Marketing results

The engineers guide to marketing - part 1

A common theme I keep coming across with engineers and manufacturers, is that they don’t really understand how to market what they do. They go online and see other companies with their nice, posh products – a pair of trainers, a handbag, some fancy chocolates – advertising them on Instagram and Facebook, and generally milking it with their digital marketing. But when it comes to their own marketing, engineers often feel stuck for ideas.

I totally get this. I’ve been there myself within the engineering industry, and it’s not easy. But what I would say is that the principles of marketing your product remain the same, no matter what industry you’re in. I’m going to walk you through the first few steps here, and then make a few suggestions following on from that.

It starts with a client avatar

Build Your Customer Profile

I always recommend starting out by building a client avatar. And by that, I mean think about your perfect customers. You may or may not already have some, but you need to define them in as much detail as possible.

  • What kind of parts would they buy?
  • How much money would they spend with you?
  • Are they male? Female? Does it even matter?
  • What age group are they?
  • What country are they based in?
  • What sector are they in?
  • What are their stress points?
  • What typical problems and issues do they have?
  • Where do they go to ask questions online?
  • Where do they go to network?

The more questions you can answer about them, the more you’ll come to understand them. And once you fully understand your perfect customer, you can focus on how to get the right message in front of them. You’ll also be able to determine where to target your messages too, so it really does all begin with the client avatar.

What does your website say about you?

My next point is one that’s often missed by every sector, and that’s the website itself. People generally tend to completely undervalue their websites, failing to appreciate what they can actually do for them. But a ‘that’ll do’ approach isn’t going to drive business forward. And it’s usually the case that when people don’t see much return from their website, they assume it’s not worth investing any more in it.

Well that’s not the case. The website is at the hub of all your marketing, so if it hasn’t worked for you in the past it’s going to be down to one of two reasons:

1 Not enough of the right people know where it is, or how to find your site.

2 The site isn’t good enough and doesn’t create the right impression about your company.

If your factory has high-end equipment and is kept so clean that you could eat off the floor, the website needs to reflect that. The site should be beautiful to look at, clean and uncluttered, with plenty of eye-catching detail and images.

But on the flip side, plenty of companies mass produce very cheap products. They do business with customers that don’t expect a clean, pristine environment. But that doesn’t mean you can have a scruffy or untidy website. Your site needs to be clean, uncluttered and with a modern look and feel. Remember, your site reflects who you are, and should be appealing to your ideal customer.

In fact there are two key areas on an engineering website that are really important:

The first is images of the factory, inside and out. So many companies miss this bit out, often because they’re embarrassed by the look of the building. But it’s self-defeating as it’s going to put plenty of people off contacting you. There’s always at least one angle, both inside and outside your premises that will provide a photo opportunity.


The other thing that’s often missing is the type of products that you make. And notice that I use the words ‘type of products’ – often there are NDAs attached to products, so you’re not allowed to show what you’re making for other customers. But there’s nothing to stop you from making some similar items, just for demonstration purposes. This will show people what type of products you manufacture, what your technical capability is and what you’re really good at.

engineering marketing

These two points are really important, because it’s how people will judge you. They’ll assess whether or not to do business with you based on your premises, your machinery, how clean and tidy your site is and the type of products that you manufacture. So if you can put a tick against all of these elements, then you’re already half-way there with your website.

First steps in marketing

So now we have our client avatar and we have a decent website. But where on earth do we market an engineering company?

There are several answers to this question because it depends on the type of industry you’re in and who you’re trying to get in front of. But one great way for engineering companies to begin their marketing is through LinkedIn.

LinkedIn marketing for engineers

Linkedin Engineering marketing

Now two of the biggest mistakes that people make with LinkedIn is that they expect immediate results, and they try to sell to people straight away. But rather than being promotional, you should use LinkedIn like a networking platform. It gives you the chance to engage with people who wouldn’t normally answer the phone to you. Being careful about who you connect with and the connections you allow, you’ll build up an impressive network of contacts. And over time, they’ll see the posts, information and help that you’re contributing on the platform, and be impressed by what you’re providing.

