Advertising and promotion are caught in the Made in Britain Twitter net: 3 December 2020

EVERY Thursday at 1pm Made in Britain hosts #madeinbritainhour on Twitter. During that hour Made in Britain asks questions of its 19,500 followers and the results are fascinating. Previously this information was enjoyed by the audience at the time and then left to drift away in the Twittersphere, rarely read again. So, we have decided to capture some of the best comments and re-present them for a new audience and easy reference. Some of the responses have been edited.

This week we look at advertising and promotion.

Question one: Is there still value for manufacturing businesses in the traditional advertising methods, e.g. placing adverts in trade magazines?

Response from Made in Britain member Peerless Plastics: We've recently been wondering this ourselves. There is still a place for traditional print-based advertising. A lot of trade mags are digital & physical printed copies, meaning you get twice the impact with website and article links on digital that help to increase SEO

Response: If you are placing an advertisement in a magazine with editorial then ask if the advertisement can go into the following months issue. Twice the coverage over a longer period.

Response from Made in Britain member Excell Metal Spinning: Yes, most definitely and the favoured marketing answer "it depends" can certainly apply here! Depending on your industry and your buyer personas, you may find traditional advertising methods are more favoured than social media ads for example!

Made in Britain: Do you think that the benefit/value has changed over time? 

Excell Metal Spinning: Yes, you could certainly argue that, especially when you compare traditional advertising over the past two decades (during the emergence of the internet). It's now important that advertising works in conjunction with other marketing mediums to promote your business and its products

Response: As readers include other channels in their preferred manner of consuming trade information, then yes, it will change accordingly.

Response: Well said. Understand your customers and deliver your message in the media they use

Response: Jumping into new media channels or the latest killer trend is not necessarily the right option for your clients/customers. Marketing is 90% research, do some into your customer profiles

Made in Britain: That raises a good question for another week about what makes a good marketing person and what industry background do they need

Response: I think there's definitely still value in traditional advertising methods. We tend to budget and publish ads within industry specific magazines, as some individuals don't have social media and so we need to target them through print.

Response from Made in Britain member Stitched Boxes: 100% depending on the industry! We don't use any traditional methods but our sister company, Hardy UK, runs quarterly publications in many leather magazines

Response: Tuning the message for the readership of each magazine. 

Response: A good mixture of traditional and digital methods we choose to implement. We advertise in local magazines to ensure that potential customers are less digitally proficient or those who prefer paper-back hard copies of promotional materIal can be connected to our range! 

Response from Made in Britain member Addmaster: We tend to rely on the content of our press releases for trade coverage 

Response from Made in Britain member Addison Precision: Depends on the market. It's rare we'd get approached from an ad, simply because we have to be an approved supplier in most cases before we can even price for a job. We now heavily use content marketing across the group, so we might go with an ad to accompany an editorial piece

Response: It is all a blend, with each message supporting the previous and vice versa.

Response: If you follow the principles of marketing and understand your customers, the placement of the advertisement (Touchpoints) will become apparent. New media are extra tools to place the touchpoints in. Do not forget traditional channels

Made in Britain: You can pick up on the same point about different channels. Does this come down to the ability to measure the effectiveness of each channel? Is that easy to do with the traditional channels?

Response from Made in Britain member Peerless Plastics: Getting your sales team to ask potential customers " did you hear about us...?" or something along similar lines.

Response: It's easier to measure directly with digital channels, but it can still be measured indirectly in traditional channels. It's about monitoring the demand/order reaction before and after a campaign - and making sure there is not much other "noise" alongside it

Response: Agreed here, it's much easier monitoring digital ads such as cost per click, Click through rate etc.

Response: We've seen it done quite creatively in some instances. Use of an extension to a URL or in some cases a different domain name allows measurement at website level to measure effectiveness of traditional methods

Excell Metal Spinning: It certainly hard to measure, I think things like readership (usually published by said magazine) plays a part in the decision making of where you purchase an ad slot for example! You can measure the number of coupons/ vouchers used if you are advertising a promotion sale. The message you wanted to communicate can be measured in opinion surveys i.e. asking a customer their thoughts on the mentioning of your brand and seeing if this matches up with your advertising message

Response: Not so easy unless you ask the question: How did you find out about us? in conversations with new client. This is often missed

Response: Even harder sometimes, to get customers on board to fill out surveys (i.e. unopened emails)

Response: Have a conversation with them. Put your questions into the conversation. People always have time for a coffee. Even Virtual if they perceived benefit. Filling in a survey is low priority.

