5 Tips for Expanding into New Markets

Welcome to 2017, a new year filled with new opportunities. The report from the Content Marketing Institute shows that if you are in manufacturing, you are more than likely in a position where you could significantly move the meter simply by showing up for the party.

What do I mean by that?

In the 2016 Manufacturing Content Marketing Report, we learned that most manufacturers weren’t actually asking for the sale.

While 71% of respondents asked their audience to subscribe to e-newsletters, it basically stopped there. Only 35% asked people to subscribe to their blogs and only 15% asked their audience to subscribe to a video series although 89% of manufacturing marketers used videos for content marketing purposes and 70% of those who use video say it is an effective tactic.

Manufacturers are getting to first base but not making the effort to make it all the way home.

That needs to change for manufacturing to thrive here in Wisconsin and across the United States. Our global competitors will not be sitting this one out.

Here are 5 marketing tips when expanding into new markets.

1. Address Any Barriers

What part of your marketing collateral are your sales reps or yourself having to talk around? Just like your house, your marketing efforts have a foundation. In this case, the “foundation” is anything that supports your sales efforts. Often times business have succeeded and grown based on quality products and a good word-of-mouth reputation. But those only go so far when expanding into new markets. Your sales team must have full confidence in your websites, business cards, social media accounts, and sales materials.

2. Blow Your Own Horn

Competing on price point alone is like sliding down a sticky slide – you’ll eventually get to the bottom and it won’t be any fun.

According to Antonio Damasio, celebrated author and professor of neuroscience, “people are not thinking machines that feel; rather, we are feeling machines that think.” Prof. Damasio’s extensive research has shown that emotions are an intricate part of our biology, and play a central role in the process of decision-making.

How does your story intersect with your prospect’s pain-points? This is the message that will resonate and be remembered. And on your website, you only have :06 seconds to tell it. Your messaging needs to be clear and concise.

3. Use Your Data to Build Your Ideal Avatar

The Creative Company runs Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google AdWords Campaigns for reasons beyond lead generation. These platforms help us hone in on what messages resonate with which audiences. Data from these and other services help us build our ideal customer profile and direct our messaging. We’re able to test theories on a small scale before mass marketing.

In AdWords, be sure to track goals and conversions. This allows you to match your ad’s keyword to those users most likely to take the actions you desire. We also check Google Search Console to better understand how users are finding us on Google.

Facebook’s algorithm has greatly improved in 2016. Facebook also added A/B Split Testing so that marketers can understand which content really resonates without spending a lot of capitol.

4. Market Both Your Firm and Your People

Some 81% of manufacturers are using content marketing but less than 20% have a documented or written content marketing strategy. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” A strategic plan with touchstones along the way will increase overall effectiveness, provide direction for the company and help you achieve your goals. And don’t forget to celebrate the competencies of your employees along the way. Everyone loves a good people story.

In your new targeted market, does a journalist know who at your company to call to get an expert opinion or quotation? Does your prospect’s industry associations know the employee to call for that perfect keynote address or conference session?

5. Don’t Skimp on Photography and Video

There is no replacement for quality content and artwork when it comes to digital marketing. No matter the platform: email, website, social, paid media placements, etc., nothing takes the place of content that educates, entertains, or informs. What resonates now is quality artwork that furthers your brand story. We’re not talking about little images here, but big beautiful shots that convey your message in a well-lit, well- composed, and certainly a well-focused photograph. If you don’t have good photographs, your team will spend time trying to “market around” the issue by using stock. Stock photos can be effective, but telling your story with your images is the stronger strategy. Show, don’t tell.

More is not better but best is what matters most. A business strategy aimed at specific targets is needed with measurable outcomes doesn’t happen just by showing up. It happens because someone has planned it that way. That means that simply giving them more is not better, but them the best is. A business strategy aimed at specific targets with measurable outcomes happens because someone has planned it that way and because follow-ups and evaluations are delivered. That’s what will make 2017 a success. And that’s what I call showing up!

Craig Hadley is a Senior Web Developer and Lead Generator Expert at The Creative Company in Madison, Wisconsin. Laura Gallagher is the President and Founder of The Creative Company.

What will you do with the next 120 days? The choice is yours. Why not do a #180in120?

The Creative Company is certified by the State of Wisconsin as Woman-Owned Business Enterprise. Laura Gallagher was recognized by the Governor in June of 2016 as a Trailblazer in Wisconsin at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Her book #180in120 – How to Recharge Your Business in 120 Days is available on Amazon and at 180in120.com.