Where do you get your leads?
If you are like most distributors, your leads come mostly from networking and referrals. While those channels are important, if you have ambitious revenue goals for the year, these sources are unlikely to produce enough qualified leads to hit your sales targets. So you need to activate other sources, especially the digital space, which is where your potential customers spend a great deal of their time.
Digital marketing can sound daunting, with so many platforms, tactics, and things you can do, plus loads of (good and bad) advice, and experts wanting to sell you their magic service. Understandably, it can be hard to figure out where to begin. But it doesn’t have to be.
If you’re looking to grow your distributor business, you will have to make some changes. But you don’t have to do them all at once. Be flexible and willing to try new things, but also go back to some basics.
If digital marketing sounds too complicated and time consuming to you, I’ve put together the top 6 tactics that will help you build an online presence and produce results. Keep in mind, you don’t have to do them all at once, nor in one day.
Based on our experience working with distributor clients and the market changes we have seen in this past year, these are the top marketing tactics we recommend that will help you get more leads and close more sales..
Start with one of the tactics below.
Refresh Your Brand
If you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to reevaluate your positioning in the market and whether or not you are on target with what the market wants from you.
Your brand is foundational to everything you do in marketing. It establishes your core message and creative identity, and it serves as a guide for everything you do. First brand, then plan, then execute. That has always been the winning formula and it is even more important today.
Reassess your message and position in this marketplace. This means investing in your customers to improve how you communicate with them throughout the buying process. Talk with and listen to them to gain valuable feedback and understand what their needs and challenges are and consider adding new services that will help them.
Identify Markets and Product Trends
Most distributors make assumptions on what products will be more popular based on their own likes and dislikes. This is a mistake that can be easily avoided. You have historical data that should be evaluated to help influence strategic direction. Listen to your clients and what they are asking for as well as events and programs they’re planning. Pay attention to retail and consumer trends. Check new products suppliers are introducing. You will get valuable insights that will help you anticipate products and decorating methods your can promote ahead of your competitors.
Audit & Update Your Marketing Strategy – Online + Offline
Now is a great time to take a look at what you’re doing in terms of marketing and assess if you are on the right track. You may already be well positioned in the market but the tactics you have in place might need adjusting, as they often do. Or maybe your tactics are disconnected and you need to fill the gaps so they produce better results. Whatever the case, taking a high view of all you have will help identify what you need to make your marketing more effective.
Improve Your Website
Your website is your place of business, open 24/7. You want to make sure it’s doing a good job at greeting visitors and guiding them through their buying process. You might need some simple improvements or a complete overhaul. If you’re on an outdated platform and need a whole new website, it can be a bigger project than you realize, so having a proper plan is critical. This time of the year, when things typically slow down for a bit, can be an excellent time to tackle and put together a game plan for a new website.
Invest on SEO
In the B2B space, SEO is critical to sustained business growth. There is no better way to implement an inbound lead generation strategy with the best quality leads. However, it’s a well-misunderstood strategy because it’s not a quick fix and it’s rather complex. Achieving results is time-consuming and requires technical know-how. We often compare it to growing trees. With a good plan in place, continuous work, and patience, you will see beautiful plants that start to grow and eventually give you delicious fruits.
So the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll begin seeing returns.
Use Paid Search & Social Media
Online ads can help you expand your reach to a larger audience. Done right, it can accelerate your results a great deal. This requires a strategic approach as well as the right dose of experimenting and testing new and interesting ways to attract and engage with your audience.
Ask For Help
As the saying goes, do what you do best, delegate the rest. You might have an in-house team that can work with you or you might want to outsource your marketing implementation.
Either way, planning is critical, and to help you get ready for the new year, we hosted a marketing planning webinar, now available on-demand, so you can start the new year with a plan of action to effectively market, communicate and attract today’s digital-first customers.
You can access the replay here. We cover how to drive more leads, increase sales and grow your business leveraging the internet. We’ll also walk through the steps to draft a marketing plan that will provide certainty in an unpredictable, rather chaotic market.