Components of a Lake One FieldGuide: What Your Digital Marketing Strategy Includes

When we create a digital marketing strategy for our clients, what we adoringly refer to as a FieldGuide, we pour hours into research and strategy. We heavily consider every piece we present in order to create a cohesive, targeted plan.

So what’s in a Lake One FieldGuide? We clearly lay out the action steps needed to elevate your marketing to target the modern buyer and hone in on your lead gen potential. Here are the elements your Lake One FieldGuide will include. 

digital marketing strategy

Step 1. Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis can be viewed from two angles: qualitative & quantitative. One without the other, like most things in marketing, would paint an incomplete picture. Your Lake One FieldGuide will include analysis on both ends of the spectrum for up to three of your top competitors. 

Qualitative Competitive Analysis: 

What are your top three competitors up to? How well designed are their websites and are their sites created to move the user into conversions at every stage in the funnel? Additionally, what do their websites convey at first sight? We call this the Blink Test. Do you know what they do and what their differentiator is immediately or do you need to read heavy content and scrounge around the site to find out? 

Quantitative Competitive Analysis: 

What do the numbers say? Here we look at things like the competition’s traffic + sources, domain ratings, and backlinks. Without spending an inordinate amount of time, these numbers give insight into their marketing activity and authority. It’s also a good way to see, in a numerical fashion, how you stack up.

Want to know more about Lake One? Check out our FAQ.

Step 2. Develop and Document 2-3 Personas

Before we get to the guts of your campaign, we need to understand who we will be targeting: your buyer persona. A persona is “a profile that represents your ideal customer.” We conduct research- online and offline- to understand who you’re talking to. We zero in on what their challenges are, what makes them change their purchasing behavior, and what barriers they experience. The point of this is to be able to develop a marketing strategy that addresses these elements.

We’ll create two or three personas to being. Later on, we’ll decide where to narrow the focus further once we’ve jointly considered ease of implementation, ability to get quick wins, and budget. 

3. Keyword Research

Now that we know who your personas are, we want to know what they’re searching for and what the search volume landscape looks like for your product/service. We’ll use a few different tools to find niche keyword clusters that we’ll target via content. Our goal in this research is to find keywords and phrases with high search volume and low competition. IE- while it’d be fantastic to rank your retail shoe store for “women’s shoes”, you won’t have much luck beating Amazon and Zappos. 

A Lake One FieldGuide includes keyword clusters that we can realistically target to get you ranking on relevant SERPs (search engine results pages).

4. Persona-centric Content Calendar

When we created your personas, we thought of their challenges, barriers, and drivers to change. Now, it’s time to pair those elements and questions with a content strategy. 

digital marketing strategy

Blog Campaign Topics

Personally, brainstorming blog topics is my favorite part of campaign planning. The number of blog ideas we generate will depend on the scale of your campaign and frequency of posting- whether we’ll be posting on your behalf twice a month or a few times a week. 

Additionally, the number of personas will impact how many blogs topics we need. Each persona will have their own content strategy. The topics we select as part of your campaign will seek to answer the questions, pain points, and interests you unearthed in your persona research. In some cases, we’ll actually take their concerns and turn them directly into topics. Here’s an example. If your persona poses the question, “How do I lower healthcare costs for my company?” a great blog topic might be “5 Examples How to Lower your Company Healthcare Costs.” Additionally, blogs will be matched to your persona’s needs at every stage of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision. 

The other things we consider when generating your blog campaign are the keywords and topic clusters we uncovered earlier in our keyword research. We’ll pair your persona’s needs with search data to create a 1-2-punch of stellar topics. 

All of this sounding good to you? Here are a few more reasons why you should work with us.

Offer Content Topics 

Next up is pairing those blog topics with conversion opportunities in the form of content offers. We’ll propose 1-2 offers at each stage of the buyer’s journey. These offers are intended to boost your lead gen and provide value to your users. We might propose an offer in the format of a… 

  • Checklist/self-assessment 
  • Guide or eBook
  • White paper, brochure, or sell sheet
  • Infographic
  • Content “Packet” that includes a mixture of the above in one offer

5. Persona Centered Lead Nurturing Sequences

Your FieldGuide at this point includes persona insights, keywords, and a killer content strategy. We’ll now present a plan to put all of that to work in nurturing sequences. What are those? You might know them as drip campaigns, workflows, or just as email marketing. When a user downloads one of your offers, we ideally want to enroll them into an email campaign that nurtures them along the funnel. A user who starts out by downloading an awareness offer would get a sequence of emails that nudge them into the consideration offer… and then into a decision offer… and then *fingers crossed* into being a customer. 

So, included with your FieldGuide are examples of the type of sequencing we’d like to do for your key offers.

6. Persona Watering Holes and Digital PR Hitlist

The last part of your campaign will be some research on where your personas hang out- their watering holes if you will. What websites do they like to engage with and who might be their influencers. These insights will lead to the creation of our digital PR hitlist. For example, if your personas spend time on authoritative HR sites, we’ll add a few to our hitlist. When it’s time to execute the FieldGuide, we’ll reach out to these companies to do things like guest blogs in order to get in front of you personas where they already are. Furthermore, this strategy generates backlinks and bolsters SEO.

