Do B-to-B Buyers Trust Your Website?

July 22, 2014

Interesting question, isn’t it? I think everyone thinks because they built one, everyone will like and trust what you have up there.

I recently read an article from the Content Marketing Institute written by Dianna Huff entitled, Why 55% of Potential B2B Buyers Might Not Trust Your Website that highlights some interesting findings. These findings were from a KoMarketing Associates usability report and are worth discussing. The key in a B-to-B relationship is that trust and credibility be established up front. The more transparent you are, the better. Here are some highlights:

It’s the little things that can either make or break the next steps in the process. Their study showed that lack of phone number or contact info was the biggest stumbling blocks in building trust (55%). That one made me wonder. The next few were expected – lack of a true message, do it yourself sites and tiny texts were no surprises.chart-elements establish website credibility

Content assets that helped establish credibility were lead by thorough contact and about us page. So I guess we need to carefully look at what we say about ourselves and give them several options on getting in touch with us. Email was the most preferred way (no surprise there) and phone came in second. The reality is vendors source suppliers online and if you don’t have a clear cut message and contact info, you’ll be passed over.

Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Remove all barriers from people contacting you
  • Include email and phone number on each page for easy access
  • Include info about the people behind your company
  • Consider the strategic importance of the “about us” page

 

 

 


Trade Shows: Are You Taking Advantage of the Media Opportunities?

July 17, 2014

By Rosemarie Ascherl, PR Foreman, Sonnhalter

TradeshowimageIndustry trade shows are much more than just a chance to get out of the office and mingle with prospective customers, answering questions about the newest product launches, with aching feet and dry mouths.

Industry trade shows are terrific opportunities for connecting with industry trade editors who are attending the trade shows to report on the latest and greatest happenings in their markets.

Here are a few ideas to take advantage of the editors’ presence:

1. Schedule editor meetings at your booth. Contact the trade show management a couple of months ahead of time to obtain its list of registered media. Review the list and identify editors who are key to your industry or who are unfamiliar with your products and services, but should be familiar.

Contact the editors to determine if they are interested in meeting with a company representative. Chances are they will be. Editors want to make the best use of their time at trade shows to gather information that they can share with the readers of their publications, e-newsletters and on their websites, to showcase the latest industry trends. Make sure you are prepared to walk the editor through a short presentation and demonstration of your company’s products or services at the booth and then leave them with a thumb drive or a link to follow-up press materials.

2. Press events. Have a worthy product introduction or key company news? Depending on its newsworthiness [see below], a press event, in the form of a media breakfast, media luncheon or media cocktail hour, is an extremely effective method for conveying important company information and building favorable media relationships.

Depending on the trade show’s rules and regulations, the event can be held at your company’s booth before or after show hours, or at a nearby hotel or restaurant venue. A short presentation by company executives, demonstrations, networking, socializing and the all-important leave-behind press materials can make for a very valuable hour and a half event for key media contacts.

3. Press conferences. Reserved for only the most important of company announcements, it is recommended that press conferences be planned judiciously. While we like to believe that our company’s product improvement is extremely important to the industry—in perspective, it may not be perceived as quite that important to busy editors that are shuffling through multiple invitations and parceling out their precious time.

Make sure a press conference is warranted, because an empty press conference room will be a disappointment to not only the team that planned it, but also the company executives.

Are you taking advantage of these trade show opportunities with industry trade media? If you’re not, you should be!


Why Content Curation is an Important Marketing Tool to Reach the Professional Tradesman

July 16, 2014

What is Content Curation?

Content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme. The work involves sifting, sorting, arranging and publishing information.

Why is it important to Manufacturers who want to reach the Professional Tradesman?

Chances are you have lots of bits and pieces of information on your products/services. They are scattered all over from catalog, tech sheets installations sheets, presentations, etc. We as marketers are so focused on creating content, and in most cases, your first priority is to consolidate all relevant info on a product or service in one place. Once you see what you have, it will be easier to identify the pieces that are missing and need to be created.

Professional tradesman are always looking for help in solving problems, and it benefits both you and them if they can go to one source and get all their questions answered.

Wouldn’t it make sense for a potential customer who is interested in left-handed widgets to find one source that could:

  • help evaluate your situation and options available
  • give you an independent industry perspective on possible solutions
  • give you guidelines on what products to consider for the project at hand
  • give you tips on installation
  • give you troubleshooting suggestions
  • give you tips on maintenance

So if the number-one challenge to marketers is lack of time, doesn’t it make sense to organize first, then prioritize how you’re going to fill the holes?

