As a distributor, are you doing the amount of business you want?
Your business name might be well-known, and established industry relationships might reliably drive your revenues. Even so, you’ll need to adapt to the latest, best practices of digital marketing to stay competitive.
That means earning more dealer and contractor partners from an optimized web presence. It can happen with a few tweaks to your website, and by being more intentional about your online marketing approach. By using the right methods, you can gain a remarkable edge among competitors and a cadre of new wholesale buyers.
Here are five big strategies that help building product distributors gain a local advantage through digital marketing:
1. Leverage the Local SEO Benefits of Google My Business (GMB)
Retailers and contractors are focused on serving their communities. They have their fingers on the pulse of local building project needs, and will work best with distributors who understand this, and are easy to access locally.
How can you have a stronger local presence? Good local SEO is the key, and fully fleshed-out Google My Business (GMB) profiles are an essential place to start.
A study by BrightLocal analyzing GMB indicates that the average business gets 1,009 searches per month, 84% of which are discovery searches. You’ll want to make sure your GMB listings, which are often the very first thing contractors and dealers will see when looking up your local stores, are up to par.
Each of your locations should have a filled-out GMB profile. Ensure the exact name, address, and phone number (also known as NAP data) for each store is accurate.
Don’t leave it there, however. Enrich your GMB profiles by:
- Uploading images and videos, which will likely increase engagement and search engine rankings
- Uploading posts of interest to potential retail and contractor partners, such as special promotions and local events
- Featuring and responding to customer reviews
Having richly-composed GMB profiles might seem unimportant, however, it’s actually very important. As everyone gets back to doing business in person, web users are looking for local information they can trust. This is especially true in the fast-moving building product supply industry.
If you’re instantly “findable” the moment contractors and retailers embark on a search, you’ll capture targeted web traffic. From there, you stand a chance of gaining and retaining new buyers.
2. Set Up a Distributor Locator
Let’s say a contractor isn’t just searching online for any distributor, but specifically for your company. They go to your website directly.
Will it be easy for them to find your nearest supply store?
It can be if you have a robust, convenient, and feature-rich distributor locator page. The locator should be more than just a list of your stores. It should be a digital lead generation tool that helps you initiate strong partner relationships and close more deals.
The Bullseye Locator Software offers building product distributors this functionality like no other platform. It allows you to:
- Provide a dynamic map with detailed location information (including special deals and inventory for specific items, if you choose), giving your website visitors precisely what they need to know
- Generate a pop-up form that lets prospects submit an inquiry to their local store
- Seamlessly integrate apps such as Salesforce, along with other modern CRMs and email marketing tools, which enable easy follow-up and lead nurturing
With Bullseye, you’ll create locator pages that matter much more than the standard listing of store names and addresses. The pages Bullseye creates are full-fledged digital marketing assets that enable you to generate leads.
In addition, you’ll be able to attribute sales to individual locations. Use this valuable business intelligence to allocate resources and incentivize specific local teams.
3. Create Localized Blog Content
The next step for great local digital marketing? A localized blog.
Build on your local SEO by creating content that speaks to web prospects in your serviceable areas. Up to 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information, which means you’ll stand out to potential buyers by creating localized content that resonates. The more such pages you have, the more likely your website will feature at the top of search engine results. Later on, you can repurpose this content and turn it into an online podcast which will help attract an even wider audience.
If you’re a distributor of roofing supplies located near Miami, Florida, you’ll certainly want to be found when contractors look for you on Google. Imagine they type in “roofing distributors in Miami.” Will you have relevant content prepared?
You can increase your chances of capturing Google traffic with articles about:
- Trending roof styles in the Miami area
- Valuable data about residential real estate trends in Miami, which would help retailers plan business operations
- The pros and cons of certain roofing styles in Miami
- Special wholesale deals that are available to Miami contractors
- The process to become a wholesale partner with your company in the Miami area
Make sure to do SEO keyword research around possible topics, so that you know what contractors and dealers are trying to figure out online. Then, create localized content on those subjects.