Let’s start a conversation on creating a FieldGuide for you. Request a consult.

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5 Types of Digital Marketing Audits: Must-ask questions to get your audit underway

When it comes to your digital marketing program (or at times, lack thereof) conducting a digital audit can be both eye-opening and exciting. Yes, we said exciting! From your website to your content to your tech stack, audits examine it all. The digital marketing audit is your ticket to finding out the state of the state and where the opportunity is for you to make a quick splash on your modern marketing and sales program. 

So, if you think you could be squeezing more results out of your current marketing plan or are feeling a little in the dark about your tech stack, then this one’s for you. Here are the 5 types of digital marketing audits Lake One utilizes, along with some of the top probing questions we ask to kick off the process.

digital marketing audits

1. Google Analytics Audit

The primary purpose of a Google Analytics Audit is to walk-through your site’s tracking implementation and setup. It goes beyond just paid media although that does play a part. From conversion to clicks to time spent on your site, here are a few questions to ask yourself to get you started in the direction.

Questions to ask:

  1. What are you currently tracking? Are you tracking everything you need to be?
  2. Is the data you are collecting valid? Can you trust it and make decisions off of it?
  3. What are the holes? What would you like to be tracking that you aren’t?
  4. Does anything need to be fixed? Is tracking broken?
  5. Can reporting and/or tracking be consolidated to make the process cleaner?

Is your marketing geared toward the modern buyer? Download our guide and learn more.

2. Website Audit

The fact that you are reading this blog post is a strong indicator that you realize how important your website is, but in case you don’t, we’ll say it: your company’s website is uber important. A website should attract your potential customers and empower them with information, aide in their buyer’s journey, and most importantly, provide opportunities for conversion. Design is critical as well, but great sites contain more substance beyond aesthetics. 

At Lake One, we like to review websites for four main areas.

Performance

Performance can mean can quite a few things but in a nutshell, this section means, “Does your website pass the blink test?” Not familiar with the blink test? Simply put, are you able to determine within five seconds the purpose of the site, digest some content, and know what steps to take next as a user. 

Questions to ask:

  1. Is the main value proposition clear? 
  2. Is the main navigation menu clear and accessible?
  3. Is there a clear conversion path? Do the conversion paths flow through the buyer’s journey from awareness through to decision?
  4. Are there relevant resources for web visitors? Are they accessible?
  5. Do users know what steps to take next?

Content & SEO Audit

Now we start getting into the nitty-gritty, the ‘substance’ that I was referencing earlier. 

Content

When reviewing a website for content, it should be two-fold with both online and offline content. Online content encompasses all of the posts, downloadables, etc. that are accessible by web visitors; offline encompasses all of the sales assets, one-pagers, etc. that may be archived internally.

Questions to ask:

  1. Does the site contain relevant keywords that align with a clear content & digital strategy?
  2. Is the content keyword-rich?
  3. Does the content appeal to different buyer personas?
digital marketing audits

SEO

We create content for people first and foremost. But content needs SEO love to fully reap the benefits of your hard work. SEO is an ever-present tactic we weave throughout all of our digital practices; however, at its most basic, we review from both the content and website construction itself. (Click here for info on finding the SEO keywords that will be the hardest work for you.)

Questions to ask:

  1. Do the relevant page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, etc use relevant keywords?
  2. Do the above elements follow SEO best practices for character count, structure, etc.?
  3. Are the images optimized for SEO as well?

Conversion

Websites must provide visitors with an opportunity to convert. A website that’s fully optimized for conversion goes beyond a learn more button and a contact us form. You can have all the website traffic in the world, but if the website isn’t converting, you’ve got a problem.

Questions to ask: 

  1. Are there conversion pages at various stages of the funnel?
  2. Are there any CTA opportunities being missed?
  3. Is it clear what steps a user needs to take to get that information they need to convert?

3. Technical

A site audit wouldn’t be complete without reviewing the technical implementation and output of the website. Have you ever sat and waited for images to load or content to render and given up? Sure, it might have been a slow glitch in your wifi, but it might not have been. Here’s what to look for when it comes to tech.

Questions to ask:

  1. What is the site speed?
  2. Is the design responsive?
  3. Does the design render well on mobile?
  4. Are there any crawl issues?
  5. Is there a sitemap?

4. HubSpot Audit

HubSpot offers a full platform of marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software. It’s a powerful tool that when fully utilized, can propel your sales and marketing results forward. With all that being said, we love to look under the hood and look for ways to get more out of your HubSpot subscription. We look at the following and more:

  • Landing Pages
  • Forms/Form Fields
  • Thank You Pages
  • Personas 
  • Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
  • Nurture Sequences

When reviewing, first check if those functionalities are in use and then check performance. 

Questions to ask:

  1. How are the above elements performing? (conversion rates, submission rates, etc.)
  2. Are the nurture sequence emails targeted? What’s the enrollment criteria? Is it useful? Is someone checking those emails?