Notice that I used the word ‘help’ there – that’s one of the key things about LinkedIn. If you can be engaging, helping people with problems and making suggestions, rather than trying to sell them something, it will earn their respect. And it will help to put you right at the front of the queue when eventually they’re ready to start doing business.

But the key thing with LinkedIn isn’t about selling products or services. It’s about gently and slowly selling a meeting. That meeting could take place over the phone or face to face. And the really great thing about the platform is that once you start engaging with the right kind of people, you can start running some LinkedIn adverts too, which can produce some very useful results.

Facebook marketing for engineers

Facebook engineering marketing

When it comes to Facebook, people tend to be under the misconception that engineers don’t use this platform. They do. They use Facebook all the time. They’re just not using it within working hours, as they reserve it for their own personal use. But it’s still the same person, just in a different situation.

With Facebook it isn’t so much about the posts that you’re putting out on your page. It’s all about the paid adverts that you’re creating because you can be extremely selective about who gets to see them. And the key thing is to make those ads enjoyable. Forget about being strictly B2B, or promoting your new-fangled cutting tool or chuck system or vice. Instead, focus on making your ads light and engaging, encouraging communication with your audience. Aim to appeal to their personal side, rather than their business side. That doesn’t mean you need to devalue what you do – just do it in a lighter way that isn’t directly selling to people.

Pixel Remarketing, also known as Pixel Retargeting, allows you to be incredibly selective in the adverts you show to specific groups of people. For instance, you have a Hot list and a Cold list of people. On the Cold list are people who don’t know about you, who haven’t yet been to your website. The Hot list is people that have been on your site, and Pixel Retargeting allows you to direct your adverts exclusively to them.

Facebook Pixel marketing

One of the key things about engineers is that they love movement. They love to see things being manufactured and cut. So instead of just showing them a cutting tool, show them that cutting tool in action. Show them the laser machine in action, and that CNC five-axis machine in action, rather than just showing a static picture. At this point, your potential customer isn’t going to be too interested in the facts and figures. So all that’s needed is a headline, some bullet points and the movement of something being made. That’s the way to engage with engineers.

CNC Laser Photography Engineering

A key aspect of any successful marketing strategy is results tracking. And the beauty of digital marketing, whether it’s your website or your Facebook Ads, is that you can track what’s working for you. And over time you can work out which adverts, which strategies and which products are yielding the best results. That enables you to determine where to focus your marketing, making sure that you focus on thoses aspects that give the best return on investment.

This article is only skimming the surface of the marketing options available for engineers. If you’d like more ideas, information, or even a marketing strategy report for your individual business, we’d be more than willing to help. Please get in touch for a no-obligation chat.

Richard Stinson

For more information on marketing your engineering business get in touch with Richard, he has over 15 years marketing experience, many of those gained within the engineering sector itself.

competitor analysis

Digital competitor analysis for engineers

There are very few engineering companies who don’t have to compete with others for a share of their market. Knowing what your competitors are doing and how they run their companies, can help to give you a very clear advantage.

This is a process known as competitor analysis, or competitor research and we can carry this out in the digital world as well as the physical world. But competitor analysis in the digital world doesn’t mean just taking a quick look at a few websites and social media platforms. To really find out what the competition is up to you’ll need to dig pretty deep. It takes a bit of time and effort, but it yields such positive results that it should be an essential part of every business marketing strategy.

We’ve put together a helpful guide to competitor analysis, so even if you have no previous experience you’ll be able to start assessing the competition. Keep reading to find out how it works, and why it matters.

Identify your competitors

The first part of the process is establishing exactly who your competitors are. You might be able to name one or two of them off the top of your head, but a quick internet search will soon put you on the right track. If you run a big organisation you might want to make a list of ten or more competitors, but smaller businesses and startups should concentrate on just two or three to begin with.