The more valuable information you can provide prospective buyers, the better. Providing informative, engaging local content, shows that you care about your prospects. They won’t just see you as a reputable distributor, but as the only knowledgeable building product distributor in the area.
4. Create Pull-Through Demand From Manufacturers
Locators are important in another way that many distributors miss out on. Distributors can leverage a manufacturer’s locator to great effect, by tapping into the network of contractors and installers who loyally use that manufacturer’s products.
Given their central role in the value chain, distributors have a unique opportunity to offer attractive wholesale deals to these pros…many of whom can be found browsing their preferred manufacturer’s websites.
If only that hidden demand could be accessed. Good news: it can be!
Distributors can approach every manufacturer whose products they carry, and potentially tap into whole new pipelines of contractor leads, by:
- Asking manufacturers to create locator pages for distributors
- Asking to be added to manufacturers’ existing locators
- Pitching the benefits of an advanced locator page (with lead generation and enriched local content capabilities)
The Bullseye Locator software is perfect for this. With Bullseye, manufacturers can easily promote specific distributors with enhanced listings and embedded links to local content.
On the other end, distributors can position themselves as providing more-efficient wholesale transactions and expansion of territory, as well as being a “conduit” that attracts more local contractors to the manufacturer’s line of products.
With a little negotiation, distributors can convert a manufacturer’s roster of contractors into new streams of revenue. The effect is similar to a PPC ad campaign that drives sales, while raising the value of the entire building product supply network.
Except for distributors, it’s free, highly-targeted advertising!
5. Intercept End-Consumer Demand
There’s yet another powerful strategy distributors can use: lead the way by setting up a consumer-facing directory. This entails creating an online portal that serves as a go-to, trusted resource for contracting solutions.
Think in terms of sites like HomeAdvisor, Angi (formerly Angie’s List), or Houzz. By setting up a directory, a distributor can make their website a one-stop shop for homeowners, commercial property owners, and other consumers looking for quality contracting services.
The benefits are huge. For one, owning an online directory is a great opportunity in terms of SEO. If you set up your website to be a repository of information and detailed contractor listings, you can earn a favorable presence in local search rankings.
Over time, if your directory is informative, search-optimized, and convenient, you may even achieve “gatekeeper” status, becoming the first website people look up when they need to find a reputable contractor or installer.
In addition, having a directory — and earning a bigger name in select regions than your competition — can be leveraged to increase contractor loyalty and your own pricing power. As a gatekeeper, you’ll be able to drive more business to select contractors and attribute more transactions to your own organization. It’s a win-win all around.
The Bullseye Locator software is your ally in making your site a premium contractor directory. Use it to create fully-featured locator pages that generate leads as consumers submit inquiries, and you’ll serve both contractors and end consumers at the highest level.
Start Increasing Your Partnerships and Reach with Better Digital Marketing
Expanding your territory beyond existing borders and striking up new partnerships is always a priority. The ability to do this in the digital age, with modern online marketing techniques, is crucial.
Fortunately, it isn’t too hard with the right knowledge and the right tools.
Start by completing your GMB profiles and planning some local blog content. With that, you’ll be well on your way to gaining more leads and sales.
You’ll also want to get access to your manufacturer’s contractor network, while creating your own contractor directory or locator. This will take your marketing to the next level, leading to more wholesale customers and a larger market presence in the long run.
Bullseye Distributor Locator Software
What’s the best distributor locator software? That would be Bullseye.
By using a scalable, intuitive cloud platform like Bullseye to build your locator pages, you’ll be able to generate new contractor and retailer leads, nurture the relationships through consistent follow-up, and drive a strong return on investment for your online efforts as a whole.
Want to close the gap between your current website and what a Bullseye-powered distributor locator can do for your business? Schedule a free assessment of your current locator page to see the difference today.