By the way, did we mention we are HubSpot Gold Partner? We just so happen to be experts in utilizing HubSpot and making it go the distance for your digital marketing program. Let’s chat.

5. Sales & Marketing Alignment Audit

We have written several pieces on the importance of Sales and Marketing alignment to achieve harmony among client-facing teams. When teams are aligned, it’s dynamite. However, when conducting the audit, think less along the lines of quick wins and more along the lines of building a strong foundation for long-term success. 

Questions to ask:

  1. Do teams have a common definition and understanding of key terms? (i.e. marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, etc.)
  2. Are teams targeting the same buyers?
  3. Are teams working towards the same goals?
  4. Are teams promoting the same products/services?
  5. Are teams creating content together?
  6. What is the lead handoff procedure?
  7. How does sales provide feedback on lead quality?
  8. Do teams have regular meetings?

For an in-depth look at the questions above, check out our B2B Smarketing Team Assessment.

Conclusion

The best way to move forward and to grow is to gain a complete understanding of where your company is at digitally. Even if you’re not looking to grow (but who isn’t?) no matter where you are at with your marketing, everyone can benefit from a digital marketing audit.

B2B Sales Enablement: What it is and the Role Marketing Plays in Making it Happen

We often discuss the age-old battle that can go down between sales and marketing. The tale of two disparate teams. Well in case you didn’t know, now it’s all about alignment. And… enablement.

Sales enablement according to HubSpot, is the technology, processes, and content that empowers sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity. And brace yourself for this one: marketing plays, or should play, a key role in the sales enablement process for B2B companies.

Whether the above sentence has you ready to fall out of your chair or stand up and clap, read on. We’ll cover why sales enablement should matter to marketers and their role in B2B sales enablement execution.

B2B Sales Enablement

Why Sales Enablement Should Matter to Marketers

Today’s modern buyers are different from buyers of old. The sales process is heavily led by the buyers and dictated by the market. Who specializes in the buyer’s journey and converting leads to customers alongside sales? Marketing.

A Seismic article quoted Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing, as saying the following on an episode of the Sales Enablement Shift podcast, “If you’re in B2B marketing today and you’re not thinking every day about sales, what the pipeline looks like, or how close the organization is to hitting the number, then you’re not nearly as integrated in strategy – let alone tactics or activities – as you should be.” Yaaaasss. 💯

We created a guide to make sales and marketing alignment easier. Click here to get it.

This quote really says it all. If the company isn’t making money, more than just the sales team will be in hot water. The above just drives home the fact that strategy, goals, alignment, and yes sales, should be driving teams company-wide.

Successful sales are everybody’s business, but marketing has the skill set to enable sales to be successful and propel growth.

Marketing’s Role in Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is really less about sales and more about serving the buyer through the buyer’s journey. It results in an empowered sales team that sells at a higher velocity which ultimately equals happier customers.

B2B Sales Enablement

With that being said, there are several ways marketing can move the needle and enable sales.

Lead Qualification

Reporting needs vary from company to company, but one constant is the need to qualify leads. Every B2B company has to have some type of lead qualification process. Marketing’s role falls under the Sales and Marketing SLA, but more specifically, the Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) process. [Read more about SLAs here.]

At a high level, MQLs are leads that are ready to be qualified by the sales team. Once the criteria are set and agreed upon, marketing can help with the implementation and qualification process. When marketing does some of the qualification and heavy lifting up front (digitally of course) it ensures sales are talking to leads that are ready to be talked to. It’s a win for everybody including the buyer.

Lead Scoring is a way to put your qualification process into action. Download our guide to learn more.

Content

A major component of sales enablement is arming the sales team with information they can use when selling. Don’t let your brain pigeonhole you into a sales deck. Information can range from internal best practices to customer-facing sales sheets. According to the TOPO blog, regardless of the form the information takes, it needs to be easy to consume and reusable across the sales organization.

Content Audit

Speaking of easy to use, have we mentioned content audits? Content audits at Lake One are a living breathing workbook that houses all of the client’s content (both internal and external facing). The workbook also notes what part of the buyer’s journey that piece of content serves, the location of the document, the persona, if it is a fit for a workflow, etc.

The best part of the document, though, is the collaboration tab where sales can add content ideas. Think repeat buyer questions, a need for a case study, and more. Marketing can pull directly from the tab to help fill the content calendar.

Email Templates & Automated Sequences

Marketing teams should be pros at nurture sequences (if they’re not, contact us) and pros at moving buyers through the buyer’s journey from a lead to an MQL.

That precise expertise applies to the email template and automated sequences of sales enablement.

How do those differ from marketing based workflows? The email templates and automated sequences can be used pre-marketing qualified lead state or even as a way to qualify MQLs to a sales qualified lead.

Despite the differences, the same basics of sending personalized tailored emails to the buyer still apply. Marketing can leverage their knowledge of lead engagement and automation to enable the sales team.

