SEO, PPC, Pay per click, Search Engine Optimization

SEO or PPC: Which One’s Right For My Business?

When it comes to driving traffic to your website, both search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) have their place. They can be done concurrently working towards different goals, or work together towards common goals. See what the difference is.

SEO & PPC

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Top 5 B2B Marketing Trends 2019

Top 5 B2B Marketing Trends of 2019

2019 has proven so far to be another great year for marketing. Take a look at top trends you could capitalize on that are dominating the field.

Top 5 B2B Marketing Trends 2019

Download the full infographic here. 


Case Study

Case Study: Manufacturer of Complex Machined Parts

Case Study

Client Description

360 Direct began working with a precision machined parts manufacturer in 2017. This company specializes in machining, welding, and fabricating high tolerance parts used in agricultural, mining, and construction equipment. The machine shop has an international customer base, and has roots dating back to the early 1900s.

360 Direct designed this client’s marketing plan to focus on sustainable growth in various inbound marketing metrics that ultimately lead to growth in revenue. Metrics include web traffic and inbound leads. Additional goals included better name and brand awareness and a more diverse customer portfolio.

The client’s monthly program began with email marketing, social media, and blogs, alongside a new website build. As results began to show themselves and the value of marketing made itself apparent, the client has expanded their program to incorporate editorial writing and PR, case studies, internal signage, and digital advertising, as well as tackle additional projects like video and photography.

 

Strategy & Tactics

Website

This company began with an out of date website that they didn’t enjoy showing prospects. 360 Direct built a website that was much more modern, responsive to all screen sizes, and easy for users to navigate. The site features their company video and updated imagery. 360 Direct continues to update the website regularly with new blogs, press, and photos.

By using website and SEO best practices, their organic web traffic increased 50% from 2017 to 2018, and continues to grow year over year.

2017 & 2018 Comparative Analytics

2017 and 2018 Comparative Analytics
PR and Editorials

360 Direct leveraged its relationships with various industry publications to feature the machine shop in many different manufacturing magazines including, Manufacturing in Focus, The Fabricator, Industrial Machinery Digest, Manufacturing News, and Advanced Manufacturing. These opportunities included press releases as well as printed editorials highlighting the company. This earned media resulted in exposure in a very targeted market at no cost to them. The cost to get a fraction of the space in each magazine would run tens of thousands of dollars.

Google Ads

The client wanted to get a little more aggressive in their marketing to capitalize on some of the attention they were getting from various industry publications. 360 Direct suggested the use of Google Ads as a cost effective alternative to traditional advertising with excellent results. Their CTR (Click Through Rate) for Display Google Ads is currently over three times the industry average.  

The Client’s Average Display Ad Click Rate:

Average Display Ad Click Rate

Social Media

Social media was activated and regularly updated as part of their marketing program. Over the course of two years, their Twitter was grown from zero to 534 followers, while Instagram topped over 100 followers in the first 4 months after activation.

Email Marketing

A monthly email newsletter is sent to keep customers and prospects informed of everything the company has to offer. Their team has made the most of these email newsletter campaigns by following up with recipients who click on a link. This maximizes their sales team’s time.

Photography

The client needed photography to include on their website, social media, and for editorial opportunities. Photos included featured machines, headshots of key employees, and action shots. Now, every opportunity they come across can be quickly enhanced by relevant imagery.

Video

This client wanted to take advantage of how effective video can be, but needed to keep projects cost effective. 360 Direct has edited videos taken in house, created no-frills training videos, and pulled out all the stops for more polished videos fit to present with.

Their company video was a few years old, and quite a bit has changed since then. They opted to shoot a new company video and an HR video for recruiting new employees. 360 Direct shot both videos at the same time to make the projects more cost effective.

Special Campaigns and Projects

There are some opportunities that don’t happen often, and this client is highly motivated in taking advantage of them when they come along. Part of having a scaleable, flexible marketing agency is being able to grab onto opportunities when they arise. Projects have included:

  • Signage and collateral for job fairs
  • Filming training sessions and creating internal signage and collateral for staff
  • Photography, signage, and a press release when a federal-level politician chose the company as their site for a Town Hall meeting
  • Print ads for local partnerships

 

Client Feedback

This company is always finding new ways to grow and positively impact the local community, and 360 Direct is honored to help them achieve success. With their newfound international business partnerships and their ongoing efforts to close the skills gap, they are an inspiring company to market.

