Marketing for packaging companies is a rapidly changing field, as technology and customer preferences continue to evolve.
Social media, once considered a “fringe” activity for packaging marketing, is now quite important for many firms in the packaging design business. PPC (pay per click) advertising, a perennial industry staple, has grown even broader in appeal as Google has changed its web design to make paid ads almost indistinguishable from organic results. Below are the most promising options for packaging marketing.
SEO (search engine optimization) makes a packaging firm’s website content gain visibility on Google’s organic search results. In addition to generating leads and online revenue, effective SEO adds credibility to a firm or brand, and expands brand awareness. In the packaging business, these latter benefits are important, since buying cycles can be quite lengthy.
PPC advertising, particularly on Google, is a proven means of generating leads and online revenue — often more quickly than what can be achieved through SEO, social media or other means. With the right keyword selection, ad composition and landing pages, PPC generates results and allows for rapid adjustments, tight budget control and easy scaling.
Email marketing, though perhaps too popular for its own good, is still effective when campaigns are managed properly. With a strong content strategy, appealing design, well-composed subject lines, careful testing and meticulous list management, email offers packaging companies an excellent way to build customer relationships, establish credibility, promote new items, generate leads and improve brand awareness.
Social media works extremely well for packaging companies with established brand followings, and also for businesses with visually-oriented products. In addition, companies involved with packaging equipment and systems, or with products for complex applications, benefit from exposure on YouTube, Instagram and other social media that support images and video.
Retargeting is a form of online advertising, similar to PPC, where a firm’s ads appear to people after they visit the packaging firm’s website. For instance, a retargeting campaign could identify users who come to a given product page, and then, when the users visit websites in the ad network, they see an ad for that product. Retargeting is underused but very effective, because the people who see the ad are pre-qualified — thus click-through and conversion rates tend to be higher than what can be achieved through standard PPC advertising. (PPC and retargeting also work very well in tandem, as do PPC and SEO.)
Content marketing is well suited to packaging companies because products are often technical and/or require explanation of their applications and ROI. Content marketing is the technique of creating content, both on and off the company website, to expand brand awareness, generate leads, and deepen understanding of the firm’s products, services and benefits. Content marketing formatting options run the gamut, with video, slide presentations, blog posts, infographics and white papers being the most popular for marketing in the packaging industry.
Offline Packaging Marketing
With many areas of packaging being sales driven, offline marketing options should always be considered in addition to online campaigns. Proven offline marketing programs:
- Tradeshow marketing, including exhibit design and lead tracking systems
- Promotional items, such as logo coffee mugs, pens, T-shirts, caps
- Sample kits
- Business cards, presentation folders, and other brand identity collateral
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