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Key Takeaways

  • A successful sales team should be everyone’s business
  • Sales enablement is really less about sales and more about serving the buyer through the buyer’s journey which leads to an empowered sales team selling at a higher velocity.
  • Marketing contributes to sales enablement in the following ways:
    • The definition and implementation of marketing qualified leads.
    • The creation of content that supports sales and in turn, the buyers.
    • The creation and implementation of email templates and sequences.

5 Signs Inbound Marketing is Right for Your Business

You probably already get the gist of inbound marketing if you’re reading this (here’s a refresher if you don’t). But how do you know if it’s right for your business? Here are five telltale signs that inbound marketing is right for you.

Inbound Marketing is Right

1) Your (Potential) Customers are Online

Let’s be honest, your customers are online. Even the majority of B2B purchase decisions are made online now. The expectation of all users is that you have a website that is not only easy on the eyes and simple to navigate but also answers their questions and provides value. Inbound marketing is a way to meet your consumers where they already are (online) rather than trying to find them via hit and miss traditional methods like radio or print.

What do you need to get started with inbound? Grab our checklist.

2) You’re Not Getting Enough Leads

The biggest complaint from salespeople is usually that they aren’t getting enough leads. Understandable. No leads, no sales. Inbound can be a great solution to that problem.

The inbound method aims to move buyers through the funnel at three different stages: awareness (top), consideration (middle), and decision (bottom). You can read more about those stages in this post. While there are many different ways you can help buyers along this journey, they usually involve collecting information from a user in exchange for whatever you’re offering. This is called lead generation. Once you have the contact info of a user, you can market to them personally via things like workflows to help nudge them along into becoming a customer.

is inbound marketing right

3) You’re Not Getting Enough Website Traffic

Perhaps you’re getting leads through things like cold-calling, word of mouth, or repeat business, and the problem is that your website is a wasteland. This is a big sign inbound might be right for your organization. I’ll try to stay at a high-level here, but the way that inbound moves people along the funnel as mentioned above is by offering useful, informative content that your potential buyers want. This information should be targeted to answer your buyer’s questions, make them feel empowered, and show how your product can solve their problems. So how does this help traffic?

Well, people are actively looking for their answers online. In theory, the content created through an inbound strategy (blogs, webinars, ebooks, etc.) will be filled with the keywords and phrases your users are putting into Google to find your type of solution. By creating content that matches these search queries, your content/website will start ranking higher and higher in the search results.

A bonus to inbound is that search engines favor sites that post fresh content regularly. Therefore, posting new blog content frequently in and of itself can help your search rankings.

4) Your Competitors are Beating You

is inbound marketing right

How can they beat you? Let me count the ways. It could be that your competitor’s website is a work of user-experience art, smartly crafted to guide users into a purchase while yours is… not. Or maybe it’s that they rank higher on every search term than you do, getting all the clicks you wish you had. OR maybe it’s that your competition is encroaching on revenue that used to be yours after they started buying up ad space you didn’t know was even available.

Inbound? Yeah… it can help with all of those things.

5) You Want to Generate Thought Leadership and Authority

Another sign that inbound marketing might be right for your company is that you want to generate thought leadership or be known as an authority in your field. Thought leaders are, “the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise.” Inbound inherently generates thought leadership (assuming you do in fact know your industry and are able to produce high-quality content) by the sheer volume of content you produce. Your content naturally gives you a platform to show off your industry knowledge and expertise.

How to Pick the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your Company

Key Takeaways that Inbound Marketing Might be Right for You

  1. Your would-be customers are online (but you’re missing them).
  2. You’re not generating enough leads to make sales happy.
  3. Your website traffic isn’t good enough.
  4. The competition is smoking you.
  5. You want to be a thought leader and authority in your industry.

Anatomy of an Inbound Marketing Campaign

When it comes to human anatomy, every organ and system is essential for optimal function. The same rings true when it comes to your inbound marketing campaign. There are a lot of moving pieces and parts, and each one is vital to discovering and capturing maximum results. We’ve broken down the anatomy of an inbound marketing campaign below. So, grab your lab coats and highlighters and let’s dive in!

via GIPHY

The Brain – Your Inbound Strategy

Your inbound strategy is as important to your overall marketing campaign as your brain is to your body’s ability to function. Your strategy directs all systems. It’s the driver of collaboration on all parts toward a collective purpose.

Take the easy way out. Let an agency build out your campaign for you. Here’s how to pick a good one.

Like the brain, a solid strategy requires both input and output from the rest of the body. Other pieces must be functional to support the brain in a cyclical fashion.  

The Heart: Your Target Persona(s)

The heart is the strongest muscle in the human body- it pumps life into every vital organ with a rhythmic beat. For this reason, your personas are the heart of your inbound campaign. Everything you do should be with careful consideration of your persona because even the best thought out strategies will fail if they don’t meet the persona’s needs or pique their interest. 

You should most likely have between 2-5 Buyer Personas within your strategy. For each persona, define job title, decision-making power, and typical objectives and challenges they encounter.

inbound marketing campaign

The Veins: Your Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey is the potential steps that each persona might take in order to become a customer of your company. In anatomy, the veins are how the heart pumps blood through the body. So naturally, the buyer’s journey is the veins of your campaign- how your persona flows. 

