A proactive and strategic approach to online marketing will give your business a competitive advantage by meeting the needs of Generation Net, which includes many current and prospective customers. Here are five online marketing tips from my upcoming book, Old Dog, New Clicks: Online Industrial & B2B Know-How for the 21st Century, for achieving success in the year ahead.
1. Become a content marketer. The majority of business decision-makers prefer to get information from articles, not advertisements. Find a way to market your knowledge in addition to your products. Distributors should become a resource for business-building ideas. Establish your company and employees as experts to increase your value to customers and make them more likely to buy from you.
2. Create a customer-focused website. Your website should make it easier for your customers to do business with you. They should be able to find your website and access the contact and product information on your site easily. A customer-focused site produces results through leads, sales and long-term customer relationships.
3. Use your website for lead generation and sales. A "Contact Us" page is not a successful method of lead generation. Take a proactive approach to capturing leads through a variety of appealing offers that target customers at different stages of the purchasing cycle. Make sure your calls to action go to a well-worded, concise information-capture form for the best results.
4. Nurture relationships with social media and email marketing. Share relevant and useful information on social networks to improve your marketing reach. Email marketing can also be used as a nurturing tool to create ongoing, interactive dialogue with customers. Used correctly, email marketing can reinforce a customer's trust in your company.
5. Make your marketing measurable. Don't guess how well your marketing plan is doing. There are plenty of tools available to give you a complete understanding of how effective your marketing campaigns are. Through Web and marketing analytics, distributors can know exactly which activities to cut and which to keep.
Bob DeStefano is an online marketing strategist and professional marketing speaker with more than 20 years of experience helping manufacturers and distributors leverage online marketing to produce bottom-line results. Bob is also a member of the University of Industrial Distribution faculty. Connect with Bob on the Web at www.svmsolutions.com and www.bobdestefano.com or by calling 877-786-3249 x3.
Bob's latest book, Old Dog, New Clicks: Online Industrial & B2B Know-How for the 21st Century, will be available in the MDM Store soon.
For a special sneak peek of this book, click here to download a sample chapter.