Made in Britain: what other methods can you use to measure RoI from traditional channels? Does it becomes harder when doing advertising in parallel across channels?

Excell Metal Spinning: Advertising is well known to be hard to measure, and you can only really guesstimate based on published 'viewership'. Take billboards for example outside Waterloo station, you can only go off of the published research as to how many people walk past it! As mentioned earlier surveys and polls can help determine if the customer has remembered the message or associates your brand with the message you try to convey

Response: Yes, if you don't have the luxury of being able to run campaigns in isolation - or at least in a staggered way - then it can be very hard to measure the RoI. You can still approximate it with some assumptions to strip away other factors, but it takes effort.

Response: I think there is value in having the right mix of methods including traditional. To know for sure, though, you have to be specific and measure the impacts of each method to work out what is most effective.

Response: The question to you is:- does anyone actually read trade magazines? Are they something that looks good on the coffee table in reception? Is there a quick flick through and then on to the next task?

Made in Britain: Do they read them online? That makes the crossover between channels even more interesting?

Response: Exactly...I don't know!

Response from Made in Britain member Manthorpe Building Products: A mix of both traditional and digital channels should be looked at as part of your overall strategy depending on your target audience. Most millennials tend to be unresponsive to traditional advertising preferring the use of social media channels.

Response: It's always interesting to see businesses on social media sharing a link to their advert in an electronic version of a trade magazine.

Response: Yes there is, and the emphasis is on relevant and timely communications and not just advertising for a presence. Tie the advertising to a relevant editorial or send them back to the website with a call to action to download a white paper, etc.

Made in Britain: Make it more than an advert? The call to action is an important consideration. Do you see this done consistently or are some still very much in "place an advert and a phone number" type thinking?

Response: I agree, there are too many lost opportunities. If you have attracted your customers' attention, think of their buying journey and what information you can give them to take them along that journey. A call to action galvanizes that touchpoint

Response: The initial outlay cost of traditional media is expensive when you compare to digital marketing where you can set a daily budget and monitor your ROI in real time. I like to think of it more as a brand awareness exercise as it's much harder to measure the direct results.

Excell Metal Spinning: Yes for sure, although cost per head is low when advertising on TV for example (despite the large short term costs for an ad slot on Channel 4 example)

Response: True. And Television advertising is far more affordable than it used to be I believe. In my previous role, working for a zoo, our annual marketing budget was pretty evenly spread between online and offline (inc. TV in peak holiday times)

Response: I think there's definitely still value in traditional advertising methods. We tend to budget and publish ads within industry specific magazines, as some individuals don't have social media and so we need to target them through print

Response: Tuning the message for the readership of each magazine. 

Response: The perks of advertising is that you are in control of the message! The message you wanted to communicate can be measured in opinion surveys i.e. asking a customer their thoughts on the mentioning of your brand and seeing if this matches up with your advertising message

Response from Made in Britain member Stitched Boxes: 100% depending on the industry! We don't use any traditional methods but our sister company, Hardy UK, runs quarterly publications in many leather magazines

Made in Britain: We've had similar insight from Hardy UK before about certain countries and the internet. We're assuming that traditional methods are the only way in some regions?

Response from Made in Britain member HardyUK : Yes, that is one of the main reasons. The magazines we choose to publicise in are incredibly widespread and carefully chosen to get the best results. The biggest downside is, unlike digital methods, there are no analytics

Response: All mad services promote the number of eyes on their position. It does not necessarily indicate how many of your customers will pass that way and how many are interested in buying

Response: I think so if it stands out and screams your brand

Response from Made in Britain member Addmaster: We tend to rely on the content of our press releases for trade coverage

Question two: Would manufacturing businesses benefit from the use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to drive traffic to their websites?

Response from Made in Britain member Addison Precision: Depends on what you're trying to achieve. If you're selling direct to visitors, absolutely if there's margin. We'll be using SEO and content for our new site (launching next week!)

Made in Britain: There's an interesting discussion about PPC and SEO. If SEO is good how much PPC do you need?

Response: Indeed. Although we really need to work on our SEO over the coming weeks to grow the traffic. We're already making sure that the world knows we're having a new site though!

Response: In theory if your SEO is good then you shouldn't need to spend so much on PPC... BUT that depends if potential customers can see that you're a viable supplier of what they want from the snippet shown or from your company name... that’s where adwords can help out...

