Just as you wouldn’t fish for trout in the ocean or for flounder in a freshwater stream, you wouldn’t want to advertise your products without knowing that you are fishing in the right pool of potential customers. Fortunately, in the world of digital marketing, you can target very specific markets and track results using real-time data. Digital tracking also lets you see which ads are working and which ones are not. A day of digital marketing is a lot like any day of fishing, because you can easily change ad locations and ad concepts when you aren’t catching anything or getting any bites.
With the number of online shoppers in the US reaching 215.4 million in 2017 and expected to hit 230.5 million by 2021 according to statista.com, there is no doubt that the information age will continue to explode.1 The impact of this information age (also called the digital age) is now hitting every industry, including electrical distribution, with all of its pros and cons. The good news is that all of the cons of digital marketing can easily be changed to pros when you learn how to fish in the right water with the right kind of bait. Some sales professionals view the information age as a con because shoppers are now more empowered with information from the internet. Shoppers now have a whole world of product information at their fingertips, so they see all of your competitor’s product information and often pricing as well. This means that both your prices and your product information need to competitive. Today, customers expect a positive online experience with your brand, so it is crucial to present your products well and engage shoppers online. The good news is that if you take a few easy steps, you have the opportunity to cost-effectively reach and motivate millions of potential buyers.
Step one to conquering the digital age is developing and maintaining good, accessible digital product information to help create a great brand experience. CANTEX is taking big steps to improve our product information and to make it more easily accessible. If you sell CANTEX products, please make sure you have the latest CANTEX marketing text, images, tech drawings and product literature. We will do our best to keep you abreast of all of our new product resources in Industry Insights. The best place to find the latest CANTEX information is www.cantexinc.com. If you can’t find what you need, contact us. We aren’t finished making all the information improvements yet, but we are working as fast as we can.
TED Magazine summed up the need for good product information very well in a recent article. They wrote that “Your target audience wants information. But they don’t know what they want until they need it. If you have the content they want available, and they can find it—or better yet, you can serve it up when they want it—you’ll be miles ahead of the competition.”2
Step two to conquering the digital age is getting your best product information in front of potential buyers. Fortunately, in the world of digital marketing there are lots of fish in the sea! So how do you get your hook into some of the millions of people searching the internet for PVC electrical products? A good first step is to optimize your great product information to improve search results for your products. A good search engine optimization (SEO) company can inexpensively get keywords (product names, competitor names, descriptions, etc.) on page one of Google. This will probably cost less than your current advertising, which may not be reaching buyers ready to purchase your projects. CANTEX has recently invested in SEO, and we are working on other digital strategies to give our products more online exposure. In turn, our digital marketing will amp up visibility for our sales channel, because we also improved our website navigation to direct people to our agents, distributors and retailers.
An excellent third step for getting in front online shoppers is to invest in digital advertisements. One of the best, least expensive places to start online advertising is social media. Social media ads are inexpensive and easy to target by industry, location, etc. If social media ads are set up well, they can reach hundreds of thousands of industry targeted people at a fraction of the cost of other ads. Plus, you are able to track results in real-time. Also, customers today have grown accustomed to engaging and interacting with their favorite brands on social media, and social media ads help lead potential customers to your social media platforms where they can interact with your brand. Once people follow your social media platform, you can advertise to them for free on a regular basis.
Banner ads on industry-related websites are also great for online marketing. A well placed digital ad can get you thousands of clicks. If the ad is well executed, you will be able to track every click and every lead. Some of the major electrical trade websites get as many as 55,000 to 600,000 page views each month. Additionally, low cost banner ads can also be amped up with digital retargeting ads designed to get your ad in front of purchasers again when they are ready to make their purchase.
Here is what Forbes Magazine had to say about digital marketing platforms: “A sharp social media strategy can help you target specific demographics or interests (or even better, thought leaders) to grow awareness of and interest in your event. Display ads and search can help you find people who are looking for you (and just haven’t quite made their way to you yet). And retargeting is a handy “second chance” tool that can help you recruit users who already visited your site and failed to register. Individually, all of these elements create new pathways and channels to your client’s audience, help you to learn more about individual audience behaviors and needs and play a massive role in getting people to the event in the first place. Taken as a whole, they create an entire web of benefits that can generate revenue, grow attendance and improve overall engagement for your client’s brand experience.”3
While some industries have been slower to come around to digital marketing, it is becoming harder and harder not to jump on the digital boat since most customers today are looking for excellent online brand experiences. Many businesses that have not yet followed the digital trend are afraid that digital marketing is a threat to traditional face-to-face sales. However, if handled correctly digital marketing opens doors for more one-on-one engagements with even more interested shoppers. Everyone selling anything today can easily be empowered by digital trends to achieve more sales. All it takes is learning more about where to fish, what bait to use and making a choice to get on the boat.
2. Ted Magazine, tedmag.com
3. Forbes Magazine, Forbes.com