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Industry Survey Results Reported During First Livestream Event

We were curious about how the aviation industry uses digital media, so we conducted a survey. Today, we presented the results during our first-ever livestream event. Thanks to all who joined our digital marketing strategy team this morning. Digital Director Jordan Walker and Digital Strategist Shae Blevins not only talked about the results, but also offered insights on five key marketing areas, including creative, content marketing and measurement.

Creative Use

One of the first questions in our survey asked about the types of creative aviation marketers use in their digital campaigns. Static banner ads make up most of creative and available placements. However, the survey revealed the industry is branching out to more engaging creative types, including rich media banners and video.

Video adoption in digital media surprised us until we remembered the impact video makes at booths. Show reels at industry tradeshows, such as NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition, allow companies to introduce new products, feature lineups and demo services – not to mention the attention-grabbing visuals to draw people into the booth.

“It’s great that we’re now starting to see that video transfer into the digital realm,” says Jordan.

Aviation marketers want to add more video to their marketing mix in the future, which falls in line with the content people are consuming online. Jordan outlines the measurable benefits of using video across your marketing mix, including seeing a potential revenue increase of 49 percent. Watch:

80 percent of online content will be video by 2019

Digital Marketing Strategies

Digital advertising allows aviation marketers to get in front of their target audiences no matter where they are online. Targeting tactics, such as demographic, geographic and device, allow companies to match marketing messages to their audiences directly to maximize budget and deliver greater results. The industry understands the benefits of these tactics but might not dedicate enough spend to each audience.

“Each target persona has a very different online behavior and different challenges,” says Shae. “For example, if you’re an aircraft broker, you know that the chief pilot and the aircraft owner spend their day very differently. To target both effectively, you need two campaigns and two budgets.”

Jordan and Shae walk through building a campaign to target the aircraft owner during each stage of the sales funnel. Watch:

Social media was another digital marketing strategy revealed by our survey, and Shae noted that aviation marketers are using social primarily for brand awareness. “The industry is missing out on an opportunity to generate leads, convert prospects and recruit,” she says.

A misconception that spreads beyond the aviation industry is that social media channels, such as Facebook and Instagram, cannot reach C-suite decision makers. While Facebook and Instagram were the focus in the presentation, Shae mentioned that LinkedIn has long been used to reach executives. Social media is, however, a pay-to-play space for businesses.

Shae outlines several tactics, including targeting your prospect list directly, using Facebook and LinkedIn. Watch:

Content Marketing

The survey revealed that nearly 60 percent of aviation marketers have a content marketing strategy in place, but that leaves 40 percent without a plan. Hurdles marketers face when talking about content marketing include how it can’t be connected to lead generation and how time-consuming it is.

“When we look at the latest marketing statistics from B2B buyers, we see that – on average – they are performing about 20 hours of research for luxury items or business tools,” Jordan says. “Furthermore, they’re reading about three to five pieces of content.”

b2b buyers do 20 hours of research

As for how time-consuming content marketing is, Jordan says: “Quite frankly, yes, it is. If you want to create a really good article that has infographics and great visuals – and maybe even a video – you have to have a strategy. But it’s worth it.”

Jordan and Shae offer up more content marketing tips. Watch:

Search Engine Optimization

Aviation marketers believe they’re activating the power of search, according to our survey results, but they also reported that they’re not sure what SEO is doing for them.

First, what is SEO? A 40,000-foot overview of the topic breaks it into three parts: keyword research, content availability and distribution. Keyword research drives the content you create. Your content must also be available, both to the user (think mobility and speed) and to search engines.

And, Shae says, “You need to distribute your content. SEO is not Field of Dreams.” She offers three tips for activating SEO. Watch:

The survey also revealed that aviation marketers believe SEO impacts lead generation but nearly a third aren’t sure if their website is optimized for their keywords. Respondents also said they’re unsure how much traffic and how many leads are driven by organic search.

Find out if your SEO efforts are working. Watch:

Analytics and Measurements

Nearly every survey respondent said they wanted to improve analytics and measurement going into 2019. The good news is that aviation marketers are using basic analytics software, but they’re not checking metrics regularly.

Jordan recommended starting with developing key performance indicators, or KPIs – revealed in the survey to be a missing link from the industry’s marketing strategies. Follow the same process you would when building a campaign: awareness, consideration and purchase. For example, awareness KPIs could correlate with website traffic, time spent on site, how many and which pages were visited. Consideration KPIs are more active, such as whitepaper downloads and email subscriptions.

“Google Analytics, email marketing, social media insights – they’ll all give you the numbers,” Jordan says. “But it’s up to you to really find the story.”

Learn about two advanced measurement techniques. Watch:

“The key takeaway here is that if you set up your campaign and your landing page for measurement success in the very beginning, you’ll gain insights to help you optimize campaigns correctly,” Jordan says.

