The 2010 economy is showing signs of recovery and suppliers must apply marketing pressure to generate prospect interest and win their share of new business. This year, make sure you have these three tactics in your marketing mix, each of them effective for connecting with an industrial audience where they are looking for products, services, and suppliers—online.
1. Web site landing pages
What they are
A landing page is a highly-focused, standalone Web page designed around a specific topic or offer. It is designed to convert visitors into leads.
Why use landing pages
Unlike your home page or other pages which invite users to click around and explore, a landing page has only one objective: to generate qualified leads. The best way to use landing pages is to develop online marketing campaigns with an offer in mind—such as a white paper, invitation to a Webinar, product trial, or other valuable content—and send prospects to a landing page where they can exchange their contact information (by filling out a form) to take advantage of the offer, providing you with a lead.
Your landing page should work to promote the offer, nothing else. Headline, copy, graphics, buttons, calls-to-action, and form fields all must be created with the offer and subsequent conversion in mind. Use strong headlines, keep copy short, and use bullet points. You may want to leave off your Web site’s main navigation or anything else that distracts a visitor from your offer and gets them “wandering off.”
On the form, ask for the minimum amount of information that will allow you to communicate with them in a meaningful way. Name, company, and e-mail address is probably enough. You can include some optional questions, but don’t create a long or confusing form that turns your visitors off and decreases your conversion rates.
2. E-newsletter advertisements
What they are
Ads placed in third-party e-newsletters that reach your target audience and send interested prospects to landing pages on your Web site.Why use them
Even if you publish your own company e-newsletter, your reach is limited to the e-mail addresses you have on your house list. That leaves out a lot of potential customers who might be interested in your products and services.
E-newsletter advertisements are an excellent way to connect with hard-to-reach prospects, expand to new markets, and broaden your company visibility. Successful e-newsletter advertising depends on finding an e-newsletter that is targeted precisely to the audience you want to reach, so you don’t waste effort and budget communicating your message to the wrong people. It also requires a level of frequency. As you know from your company e-newsletter, not everyone you send to opens and reads every newsletter. You must maintain a regular presence in the e-newsletter to achieve maximum impact.
Another great benefit of third-party e-newsletters is that the publisher handles all production, sending and list management; you simply provide the content.
3. Online events
What they are
Online events are virtual trade shows that your audience can attend from their own computers in the convenience of their own offices.
Why use them
Your industrial audience is comfortable with interacting online with suppliers; in fact, many of them prefer it. In 2010, online trade shows will become more popular as your potential customers, faced with shrinking budgets and increasing demands on their time, will continue to avoid location-based events. Instead, they will flock to virtual trade shows and conferences to locate suppliers, products, and services, participate in learning opportunities, network, and stay current on the latest technologies.
These online events offer sophisticated capabilities for suppliers. You can connect with your target customers across the globe by making use of presentations, chat, video and other interactivity—enabling you to build brand exposure, gain qualified sales leads and measurable ROI.
Along with these benefits, online events can provide intelligence on attendees with full contact information, areas of interest and activity, and other valuable data to help your sales people follow-up. They are also a green alternative to location-based events. And don’t forget, you can leave the trade show giveaways behind (no more booth visitors feigning interest just to collect the goodies).