Analyse competitor strategies

Now you have your shortlist of companies, it’s time to find out how they operate. Start by checking their websites and social media feeds to gain a few insights. But you’re going to have to dig much deeper to start harvesting the really useful information. Luckily there are plenty of useful online tools that can help you with this, so it’s not as tricky as you might suppose.

competitor strategies

You’ll be looking for the ways in which the competition communicate with their customers.

  • How are they handling their marketing efforts?
  • What keywords are they ranking highly for?
  • What unique features or concepts do they offer that may be pulling in interested potential customers?
  • How do they approach pricing?
  • Are their products cheaper or more expensive than yours?
  • Do they offer anything that you don’t?

The more comprehensive you can be at this point in your research, the more help it will be when you refine your marketing strategy. So keep digging as much as you can, finding out everything there is to know about your primary competitors.

Do a comparison check

Once you have all your research data you can start to compare businesses. The best way to approach this is to mark out columns on a sheet of paper and note down the key points about each of the companies you’ve been analysing. Be sure to include a column for your own business too, so you can assess how well you compare with each of the others.

Carry out a SWOT analysis

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, and it’s a great way of comparing your business against others. Once again, it’s a reasonably time-consuming process, but the results it yields are so impressive that it really is time very well spent. Seeing everything listed in black and white in front of you can help to clarify your business objectives. Start by undertaking SWOT analysis on your competitors, then spend time undertaking the same process on your own business.

Strengths – what sets you apart from the competition? Do you offer some additional service or unique products that your competitors don’t? Is there anything that makes your business stand out from the crowd?

Weaknesses – are other businesses out-performing yours in one of more areas? Is there a part of your website or marketing strategy that needs tweaking or refining? There’s usually something that can be improved upon, even when you think you’ve got everything just right.

Opportunities – Can you identify any factors or trends that will impact your business in the long-term? Can you see a gap in the market that your competitors haven’t yet spotted?

Threats – are there any factors on the horizon that could negatively impact your business? Are your competitors preparing to expand, or venturing into new markets, for example? Forward thinking is essential to stay on top of your market.

SWOT analysis

Identify your USP

Now that you’ve got the best idea of what your competitors are up to, it gives you a chance to identify what makes your business unique. Perhaps your prices are more competitive? Or you have a better range of stock? It could be that your goods or services have better green credentials than the competition, in which case this is something that needs to be clearly flagged on your website. Or maybe your business offers superior customer service, or free shipping, or something else that you need to highlight.

With so many businesses now fighting to survive, anything that increases your chances of success needs to be taken into consideration. And competitor analysis is essential if you want your business to thrive and grow. But don’t assume that it’s a one-off process, or even an annual one. To be really effective it needs to be an ongoing process. That way you’ll notice any changes that your competitors instigate, allowing you to react very quickly

As always, we’re on hand to answer any questions you might have about competitor analysis, and how it can encourage your business to new heights. So get in touch with us for further advice and support.

Richard Stinson

For more information on marketing your engineering business get in touch with Richard, he has over 15 years marketing experience, many of those gained within the engineering sector itself.

CNC Laser Photography Engineering

Photography for Engineering Marketing

Should an engineering company invest in high-quality photography for their website and social media?

Engineering is predominantly technical. It’s all about fine measurements. It’s about precision. It’s about facts. And it’s about physics. So not surprisingly, a lot of engineering marketing revolves around words, but eye-catching imagery and video is often forgotten. You’ll be stating all the facts and figures about your products, as well as what they can achieve. You’ll be informing customers what a product is made of, and what’s it coated with, for example. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but don’t forget to support that with the graphics.

As engineers, we’re obviously fascinated by facts and figures. But we’re probably even more fascinated by the finished product. So we love to see the products actually being made. We like to watch the milling, the turning, the grinding and the fitting. There’s nothing we love more than seeing the genius behind the way that some of these products are made.

Few things can match the excitement of a five-axis machine whizzing through the most intricate products you could possibly imagine. Even in a hardened state, those sparks come flying off as the ceramic cutter hits the material.

