How to grow your drone business?

Shashank Tewari

Shashank Tewari , Product Evangelist at Indshine

March 18, 2020


Table of Contents

Need of Marketing

Inbound Marketing

  1. SEO
  2. Off-Page
  3. On-Page
  4. Social Media
  5. Facebook
  6. LinkedIn
  7. Twitter
  8. Youtube
  9. Content Marketing
  10. Email Marketing

Outbound Marketing

  1. Paid Search + Analytics
  2. Online PR
  3. Affiliate

Novel Marketing Methods

  1. Portfolio
  2. Online Communities/Forums
  3. Product Integrations

Marketing Analytics

Growth Marketing


Every business has a sales and a marketing funnel. Here's a funnel that typically works well for online businesses.

Is your business funnel similar to the above or does it contain any tweaks? This is a huge question to ponder upon - But don't worry, we are here to help you out with some brilliant marketing strategies that are proven to generate leads. The old school strategy "word of mouth" works best in the drone business, and maybe that’s because it comes with a use-case and social proof.

This blog covers all aspects of marketing activities essential for drone businesses ranging from the drone - manufacturers, sensors, photogrammetry, platform, training, service providers, news, and advanced GIS software targeting some of the brands including DJI, Pix4D, Drone Deploy, Esri and many more. So, anyone pursuing the drone business will get all their questions answered through the following questions:

  1. How to market my business through digital means?
  2. What strategies are my competitors working on, to generate leads?
  3. What is the best suitable marketing technique related to my business?
  4. What are the best tools available in marketing for different strategies?
  5. How can you use Indshine to drive your sales?

Now let's dive deep into these questions and see how we can replicate this learning with a new form of marketing known as Digital Marketing.

What is Digital Marketing??

Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilise the power of the internet and digital technologies to promote products and services. Today there are essentially two distinct paths a marketer can take to reach the prospects he or she needs i.e., inbound marketing and outbound (or “direct response advertising”) marketing.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing is a tactic to position your product to prospects already looking for a solution to a specific pain point. In short " Inbound Marketing attracts people instead of forcing businesses to reach out to the prospective customer "

Inbound marketing primarily has four main channels i.e, SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing and Email Marketing. Let's discuss each one of them in detail.

inbound marketings

1. What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) entails optimising a website for specific keywords so it ranks high on the search results page on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other major search engines. Primarily there are two categories in SEO :

  1. On-page SEO (also known as “on-site” SEO) is the act of optimising different parts of your website that affect your search engine rankings.
  2. Off-page SEO focuses on increasing the authority of your domain through the act of getting links from other websites.

How SEO works?

Google (or any search engine you're using) has a crawler that goes out and gathers information about all the content they can find on the Internet. The crawlers bring all those 1s and 0s back to the search engine to build an index. That index is then fed through an algorithm that tries to match all that data with your query. So, there are numerous points, shown in the image below, that are responsible for SEO optimisation of your domain.

Now a question will arise "How can we work smarter and faster with SEO" Don't worry !! It starts with having the right tools.

Here are some good examples of how big brands are leveraging SEO for their brand awareness and lead generation.

Examples of On-Page SEO

Pix4D, although they don't need an introduction, is into building photogrammetry suites for the drone mapping industry. They are gathering 43% of their total website visits through search (Source) primarily because of On-Page SEO.

The website being the key focus in increasing On-Page SEO, Indshine offers an embed tool to embed relevant maps on the website. These small tweaks can increase relevancy in turn decrease website bounce rates. "Location Intelligence and Design" one of the rapidly emerging companies in drone space is using the embed tool to present their work. You may see it live at this source.

Examples of Off-Page SEO

DroneDeploy, is working towards transforming the way businesses collect, manage, and interpret drone data, and have built various products around improving drone maps usage. Their domain authority (DA/DR) is 73/100 with backlinks more than 1.05 thousand in number (Source).

2. What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc. to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. There are ample tools available in the market that can help you achieve your goals.

Before jumping to them let's discuss one of the important factors which are responsible for the success of every social media campaign and that is Content Calendar.

What is the Content Calendar?

In today’s marketing environment, social media management goes far beyond just posting on Facebook & Instagram. It’s critical to ensure that your brand’s social media activity coordinates with other time-sensitive marketing efforts such as television advertising, email campaigns, or website developments and hence content calendar help you achieve the discipline.

Here are some good examples of how big brands are leveraging social media channels for their brand awareness and lead generation.

Example of Facebook marketing

a) Wingtra is into the manufacturing of VTOL mapping drones used by geospatial specialists and industry professionals for Surveying and GIS, Mining, Construction, Agriculture and Environmental Monitoring applications. A nice example of how Facebook marketing helps brands to publicise there users' case stories.

Learn more about how businesses are leveraging Facebook for their marketing efforts.

