Marketing In a Post-Covid World

 

Many things have changed since Covid-19, but what have remained constant are the fundamentals of marketing. While marketing strategies might have evolved, the goal has not. The purpose of marketing is to educate and convince your audience to purchase or utilize your products and services. You still need to find and examine how your target audience is interacting with the various online platforms available to them and then invest in the channels that are right for your company. And….you still need to show value and offer your customers a solution.

How to Market Taking A Stand

Sometimes the solution is taking a stand for causes that are important to your customers. The idea of brands supporting different causes certainly wasn’t a new concept pre Covid-19, but that strategy hasn’t drawn as much attention in the past as it is now. Last year we saw hundreds of companies and brands take a stand for racial equality, diversity, and inclusion, along with implementing new green practices and sustainability. Nowadays, consumers expect their favorite brands to become more socially responsible, and it will become even more common, as time goes on.

So, what does taking a stand look like in terms of marketing? Take LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton for example. Early on in the pandemic, this company switched from making perfumes and cosmetics to focus on producing hand sanitizer for Parisian hospitals. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton also donated 40 million masks to frontline health workers. This switch not only incited love from their current customers, but they also gained an entirely new set of customers, who had reexamined their opinion about the luxury company.

“Helping Hands” for E-commerce Marketing

E-commerce’s popularity has significantly increased with consumers ever since quarantine, and it make sense. People are still being cautious due to Covid concerns, and even when they begin to feel safe shopping in stores again, the e-commerce trend isn’t going to slow down. According to the 13 countries that were surveyed by McKinsey, 65% of people stated they have tried and will continue to shop online.

Marketing for e-commerce requires specific digital marketing tactics and strategies in order for you to achieve the best possible results. Some of these tactics have been around for a while like SEO, product reviews, content and social media marketing, and other digital marketing strategies.

However, with consumers shopping e-commerce now more than ever, these original marketing tactics may need a “helping hand”. These could be anything from adding a “buy” button to your social media posts, more detail to your Google shopping information, a more streamlined landing page experience and more.

How to Stay Customer-Centric

During the world-wide pandemic, consumers have been looking for comfort and understanding from the brands that they are loyal to. In order for brands to earn and keep consumers’ loyalty, they will need to walk the talk, not just talk the talk.

What does this mean? For some brands it means stepping up their personalized marketing strategies, offering AI programs that solve consumer problems quickly and effectively, or offering personal shopping sessions online or in store. For others it means offering timely blogs and vlogs speaking to consumers’ pressing needs, or having an educational landing page that is about specific topics they want to know more about.

Another strategy that could help to keep your audience loyal is to provide them with case studies or whitepapers. These allow them to see your success and help make a compelling case for why they should choose your product or service.

Now is the time to reacquaint yourself with your audiences’ needs, goals, and interests as well as explore new marketing opportunities. 360 Direct can assist you with developing a strategy to fit your audiences’ needs, and your business goals. Contact a team member today!


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.


Case Study

Case Study: Paper and Converting Company

Case Study

Client Description

360 Direct began working with an independently-owned paper converting company in 2016. The company has been known for its family business model and problem-solving, waste-saving approach since they opened their doors in the 1960s. This family business has since grown into a major packaging provider for Fortune 500 companies all over the United States.

Originally, their primary marketing concerns included updating the company website, keeping sales collateral current, and having a consistent digital presence. From the beginning, this client understood the need to leverage marketing to reach into new markets in order to meet the company’s aggressive growth goals.

The client’s monthly program started with a new website build and later expanded to include marketing new product lines, partnerships, and other campaigns.

 

Strategy & Tactics

Website

360 Direct built this client a website that was responsive to all screen sizes and easy for users to navigate. Perhaps most importantly, it was built to be able to grow as fast as the organization was expanding. Since then, new pages have been added regularly as the their product and service offerings grow. This even includes a custom coded calculator page that their sales team requested.

Sales Collateral

The company began with a limited amount of sales collateral. 360 Direct’s first step was creating pieces for every major product line to establish consistency. Now pieces are updated as capabilities change and created for new partnerships and product lines. This ensures the sales team always has everything they need for a new prospect. In fact, some of the projects are requested straight from the sales team!

SEO

SEO is important for increasing web traffic without relying on paid advertising. Regular blog posts and new web pages have increased the company’s visibility organically. When they first became a client, they ranked for 20 terms among search engines; today they rank for 274. The result is a 30% increase in web traffic year over year.

 

Content Consistency

In addition to regular blog posts, social media is also active. With so many things happening at the paper company, there’s also a monthly email newsletter that goes out so their customers stay informed of everything they have to offer.

Editorials and PR

While content is regularly pushed to their current lists and audience, the client is interested in expanding their reach with PR and editorials. Press releases are distributed when there’s noteworthy information to share.

In late 2018, the company began pursuing editorials. They have had articles published in Total Food and Packaging Strategies, with three more editorials in two other publications planned for later in 2019. These articles expand the company’s reach and position them as thought leaders in their industry.

Special Campaigns and Projects

There are some opportunities that don’t happen often, and the company wants to be able to take 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:

 

  • Logos for new divisions and their 50th anniversary
  • Banners and signs
  • Press releases for new developments
  • Customer Surveys
  • Thank you cards

 

Client Feedback

There’s always something wonderful happening at this company, and 360 Direct is honored to work with them towards their business goals. We love it when a member of their sales team makes a special request, because it means our content has value beyond SEO and branding. It’s providing the sales team with the tools they need and want.

On a recent meeting, the client said, “I think you guys are doing a great job for us. I really do appreciate that.”

This client is thriving and successfully adapting in an ever-changing industry, utilizing marketing to convey those adaptations to their target market. Just as they are forward-thinking in their product lines, they are also forward-thinking in their marketing strategy, and we have exciting projects planned for 2019 and beyond.