You’ve built or customized a solution for a specific industry. Now in order to sell it, you have get the word out, using your marketing resources (agency or in-house). Here are 10 ways thatour customers have found success in marketing vertical solutions.
1) Vertical Specific Website
This is a must-have. You may be listing all the industries you work with on 1 page in your website, but it’s best to have a dedicated page or pages on your website that showcase the benefits and features of your industry specific solution.
Your vertical website should include information about how your solution solves specific problems common in the industry you’re targeting.
Make sure that you research competitors’ websites so you’re not forgetting to list any important points that are attractive to your target market.
Don’t forget to name the URL of your vertical website or page so it’s easy to remember, such as www.yourcompany.com/healthcare. You can share that URL in your online marketing, live events and printed marketing materials.
2) Industry Specific Case Studies
Man in the mirror
I always say that when it comes to marketing it’s always best to show people a mirror. It’s no different when prospects are choosing a product or vendor. They want to see examples that closely resemble their own business.
Write a case study about a customer in your chosen vertical industry that is as close to your ideal or model customer as possible.
When prospects view your case studies, they should see themselves in the case study. Make it easy for them to picture themselves reaping the benefits of your solution.
When done correctly and displayed prominently to your target audience, case studies can be a powerful weapon in your sales arsenal.
3) Testimonial Videos
Who better to speak for you, than a current customer in the vertical you’re marketing to?
Find your cheerleader
Find a customer evangelist willing to speak on camera about how your solution helped solve a specific problem that plagued their business. Chances are, it’s probably a problem that’s common in that industry.
Working with a production company
When working with video production companies, it’s always good to ask them if they’ve done videos in the same industry you’re marketing to. If they have solid examples, then they’ve already come up with the right format that creates a strong impact.
B-roll or not to b-roll
When filming the client testimonial video we recommend shooting footage of the client in an interview, Q&A type setting. Additionally, it’s a great idea to include b-roll footage of your customer’s operations such as processing, distribution, transport, retail setting, etcetera.
4) Blog Posts
(not so) Breaking news: blogging works!
It works to get you free organic search traffic, that is. But it’s very important to blog the right way. Here’s an article that goes into more details about why blogging is so important for ERP partners.
Tap into your organization’s knowledge
In short, the right way to blog is by having experienced members of your organization such as consultants, engineers and implementation specialists share their knowledge. It’s not a good idea to hire a writer or service to create content for you.
Be an authority
Businesses that write about how they’ve solved a problem for a certain customer are establishing themselves as an authority and thought leader. Both at the vertical level for customers and with their peers in the enterprise software and consulting space.
More info please
Include links in the posts offering more in-depth information such as white papers. Be sure to ask for their contact information in exchange for access to your white papers or case studies so you can communicate with them moving forward.
5) Tutorial Videos
Tutorial videos are a quick way for experts in your industry to create content. That’s how we got an ERP partner to start creating expert content.
In less than 2 years, videos on their Youtube channel have gotten over 160k views, over 600,000 minutes viewed, and gained over 800 subscribers. They’ve even gotten customers directly from these videos.
You can also use Youtube videos to create even more impact by transcribing them. After they’re transcribed, embed each Youtube video into a page on your website and add the transcription below it.
SEO rich copy
The benefit is 3-fold. First, it’s relatively easy and quick to do. Second, you’re getting Youtube views (yes, embedded videos count towards your view count). Third, you’re getting SEO (search engine optimization) rich copy in the form of your video transcription.
6) White Papers
White papers are great for those prospects that require in-depth information to make a purchase. ERP software is a significant investment for a company and requires more research due to its inherent complexity and the amount of solutions available.
Solve an industry specific problem
White papers serve to educate prospects in need of solutions, be it a product or service. Thus, your white paper should be constructed as an in depth guide to solving specific problems. Topics such as lowering costs, increasing margins, becoming more efficient, keeping up with technology, and outsmarting competitors are all great places to start.
The whole while, subtly positioning your company’s products and services as the solution to their problem.
These things take time
White papers take a lot of time to produce. You’ve got to think of a catchy title, create an outline, write a vast amount of copy and then edit it down. It has to be long enough to be a substantial resource while again, focused on a specific problem that needs to be solved.