Example of LinkedIn marketing

a) PrecisionHawk is providing diverse solutions in drone technology to various industries. With 15k followers, the PrecisionHawk has been aptly utilising the power of LinkedIn by creating videos around the use cases of drones.

b) You can see the power of LinkedIn marketing through this example. In the wake of COVID- 19, all labs in India were digitised and shared with the public link for everyone to view across and figure out the nearest testing labs. This actually got a reach with 8,186 views in 7days.


Learn more about how businesses are leveraging LinkedIn for their marketing efforts.

Examples of Twitter marketing

Picterra is an online platform for detecting objects on drone and satellite imagery by customised AI models. Twitter is a great medium if you participate in trending hashtags. Here's an example of how relevant hashtags can be mapped to increase reach.

Learn more about how businesses are leveraging twitter for their marketing efforts.

Examples of Youtube marketing

a) GM6 Drone Mapping in the business of training drone professionals for surveying business. The company's youtube channel stats mention the subscribers to be more than 10,000 (a great number indeed in this industry). Their target audience being professionals looking for courses, they have been using "Youtube videos" as a medium to promote their courses.

b) EMLID is into manufacturing of RTK GNSS receivers with centimetre precision. They have excellently maintained their Youtube channel by introducing playlists and attractive thumbnails for respective playlists, making it audience to absorb information easily.

EMLID Youtube Channel

Learn more about how businesses are leveraging YouTube for their marketing efforts.

3. What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience - and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

By putting in real effort into B2B content marketing, your potential customers not only trust you with your advice but also look forward to doing business with your company. If you want to use content marketing as part of your marketing strategy you can witness these tools for the same.

Here are some good examples of how big brands are leveraging content marketing for their brand awareness and lead generation.

Examples of Content Marketing in B2B

a) Canadian UAV Solutions Inc. is one of the premier drone service providers in and around Ontario, Canada. Johnathan Smeh, the founder at Canadian UAV Solutions Inc, has been proactive in writing case stories and using content marketing as a medium to reach out to prospective clients. The beautiful part of content marketing is it stays longer than you. Canadian UAV Solutions is using a nice marketing method called as creating lead magnets around content.

b) Sensefly is building various UAV technologies, EBEE (fixed-wing drone) being one of their premier products. You may find sensefly blogs on nearly all related topics to UAV's and their use cases. Their blog can be accessed through their blogsite ( Since the content is hosted on sensefly domain only, this increases the domain authority and hence helps in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Yeah, all digital marketing techniques are somehow interlinked.

c) Gamaya is into agronomic solutions powered by hyper-spectral imaging and artificial intelligence. They have been using Medium as their official blog site which is also an effective option for distribution as content reaches the already established Medium audience in addition to yours. You may refer to their blog site.

Indshine platform has a feature to make your blogs more interactive by embedding your maps. This blog on ABC's of Aerial Mapping and Surveying display an excellent use-case with embedded maps for RGB, hyper-spectral and thermal maps.

4. How Email Marketing help in B2B?

Email is the backbone of any solid inbound marketing plan and is one of the most effective digital marketing channels for B2B companies. Email in the form of auto-responders and newsletters are an important part of any solid lead generation strategy.

There are multiple parameters that we should consider while doing email marketing but one of the most important ones is Email open rates. Let's see the parameters affecting email open rates.

Here are some good examples of how big brands are leveraging Email Marketing for their brand awareness and lead generation.

Example of Email Marketing

"Servicios de Ingeniería" is a technology firm based in Mexico providing topography, mapping, and engineering services to the Construction, Mining, and Oil & Gas Industry. Aurelio Acosta, founder of “Servicios de Ingeniería,” is using email marketing with the right messaging and sample datasets for their construction clients.

Remember choosing the right email marketing service can have a significant impact on the success of your marketing campaign.

What is Outbound Marketing (Direct Response Advertising)?

Outbound marketing tries to reach consumers through general media advertising as well as through in-person contact. Depending on the venue, the approach can be extremely broad (TV advertising), thoroughly personal (face-to-face meetings), or “impersonally personal” (cold-calling or blanket emails). Through each outbound methods, sales leads are generated and then followed by internal sales representatives.

" Outbound Marketing force businesses to reach out to the prospective customer "

Outbound marketing primarily has three main channels i.e, Paid Search Advertising, Online Public Relations and Affiliate Marketing. Let's discuss each one of them in detail.

direct response advertising

1. What is Paid Search Advertising?

Paid search advertising is the placement of text ads on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This can be an extremely effective advertising channel because one can ascertain which keywords trigger one's ads, enabling one to capture prospects that are in the later stages of the buying cycle. However, there is a constant debate as Paid Search can be both outbound and an inbound strategy depending on the way it is utilised. Here's a quick go-through on the processes of paid search advertising :

Here are some good examples of how big brands are leveraging paid search advertising for their brand awareness and lead generation.

Example of Paid Search Marketing

Dà-Jiāng Innovations, DJI is the leading manufacture of all categories of multi-rotor UAV's/drones. They receive 1.14% of there traffic from display advertising (source: similarweb). Attached screenshot of how DJI is doing display advertising Mavic2Pro on Youtube.

