AV Marketing: The Guide

Looking for help with AV marketing? You’ve come to the right place.

At New North, we help AV integrators to build their brands and drive consistent leads. We’ve worked with a wide range of AV firms – from local businesses focused on general AV, to national providers serving specific niches, to international companies listed on NASDAQ.

We provide a wide range of services, including:

  • Website design and optimization
  • Social media marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

And more. For a full list of our services, click here.

If you’re looking for help with your AV marketing, let’s talk. Schedule a free consultation with a marketing expert, and we’ll discuss the needs of your business, and begin to outline a path toward your goals.

If you’re looking to learn more about the practice of AV marketing, keep reading.

On this page, we’ll cover:

Ready to get started – and get your AV integration company on the path toward better marketing results? Read on.

What AV marketing is

First things first: What is AV marketing? Here’s our answer:

AV marketing is the process of creating interest in AV products and services.

Often, this involves creating and deploying messages to help AV integrators get leads, which is called lead generation. Sometimes, it involves helping AV firms upgrade the way they’re perceived in the marketplace, which is called branding. Both of these activities help present AV products and services to their markets of prospective clients.

The most important tips toward successful AV marketing

With our term defined, let’s get down to business. Doing AV marketing is one thing; doing it well is another. We’ve found that successful AV marketing accounts for these four principles:

1. Successful AV marketing is built on a successful website.

You can’t go far in your lead generation campaigns without a website that can educate, inform and delight your customers. Beyond just a list of services, your site should have AV case studies, a blog that displays your expertise, and various points of lead conversion to build your sales funnel.

And, critically, your site needs to visually show your expertise – AV is something people expect to see.

(More on what makes a successful AV site in the following section.)

2. Successful AV marketing is a long game.

Most AV businesses are based on large project investments from clients. AV customers don’t wake up one morning and drop $100k on a new sound system out of the blue. This process takes time, and time requires strong lead nurturing from marketing automation.

3. Successful AV marketing wins in search.

You want to appear here for your service geography. ☝️

SEO – especially local SEO – is a critical game for AV integrators.

Generally, your business is confined to a radius of travel that gives you an advantage when it comes to search engine optimization for your site. Focusing on the location keywords can help increase your page rank quickly, as well as beat out your competition.

5. Successful AV marketing is strategic.

By strategic, we mean focused toward long-term results rather than ad-hoc projects.

Look, there is a lot to get done to make an AV marketing plan work. But the only way to do it successfully is to have a plan. A successful marketing plan is going to take into account all the areas of existing business, new growth opportunities, and refine the existing systems for efficiency. Lead generation depends on having a clear vision of who your customers are, and where your company is going.

We’ve seen many AV companies flounder by chasing after the latest trends at the expense of continual, strategic progress.

Keys to a good AV integrator website

You may have noticed that our first principle of successful AV marketing was to have a strong website.

(If you didn’t notice that, you’re definitely just skimming… which is totally fine. But hey, if you’re looking for better marketing but aren’t interested in reading, why don’t you just reach out to us for a marketing consult?)

Anyway, there’s a reason we listed a strong website first: It’s the primary tool in the vast majority of AV marketing efforts. It’s the hub of the wheel.

Here are three key questions that will help you get it right.

1. What is the first impression users have of your site?

Crazy fact to consider: from the first click a user makes onto your site, you have between 50 milliseconds and 6 seconds to create a positive first impression. Obviously, that’s not much time. You need:

Your customers will notice if your website is built with cheesy stock photos or low-quality images of your last church speaker installation snapped on someone’s old iPhone.

One way to ensure you haven’t missed the mark is by having friends and family attempt to navigate the website. Or, if you want to go to the next level, install a tool like HotJar and see how real anonymous users interact with your site. Then, optimize based on that data.

Feedback is a great way to make sure your website design is on the right track.

2. Who is your audience?

AV integrators typically have sweet spots – church sound systems, corporate conference rooms, or school AV systems. And, in addition to industry, it can help to get even more granular: what are the demographics of your buyers? Don’t assume you know the answer; test your best guesses with data.

We recommend engaging in client analysis through tools like client surveys, persona development, and the StoryBrand framework. The better you know your ideal clients, the better you’ll be able to speak to their needs on your website.