A fair exchange
Since it takes a fair amount of resources to produce, you might want to have it positioned as gated content. Gated content is a white paper or guide that is only available in exchange for something valuable, such as a prospect’s contact information. It’s considered a fair exchange and works wonders for building a list of prospects.
7) Email Marketing
Email has been around for a long time, but there’s a reason why it’s not dead (far from it). It’s still the most effective way of communicating in a business setting (slack is gaining traction though).
You’ll want to use an email service provider that lets you manage all of your contacts and segment them into lists. Contacts are grouped into lists based on commonality, such as regions, industries, source, etc.
By separating them into lists you can tailor your message for specific audiences.
You’ll want to setup a schedule for sending newsletters, and ideally, setup workflows for email automation.
Gotta love automation
Email automation is the best way to stay in touch and nurture your lists, be they prospects or customers. Email automation is built into larger marketing automation software solutions such as Pardot, Marketo and my favorite, Hubspot.
Test, measure, refine, repeat
How does email and marketing automation play into vertical marketing? Marketing automation works well on vertical or horizontal markets. But it works especially well when doing vertical marketing because it allows you to slice up and segment audiences, test, measure and refine.
BYOS (bring your own strategy)
Marketing automation software doesn’t come with a strategy, it’s just a highly effective system. You have to bring the strategy and the marketing application (mostly cloud-based) let’s you execute it.
8) Social & Ads
Post on LinkedIn
As soon as you’ve posted on your blog then head right on over to LinkedIn and post it there so your connections have a chance to see it.
Then post a link back to your website post on Twitter so you can drive traffic from your followers.
LinkedIn Ads and Facebook remarketing ads are a cost effective way to promote your posts.
LinkedIn has great targeting options where you can really hone in on the market you’re after. You can target by job title, industry, even company. It’s best to promote full posts that have been added directly within LinkedIn. Make sure you have a link inside that post that leads to your website, that way prospects can learn about your company, sign up for your email list or contact you for more information.
Facebook Remarketing ads
Facebook remarketing is a fantastic way to promote your content. The way remarketing works is that you once people visit your site, they pick up a cookie provided by Facebook that tracks everywhere they go.
When they go back to Facebook, which everyone does, Facebook knows who they are and serve up your ad to them. Your ad should promote a strong piece of content (article or blog post) geared specifically for your vertical.
Why would you want to send them back to the same article they already visited, you might ask? Because more than likely they haven’t finished reading it or got busy and forgot about it.
Remarketing increases your brand awareness and helps prospects remember your value proposition.
9) Trade Shows
Exhibiting at trade shows are a great way to get leads. Especially if you’re concentrating on marketing to a specific vertical.
Research the trade show circuit
You have to research all of the important trade shows in your target industry and commit to doing as many of the major shows as possible. This can be a significant investment when you add up the cost of creating and transporting a booth, renting booth space, staffing, accommodations and travel expenses.
It’s a great way to meet face to face with prospects, where they can ask you questions, they can share their problems and you can offer up solutions to those problems.
You’ll want to set up a way to collect leads at the show, using a lead retrieval system or manually, and then importing them into your email marketing software. If you’re using email automation software, you can setup workflows and programmatically email trade show contacts based on criteria and behavior.
If possible, try to have a key member of your organization become a featured speaker at these trade shows. It’s a powerful way to increase brand awareness and establish you as a thought leader in the industry.
As far as topics go, you’ll want to help educate people in that industry about how technology can help make their lives easier and because of the value provided by automating processes, increasing visibility and maximizing efficiencies.
10) Trade Publications
If you’re planning on exhibiting your solutions at industry trade shows you’ll want to do some advertising in trade publications and journals.
Many industry publications have gone digital and allow you to advertise on their website and to their email list.
Exhibit and advertise for maximum impact
Trade show marketing and trade publication marketing go hand in hand to increase your company’s visibility in that particular market. You’ll also want to promote your trade show booth in your trade show publication ad.
Repetition is key
The truth about marketing is that repetition, using various methods and channels, is a key aspect to success. People are so busy today that it takes seeing something several different times, in several different places, for it to register.