All of this is absolutely fascinating for engineers. But we so often forget to share that, on websites and in marketing material.

Milling Photography Engineering

It’s incredibly easy to capture the attention of an engineer. Show him or her a photo, or a video of the manufacturing process. Let them see the actual parts being made. Show them the sparks and the swarf flying and the machines operating at high speed. That’s guaranteed to make a fellow engineer, or a buyer for engineering products, stop and take a second look.

It’s the image, or video, that piques their interest in the first place. Then they can move onto the facts, figures and features afterwards. But high-quality photography is the bit that first draws them in.

So next time you’re putting together some marketing material, or planning your next website, keep that in mind. Think about how best to catch the attention of your target customer, and persuade them to read those all-important facts and figures about your product.

By investing in photography, and by being a little inventive with it, you can really stand out above your competitors.

Richard Stinson

For more information on marketing your engineering business get in touch with Richard, he has over 15 years marketing experience, many of those gained within the engineering sector itself.

marketing analysing data

Could our marketing be better?

This is a question that we hear a lot and it’s one of the best questions any marketing managers can be asking themselves.

Every business, and every industry, has its own unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to marketing. So there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that can be applied across the board. But there are certain rules that we suggest you follow to gain the maximum benefits and it doesn’t hurt to revisit these from time to time to check you’re still on track.

Step 1 – Create a client avatar

The best place to start is by identifying the profile of the person, or people, that you’re selling too. We call this a customer or client avatar, and heres the link to an earlier post when we wrote about the process, see below.

Read about the process here

Your client avatar is essentially a representation of your perfect client – someone who will be drawn to your marketing and who you work well with. And you can take this to another level by identifying their age group, gender, job title, hobbies, business role and even the jobs that they’ve had in the past. You can drill down even further into their skillsets, their interests, and the places they go to online

  • What forums and hangouts do they regularly visit?
  • What groups do they belong to?
  • Whereabouts in the country, or the world, are they?
  • When are they most active online?

Build Your Customer Profile

The list goes on and on. But it’s really important to have at least one avatar of your ideal client, because all of your marketing can then be based around that person.

Step 2 – Review your website

So once you’ve created your client avatar, the next step we recommend is taking a long, hard look at your website. The best approach is to get it professionally reviewed by someone who isn’t going to try to make money out of you by selling you a new website! Don’t be tempted to get your site reviewed by colleagues, friends or family members – it needs to be done by someone totally independent, who won’t just tell you what they think you want to hear.

reviewing your website

Your website is important because it’s the hub of most of your marketing efforts. So it’s absolutely essential that it says the right things to your customers. This comes down to the colours and fonts you use, the photography and illustrations, the quality and even the tone of voice used in your website copy. Every blog, news post or other piece of information on your website is creating an impression, so you need to make sure that you’re sending out the right messages.

Step 3 – Consider your message

What piece of news, or services or products are you hoping to share? Do you have a product that you’re trying to sell? Or maybe you have a white paper that you’d like your visitors to download? Think about the actions you want your visitors to take once they arrive at your site.

Step 4 – Carefully choose your marketing media

Now you’ve got your message, or the products that you’re trying to get in front of your target customer, it’s time to think about the marketing platform you’ll use. It has to be a platform that suits your products, your services and, above all else, your avatar. Let’s suppose you’re selling trainers, for instance. There wouldn’t be much point trying to sell them on LinkedIn – you’d be far better heading for Google Shopping, Facebook, Instagram and other similar types of social media.

social media icons

A design engineer, who spends time designing products for other engineers, could perhaps advertise on Facebook. But a B2B environment, such as LinkedIn, is going to yield much better results. You can build up relationships with the right groups of people. You’ll be able to share information about your products and services, but even more importantly, you can help to solve any problems they have. Then you’re going to get great results from your LinkedIn marketing campaign.

