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: http://bit.ly/2KP2WzI.

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: http://bit.ly/2zIQigP.

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: http://bit.ly/2uh3LqH.

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: http://bit.ly/2L92yrV.

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: http://bit.ly/2L9B9WS.

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: http://bit.ly/2NdQNBl.

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: http://bit.ly/2KQhbEp.

“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: http://bit.ly/2LaG5OC. You can also read our full #AvMarketingLive Twitter feed in our Moments.