Ad Network Conversion Tracking

All ad networks, including Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, etc. provide the ability to set up conversion tracking. This is critical because conversion tracking shows how effective your campaign is performing in areas such as generating leads, website visits, newsletter sign-ups, app downloads, and more.

google ads

2. Online Public Relations (PR) Marketing

Public relations, or PR, in itself, is a wide term referring to an activity of the marketing plan which regards the process of maintaining your communication and relationships with the public or your potential business prospects. It involves all activities for building, raising and maintaining brand awareness.

According to a recent Adobe Marketo Engage report some of the rapidly emerging channels to build an effective brand presence are mentioned below.

Here are some good examples of how big brands are leveraging Online PR for their brand awareness and lead generation.

Example of companies using Online Public Relations

sUAS News is one of the leading news and information source for unmanned aviation. Being in the business of news and media, they are attracting their audience through various PR activities, including podcasts. A podcast is nothing but an episodic series of digital audio files. You may start one of yours from various online platforms.

3. What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products. The affiliate simply searches for a product they enjoy, then promotes that product and earns a piece of the profit from each sale they make. The sales are tracked via affiliate links from one website to another. Here's a quick go through on "How Affiliate Program Works".

Here are some good examples of how big brands are leveraging Affiliate Marketing for their brand awareness and lead generation.

Example of Affiliate Marketing

Dart Drones Inc. is in the business of drone training for enterprise clients, government agencies, public safety departments, and individuals. They have developed a franchise/ affiliate model with centers being operated in 40+ cities in the USA.

Novel Marketing Techniques

1. Creating a portfolio seems to be an innovative option !!

A portfolio that lives on your own personal site is incredibly valuable. And in order to stand out in a competitive market, you need to make yours as impressive as you can. Here's a good example of how you can portray your existing works by allowing everyone to access your project library

2. Online Communities attract audience (Forums)

Online communities are highly effective places for engaging with a niche target audience. Research from Hubspot suggests that customers who are part of the community transact 24% more with your solutions than those who aren’t. Today much of our engagement with others transpires on online communities like Facebook Groups; LinkedIn Groups; Forum/Message Board and Microsite.

Examples of Forums/Online Communities Marketing

a) Esri is an international supplier of geographic information system (GIS) software, web GIS and geo-database management applications. Esri having an immense user-base finds it easier to communicate updates and also up-sell through their community.

b) UAV Coach is into UAV training for professionals in the USA. They are also into training for FAA Part 107 Certifications enabling them to fly drones for commercial use. There target audience being freelancers which are large in number and geographically separate, community network enables a strong binding with the brand as well as helps freelancers to grow faster. Their community can be accessed here.

3. Integrations

No single company can solve all the problems. Hence integrating solutions becomes important. This also serves as a cross-marketing strategy that is helping marketing solutions of one other to the end consumer.

Examples of Product Integration

Scopito is an analytics, storage and sharing platform for drone data. They focus on predictive maintenance for wind turbines, solar PV, power lines and buildings. Scopito has integrated its API in the DroneDeploy platform, making it possible for DroneDeploy users to AI fault detection on images without leaving the platform. A glimpse can be seen here

How to quantify success (Marketing Analytics)?

There is no meaning of launching any marketing campaign through digital media channels if there is no tracking of your results. The easiest and most common method of measuring the success of marketing activities is through website analytics. There are various options to measure website analytics but Google analytics is the most recommended one.

Google Analytics (GA) is a very deep product and hence have various use cases. For your convenience we have mentioned two most commonly used options in GA:

1. Campaign

Since whatever we post on social media, the website or in email has a URL linked with it. So with the help of the campaign feature you can make a record of those URLs, the number of clicks they obtained, bounce rate, average session duration and many more.

2. Behaviour

Since either we talk about SEO optimisation or success of any of our particular campaign we need to look at the success of our individual web pages. Like which web page is performing better in terms of user visits, time duration, unique page views, bounce rate, etc. So for this behaviour feature will help you to accomplish that task very easily.

Growth Marketing - the new trend

The marketing trends have been changing. Growth marketing is becoming the new-trend keeping growth of company as the primary base.

With traditional marketing, your team leverages television, radio, and print to reach and convert people in your target audience. While one of the oldest forms of marketing, traditional marketing tends to underdeliver, as more consumers rely on digital channels when researching their next purchase.

In comparison, growth marketing takes a broad approach for reaching and converting your target audience, as well as maximizing your client retention rates. It uses a variety of channels, from traditional to digital, to engage with potential and current clients. Funnels changing from uni-directional to cyclic.

Now, since you are all well aware of all marketing methods and have examples for all, it's time to think upon what's the one thing that is best for your business. This has no single answer and depends entirely on the geography, domain, team strength, buyer's persona, etc. The only thing you should do is a calculative hit and trial.

We will be happy to hear answers as to what had worked for you and what did not. Cheers !!

Contributors : Saksham Bhutani, Deepali Joshi

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