A Forbes article covered emerging trends in B2B marketing, and electrical wholesaling industry professionals should take note of the five key areas they discussed:
- Personalized Communications
- Rebooting your Email Marketing
- Investing in a B2B Social Media Strategy
- Upping your Content Marketing Game
- How Chatbots are Enhancing Leads
The DISCCORP Opinion:
Of these, for B2B in the Electrical Wholesaling Industry, the Top 3 that will truly add to your sales leads will be (in order from most important to least important) are as follows:
- Content Marketing – take time to visit every aspect of your content marketing strategy, because this brings home the bacon. The article makes some key points, though one needs to be driven home above all: video is key, and in 2018 Google started ranking video content higher than text. If you can make engaging video content on a product, its uses, and so on, this will increase your first page organic results. For manufacturers, “How It’s Made” videos are always a hit, while distributors are successful with “How-To” videos that show installations, etc. Videos are, of course, one slice of the pie, as Content Marketing as a whole means putting a strategy into play for blogs, podcasts, PDF catalogs, etc.
- Rebooting your Email Marketing – it’s time to take this seriously, folks, and with open rates usually stagnant in this arena, it means you need to send relevant emails and segment your lists. If some of your customers bought Product A, some of Product B, and some of Product C, then don’t send emails to customers on a product they bought. Use the new web-based tools on the market to segment and make sure that buyers of Product B will only see emails for A & C. Or, better yet, micro-target down based on accessory products for products previously purchased (you know the customer we’re talking about, it’s the “I had no idea you guys stocked that!” customer). In short, take time to leverage the data you have to send smarter emails that hit home.
- B2B Social Media – the trick here is to know your game before you play. Don’t expect to sell easily or quickly in our industry via Social Media – it’s not that kind of tool in your toolbox. However, from a search engine perspective, it helps to get your name out on new products and link back to your site or to videos on your site, or a blog, or a new product release, etc. Likewise, you can use it as a customer touchpoint if they have an issue (word of caution, you have to some dedicated staff to ensure that responses are timely in the digital age). It is big for brand – people enjoy seeing a company’s goodwill (showcasing your employees at a Habitat for Humanity build event, for example) – and often when you are attracting new talent, they check your Social Media feeds. Investing here means planning at a whole new level – it’s not the same as just selfies or cat videos, it takes planning and a flare for risk-taking.
While the other two points are critical (indeed, “Personalized Communication” can be rolled into your Email Campaigns), the Top Three above are what DISCCORP considers something to watch, study, and invest in for 2020.