3. Does your website design generate qualified leads?

This is where the rubber meets the road; lead generation is usually the ultimate measure of whether your website’s actually working.

Generally, you should expect at least two contacts for every 100 visitors you drive to your site. That’s not set in stone for every situation, but if you have a conversion rate below 2%, something probably needs to change.

Your website should play a major role in your AV marketing – and it should work hand-in-hand with the most effective channels for your audience.

Critical lead generation tools for AV firms

We’ve touched on lead generation from a website perspective, but the truth is that that’s only part of the funnel. Successful lead generation is multifaceted, and to do it well, you’ll need a range of tools.

Here’s what we recommend.

1. Great CRM software.

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. These platforms help you track, communicate, and increase your sales productivity. Here at New North, we’ve used Hubspot for the past several years, but it’s far from the only solution out there.

If you don’t have a CRM you like (and are using consistently) – you need to get one.

2. SEO tools.

More on SEO as a practice later, but for now, keep in mind that if you don’t have data, you can’t do SEO well. You need SEO tools that give you good data, both on what you’re doing and on what your opportunities are.

We’ve written about some of the main tools on the market in more detail here. The TL;DR version – you can’t go wrong with Ahrefs or SEMRush.

3. Paid media platforms.

When you’re running a Google search, how often do you click to the second page? The majority of users on Google never advance to the second page. As a matter of fact, they often don’t scroll down past the top five.

A paid media campaign can help with lead generation for AV integrators by pushing your website to the top of the search results.

If you want to invest in this (and you probably should), you need platforms to manage your campaigns. The basics are the free, platform-specific tools: LinkedIn Campaign Monitor, Google Ads, and Facebook Business Suite. But the next level include tools that tie campaigns together into one place, like SEMRush and Drip.

If you’re serious about paid lead generation, these are worth a look.

How to create impactful marketing content

Content creation is arguably the most important aspect of your marketing plan as an AV integrator. It’s the content from webpages, blog posts, referrals, ads, and social media that brings people to your site and keeps them engaged.

This is a huge topic. But on this page, we’ll share general principles to help you on the right path.

Focus on what your audience wants.

Most businesses are narcissistic; they write to make themselves sound good. Putting the customer at the center is a constant battle, but it’s the key to good content.

Keep things simple.

Stop writing in business jargon and stop trying to make videos that depict your techs as geniuses. Speak in everyday language and explain the value of products as if you’re talking to normal people, not product experts.

Be consistent.

Content creation (like most of AV marketing) is a long game. You won’t win with your first piece of content. You’ll win by creating valuable content over a long period of time.

For specific tips on how to create AV marketing content for specific formats (i.e. blogs, landing pages, social media), check out this article.

How to do SEO for an AV integration company

We’ve mentioned SEO a few times to this point. Now, let’s go a little bit deeper, because this is one of the most foundational components of AV lead generation.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Clarify your business objectives.

There are two things that you have to be set on for this to work: what you’re selling and who you’re selling to.

Unless you are starting from a very strong base, you probably will not rank for the keywords you want to rank for overnight. The truth is that it will probably take you months to see the results you want.

That means that, if you change your mind and want to sell another product or service midway through an SEO campaign, you’ll be setting yourself back significantly.

Some marketing channels (like search ads) are sprints – they can get results quickly. But SEO is a marathon. If, after getting halfway through, you decide that you want to run in another direction – well, you’ll have to go back to the starting line.

2. Determine your target keywords.

Tap your own brain, your client data, and data from your competitors to get a list of 50+ keywords you might target. This should give you a pretty good idea of the many different phrases people are using to search for your solutions.

Now, it’s time to pare things down. Go to Google Keyword planner, enter all of your keywords in, and check their historical search volumes. Filter out any keywords that get no searches.

Then, categorize all of these keywords around core topics and identify a main keyword for each. You should have 3-5 main keywords. Under each keyword, identify 8-10 supporting keywords.

Usually, the best keywords are a) closely correlated to buying intent, b) have more than 50 searches each month, and c) aren’t incredibly difficult to rank for.

3. Optimize your on-site content.

There are two parts to this. Part one is to make sure your site is well-built. It should:

Part two is to make sure your content is optimized. The three keys to this are:

  • URLs
  • SEO titles
  • H1s

There are lots of specific tips, but at a general level, if you use keywords in those places, you’ll be on the right track.