This journey typically happens in three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision.

  • Awareness Stage: This is when one of your persona’s starts to become aware that they have an issue or need. They may begin searching at this point for information about the actual issue itself, whether others are experiencing a similar issue, and how to address it. 
  • Consideration Stage: This stage is when the persona fully understands their need and begins to search for potential solutions to the issue at hand. 
  • Decision Stage: At this stage, your persona has done a good amount of research and is narrowing down the possible options, which hopefully involve considering your offering.

Your marketing funnel is how you set up different stages of the buyer’s journey. Picture a good, old-fashioned household funnel which is larger at the top and gets smaller toward the bottom so you can siphon whatever you need to through the funnel into a container. In the case of your customers and your marketing funnel, you’ll be siphoning your prospects through your marketing funnel into your sales team’s bucket.

The awareness stage will be at the top, the largest part of the funnel, with abundant traffic but not necessarily the most qualified people. The consideration stage is in the middle; fewer enter this stage than the awareness stage, but the ones who do have higher potential than those who exited at awareness. The decision stage is the smallest point of the funnel where leads are making choices and converting to customers.

These stages are also referred to as the TOFU (Top of the Funnel), MOFU (Middle of the Funnel), and BOFU (Bottom of the Funnel). You may have additional stages within these depending on the complexity of your particular buyer journeys.

Have a lead come in on BOFU content? Here’s how to follow up with them.

The Spine – Your Content

Content is the backbone of your inbound marketing campaign- it supports everything. With direct communication from the brain and infusions from the heart, the spine upholds your message. Your content is how your campaign comes to life.

Your content is extremely important to your campaign because it is how you will get prospects to enter and make their way through your marketing funnel. It’s how eager solution-seeking users come to you to name, understand, and fix their problem.

Great content helps your company gain attention, but even more importantly it allows you to build trust with prospective customers because it offers value without directly seeking anything more from them.

Nervous System: The Buyer’s Journey

The messaging pathways. How your strategy connects to your content. Your content should map to the different stages within your marketing funnel and be targeted at getting a prospect to the next stage.

Let’s take the example of somebody with the problem of generating website leads. Here are some questions/content examples that somebody would be looking for at each stage:

Awareness: Why is my website traffic awful? Why am I not getting any web leads? 

Consideration: Tips for generating more traffic to your site. How digital marketing agencies can help increase traffic.

Decision: How Lake One generates traffic for our clients. Lake One Services: increasing traffic through SEO strategy.

Consider your persona’s pains and needs and what questions they need answered at every stage of the journey. Strategically design your content plan to answer those questions and pose yourself as the right solution at the bottom of the funnel.

inbound marketing campaign

The Extremities – Execution and Distribution

You can have the greatest strategy and the most amazing content, but without execution, no one will ever know. That’s why execution and distribution are the arms and legs of your inbound marketing campaign. 

The Arms – Social Media

Your social media strategy is one of the primary drivers keeping you visible and top of mind for your prospects and customers. It’s important to understand the differences and subtle nuances between the platforms and respect them by using each for what it was designed to do best. For example, LinkedIn tends to have a more professional tone, so you might use it for short product demo videos or to share your blog posts, and save your funny memes or GIFs for Twitter.

It’s also important to know which platforms your prospects utilize. Find out where they hang out and exist in those same spaces with them. Just because this is inbound marketing doesn’t mean you need to make it hard work to find you. Being active in the spaces your prospects spend time in will allow them to see your company as an authority on topics that interest or concern them.

The Legs – Email

If a prospect or customer has entrusted you with their email address by signing up as a subscriber, you better be sure to provide them with regular, valuable, targeted content. Make use of the information you collect from your subscribers and their placement in your marketing funnel to ensure you are sending timely helpful messages. Try to avoid sending blanket emails out to everyone on your list unless the message is actually relevant to all.

How to Pick the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your CompanyAnother good practice is to make it easy for subscribers to edit their subscription settings and preferences. This is a great way to build trust and continue to ensure your messages are adding value to the people receiving them.

3+ Social Media Marketing Ideas for Construction & Engineering Companies

Historically, construction and engineering companies have been known to heavily utilize one-way advertising including TV and radio ads and billboards, as well as offline face-to-face interactions and word of mouth. These may still work to an extent, but they are limiting in how far they can reach.

An active social media presence allows construction and engineering companies to reach a wider, more receptive audience than traditional marketing. Consumers are spending the majority of their time online. When they are looking for project ideas, answers to questions, or firms to partner with, they are turning to their online communities to find information and engage in conversations. Make sure your firm isn’t overlooked by putting the following social media marketing ideas for construction and engineering companies to work.

Marketing for Construction and Engineering

1. Build Lasting Connections by Being Engaged in Industry Conversations

The construction and engineering industries are constantly evolving. The professionals involved have great stories to tell whether they’re about exciting industry innovations, successes throughout projects, or admirable firm culture. There are many ways to engage with your industry and your target audience using social media; here are a few.

