Distributors are known to focus all of their efforts on the marketing strategies of years ago. Most distributors will put an advertisement in a trade magazine, or creating items with their logos on them to generate brand awareness, or attending open houses and trade shows. You may still get results from these offline marketing techniques, but you would experience greater results if you learned to combine those older strategies with something called “inbound marketing”.
Inbound marketing activities identify and attract qualified prospects (those who are likely to need your products or services) and then convert prospects to actual customers. Inbound marketing strategies depend on your website, and the use of various marketing materials like emails and newsletters, videos, and blogs, among others.
Your Target Customer Researches Online Before Buying
Distributors are unlikely to get new customers through a spontaneous purchase or decision. You have a long sales cycle, and when you’re a business marketing to other businesses – you have to expect that most will research their options before they make any buying decisions. In fact, according to the Acquity Group’s 2014 State of B2B Procurement study, 94% of businesses will research online before buying, including Google search, business websites, third party websites, and user reviews.
Inbound marketing techniques introduce your product or service to your prospects and then make sure they stay familiar with you throughout their research process so when it comes time to make a buying decision – you’re on their minds.
Inbound Marketing Strategies
While traditional marketing methods depend on your ability to put an advertisement in front of your prospects in the places they are looking already, inbound marketing helps bring the prospects to you. Some methods used include:
- Keeping your distribution website up to date, making sure it is mobile responsive, and offers valuable information to assist prospects during their research phase.
- Part of keeping your website up to date means having a blog that you regularly posted informative articles and information for prospects.
- Create content that answers your prospects most common questions or addresses their challenges with solutions that they can only get by entering an email address into a form on your website.
- Email marketing. Invite prospects to join your email list by offering something for free in exchange for their email address, and then deliver timely messages that keep your products or services on the front of their minds during their research process.
- As your prospects move through the sales cycle and get closer to buying, move qualified leads to an autoresponder series that will help them progress to calling you for more information, a free consultation, or to set up a meeting.
Get Started With Inbound Marketing
Distributors who use inbound marketing strategies increase their leads, sales, and become more competitive in an industry where most of your competitors are still participating in old-school marketing methods. When your inbound marketing delivers more clients and sales for your organization – contact NSA for help managing all of your new in-house challenges the business growth presents for you. We can show you how an upgraded ERP solution can help you with inventory management, streamline operations, and even save money.