*Originally published on CommercialIntegrator.com
Effective audio visual marketing for your integration firm means an up-to-date website, lead generation, a focus on outcomes and connecting to other humans.
For many in the audiovisual industry — particularly integrators — capturing new customers and generating new leads can be an elusive goal without an effective audio visual marketing and public relations strategy.
This not only helps you showcase your company and its abilities to potential new clients, but educates the general public about your business and essentially the pro AV industry as a whole.
However, many integrators miss the mark and overlook small things that can have a big impact on lead generation.
Your website should be your best marketing tool
In every case, the first step to a solid digital marketing strategy should be your website. It’s often the customer’s first introduction to your company a
According to Ryan Kane, a digital marketing consultant with Wheelhouse Digital that works exclusively with integrators, a good website should follow a very basic two-step solution:
- Make sure the website is capable of receiving traffic and turning it into leads.
- Once that is taken care of, make sure you know who the audience is and understand how to reach them.
For commercial AV integrators, LinkedIn has proven to be a valuable business-to-business marketing platform, whereas Google Ads makes more sense for residential integrators.
After that, integrators should utilize tools on their website to collect emails to generate new leads.
“That’s one thing a lot of integrators aren’t doing that needs to happen,” Kane says. “It’s incredibly valuable.”
Other tools like an automatic appointment booking system on your website can help take the time out of scheduling a meeting for the potential client.
Is your website mobile friendly?
Since 2016, mobile users have outpaced desktop computers in accessing the internet. That means your website better be mobile friendly.
According to Kane, 60% of website traffic is on a mobile phone. If your website still requires users to “pinch-to-zoom,” there’s a big problem.
“That’s a hair-on-fire emergency if that’s the case,” Kane says.
If the majority of internet users are on their mobile phone or tablet, then it only makes sense that your company capitalize and think mobile-first when releasing new marketing content.
A website not optimized for mobile use could have a drastic effect on your company’s reputation as a cutting-edge technology installer.
Every piece of audio visual marketing material released by your company should be mobile friendly, according to Abby Wolfe, director of marketing and communications with Oklahoma-based Cory’s Audiovisual
“The iPhone has been around for 13 years,” says Wolfe. “There’s no excuse for it at this point.”
It’s not about the widget
Many integrators can ruin their marketing strategies with too much tech speak about the products they’re trying to sell to the end customer.
However, most end users simply don’t care about how it works, as long as it works. Even IT managers and other technically inclined customers will simply just want to know about the capabilities and how your solutions can help them improve their business.
“A lot of integrators are product focused,” Wolfe says. “It’s not about the widget. That needs to be conveyed at all times.”
Most integrators get into the business because they are technophiles, but that likely won’t apply to customers and end users.
Wolfe suggests answering some key questions instead:
- What is the result of the installation?
- Why did you choose it for this customer?
- Why is the customer’s life easier now because of that widget?
“Nobody cares about the black box you’re selling,” Wolfe said. “They all look the same.”
Remember: you’re connecting to people
Regardless of how tech-driven the AV industry is, there are still people behind those matrix switches, video walls and conferencing systems.
As such, any audio visual marketing strategy should look to connect with people — particularly on social media.
For larger firms with an established and recognizable brand, their customers are largely interacting with a logo on social channels. This presents an opportunity for smaller integrators to create an online personality with social media like Twitter and Instagram.
“A lot of people like to interact with a human face rather than a brand logo,” says Kate Calderon, director of marketing at Florida-based integration firm Innovative Collaboration.
Simply posting case studies and new products isn’t enough, especially as the industry becomes more competitive. Instead, marketing efforts should appeal to the human side of the customer.
“It’s about connecting with people,” Calderon says. “That’s what our industry is — connecting people together.
Not every piece of audio visual marketing content has to sell a product, either.
This could include content featuring your employees and the people behind the brand and the cutting-edge installations you’re selling.
“The ones I see doing it well put faces behind the brand and a behind-the-scenes look at the people that make up the company,” Calderon says.