[LinkedIn for B2B is always a good idea. Checkout out our LinkedIn Marketing guide.]

Provide Educational Content on Regulation Changes

Regulations are constantly changing in the construction and engineering industries. Social media is a great medium to have discussions on how to best handle those changes. Make an effort to become actively involved in Groups on LinkedIn or Facebook that address regulations specifically.

Once you’ve started to build a reputation as a thought leader in your Groups, begin creating educational content such as blogs, videos, and infographics that will help others address the regulatory compliance issues your team has conquered. Share these resources in your Groups as well as across all of your social media channels in order to spread their potential impact to a wider audience.

Show Off Your Successes

Your clients and prospects want to know exactly how successful your firm is when it comes to completing projects and staying ahead of your competition. In a way, social media was designed around the idea of showing off a bit, and it’s a great medium to demonstrate your full capabilities. Here are a few ideas to get your humble brag motors turning:

  • Display beautiful photography of your finished work on Instagram, Pinterest, and Houzz
  • Boast about your team’s diversity and inclusion efforts on Instagram
  • Do “sneak peek” walkthrough videos of completed projects for Instagram and Facebook
  • Demonstrate how your firm is innovating using exciting, new tech on LinkedIn

Marketing ideas construction and engineering

Drive Referral Traffic

According to Econsultancy, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook account for 90% of all social referral traffic to business-to-business (B2B) websites, with LinkedIn accounting for more than half (64%). Being engaged regularly on these platforms will keep you visible to your target audience. Even if they don’t need your services right now, they’ll know where to find you when they do in the future. Here are some additional post ideas for LinkedIn to inspire you

2. Get Creative with Video Across Different Social Channels

Video is one of the most powerful marketing tools of our time. It helps draw in new followers and is an exciting way to provide valuable content that actually gets viewed. If you aren’t currently using video in your social media marketing, here is what you are missing:

  • Video content is the best performing content type on social and can help to increase brand awareness, interest, and conversions. (SocialMediaToday)
  • Views of branded video content increased 99% on YouTube and 258% on Facebook between 2016 and 2017. (Wyzowl)
  • On Twitter, a video Tweet is 6x more likely to be retweeted than a photo Tweet. (Wyzowl)

Video production doesn’t need to be extremely technical or time-consuming. According to HubSpot, 56% of all videos published in the last year are less than 2 minutes long, which happens to be the sweet spot for maintaining viewers until the end. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started with video marketing on your social channels.

Live Stream to Provide an Inside Peek at Your Operations

Outsiders probably don’t know what the day to day looks like in construction or engineering. Even your current clients that meet with you regularly may not fully understand how you make decisions and problem solve. Construction and engineering can be quite technical in nature so providing a raw, real-time inside look gives it a human touch and makes it more relatable.

[Before you stream, have a strategy. Here’s how to build a modern marketing strategy for your construction company.]

Live stream content is not only interesting but also beneficial to your curious clients and future prospects as it increases transparency and builds trust with your brand. It is a great way to get useful information to your followers in a way that is easily digestible.

There are many platforms to choose from for streaming. It may be worth it to diversify across several to target different types of audiences. Between four of the major players, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Periscope, there are over 1.1 billion hours of video watched each day.

On several platforms like Facebook and Youtube, when you start a live video, automatic notifications are sent out to pull in followers as you are streaming. A good practice while streaming is to have a moderator prepared to keep an eye on the live chat and respond in real time to questions or comments.

Easily Start a Vlog (Video blog) on YouTube Reusing Your Blog Content

80% of people now prefer videos over blog content and social media posts. All of those people may be skipping past the wealth of information in your blog simply because they’d rather watch or listen to it than read it.

marketing ideas construction engineering

This effort can be as simple as recording someone reading the information out loud. This is a bit more like a podcast because there isn’t a lot of visual value and will be a quick effort but doesn’t take full advantage of the power of video.

To really add value, you could bring in a designer to create a simple but engaging animation that demonstrates visually what is being said in the audio. Another popular strategy is recording a person explaining the content (memorized snippets of the blog) along with intermittent animation overlays to help demonstrate specific points.

3. Amp Up Your Social Media at Expos & Trade Shows

Trade shows and expos can be a powerful marketing and sales channel that allows for informative face-to-face interactions with current clients and potential prospects. In fact, 88% of exhibitors participate in trade shows to raise awareness of the company and its brand.

The key is getting attendees to not only notice your booth amongst hundreds but to be interested in what you have to say or offer. You can use social media to create a buzz and keep people informed throughout the show.

Use SnapChat Geofilters to Draw in a Crowd

You don’t have to have the biggest, most expensive display but everybody knows the booth at the show with excitement and a crowd draws in even more curious people. At your next trade show, utilize a SnapChat geofilter. This can create interest and draw people already at the show to your booth.

You can set your filter for the timing of the show and confine it to the specific location in and around the venue. You can utilize several pre-made SnapChat templates, or if you want to make sure it’s fully branded have your designers create a custom filter. It just needs to follow SnapChat’s custom creation guidelines.