Read our Linkedin insights here

WARNING – Too much time is wasted on pointless social media interaction. Think carefully about the platforms you choose and what they can achieve for you. Then make a plan of how you will use these tools to promote your company and products. Stick to this plan and don’t get sucked into pointless chit chat. It’s amazing how much valuable time can be wasted on pointless posts.

People often come to us asking us to set up Google Ads for them, or to run an SEO or Instagram campaign. But all too often the same people don’t really think about the person they’re aiming their marketing at and why.

Think first about who you are targeting, then the message you want to get across to them. Then and only then, think about the best marketing tools to get this message to the target audience. Do not choose the marketing tool just because you’ve heard of other people using it or because you like the look of it. Think about your client avatar and what they engage with first.

Step 5 – Marketing strategy

Now it’s time to start thinking about your marketing strategy and sales funnel. Are you going for just one hit? Do you intend putting that pair of trainers out in front of the right people, hoping they’ll sell? Or are you going to be a little bit more subtle than that? Are you going to be putting out gradual information online, perhaps sending information directly and indirectly to people, and going for a slow and gentle build-up?

It’s essential to have a good strategy in place before you start going online with your marketing. And sometimes it can even be a good idea to run an alternate strategy alongside it. You could test two, or even three strategies to see which one delivers the best results.

  1. Who are you targeting?
  2. What industry are they in – B2B or B2C?
  3. What is the product, service or message you want to deliver?
  4. What marketing media is your client avatar engaging with in and out of working hours?
  5. Test no more than two or three platforms to begin with
  6. Master your choice of marketing platforms with split testing
  7. Track the results
  8. Work out which platforms and ads work best for your target clients
  9. Make lots of money!

Step 6 – Keeping track of results

One of the great things about digital marketing is the way it lets you keep track of results. You can do conversion tracking. You can find out exactly which elements of your marketing are working, and which aren’t. So it’s important not to just rush into throwing news about products or services out there into the online world. Think, plan and analyse.

SEO Stats

Spend time considering how best you can track your results. Once you know which adverts, and which marketing strategy is working best for you, it will show you where you need to concentrate your budget. And that means you’ll get the best possible returns on your investment.

Step 7 – Link up your CRM

You’ll need to invest in a good CRM system as well, to help you keep track of your efforts. And it will also help you to keep on top of client information, leads and the pipeline too. It’s surprising how quickly it disappears from your head, no matter how hard you try to retain it!

Step 8 – Marketing automation

Once you start getting to grips with the marketing, you need to look into some kind of automation and scheduling systems. This lets your business keep operating 24/7, so even if there’s only one of you, it will feel as though you’ve got a team of five or six people helping you. It’s amazing how much pressure you can take away through good automation and how the sales can grow.

Step 9 – Reviewing your marketing

As you progress with your marketing you need to be reviewing many elements on a regular basis – at least once a fortnight, if not more. Look at all the results and facts, not just the sales, look at your platforms, the results, cost per sale, time to make sales, required skill base, complexity, estimated life cycle of your new clients and the estimated life time spend. From this you can make better judgements on your marketing and determine which strategies, which tools, which adverts and which copy is working best for you and your target client.

stand back and take your time

We find it’s best to take time to stop, move away, and get some clear head space rather than doing this in the hustle and bustle of your office. Think carefully about the next stage forward, base decisions on the results you’ve just analysed rather than making decisions based on emotions, as quite often the two can be very different to each other.


Marketing can be very complex, both to set up and to keep it working correctly. But the results make it more than worth the effort. And after a while, you can get to the point where the results keep rolling in 24/7, thanks to all the groundwork. The biggest mistake is to skip the conversion tracking or simply dive in with a marketing tool because other people are using it.
If you need any further advice of help with marketing, or you’re considering a digital marketing audit, then please do get in touch with us.

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Richard Stinson

For more information on marketing your engineering business get in touch with Richard, he has over 15 years marketing experience, many of those gained within the engineering sector itself.

