I’ve spoken to many businesses over the years, specifically in the industrial distribution world, and one of the most common responses when asked about their online presence is: “We don’t have really have one.”
Years ago, that wasn’t entirely shocking. Very few businesses had websites and even fewer used content marketing strategies such as blogs, videos or social media posts. What we refer to as content marketing was little more than a buzzword, shrouded in mystery, that only digital natives understood.
Today however, the notion that a company could possibly survive without an online presence is baffling to even the most digitally challenged. There’s no way to avoid how technologically dependent we have become as a society. Every day, both young and old interact with social media, chatbots, websites and apps of all kinds. In fact, many of us are connected to the internet in one way or another from the time we wake up to the time we close our eyes. We rely on the content found on these mediums to help us stay connected, make decisions and accomplish our goals every day.
If you are still skeptical about the role online content plays in your business, hear this. Your competitors will be investing more in content creation throughout 2019 than they will in ad spend, according to Forbes. More and more online buyers are getting tired of being sold to and would rather have a more helpful and personalized experience. This is evident in the more than three-quarters of North Americans that engage in at least one form of ad blocking, according to Deloitte Global Survey.
So, what are industrial buyers looking for?
They want an online experience that is easy and efficient. And, today’s buyers are savvy. They will typically do the bulk of their research online, before they ever contact a sales rep. They want to be able to find answers to their biggest questions, compare pricing and read reviews so they know they are making the right purchasing decisions.
For examples of different ways to use content in your marketing strategy, read 6 Ways Content Can Enhance Your Customers’ Experience.
In industrial distribution, the salesperson has historically been the lifeline between the product and the customer. So much so, that this relationship remains a source of pride among sales professionals, and it should. The knowledge and expertise of any seasoned professional should be celebrated and recorded, so that incredibly useful knowledge isn’t lost. The goal of having an effective online presence is not to devalue the importance of the sales professional, it’s to build an even stronger relationship between the customer and your company.
If you have questions about how you can use content to grow your business, contact us at [email protected]. We’d love to help.