On average, potential customers go through 67% of their decision making process before ever speaking to someone at a company. What does this mean for AV and event suppliers? Well, it means your online presence is crucial to growing your business and attracting new customers. Typical consumers will check your website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and online reviews to form their own opinions before reaching out. Not only should you have an online presence but you need to be findable in multiple ways as well.
The industry is certainly competitive and potential customers will most certainly be checking your online presence against your competitors. Not only is it crucial for the success of your business but your online presence is also a way to stand out against the competition. Through your online presence, you can show that your company is more trusted, professional and knowledgeable than the competition.
While COVID-19 is almost a thing of the past and you are as busy as it gets, this is also the perfect time for your competitors to launch ‘offensive’ campaigns against your business, since you probably won’t have that much time to keep an eye on your online presence. Therefore, here are some tips to outsmart your competitors!
Launch a Professional AV Website
“56% of people stated that they won’t trust a business without a website.” - Weebly
Having a website is an absolute must to stay competitive in this industry. Afterall, your website works to sell your services 24/7. Your website should clearly explain the services you provide to potential customers. Remember, not all of your customers will be from the AV or event industry. For example, instead of mentioning you provide a “Shure SLX 24B58 K51” mention instead you provide a “wireless microphone”. Most people would have no idea what a Shure SLX could do for them but would better understand having a microphone with no wires. Try to avoid industry specific names or terms as much as possible so that it is clear to potential customers the type of service or equipment you will provide.
Pictures are worth a 1000 words! Use your website to showcase the amazing work you have done so far. You don’t just create an event, you create experiences. Show high-quality pictures of the venue, your set-up, and the live event. Entice people into the whole experience, not just the technical aspect. For example, don’t just have a picture of a flight case on your website. Show how your crew carefully pack or unpack equipment, how they create the atmosphere and sounds for events, or the overall look and feel of your production.
If you want to make renting even easier for prospective customers, include a webshop on your website. This will allow your customers to see the range of equipment or packages you offer. If you connect your webshop to an inventory management system like Rentman, you can even allow your customers to place orders based on the real-time availability of your equipment. With a webshop, the entire rental process is significantly shortened and made easier for your customers.
Showcase your Happy Customers
We know that the decision-making process is largely self-driven. Potential customers want to do their own research and make their own opinions before deciding to reach out. Why not make their decision as easy as possible for them?
Just showing your company information on your website is not enough. You should also include customer testimonials that provide first-hand experiences of your services. First-hand accounts help reduce the perceived risk of trying a new product and will increase trust in your business for potential customers.
Make sure to choose carefully which testimonials to use on your website and display them in an easy-to-access place. Prospective customers should not have to click through 5 pages just to find your customer testimonials. It could be possible that you already have reviews in places like Google or Facebook. Feel free to include these reviews or testimonials from your social sites on your website as well to make things easier.
While opinions about your company mostly form before any interactions occur, it’s still important to make sure early interactions with your customers are as seamless as possible. After all, opinions can be changed at any point in the process. Provide professional and consistent communication to make sure your projects get confirmed and your customers stay loyal.
First of all, use a professional or business email address. No one is going to want to do business with [email protected] 👎. Typically, [email protected] (or variations of this) is a standard format and will increase credibility when speaking with potential customers.
Also, keep your branding is professional and consistent. Use an email signature with your name, your role within the company, and contact details. You might even want to include a picture of yourself so customers can visualize who they speak to. This is mostly important for your employees that regularly speak with customers, I’m sure your warehouse personnel would be less than thrilled to create new email signatures 😉. With some powerful online tools, like Hubspot’s signature generator, it's possible for anyone to create a professional signature. We use it ourselves!
If you are sending out documents like quotes and contracts, make sure they match the professionalism of your emails. You should have an overall consistent style. Your logos should be easily visible for brand recognition and the terminology should be clear and concise.
Be Easily Discoverable
Having a professional website and communication is important but being discoverable is vital. After doing all of that work on your website, you want to make sure your potential customers can find you or are driven back to your website.
How do you achieve this? The magic answer is… social media 🎉! Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, TikTok - there are so many to choose from! Do you need to be on all platforms? Absolutely not! Each social media platform has its own pros and cons. As a business, you want to decide what you want to achieve and then grow your online presence in a way that helps you achieve this.