LinkedIn Marketing

How to use LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn is one of the very best tools for B2B marketing – if it’s used in the right way. It’s great for:

  • Making contacts
  • Networking
  • Getting your brand known

But there’s one golden rule for LinkedIn Marketing:  ‘Don’t Sell Your Products or Services’.

You can use LinkedIn to help other people find solutions to their problems. Perhaps you’re in a position to answer some of their questions. You can use the platform to demonstrate your expertise, by helping to resolve their issues.

It takes time, but eventually, by being helpful to other people, you’ll find that work, contacts and referrals will start to roll in. it’s a very effective online version of physical networking. But just as with face-to-face networking, you can’t just join a group and start trying to drum up sales. You might, just might, pick up one or two, but even that’s doubtful. And you certainly won’t generate any goodwill for your brand.

Build your reputation

The best thing about LinkedIn is that it gives you so many opportunities to offer advice and solutions. And that enables you to build up a positive association with your brand.

So don’t think of LinkedIn as a sales tool. You shouldn’t be trying to sell any products or services. What you are looking at selling is a conversation or meeting – it could be a face-to-face meeting, or via phone or video. It’s about recommendations. Someone hears about a problem, and your name instantly springs to mind as a solution.

Creating an avatar for LinkedIn

We’ve written before about creating customer avatars. We’re great believers in putting in the necessary research, even though it takes a bit of time. But when you create an avatar, or profile, of your perfect customer, you can go to LinkedIn and find people that match that profile. Now you can easily start connecting with them. The platform gives you the perfect opportunity to start communicating with them, looking for ways to be of help. You’re then ideally placed at the forefront of their minds when a suitable business opportunity arises.

Build Your Customer Profile

There’s a lot of key information that will help you to refine your avatar. It’s best to prepare a list of questions to really drill down into your perfect customers.

  • What do they do?
  • What are their interests?
  • Where do they hang out online?

It’s really easy to start connecting with the right people once you know how. Just start typing in a job title, or other search term, and you’ll be presented with exactly the people you’re hoping to reach.

Once you’ve made a connection, you can go down to the bottom of their LinkedIn profile page, to find out which groups they’re following. You can also click on their posts too, to find out what they’ve been talking about, or asking questions about. And ideally, you’re looking for questions where you could have pitched in with a useful response.

Now you can find groups that they belong to. Find the people they hang out with online, and this is very likely to lead you to similar people, who have similar issues or questions. Now you can position yourself to help, to answer and to provide solutions for people. And this is the real value of LinkedIn.

Fine-tune the LinkedIn experience

Rather than simply hitting the ‘Connect’ button, why not personalise your introduction for extra impact? Send your intended contact a personal note, including their name, and explain why you’d like to connect. Thank them, if they accept, but never use it as an opportunity to sell anything.

Perhaps you can find areas of interest in common to chat about. But one sure-fire way of connecting is to answer their questions, or to offer advice, when it’s asked for. But remember, it may not always be about you – you might be able to introduce them to a third party who can help with a specific issue, for example.

And one quick word of advice – don’t just go connecting with anybody, be selective, many connection requests are to sell products or services to you and have little interest in helping you or working with you Build connections with like-minded people and people who could become a customer of yours. You can also connect with people working in a similar industry, for example. It could even be your competitors – we all have strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes working together on projects can bring about the best results.

Don’t give up!

Lots of people give up way too early with LinkedIn. They rush in too quickly with connections and try to push for a sale straight away. This approach almost always fails, as it instantly puts people on their guard. The key to success with LinkedIn is to have patience!

Think of LinkedIn as being primarily about building relationships. The focus should be on being helpful to others. Eventually, you’ll find that you can build up a network of contacts who can introduce you to other people and businesses.

Ironically, LinkedIn can be the best sales tool that you could wish for. But it’s very much about the indirect sale. So use it to make connections and build relationships with people. It you take the time and trouble to genuinely help others, it will all come back to you many times over, and you’ll reap the benefits in the future.

For further help and advice on LinkedIn Marketing just get in touch, or connect on LinkedIn.