Response: Once again, these are brilliant tools and deliver great results but can be very expensive to run as ongoing campaigns. I recommend that you understand your audience and use segmentation and behavioural insights to carry out any advertising & promotions

Response: Yes, but only if you know what you’re doing. Google Ad Words is a minefield and can get very expensive (with little returns) if you don’t know you’re way around. Outsourcing is always an option when it comes to SEO and paid advertising.

Made in Britain: Outsourcing to get good SEO is possibly cheaper long term than Adwords?

Response: Yes I think so. Growing organically will always be the best approach and generate the quality leads. When you are bidding for the same search terms as all your competitors through AdWords, the costs start to spiral!

Excell Metal Spinning: There are always risk associated with adwords! Remember the fad behind Fidget Spinners? Wow that was painful for Metal Spinning Ads haha

Response: Of course, I never even considered how these fads might impact Adwords! I wonder whether clock and watch companies are struggling more with the growth of Tik Tok 

Response: PPC is good for the initial period while the SEO builds. There are many issues with the way it is implemented and it can drain your budget. Do your clients click on PPC ads? Find out. Many don't.

Made in Britain: PPC and SEO - an interesting strategy

Response: There are good analytics for PPC, and also a myriad of case studies, so beware falling into the pit of ongoing budgets and if you do use it, monitor and analyse the results

Response: PPC sounds like a good idea until you login and see the dashboard - its certainly got a lot more involved and complicated.

Made in Britain: That's a very good point. Maybe we could add "Do your competitors click on your PPC ads"?

Made in Britain: There's quite a few comments here today about the "costs" associated with PPC. Is it really expensive or is it a case of needing professional help

Response: If you want quick returns, it’s undoubtedly expensive. In our industry, search terms such as ‘acrylic sheets’ have only gone up in price — especially since Amazon has begun stocking similar products.

Response from Made in Britain member Stitched Boxes: Again, I think it depends on how niche your product is. For us, it could be a good result. If you sold a range of specialised, made to order primarily industrial products it probably wouldn't work. Also PPC is mainly aimed towards B2C rather than B2B

Response from Made in Britain member Peerless Plastic: We use PPC with various targeted adwords, keywords, etc as part of our promotions. As a manufacturer we have a vast array of B2Bs we can work with as well as a few B2Cs we target. It can work out expensive and needs constant monitoring and tweeking though

Made in Britain: Do you do that in-house or do you use PPC specialists? Have you had calls from the numerous "Google partners" who can help with Adwords?

Response: We (I!) do that in-house at the moment, it's a steep learning curve for sure! Yes we get calls and emails from various "Google partners" promising us the moon on a stick, from my experience some can deliver but a lot can't....

Made in Britain: How do you work out which ones can deliver and which ones can't... trial and error?

Response: Analytics, and some trial and error, you can see from analytics which show you what is and isn't working... it's all about the research and putting yourself in the mindset of your customer.... what would I enter into a search engine if I was looking for XYZ product/supplier...?

Excell Metal Spinning: Yes and keyword research has an important part to play in this regard! (also important to remember that keywords for Google SEO may be different on social media platforms like YouTube)

Manthorpe: Visibility in organic search is not quick or easy whereas a PPPPC campaign can be created in days and tweaked as necessary but depending on your customers and how they use the web a combination of both may be the best option

Response: What are they manufacturing? How many Potential customers are there? Don’t they sell direct to consumers? How many people are looking for their product or service? These Q's and many more need to answered first

Made in Britain: There's something connected here with your two comments. Does doing effective SEO require what Nigel said as well as provide the platform for keywords for PPC?

Response: Part of the process of Customer profiling and journey mapping answers the questions. 90% research 10% implementation. the research informs the the fun bit

Question three: Do paid-for boosted social media posts help businesses promote themselves and increase sales?

Excell Metal Spinning: Was always taught not to pay to boost social media posts! You can better target your ads if you manually post them via said social media platform's ad manager. Take Facebook's ad manager, it gives you more targeting options than a boost post (which, if you decided to boost said post will be tailored to more engagement such as likes and comments)

Response: Simply boosting posts on FB is also more likely to just put the ad in front of your pre-existing audience so you’re not reaching any new potential customers

Made in Britain: Some businesses do boost. What makes them do it do you think? sector? wider potential customer base?

Excell Metal Spinning: Potentially to meet engagement targets? Some influencers tend to do this for vanity metrics such as 'likes' the important metrics you should be monitoring is engagement rate! You can measure this by the engagement/impressions or views X 100 Or against your followers. You should also monitor click through rate Number of link clicks/impressions x 100 Compare both of the above metrics against your industry average to determine your performance

Response: Due to the algorithms you may find that posts are not being shared as much as you think - especially on fb. So it is worth doing a boost if you have news to promote, such as a new product. Always think of the audience...are they on facebook, or is it better sharing on Linkedin?