Include your recognizable branding and your precise booth location so people can easily find you. Provide a reason to come to your booth, such as a free t-shirt or some other kind of swag. Most importantly, make sure when people do come to your booth, you help them take pictures using the filter and share to their networks.

[Don’t know how to get started with this? It might be time to work with a digital agency. Learn more.]

Live Tweet Q&A During On-site Presentations

If your business will be doing a live presentation or giving a speech, a Live Tweet Q&A is a great way to wrangle questions from your audience while also making them aware of your presence on Twitter.

This will require a well-advertised hashtag for questions to be submitted; make sure it is discussed prior to the speech beginning and is visible throughout the entire presentation.

For a smaller audience, you could have the speaker keep an eye on the hashtag and try to catch questions coming in real-time and work them into their presentation. But, this can be quite distracting for someone who isn’t well-versed at multitasking.

Another option is to have a moderator keep an eye on the incoming questions, they can sort them into categories, get rid of duplicates, and choose the best questions to be addressed at specified times throughout the presentation.

Pair this Q&A effort with a giveaway where a winner is chosen randomly out of new Follows from the audience throughout the presentation.

LinkedIn Marketing Guide

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a multitude of ways to creatively engage with and market to your target audience using social media. The most important thing to remember is it is all about making and building upon connections and being present, so don’t go in halfway. Committing to being fully engaged on one channel is better than being partially present across several.

6 Key KPIs for Sales and Marketing Alignment

According to HubSpot, 39% of marketers say proving the ROI of their marketing activities is their top marketing challenge.

Statistics aside, even anecdotally, the age-old battle of sales and marketing is centered around proving the value of ROI and activity from the often separate teams. Before you can begin to prove ROI, however, you need to determine collectively, which metrics are worth tracking.

Abnormalities in data, whether spikes or declines, can point to issues, gaps, and ultimately, misalignment. Smarketing is everything but a ‘fix it and forget it’ initiative. Measuring sales and marketing alignment may differ slightly from company to company, but there are several KPIs that hold value across the board. Here are six key KPIs for sales and marketing alignment we recommend keeping an eye on.

KPIs for Sales and Marketing Alignment

Still need to fine tune your Sales and Marketing Alignment plan? Download our Ultimate Guide to learn more.

1. Overall Revenue

Every company’s end game is to make money, therefore, everyone should be working towards the common goal of generating revenue. At Action19, we heard Josh Fedie say sales is everyone’s job. And he’s right. Revenue and sales are everybody’s job and everybody’s business quite literally.

For smarketing purposes, the overall revenue metric can be broken down a little further into marketing-sourced revenue. For example, how many leads that came in from paid social became customers? How much revenue did the customer from paid social generate? You can follow a similar deep dive across traffic sources and evaluate each channel.

2. Sales Cycle Length

Tenfold names the sales cycle length as one of the most important KPIs for sales and marketing alignment to track. Here’s the reason they said it makes their list. “The total length of the sales cycle has important consequences that ripple throughout the entire organization and shortening the buying cycle is usually particularly important to the sales and marketing teams in order to minimize bottlenecks in the process.”

In theory, the shorter the sales cycle, the more qualified the lead. Tenfold goes on to say that the tracking shouldn’t stop at just the length of the cycle overall; you should look at each stage individually to determine lags and gaps in the process.

3. Marketing Qualified Leads

HubSpot defines a marketing qualified lead (MQL) as a lead who has been deemed more likely to become a customer compared to other leads. Why? They have taken a specific set of actions and or they fit the lead criteria, like role or ideal company size. The criteria qualifying MQLs are set by both sales and marketing and are part of the foundation of the SLA. Tracking MQLs as one of your main KPIs can help you determine if your team is moving in the right direction with generating quality leads.

4. Marketing Qualified Leads to Sales Qualified Leads Conversion Rate

This conversion rate speaks to the building blocks of the sales and marketing SLA, the point in which sales evaluates leads that marketing deems qualified.

KPIs for Sales and Marketing Alignment

How leads are actually handed off to sales (typically by using software to automate the process) varies from business to business, but the value in the conversion rate does not. What is the percentage? How many MQLs are considered quality (an SQL) by sales?

This also points to why it’s critical both sales and marketing buy into the plan. If this number is low, there’s definitely a problem. Regrouping and going back to the basics can help troubleshoot and realign. 

5. Content Audit & Usage

Another key KPI to track for sales and marketing alignment is your content. How spot on is it? Does it align with target buyers? Is it attracting the right personas? All of these questions can be answered by digging deep into the data and probing to answer the following key questions about content consumption.

  • Which content offers are being downloaded? Which ones aren’t?
  • Are your target buyers downloading your offers or is your offer attracting a secondary or tertiary role?
  • Out of all of your customers, how many actually downloaded a content offer?

In taking a look at the above you’ll be able to determine if your content is in alignment with sales and marketing and benefiting your overall goals. If it’s not? You might need to consider refreshing your personas or brushing up on some keyword research. Here is a refresher on inbound marketing.