Richard Stinson

For more information on marketing your engineering business get in touch with Richard, he has over 15 years marketing experience, many of those gained within the engineering sector itself.

Facebook Advertising

How to use Facebook Ads

When we mention Facebook Ads to business owners, they sometimes make the mistake of thinking we’re talking about posting onto their timeline. And of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with posting on your business timeline – in fact, we recommend that you add new posts every day if possible. But the actual number of people that will view your business Facebook posts is very, very low. That’s because you tend to have to actually visit a company’s page to see what’s new, rather than have their latest posts automatically showing up in your feed.

But don’t worry because this is where Facebook Ads come in. And it turns out to have been rather a clever move by Facebook. They’ve made it next to impossible for company posts to show up in people’s timelines – after all, they’re in the business of selling advertising! But they’ve invested huge amounts of time and money over the years. And they’ve come up with an extremely powerful filtering tool for their adverts which allows you to be very targeted with your ads. When it’s used correctly, it can be a very cost-effective way of marketing.

When companies tell us they’ve tried Facebook Ads but didn’t like it, it’s usually down to the same problem, they’ll have put out one single advert with a piece of text attached. Then they’ve hit Send To All, run it for a week, and then complained about a massive spend with very little return. But that’s not the way to use the platform, as we’ll explain.

How to get started with Facebook Ads

It’s best to start out by creating a small and carefully selected audience in a tight geographic area for your first Facebook Ads. Now you should create three or four different adverts, so you can conduct some A/B testing. And when it comes to pictures, sometimes the craziest images get the best results. Put up some sensible pictures, but it’s definitely worth trying out some strange and/or weird ones too.

We know of a company that put up an image of a piece of broccoli with one of their ads, just to see what would happen – and it turned out to be their biggest-selling post ever! I’m not saying that you should post up images of broccoli to promote your own brand, but it’s worth thinking outside the box when it comes to creating your Facebook Ads.

An important thing to bear in mind is that Facebook Ads go directly into somebody’s Facebook feed, which is personal to them. And they don’t always want to hear about business-related things. But with the right photo, and the right wording, and if it doesn’t look too much like an advert, you can make your message look extremely appealing.

Define your audience with Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads is a suitable marketing platform for most industries. They tend to work best for B2C companies, but we’ve seen plenty of B2B companies also see significant returns on their investment. Sometimes it just needs some creative thinking to determine how best to attract your audience.

And thanks to its sophisticated filtering systems, Facebook Ads lets you target exactly the right sort of people. You can filter by job title, for instance, or even by interest, so it’s easy to find the perfect niches for attracting new customers

Build Your Customer Profile

Remember, your adverts are going into personal feeds, which don’t tend to be viewed too often during the day. The best times to aim for are break times, lunch times and when people get home in the evening, perhaps once the kids have gone to bed.

Ask yourself a few questions about your prospective customers.  What do they want to hear? What do they want to read about? What opportunities can you create for them? What fantastic products can you show them? What problems can you solve for them that they didn’t even realise had solutions? The more you can drill down into the specifics of your audience, the better the outcomes.

Refining your Facebook Ads strategy

Careful analysis of the results, using Facebook’s own tools, is an absolutely essential element of any successful Facebook Ads strategy. This lets you see which adverts are working, and which ones aren’t. And that means you can pause the unsuccessful ones, while allocating more of your available budget to the ones that are bringing in new business.

Questions you need to ask include:

  • Which geographic areas are working best?
  • Which are the most productive special interest groups?
  • What time of day returns the best results?

Continual analysis, followed by swift, appropriate action, allows you to allocate your resources in the most cost-effective way. And with careful, intelligent management, the return on your marketing investment can be huge.

But remember, the key to success with Facebook Ads lies in the planning. It’s not just about rigorous A/B testing, or tightening up on the time of day that your adverts run. You also need to keep analysing the results as you go. Run your set of adverts for a while, then run another set, based on your findings from the first set. You can build on what you’ve learned as you progress, improving as you go.

