A Great Website Doesn’t Cut It Anymore – Why a Wider Digital Presence Boosts Sales
By Chris Chariton, SVP, GlobalSpec
Digital marketing and sales start with your home page. That’s why one of the easiest way for companies to lose sales opportunities is by failing to have a robust website. That’s because in today’s digital world, it’s expected by buyers of all kinds in most industries that a company will have an up-to-date site that features detailed product information.
But while a website is a basic requirement to help ensure sales inquiries aren’t lost, it isn’t enough to make your company stand out among competitors or help you discover your next customer. That’s because customers use a number of online sources to obtain more information and compare different products and services.
Here are some ways to ensure you’re company stands out from the crowd and your marketing efforts don’t go unnoticed.
Knowing What Determines Information Sources
According to GlobalSpec’s Industrial Buy Cycle Survey, supplier websites aren’t the only information source customers will research during the early stages of the buy cycle, when buyers are defining their requirements, conducting research and identifying vendors who may be able to meet their needs.
During these early stages, consumers use a wide range of information sources, including search engines, online catalogs, testimonials, e-newsletters, social media, and others. Not including these critical precursor resources in your marketing campaign can mean lost opportunity.
Building Your Digital Presence
To be found in the early stages of the buy cycle, not only will you need a robust website, but an all-encompassing and focused online presence. Without this digital presence, your company might not make a customer’s list in the later stages of the buy cycle.
Having a broad presence means your company can be found in a variety of information sources. A focused presence means these information sources are used by the target audience you are trying to engage.
Consider these marketing ideas for building and maintaining digital presence:
- Placing advertisements in e-newsletters that will send customers to your website to take advantage of an offer.
- Promoting your brand and products using online banner ads on a network of industry-related websites, again sending interested prospects back to your site with a single click.
- Building a presence on specialized search engines and directories during the early stages of the buy cycle.
- Sponsoring online events, such as virtual conferences, where you can establish your company’s reputation as a leader and showcase your entire portfolio of products and services.
- Producing short video segments – such as executive interviews, how-to articles or customer testimonials – and posting them on YouTube where you can take advantage of features such as adding relevant keywords to your content and offerings.
- Increasing social media initiatives, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and blogs, to help your company become a trusted, valuable resource for buyers.
Implementing these tips can help expand your digital presence, which will increase your instances in front of prospective buyers during the early stages of the cycle. This approach, in turn, leads to increasing inquiries and reducing the likelihood of lost sales. You can drive qualified inquiries to your website and demonstrate the value of your company’s thinking and quality of its products with detailed product information, current promotions and customer testimonials.
Chris Chariton is senior vice president, product management and supplier marketing, for GlobalSpec, the leading provider of digital media solutions designed to connect industrial marketers with their target audience of engineering, technical, industrial, scientific and manufacturing sector professionals. Chris can be reached at email@example.com.