30 March 2017
How Traditional Businesses Can Disrupt The Established Marketplace With Search Engine Marketing
For many older, more traditional businesses, search engine marketing can be perceived as unnecessary. It is something the owners know other types of businesses rave about, yet seems not particularly relevant to their business model or traditional way of doing business.
Take, as examples: timber merchants, regional funeral directors, motor parts repair centres, or school equipment supply firms. These kinds of industries often use direct outreach such as cold calling, rely on print advertising in trade media, word of mouth reputation or enjoy being in an industry where clients seek them out or just know about them.
Change To Grow The Business
However, the ultimate success of these strategies will not endure in a competitive environment, and building a good website in combination with search engine marketing can give any traditional business a march on their competitors.
We’ve noticed at Varn that we are seeing clients adopting digital strategies within industries that are traditionally less inclined to do so – and this is encouraging.
There are good examples of businesses that have revived their traditional service with a digital solution.
For example, a few years ago, a company that repaired starter motors and alternators, called Guy Auto Electrics decided to engage online. They originally offered a service that appealed to local farmers and classic car owners in Hertfordshire.
They bravely went online during a time when their industry was shrinking, due to most vehicle manufacturers just using cheaper starter motors and replacing, rather than repairing them.
Building a website allowed the company to go national, expanding their reach, which meant they had a jump on the competition and that kept their business thriving.
Reach New Customers
Whatever business you are in, if you are not online today you can be sure you have competitors who are. We are now firmly in a buyer-driven world where customers can browse and click from their phone to order. Consumers and clients are information hunters who can quickly filter the sellers they find, so that they hire the most relevant one.
In this ultra-competitive, fast moving global market, what’s important today is trust in the service, ease of ordering, speed of delivery and competitive pricing, all of which can be shown and achieved online.
And, yes – granted, there may well be examples of the village shop mentality, where a bricks and mortar business has been going for years without change but in reality, to achieve growth and even to survive in the future years, it will be a lot harder without some kind of digitally driven strategy.
Create A Digital Presence
So how to go about transforming your business? Here are four pointers:
- Experience is key
Forget gadgets, excessive copy, tens of pages, wacky features – make sure the visitor has a good experience on your website. Make buying, or at least contacting you, simple and easy.
- Work out your effective marketing channels
Remember that if you have a very narrow supply chain and sphere of influence – this is your chance to branch out and reach new customers. There will be a suitable digital marketing strategy that fits your business – you just have to find it. It might be social media, it might be keywords, it might be stories for press – it may be all of the above but if you are selling something, you’ll be able to draw in more buyers online. Use your long-established clients or customers as brand ambassadors who can endorse you.
- Don’t think small
Don’t forget that having a website is only one part of a digital strategy. You need to manage online interactions – with staff, with a CMS, with a way to track and deliver orders. You’ll need to invest in on-going marketing and development and keep it updated.
- Keep an eye on what happens
If you embark on a digital strategy – analyse and monitor continuously – it is the only way to be sure you are always going in the right direction.
No matter what your company does, investing in a digital presence and online performance strategies can be the key to your growth.
At Varn, we work with a very diverse range of businesses of all shapes and sizes, so whatever your trade is, if you would like to improve your business performance by going online to generate more sales, drop us a line and we’ll help you achieve bigger in 2017.