For further help or advice just give us a call.

Richard Stinson

For more information on marketing your engineering business get in touch with Richard, he has over 15 years marketing experience, many of those gained within the engineering sector itself.

What is UX and how you can use it

The term UX stands for User Experience. It’s all about designing, measuring and defining your website or online presence, based around a good user experience. Essentially UX means designing something that’s useful, easy to use and a joy to interact with. The aim is to make the user’s experience profitable for you, while engaging and enlightening your visitors.

Ask ten UK experts for their definition of UX and you’ll almost certainly get ten answers. They’d all be skirting around the same basic ideas, but with each expert having a slightly different interpretation. But the core concept is always the same – to make your online presence usable, as well as being a friendly experience for your site visitors.

User Experience UX Design Planning

Here at Brookstone we like to break UX up into 7 core values:

  • Online information needs to be credible
  • It needs to be findable
  • It needs to be accessible
  • The content needs to be valuable
  • The platform on which the experience is provided needs to be usable
  • It needs to be desirable graphically, to encourage visitors to engage with the information
  • It needs to be a source of useful information

Strip the idea of UX down to basics and it’s just the same as what a shopkeeper does in a bricks and mortar shop. He or she will be studying the way that their customers engage with their products, assessing their journey through the store, so that they can position their products to the best effect. Shopkeepers keep a constant watch for how easily customers can get around their shop, assessing the impact of different products and signage.

User Experience UX Shopping

The colour of the walls, the lighting, the colour of the floor, the shop fittings and furniture and the physical displays all add up to creating an ambience in a physical shop. And the shopkeeper is constantly looking to make improvements – after all, it needs to offer prospective customers the best possible experience if it’s to encourage sales and maximise profits. And this is where UX comes in – it’s exactly the same concept, only tailored for online visitors.

So where do you begin with UX? Well, it’s something that’s been around for a number of years now. And online websites have been around for even longer, so there’s plenty of information available. Historical data means it’s much easier these days to find out what’s working for other people, and what isn’t.

If you’re designing a brand new website or digital marketing initiative, then you’ll design with UX in mind from the outset. You’ll be in the highly desirable position of being able to look back over the facts and figures. A wealth of information, including market research data, means you’ll have the best possible chance of designing a really friendly, useful and profitable website.

Analysing User Experience UX Data

The colours on the walls, the colour of the carpets, the shop fittings and furniture and the physical displays all add up to creating an ambience in a physical shop. And the shopkeeper is constantly looking to make improvements – after all, it needs to offer prospective customers the best possible experience if it’s to encourage sales and maximise profits. And this is where UX comes in – it’s exactly the same concept, only tailored for online visitors.

So where do you begin with UX? Well, it’s something that’s been around for a number of years now. And online websites have been around for even longer, so there’s plenty of information available. Historical data means it’s much easier these days to find out what’s working for other people, and what isn’t.

If you’re designing a brand new website or digital marketing initiative, then you’ll design with UX in mind from the outset. You’ll be in the highly desirable position of being able to look back over the facts and figures. A wealth of information, including market research data, means you’ll have the best possible chance of designing a really friendly, useful and profitable website.

User Experience UX Heat Map

In most cases, however, you’re likely to already have the website or online marketing in place. So a good place to start is by installing some kind of tracking software on your website that will video users going through your online store. You can’t identify who the users are, but you can see how they make their way through the site. You’ll see the cursor clicks, and the way they get from one place on the site to another. You can even build a heat map of your site pages, as well as a flow chart of how visitors travel from page to page, showing which links they click on their journey.

Information like this is absolutely key to UX. You’ll get to see how the visitor arrives at the website and how they travel through it. So you can find out the dead areas of the site, as well as the really popular sections. And this enables you to change the design accordingly – the simplest of changes can often be hugely profitable.

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Richard Stinson

For more information on marketing your engineering business get in touch with Richard, he has over 15 years marketing experience, many of those gained within the engineering sector itself.