4. Create new (SEO-optimized) content.

Here are my tips on how to do this: Follow all of the guidelines discussed above in the section titled “Optimize your content.” And read this article.

5. Build backlinks.

On-page SEO is one half of the equation. The other half is off-page SEO – or, as it’s commonly called, backlink building.

To get backlinks, you should:

  • Set up relevant listing profiles (like Clutch, Goodfirms, and others).
  • Get links from your network (vendor partners and clients).
  • Request links from relevant sites through guest blogging or PR outreach.

All of this takes work, but when leads start coming in, it’s worth it.

Which social media channels work best for AV marketing

75+ B2B Marketing Statistics to Know in 2020 | B2B Statistics (2019)

Social media does work for B2B businesses, even if that’s contrary to some public opinion. When it comes to AV integration companies, this statement is still true.

For our purposes today, though, we’re taking this general statement a step further. Sure, social media works for AV integrators – but which social media channels are best for AV integrators? How do they each impact AV integrator marketing efforts?

Here’s a quick review of the top channels.

LinkedIn: 5/5 stars

With its focus on business, its opportunities for deep communication, and its massive audience, LinkedIn is a great platform for AV integrators.

Facebook: 4/5 stars

As the largest social media platform offering a constantly-evolving suite of options for connection, Facebook works for AV integration firms. But diminished organic reach and an older demographic can make building value challenging.

Instagram: 4/5 stars

Instagram offers the potential for good engagement. While it requires a substantial commitment of effort, the visual-based platform can be successful for AV integrators who take the time to produce good content. 

Twitter: 3/5 stars

Twitter’s large reach and easy content format make it appealing, but it’s worth considering whether your industry fits well with the platform’s fast pace.

Read our detailed breakdown of each social media platform here.

How to use ABM to build your business

All right – this is the last topic we’ll cover in this AV marketing guide, and it might be the most impactful for your lead generation.

That’s because account-based marketing, or ABM, for AV integrators doesn’t rely on leads coming to you. Instead, you’re targeting a few specific accounts and going after them with a multi-channel strategy that hits them on all sides. ABM can be extremely successful for AV integrators whose companies have a few very large accounts or such a niche market that there’s only a handful of customers out there.

Here’s how it works.

1. You identify target accounts.

ABM for AV integrators is different from inbound marketing for AV integrators in that you’re going after specific companies, not just an industry. This key difference defines your entire campaign. Think of it as a networking event. You’re (digitally) walking up and introducing yourself and your services to companies who you think could benefit from your services or products.

2. Reach those accounts on multiple channels.

When you’re creating an ABM campaign for an AV integrator, you don’t want to just do social advertising and call it quits. Your campaign should hit your target on all sides.

At the very least, you want to create a Google PPC remarketing campaign that “follows” your potential clients around the internet. You should also create a social media paid campaign, most likely on LinkedIn. You can make these campaigns extremely targeted by using an email or contact list. A list isn’t always the right choice for your marketing efforts- it can feel a little creepy to buy somebody else’s information. However, it’s a great way to ensure that your efforts are reaching the right people.

3. Develop a campaign timeline.

Whenever you’re working with a multi-channel strategy, there are a lot of moving parts to stay on top of. Are you sending out multiple waves of the campaign with different ads or strategies to test? For our last ABM campaign, we sent out three different waves of PPC, social media ads, and direct mail. This was repeated over a one-month timeline in order to hit our targets hard over a short period of time.

4. Launch.

It’s time to send out the campaign! Work with your team to ensure that all of the details are coordinated and well-timed. Does everyone know their jobs and what the goals are? Without clear cut goals, timeline, and audience—don’t bother to launch. Get everyone on the same page first and prepare to go from there.

(For more on the details of ABM for AV marketing, check out this article.)

Ready to improve your AV marketing efforts?

Hopefully, the above information has been helpful as you consider how to market your AV integration firm effectively. Remember, if you want help, our expert marketing team is standing by.

Again, we’ve worked with a wide range of AV firms – from local businesses focused on general AV, to national providers serving specific niches, to international companies listed on NASDAQ. We’re confident we can help you.

Schedule a free consultation with a marketing expert today to get started.