“These insights will help you create better content, target your advertising better, optimize your website for better user experience and continue to increase results,” Shae says.

As you prepare your digital marketing strategies and campaigns, keep these steps in mind.

campaign planning cycle

Future livestream presentations will be shorter, less formal with more time for you to ask questions of our marketing team. If you’d like to suggest topics for our next livestream, let us know.

Watch the full livestream presentation on YouTube: You can also read our full #AvMarketingLive Twitter feed in our Moments.

Building a Better Website with FlightSafety International

If a website’s several years old, chances are it’s time for an update. Older than that? Start with a clean sheet and reimagine the entire site. Ask key questions: How does the user now interact with your site? What action needs to happen quickly? How should multiple, interconnected databases work for the user’s ease and keep data flowing to the right areas seamlessly behind the scenes. If your site has years of backend updates and upgrades; and navigation that has grown unwieldy, we feel your pain. It happens to the best companies. Time for a fresh approach.

A Collaborative Process for A Successful Outcome

FlightSafety recently launched a reimagined site. We’re proud of what its team accomplished and the role we played. Working with stakeholders around the globe, we translated recommendations into a working prototype in our custom-developed, content management system, SmartParts. This open and intuitive CMS enabled both Greteman Group and FlightSafety to navigate the wireframe as if the site were already developed. You could see how it functioned on desktop, tablet and iPad – and on different platforms such as Apple and Android. This let us assess the user experience early and throughout the process – not just prior to launch. Basecamp served as our collaborative project management tool, enabling input throughout the process on everything from information hierarchy to micro-interactions.

Appealing to Professionals On the Go

Responsive design means the site works beautifully across multiple platforms, especially important for FlightSafety’s highly mobile audience. A simplified menu structure and navigation make pathways clear. A clean, modern look feels fresh. Rich content with good information hierarchy keeps pages from looking cluttered and puts important information front and center.

better mobile website

Dynamic, User-Friendly Sites Require Easy Updates

One example of creating a better experience for both the customer and FlightSafety’s team is the Information and Resource Center, a repository of marketing materials. We integrated brochures by pulling them directly into WordPress. Moving forward, now all content updates can be made directly in the CMS, saving time and money. SEO keyword analysis and supporting tactics increase search visibility across the site and – along with a true search function – help people find what they need. Quickly.

Take a look at FlightSafety’s new website.

Transforming Aircraft Data Into Airline Action

Aviation Partners and iJet Technologies – two trusted, Seattle-based firms – launched a benchmark-raising joint venture called APiJET. We worked with these industry leaders on the aircraft data service’s brand development, messaging and rollout. APiJET’s data service turns an airliner into a Smart Aircraft™ (even a 20-year-old Boeing 757). Airlines tap into timely, logic-driven insights that help predict and prevent outcomes.

In mid-May, we assisted with a media day attended by a select group of aviation editors and reporters. A briefing and demo were followed by a field trip to meet with Aviation Partners legendary founder and CEO Joe Clark. The day also included an important announcement: the first airline (Icelandair) has fully deployed the service across its entire fleet. Following media day, six industry and local publications featured APiJET’s launch and full-fleet deployment on Icelandair airliners, including Aviation Week, Geekwire and Avionics.

aircraft data service media day apijet
Reporters from AIN, Geekwire, Aviation Week, FlightGlobal and The Air Current joined APiJET leadership at Aviation Partners’ Seattle headquarters to talk to founder and CEO Joe Clark about the joint venture during a media day event May 14.

The Thinking Behind the Mark

APiJET offers such a game-changing service, it demanded an equally strategic identity. The wordmark’s ascending “A” incorporates Aviation Partners’ legendary winglet, tying the next-gen innovation back to the highly respected company. The lowercase center “i,” communicates the interactive focus. A custom font and the bold red-blue color palette feels fresh and right for the commercial aviation market.

Smart Aircraft for Smart Operations

The client had two big international shows in June. First, the Airline & Aerospace MRO and Flight Ops IT Conference in Amsterdam, then the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Aviation Data Symposium & AI Lab in Berlin, where CEO John Schramm and CCO Tom Gibbons conducted a live demonstration. APiJET’s live demo of the data service on an Icelandair airline in Seattle, Washington, created buzz at the show, while our live-tweeting stateside of the events across the pond provided a one-stop image and information resource for news organizations on social media: Read the Real-Time #SmartAircraft Feed on Twitter.

apijet aircraft data demo
APiJET and Icelandair team members assisted onsite in Seattle during the APiJET’s live demo of its aircraft data service in Berlin during the 2018 International Air Transport Association (IATA) Aviation Data Symposium & AI Lab June 20. Photo Courtesy APiJET.