For example, 22% of the world’s population is on Facebook making it the market leader. Because of this, It’s definitely important to have a presence on Facebook as well since most of your audience will likely be on it as well. However, LinkedIn tends to be more popular in different countries instead of worldwide. Instagram is also a great tool to showcase your work on events (remember, pictures are worth 1000 words!) so if you want to produce more creative content, Instagram might be the tool for you.
Whatever platforms you decide to have a presence on, the most important thing is that people can find you. Each platform will serve as a way to drive prospective customers back to your website. Social media also serves as a way for your customers to leave their reviews and for you to engage directly with your customer base. By being discoverable in multiple ways, you increase the likelihood of gaining new customers and retaining existing customers through engagement.
Keep an eye on conversion rates
Now, if you’ve applied all these improvements, there’s still work to be done. By this time, you should be able to see an increase in traffic, number of inquiries and even better leads. However, one of the most important criteria you always have to consider is conversion rate. For the AV industry, there are two types of conversions:
Lead conversion: the percentage of people that request a quote compared to all website visitors, thus becoming leads.
Customer conversion: the percentage of people that confirmed your quotes out of all leads that received quotes.
Making sure conversion rates are high should be a priority for you. Now, all you have to do is choose which type of conversion you’re more interested in. If you’re interested in more brand awareness and getting attention from as many people as possible, focusing on lead conversion would be the best option. If you only want to focus on getting sales and capturing only leads that are inclined to convert, even they might be fewer, then focusing on customer conversion would be the way to go.
According to our own sources, for customer conversion rates, a 40-65% conversion rate for production houses would be normal, whereas for AV houses that focus on dry hires, we’re looking at 15-25% conversion rates. If we’re talking about lead conversion rates, of course, the rates are lower. Somewhere between 5-10% would be optimal. Use these percentages as a reference for your own projects!
Are your actual conversion rates lower than this? Make sure you always focus on high quality leads to ensure high conversion rates! For example, for high lead conversion rates, make your marketing campaign targeting more focused on the people that are more likely to convert, and always make sure to exclude types of people that are most likely never going to convert. For high customer conversion rates, work on personalizing the offer. The more tailored the offer for the potential customer, the more likely it will convert. Alternatively, as a last resource for lost leads, you can reshare the quotations, but this time including an attractive discount or extra packages.
Get ready for the busier seasons
Now, we know COVID-19 is over. The number of visitors to events has increased significantly. This means that there is only one way this industry is going, and that’s up.
If you follow our advice of increasing your online presence for your AV company, we’re sure that you’re going to benefit from a plethora of new leads. However, at one point, you’ll probably have to deal with too many projects at the same time, making it difficult to keep track of all your equipment, crew, invoices etc. That’s where Rentman can come in handy and make your life easier. Did you know that with Rentman you can schedule equipment, keep track of your warehouse inventories, schedule and communicate with crew and send quotes and invoices, directly in one app? Try and see it for yourself. Create a free 30-day trial!
What people ask
What should I include in my AV website?Always make sure to include high quality pictures for your equipment, as well as for your past projects, to ensure your potential leads that you deliver high quality events. Don’t get too much into technicalities while displaying your gear. Always provide general names for your products, such as ‘wireless microphone’ instead of just ‘Shure SLX 24B58 K51’, as not everyone might know these products.
Should I create a webshop for my AV business?Creating a webshop would be the ultimate step in perfecting your AV website. While this takes a long time, as you have to display all your products, use pictures, provide descriptions, set up a basket system etc., it will greatly improve the overall user experience on your website.
Is Social Media important for the AV industry?Yes! For an industry that’s heavily reliant on visual aspects, be sure to always display the quality of your productions on social media. By sharing high quality content, more people will get the chance to find out about your business, which means that there will be much more chances of getting new leads and, potentially, new customers.
What is a conversion for the AV industry?Conversions in the AV industry can be either leads requesting quotes for your services and / or leads accepting the quotes, depending on your ultimate goal
What is a good conversion rate for my AV business?For leads requesting quotes compared to all leads that reach your website, anywhere between 5 to 10% would be a good conversion rate. For leads accepting your quotes compared to all leads that receive them, conversion rates of 40-65% for production houses and 15-25% for dry hires would be optimal.