Heidi Cohen wrote an interesting article recently, The Top 10 Reasons You Need Content Curation in Your Content Marketing Mix where she outlines her reasons to use content curation.

Here are a few that caught my attention:

  • it provides a variety of perspectives which helps increase its credibility
  • positions you as a thought leader in your field
  • good content will be shared leveraging other people’s audiences
  • builds your brand
  • content can be segmented for social media and drive folks to your curated site with more information that they requested

So don’t take the ready-fire-aim approach to developing content.  Take an inventory of current assets before developing new ones. Also don’t try to do everything at once. If you have products that serve several markets, pick one, do it well, document results and then plan the next one.

 

 


Tips on Making your Landing Pages Better

July 15, 2014

Hopefully, as part of your strategy to move prospects along the selling cycle, you are using  landing pages in order to deliver on what you promised. It’s also a great way to track responses. It could also be a way of losing a potential customer.

Here are some tips that might help results:

  • Keep it simple - Deliver on what you promised to get them there in the first place.
  • It’s not about you - How can you help them with a problem that got them there in the first place.
  • This is not an ad - They’re not looking for a sales pitch, but answers to specific questions.
  • Powerful content - Keep it relevant. Don’t focus on key words. Instead, make what you say useful and valuable.

All too often folks want to talk about 5 different things and give them additional links. It won’t work. Just ask yourself – why did they click on a call-to-action that got them here? Then deliver what you promised.

If you want to learn more, you might want to read:

Are you Using Landing Pages?

Product Landing Pages: Tips on How to Improve Performance


From MAGNET: Innovate or Die

July 10, 2014

Each month we’ll be featuring a blog post from our friends at MAGNET (Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network). MAGNET’s mission is to support, educate and champion manufacturing in Ohio with the goal of transforming the region’s economy into a powerful, global player. You can visit MAGNET online at manufacturingsuccess.org.

Innovate or Die: How Thermotion Moved Forward


Thermotion, LLC found themselves at a stalled point of growth and needed some major innovation for the development of their Thermo-Magnetic Actuators. In order to improve their product and reach newer and larger marketplaces, Thermotion and MAGNET worked very closely together and combined their respective expertise to create a more efficient and better performing actuator. This video will show you how Thermotion and MAGNET improved this business-critical product to reach new clients and to better help current clients such as the U.S. military.

Click here to read the original post.


Are Your Sales and Marketing Departments on the Same Page?

July 9, 2014

Sales and marketing must work together to define the ideal client and determine how and what to get in front of them.

Social media and the internet in general has changed the way people buy. Today, research is done online long before the potential customer identifies themselves to a prospective vendor. So what can you do to ensure that when the buyer is ready, you’re on the list to talk to?

This is an issue that continues to frustrate marketers and sales across the board. Both disciplines have insights to offer and neither should be working in a vacuum.

I read an interesting article recently by John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing that addresses this very problem. He states: “My take is that for organizations to take full advantage of the dramatic shift in the way people and organizations buy today they must intentionally blend inbound marketing, outbound marketing and inbound selling a way that mirrors today’s customer journey.”

He offers some suggestions on how they can work together. Here are some highlights of shared responsibilities:

  • Planning - When marketing is creating a plan, involve sales. They have insights that marketing doesn’t. Their insights are invaluable in helping define the customer journey.
  • Editorial - Even if sales people aren’t great writers, they certainly can identify pain points along the way and possible solutions for marketing to write about.
  • Social - Make sales aware of social opportunities, whether it’s LinkedIn or participating in an industry forum that social is a good networking tool.
  • Engagement - Have sales and marketing make calls together or write a proposal.
  • Measurement - Forget quantity and focus on quality of lead and how you can take them down the sales funnel. Focus on creating a profitable customer.

If you liked this post you might like:

Are You Getting Your Sales Force Involved in Social Media? 

How Does Social Media Impact a B-to-B Purchase?

 


Updated Electrical Market Overview

July 8, 2014

Electrician & Breaker PanelSonnhalter is deeply involved with the professional tradesmen. We recently completed an updated overview of the Electrical market. The purpose of the document is to give the reader a quick snapshot of the industry, its players and trends for 2014.

Highlights include  association and buying group contacts, trade shows/meetings, training industry information and media publications. A free copy for download is available. Click here to sign up.


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