Response: Like PPC, know your customers and find out about them. 

Response from Made in Britain member Peerless Plastics: Agreed, research, research and then more research... and a good mix of trial and error!

Manthorpe: If you are offering something for free i.e. webinar, with an opt-in, it can help to promote this content to boost your email list.

Response: For us, boosting our social media posts isn't something we do. It can help you reach engagement targets but it doesn't mean they're the right audience though. Posting regularly and retweeting other posts and your own can beat the algorithm

Made in Britain: I think Excell Metal Spinning said something similar earlier on. It’s not about numbers, it is about relevance. 1000 likes from someone who would never buy/need your product means very little. 1000 shares may be better as that means a lot more people see it

Response: You've hit the nail on the head there! Sure high numbers look great from the outside, but once analysed they may all be the wrong audience who aren't interested in your product! Quality over quantity comes to mind! 

Response: Exactly that! engagement rate and Click-through rate over vanity metrics every day

Response: Totally agree! It's a shame that some marketing companies/ PPC and SEO 'experts' etc use vanity metrics to exploit those who don't understand and aren't in the know. They give those that are good at the job a bad name and unfortunately there are a lot of them out there.

Made in Britain: Would you like to share your thoughts on the ethics of "paid for likes" that can be bought for the social media platforms?

Excell Metal Spinning: I think its wrong, and often misleading to the general public! Buying likes, especially for posts that promote a particular message (similar to buy reviews to promote your product as amazing, which companies like Amazon have fortunately clamped down on recently)

Response: Agreed, and I've come across many of these all too often, It's why we prefer to do everything in house in terms of marketing, but then again you could argue we benefit and are privileged to have a skilled team whereas some startups may not have access to this to begin with

Response: I agree with Excell Metal Spinning here, it can be misleading to followers & customers! Like mentioned, many do it to hit unrealisticly high engagement targets rather than sitting down & setting more manageable goals and realistic targets!

Made in Britain: Do you think many people/businesses know that such "like buying" exists?

Response: Yes, and if not I'd be surprised, especially on Instagram with the sheer harassment of spam accounts asking us to buy followers for example

Response: Boosting works for us on the B2C side where we boost to promote our clients products containing our product

Made in Britain: Is there a policy of when to boost or not?

Response: Not really - when we need extra coverage for example if our clients are running a competition we would do it then

Question four: What other techniques can businesses use to enhance their online advertising and promotion? Influencers?

Response: Giveaways! Absolutely amazing for increasing engagements across all platforms and for growing your reach. We may have a festive competition coming soon too.

Manthorpe: Content, content and more content! Good content can help educate potential customers about your product/service and also provides an opportunity to be seen as a thought leader in your field of expertise. Also good for brand exposure!

Response: Completely agree! I once see an argument put forward that content marketing SHOULD BE your marketing strategy! Everything else should form around it

Made in Britain: Can we share examples of good content?

Response: A targeted content strategy, with regular engagement across social media, use case studies and white papers, testimonials, webinars, newsletters, etc.

Response: This isn't an example of our content but I have always found that HubSpot do great content. They have 2 types of content to address the different stages of the funnel and they have an amazing resource section with case studies, webinars eBooks etc

Excell Metal Spinning: Blogs especially! Mentioned earlier, as well as other forms of content marketing, i.e. whitepapers, downloadables etc

Response: Everyone loves a free e-book!

Response: Most definitely! Educational material is great to produce and helps address the different stages of the consumer/buyer journey

Response: Blog and downloadables etc is something that we want to do more in the New Year ourselves as we currently don't do enough.

Response: I think it's definitely worthwhile taking the time to explore some content you could produce! Start off with addressing customer questions and build from there

Response: Competitions are good, need to be focused on your potential customers. Offer a prize that the company manufactures. Not a third party gift that will get entries from non-buyers. Be your own influencer and create groups to back each other

Response from Made in Britain member Addmaster: ensure you share your posts and tag in any suppliers or clients as long as they are happy for you to do so. Make it relevant to them.

Join Made in Britain on Twitter at 1pm every Thursday for #madeinbritainhour. We engage with everybody, members and non-members alike (some of whom become members as a result). Hopefully, see you there.

By Made in Britain 5 months ago | Made in Britain news

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