If you run a company that’s been in business since before the internet existed, or if few other companies in your industry are advertising online, marketing your business online might feel a little out of place.
After all, the entire lifecycle of the high-quality work you provide your customer begins, occurs, and ends completely offline. So why spend more time on your web presence when you’re getting business through your other sales efforts?
The answer is quite simple. You may not think that potential buyers of your products or services use the internet to find you, but your prospective customers search for related information when they research purchase options.
Google helps potential customers pick your company
As they pore through Google search results to gather as much information as possible, they’re seeking expert insight and opinions to help them develop a solution set and make their purchase decision. And when your company website is the source of that expert insight (or you are available to answer questions on their favorite social media platform), you’re able to establish your expertise and build a relationship before your customer reaches out in person.
Offline customers start online with research
Did you know that 94 percent of B2B buyers conduct some form of online research before they make a business purchase? That means that even if the service you provide for your customer has nothing to do with a computer, your customer still uses a computer to perform the early stage research that leads to a buying decision!
Your goal should be to intercept your customer early on as they gather that decision-making information and build a relationship before they make their choice. Becoming a part of this process is a vital step in building interest, trust, and relationship. That means creating high-quality blog posts, downloadable information, and social media interactions for your company that give prospective customers a number of opportunities to acquire information.
It’s not a matter of how to sell your services online. It’s a matter of how to generate leads online by appealing to your target customers and providing non-threatening opportunities for them to learn. If your company isn't visible online -- whether on LinkedIn, in search results, or with an effective website -- then it's much more difficult to be considered by your customers as they build their understanding of their purchase.
If you’re in business, you need a good online presence. What matters is where your customers want you to be. If you are an offline business wondering how to generate leads online, it might be time to think about giving online lead generation a try. Hundreds of potential customers are doing early stage research and looking for products and services like yours every month. Will your website show up when they search? Will they find something that benefits them when they browse your website?
Getting started can be easy
Though some companies choose to, you don't have to go "all-in" with email, social media, blogging, content marketing, etc.
Here are some quick things you might consider if you haven't updated your web presence in a while:
- Claim your local business page on Google
- Update your website with the latest product and service offerings (be sure to include answers to questions that you hear from potential customers)
- Get rid of all the technical jargon on your website that might confuse a potential customer
- Start a business page on LinkedIn, and post a helpful tip for potential customers once per week
- Consider getting some help
If you’re wondering how this might work for your business, I’d ask that you consider a complimentary B2B marketing opportunity review. We’ll take you through it in layman’s terms and show you how much potential there is for your company.