Prospective customers need to know what they are getting. Today though, simply providing a list of features or performance numbers or a course curriculum, is not going to make you stand out. These are certainly needed, but how they are presented and sold is what is going to make you stand out. Interaction, engagement and sharing knowledge is a powerful way to sell as it develops trust and authenticity; important qualites in web based business today.
The best way to educate your audience and potential customer base is through ‘interaction and emersion.’ Flying is an interactive and a totally immersive experience. Your potential customers need to know what your product feels like before they experience a test flight. The digital marketing technologies available today make this easy to do.
Naturally, for those that are just thinking about getting in to aviation you have an opportunity to engage them at a level more meaningful to somebody with no aviation experience, where the usual product features and performance numbers mean little to them. You are not selling, you are educating. If you get this right through a digital medium like a website or social media site, the original investment in developing the experience will play out to a multitude of potential customers with no additional expenditure.
Here are some ways you could enhance your product education experience:
First, make sure your website can be viewed on a mobile device – not just a tablet or laptop. If it isn’t you are going to miss out on a lot of potential traffic in the coming year or two.
Use a video for features of your product that need to be explained. Have one of your pilots run through the key features while somebody videos him. Use a tripod, you don’t want to get them airsick just yet!
To connect with younger enthusiasts have a young pilot run through some of the more cool features of your product. Have one of his or her friends video it through an iPhone so it has a more personal and ‘current’ feel, rather than ‘staged’.
Have them shoot a young pilot in training from the rear seat; especially when they are taken through their first stall experience.
Avionics manufacturers have started producing their own interactive experiences to show off the latest navigation equipment, consider embedding it in your product pages.
Pages with endless lists of specs and stats can be broken up and hidden under category tabs and displayed when clicked on, making pages less cluttered and easy to read. It also makes pages more visually pleasing. Navigation and site architecture on most sites today are typically oriented towards product features and specs. Nothing wrong here except your likely missing the audience who would like to know more about why they should actually buy from you or what getting in to aviation will do for them and their lifestyle. A wealth of material to liven up your site can be found in this alone.
Consider that the ultimate decision, whether the potential pilot likes it or not, may rest with the person likely to fill the right seat; the wife. If she isn’t comfortable with the prospect of flying or the buying experience, then the sale is in jeopardy from the get go. A lifestyle section of the website tailored to the right seat occupant is a serious consideration.
One of the main reasons student pilots don’t qualify is because they don’t finish. Some don’t finish because the flying experience just wasn’t what they expected, maybe it even scared them witless. For others, cost accumulation got the better of them; they just didn’t put the right financial plan in place to help them through to completion or set out with the wrong expectations. What ever the case, your site should provide various ways to allow them to fully appreciate what’s involved and how you can help them.
Your website or social media venue is a great place for potential aviators to launch from, with you leading the way. Aviation is a progressive and technologically advanced industry (depending on your aircraft preference), so take advantage of the new technologies available to digital marketing programs to reach the next generation of pilots.
Robin N Brown is the CEO at Occam Digital, a company that specializes in building mobile websites, creating and managing tailored search and social media campaigns for businesses. We specialize in aviation websites.