you send out information.
Social Media Platforms
Once thought to only be used by the younger generation, social media is now becoming widely adopted by nearly all major industries. According to an article on Hootsuite, there are more than three billion Internet users and more than two billion of them have a social media account. Utilizing the various social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram—allows you to learn a tremendous amount of information about your clients and gain their loyalty. By having a social media presence, clients can better connect with your business, which ultimately helps generate traffic to your website.
Once your company has determined the type of work and clientele you intend to focus on, the next step is to ensure your positioning is credible. This can be achieved by sharing quality information with clients—both current and potential—using blogs, research, webinars and video. Relevant and consistent content helps attract a specific audience to your business and demonstrates how your services can positively affect their lives. Good content not only helps increase traffic to your website, but people are more apt to do business with companies that share useful information. According to a survey by Roper Public Affairs, 80% of decision-makers said they prefer to receive information from articles rather than advertisements.
If you’re new to digital marketing, most experts recommend starting slowly. That might mean writing a blog, posting on social media or enhancing your website. It might seem overwhelming at first, but eventually it will help you connect with clients and make huge strides growing your engineering business. Often, firms find that it is an added benefit working with companies that are already familiar with the engineering industry and can assist with marketing needs. Before you know it, utilizing digital marketing will become second nature and an integral part of your business strategy.
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Stacey Phillips is a writer and editor at iConnectEngineers™. At iConnectEngineers™, we use engaging content, creative design, and smart campaigns to bridge the worlds of business, marketing and social innovation with a primary focus on the engineering and technology industries.