Like many manufacturing companies, this client came to us knowing they needed more marketing, but unsure if anyone would actually be interested in reading about what they do. After we emailed them their first blog, they replied, “Wow- I just read this blog and it’s impressive because you have produced an article on machining that is interesting to read, not just an outpouring of facts and figures…. I like this!” With each editorial, blog, or web update we produce, the client is enthusiastic about the work we do and is consistently impressed by the results they see.

The machine shop is thriving and successfully growing into new markets with a marketing strategy tailored to their goals. In 2019, 360 Direct and the client have new projects and campaigns planned to take their business and their marketing to the next level and keep up the pattern of aggressive growth.


Find Content

How Businesses Can Find Content

Find Content

Savvy businesses understand the need for current, relevant content for their followers. Whether it’s blog posts, email blasts, or social media posts, businesses need content to present to their followers and keep them engaged and interested in the brand. Developing a content strategy, on the other hand, is often easier said than done. The first hurdle is determining what is newsworthy to your followers, and how to find the news within your organization.

You can’t write about everything, every time.

If each email you send looks like a rundown on all the products or services you offer, there’s some room to grow. Anyone can look at your website to get that information! If the information in your emails remains the same, what is the incentive to continue opening the emails and clicking on the content? The same can be said for social media channels. If the information being presented is more like catalog listings, there is little reason to continue to actively follow your organization. That’s not what you want!

These followers have already made the emotional connection and investment to like your page, sign up for your email, or click on your blog. They are asking for deeper engagement. Don’t give them a catalog listing, give them something to dig into! Narrow your focus and provide rich content on a specific product or news item.

How do you find your focus?

Your company likely has several offerings or areas of focus. How do you choose what to focus on? You want to choose what is most relevant to your company and the industry. A newsworthy item could be a new product or service you are introducing. Time sensitive information, like a new award or an upcoming trade show you are attending, is also an example of something you want to ensure your followers hear about.

Of course, you may not have breaking news on a weekly or monthly basis. That doesn’t mean you have nothing to talk about, though! This is a chance to highlight your company’s offerings with content that differentiates you from your competition. Don’t regurgitate information readily available on your website, brochure, or catalog. Add value to your content.

If you have great relationships with your clients, write a case-study that showcases an instance where you really solved a major business pain for them. This kind of piece can require some legwork and elbow grease, but can really move perspective clients. Work with your client and get their permission before embarking on this path. Ensure that you will not share any proprietary information, trade secrets, or other competitive knowledge. Instead, focus on what problem you solve for them. Is their process faster now? Their turnaround time shorter? Are you saving them money, making their products safer?

Are your products doing good in the community? Create a human interest piece by focusing on how your products benefit the community. If your products or services don’t lend themselves to any feel-good stories, what about the rest of your company? If you have any community programs or service projects, let the public know what you are doing!

Lastly, highlight an existing product or service. The key here is to offer more information than what people would be able to read in your brochure or catalog. Companies can use this opportunity to address any common misconceptions, FAQs, or to focus on largely unknown or underutilized features.

When selecting the product or service to highlight, there are a few things to keep in mind.

DO

  • Select an area of your company that you excel in.
  • Choose a line that you want to expand in, and have the capacity to do so.
  • Focus on a product or service with a good ROI for your company.

DON’T

  • Pick a product or service you are discontinuing or trying to get out of. (Unless you are highlighting a sale!)
  • Write about a product or service that you don’t have the capacity to expand in.
  • Highlight something with a poor ROI for your company. If your content drives new business, you want it to be business you want.

Strategize when to release your content.

Once you have content, decide when to release it. Some content is evergreen, but if your product has a cyclical lifestyle, it’s important to think about the timing of your release.

Releasing your content during a high volume time, when your product or service is used the most, will hit followers at a time when they are actively thinking about your product more and experiencing a business pain. You’ll be more likely to grab their attention, but less likely to make an immediate sale, since they will already have providers in place for that cycle. On the other hand, if you have a feel for when your target audience is reassessing their processes and considering new providers, that’s a great time to have deeper engagement with them via a well-thought piece of content.

Quality content is not a continuous sales pitch, regurgitating information from your website, brochure, and catalogs, and you don’t necessarily need to offer sales to get your target audience’s attention. Your content strategy should use what your organization is already doing to generate relevant, engaging content that will keep your followers interested in your company.  360 Direct is a Milwaukee and Chicago Marketing Company.  We can help you execute these strategies!