6. End to End Conversion Rate

The end to end conversion rate measures the conversion ratio for the full buyer’s journey from attraction phrase through to closing customers. According to Forbes, “Benchmarked over time this metric highlights leakages and inefficiencies between stages, sales and marketing, and enables more accurate forecasting and target performance setting.”

The more aligned an organization, the more stable the rates and rations. See a spike or dip in the data? Better start digging.

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The Sales & Marketing Alignment Meeting

Now that you have your critical KPIs to measure smarketing performance, share and circulate the data amongst the team. Do this quarterly at a minimum. Share the findings, deep dive, optimize, rinse and repeat.

Lake One’s Guide to Sales and Marketing Alignment

What is sales and marketing alignment?

Alignment is a state of agreement or cooperation, integration, or harmonization of aims and practices within a group. Apply that to Sales & Marketing and the first thing you’ll notice is they should be one group instead of viewed as separate entities as they are within most organizations.

Over the past few years, a new word or movement, smarketing, has been coined to help companies speak about their sales & marketing teams and efforts as one, singular unit working towards a complete vision. Simply put sales and marketing alignment is the process by which sales and marketing teams come together to develop aligned processes across both functions, designed to collectively better achieve business objectives. It covers things like definitions of marketing and sales roles, responsibilities to each other, reporting expectations and feedback processes.

We’ll explore sales and marketing alignment in the latest Lake One guide including topics like why this should be a key priority, key elements to aligning teams, delivering a sales and marketing meeting, measuring sales and marketing alignment and more. 

sales and marketing alignment guide

In a hurry? Request a copy of the guide to be emailed to you. 

Startup Website Design With Purpose: Launching Lucent

At Lake One, we love partnering with startups. We thrive off the excitement and momentum that comes with the launch of a new company.

Recently, we partnered with Lucent Tax Relief, a startup based out of Central Minnesota that specializes in helping people address their IRS and State tax problems. A critical part of the launch and really the foundation of our inbound digital marketing strategy, was designing Lucent’s website. In this post, you’ll learn how we used thoughtful design elements to convey Lucent’s core values and differentiate them from the competition.

Startup Website Design With Purpose

 

Hold the Legalease Please

Before we jump into the design, it’s important to talk a little bit more about Lucent Tax Relief. Claudia Revermann, Attorney at Law and C.P.A., and Andy Hawkins CFP®, started Lucent Tax Relief as two people who wanted to help good people put their tax problems to rest. They had seen too many tax “relief” agencies be less than honest with people who are just trying to do the right thing.

Their mission is to treat clients like they are neighbors and friends. They do this with their straightforward process and timely communication with clients in plain English. They really we want clients to feel respected, understood and protected.

So how do you make brand ideals come alive on a website? Through thoughtful, purposeful design.

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The Intent

Lucent’s website design is intended to convey the warm, welcoming, and approachable Lucent brand, while retaining a level of professionalism and driving users to conversion. The design aims to ease visitor fear, confusion, and anger by using the soft shapes and colors from the brand. At times, it can even feel therapeutic.

The Startup Website Design

Immediately you’ll notice how clean and friendly the website feels. The hero image of the succulent was selected specifically to avoid the cliche stock photos that we see way too often associated with tax relief. It also aligns with the goal of making the user feel at ease, like they are entering a safe and comfortable place.

Lucent Tax Relief Web Design

The Colors

You will find a few prominent colors on the site. The primary green color from the logo was used for the call-t0-action buttons to indicate action. The rounded corners on the CTA buttons add a more friendly aesthetic. We introduced a tertiary brand color (plum) to further differentiate Lucent Tax Relief from its competitors. It also adds a subtle touch of femininity against the blue-green primary colors which by nature are more masculine. There is also color throughout the site design specifically to visually break up sections of content.

website design colors

In each section, you’ll also notice overlays. These overlays add visual interest through color for a more “own-able” look and feel. You’ll also notice, they use the shapes from the “L” icon in the logo (2 quarter circles, a square, and a rectangle).

Website Design, Inbound Marketing

Final Thought

Every decision you make should be made purposefully. Design matters! No matter where you are in your growth journey, we’d love to hear from you. If you have questions about digital or know exactly what you need when it comes to marketing, contact us! We can’t wait to learn about what you’re working on and how modern, measurable marketing can help achieve your goals.

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How to build a modern marketing strategy for your construction company, a complete guide

There are a lot of organizations that rely on face to face relationships to increase revenue. In construction and contracting, especially if you are regional or specialized – the value of your network is particularly important. But often, as organizations that focus only on relationships start seeking growth, the role different roles marketing and sales play in the pipeline unfolds. Sales (the relationship)is a short-term player. The hunter, sometimes gatherer, who finds revenue now.

Marketing, on the other hand, is out sowing opportunity for tomorrow and next month and next quarter. As digital media advances and demographics change, marketing takes an even more active role in building pipeline and businesses that rely on relationships, like construction, need to shift their focus on building a modern marketing strategy to attract and engage a modern buyer.

Want to download this guide as a PDF? 

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