Make 2018 the year you dedicate to developing a website that truly reflects the kind of relationship you want to have with your customers. In fact, that’s the only way you’ll stand up to the stiff competition online. Here are five resolutions distributors should make to make the most of their online platform in 2018:
1. Let data be your guide. Review your website, email and other analytics for 2017 to identify what’s working and what’s not so that you can decide what you need to focus on for 2018. Use that data to identify your most successful marketing channels (blogs, social, websites, ads, email, etc.). Also use it to identify which topics your readers have shown the most interest in on your website. Consider where your visitors spend the most time on your website; you might be surprised!
If you don’t yet have analytics in place, the new year is a great time to set up tools like Google Analytics and monthly reporting so that you can tweak your campaigns throughout the year; when 2019 arrives, you’ll also have a full year of data on which to plan and set goals.
2. Be realistic. Don’t overwhelm yourself with new initiatives. Identify your top priorities (three is enough!), and then, depending on your resources, start with No. 1. This could be something as simple as posting a blog once every two weeks, or rewriting your About Us page, one of the most frequently visited pages on your website.
Just don’t overburden yourself with so many new initiatives that you don’t have time to give any of them the attention they deserve. The success of content marketing initiatives depends greatly on the quality of work. It’s better to do a few things better than to do many things poorly. Some companies find that if they partner with an outside firm for content creation – for things like blogs and product descriptions – they are more likely to stay the course.
3. Give yourself some credit. You don’t have to be a writer to have something to say. Get started by thinking of recent industry events, trends affecting your customers, best practices, what drives you crazy and so on. Here are more blog post ideas.
A great source of content ideas is talking to your customer service and inside sales teams for your customers’ most frequently asked questions. Field sales or technical service teams can also identify topics they think would benefit your customers.
Consider multiple media: You don’t have to have an unlimited budget to produce video content your potential and existing customers will care about. For example, use your smartphone to produce short video clips featuring your employees or your latest product promotions. Or give a sneak peek at a trade show of some of the best new products you come across. Don’t overthink it.
4. Add your customers’ voice to your website and other communication. You may already have lots of internally-produced content on your website, in advertisements and elsewhere. Certainly, that type of content has its place, but supplementing that internal content with customer-produced content, including testimonials and case studies, says more to your potential customers than you ever could. Lend more credibility to your marketing claims in 2018 by having them come from customers’ mouths just as often as your own.
5. Make website SEO a priority. If potential customers can’t find your website, it’s not doing you much good. Prioritize search engine optimization for 2018. Focus on: page titles and descriptions, headings, images and page links. If you are already utilizing e-commerce, optimize your product pages by including full product descriptions along with case studies on product applications for your best-sellers.
For more resolutions you can adopt in 2018, check out our recent whitepaper, 10 Digital Marketing Resolutions for 2018.
Lindsay Konzak is president of 3 Aspens Media and has worked in the distribution industry for 13 years. She founded 3 Aspens Media to develop marketing and research-driven content for companies in or serving the distribution and manufacturing industries. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-581-1752 or visit 3aspensmedia.com.