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[ Focus: Online marketing ]


For further information and advice on using online advertising visit: n www.google.co.uk/adwords n www.iabuk.net/


5) Social media Megger is a 100-year old manufacturer of electrical testing products. It is based in Dover and has an annual turnover of $160m. In 2008 Julian Grant, UK and international sales manager, began using social media to promote the company’s products. ‘I’d been using sites like YouTube and Facebook on a personal level for a while,’ he says. ‘I knew it was popular among young people, and so when we were thinking of new marketing techniques for reaching that audience we thought of social media.’ He began by filming himself doing tests using the company’s products, and posting them on YouTube. In two years nearly 20,000 people have viewed these clips, and not all of them have been the youth audience Grant expected. ‘I recently met a 55-year old at a conference who told me he’d viewed our product videos on a YouTube clip that he had accessed through Facebook,’ he says. Since then Grant has expanded his social media


activities to include Twitter and Facebook. ‘We use Twitter to promote our events,’ he explains. ‘These are seminars where we demonstrate our products, and at every event now there’s someone there who’s heard about it through Twitter.’ Finally, Megger has just run a Facebook ad. Grant


says: ‘The great thing about Facebook ads is that you can target them very specifically. Our ad is only shown to people who have “electrician” or “electrical contractor” listed in their interests section. We’ve run our ad for a week and 307 electrical contractors have clicked on it, costing us a total of £99.85.’ He admits that he is still in the early stages of his social


media activity, and that he is yet to see a boost to sales from this work. However he is convinced it is the future. ‘It’s where people are now,’ he concludes. ‘We’re going to be doing more and more work in this area because it’s cost-effective and because it works.’ Some social media sites to explore: n www.facebook.com n www.twitter.com n www.youtube.com n www.linkedin.com n www.viadeo.com n www.ecademy.com


6) Mobile Finally, some electrical contractors are beginning to use advertising on mobile phones through providers such as Geocast. One electrical contractor based in Kent comments: ‘Location-based services like Geocast, which give customers our details on their mobile, have been a huge bonus. It is a great addition to word-of -mouth recommendations and it gives us a fair fight to win business. We can run specific and seasonal offers and, most importantly, we only pay if we get the work.’ For more information on mobile marketing see http://mmaglobal.com


64 ECA Today Autumn 2010 Expert tips


It’s where people are now. We are going to be doing more and more work in this area because it’s cost-effective and because it works


Tim Gibbon, director at media consultancy Elemental, advises SMEs on online marketing. Here, he suggests three things you should definitely do, and three things you definitely should not.


DOS… n Do make sure you put in place robust systems for measuring your activity and results. This should ensure your work in this area is well targeted and always productive;


n Do be open to new digital techniques. The technology in this area is constantly evolving, so you need to stay abreast of this and never rest on your laurels; and


n Do ensure that you involve all areas of the company in your online marketing efforts. Customer services, marketing, PR and sales all have a role to play, so keep them informed of developments on a regular basis.


DON’TS… n Don’t rush into online marketing without a proper strategy. Before embarking on any online activity, fully research your sector and your audience. Know what your competitors are doing in this space and find out where your potential customers are;


n Don’t make an inflexible plan. There will always be unforeseen events that will affect your online marketing, so build in contingency plans and be ready to adapt as necessary; and


n Don’t see online marketing as free marketing. Too many businesses make this mistake and fail to resource their activity properly.


SHUTTERSTOCK


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