Getting the word out about your services is a surefire way to get more interest — and ultimately more projects — into your pipeline. The good news is, it doesn’t take a marketing specialist or tens of thousands of dollars to get started. You’d be surprised at some of the big gains you can get with a little outlay.
There are many ways to boost your name in the genomics service provider world at any budget level. Here we highlight our top three. Start with one and work up from there!
No matter your personal feelings about social media, it’s been shown again and again to be a great way to engage potential customers. Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn give you an opportunity to broadcast promotional pricing, exciting results, or new services you’re excited about for exactly zero dollars and just a little bit of your time. Our advice to you is to get an account on both platforms, put some effort into a good description of your products and services, and spend 10-20 minutes a day interacting with others on the sites. Not only will you be able to reach more people yourself, but you’ll start to notice the upcoming movers and shakers, be able to answer questions directly, and see trends in the markets you’re interested in penetrating.
Some best practices for social media include:
- Be concise – Cut to the point right off the bat. After all, you only have 280 characters.
- Tag people – Did you get a great result with a collaborator or think a particular scientist would be interested in the result? Tag them! People are more likely to engage with posts in which they are tagged.
- #hashtags – Whether witty or targeted, including a simple tag that is specific to your core facility encourages people to promote your services for you. Just take a look at #PoweredByPacBio to see what we mean.
- Include links – References and links directly to the information you’re looking to spread encourages people to click on the content.
Get an email marketing service and keep in touch with your customers and prospects. Every inquiry, project, and person who comes by your booth at conferences is a lead – and leads need to be nurtured. Using a simple email marketing service like MailChimp or Campaign Monitor can make keeping in touch with them feel like less of a burden, and gives you an opportunity to stretch your creativity muscles. You can do individualized follow-up emails to prospects or start a monthly newsletter to share your current services and capabilities. And if you take the time to develop some content (a case study, a recorded webinar, or a brochure) you can create an automated drip campaign to send out emails at specific intervals, delivering your relevant content directly to prospects’ inboxes.
Some best practices for email marketing include:
- Catch their eye – A well thought-out subject line can draw someone in who may otherwise skip your email. Be sure to entice them with an offer!
- Keep it simple – With our unlimited access to information via the internet, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by content. Be sure to hone the message you’re trying to send and only include content in your emails that strengthen that message.
- Repetition is key – It takes anywhere from 3-5 interactions with a lead to turn them into a customer, so don’t feel bad about sending multiple emails. Just make sure to spread them over several weeks.
Webinars, or video seminars, give you unique opportunities to speak with hundreds of people from all over the world in one place without the cost of an event sponsorship or plane ticket. You can ask one or several of your customers to present exciting research that was enabled by your services, and then give a quick overview of the products and services you have available. There are many options when it comes to hosting webinars. Publishers, such as Nature, give you the benefit of access to their marketing team with promotion, logistics, and lead capture, at a price of about $10,000. More reasonably priced webinar hosting services with monthly fees include GoToWebinar and Zoom. And if you’re really on a budget and don’t expect more than 100 attendees, there are free services like ezTalks.
Some best practices for webinars include:
- Be prepared – Make sure you have your speakers and content ready long beforehand, so you can promote the event and capture leads via a registration page.
- Promote the event – A webinar is only as successful as the number of people who attend (or sign up). You will want to put a little bit of effort into promoting and reminding your target audience about the webinar via email and social media.
- Follow up – So you had 75 attendees, and everything went great? Awesome! Now it’s time to follow up with the folks in attendance (and registrants) to get them into the projects pipeline.
We hope this list was helpful and helped inspire your marketing strategy for 2019! Remember to start small with measurable results and, most importantly, have fun with it.