By Larry Stopa and Adrian Bredeson, E-Power Marketing
Within this Digital Education series, we are working to help IHA members understand all the possibilities online marketing presents to brands in the home and housewares industry. During our time at the International Home + Housewares Show, we met with a number of brands to discuss their marketing initiatives and we gave specific recommendations on how they could strengthen their online presence. During these discussions, we noticed a theme among manufacturers, curious as to how they could help their local retailers achieve success on the search engines. While it’s important that a manufacturer’s online presence is optimized, if no one can find their retailers, how will their products be purchased?
Manufacturers have a different set of challenges in marketing and selling their products. It goes beyond name recognition and brand loyalty to helping their target audience actually find the product. Having an easy to use “Where to Buy” page on your website is important, but there is more you can do. Educating your target audience about how, where and why to select your brand over your competition has never been more important. It has also never been easier with online marketing.
How to Help Your Local Retailers Achieve Search Engine Success
- Build Relationships – Work with your retailers closely, create a professional relationship with them so that they know and have your brand on their mind at all times. From product placement to in-store recommendations, make sure it’s your brand they are familiar with and they want to help you out.
- Learn About their Online Marketing – Ask about their online marketing programs. Let them know how important SEO, PPC and Social Media can be and how much it can help their website and their store. Understanding their goals and marketing initiatives will help you recognize how they can help your brand.
- Go Local – Encourage all of your retailers to claim their local listings, especially on Local Search sites like Google Places, Bing Business Portal and Yahoo Local, as well as other local listing websites like Yelp and Merchant Circle. Local listings are an easy way to gain search visibility quickly, make sure your retailers are taking advantage! Asking them to list your brand within their company description or within the “Brands Carried” fields and to highlight photos of your products in these listings will be helpful as well!
- Give Some Incentive – Provide your retailers with brand specific coupons for them to use on their websites, local search listings and on their social media profiles. Give them a reason to push your brand.
- Host a Party – Sponsor a demo, cooking show or some other in-store promotion that focuses on your brand. Ask that they publicize the event online, through their website, local listings and Social Media profiles. Bring their customers to their store for your brand.
- Build a Quality Link Profile – Include a link to your retailers on a “Where to Buy” page on your website and don’t be afraid to ask them to return the favor. Quality links from relevant sources like your retailers will be beneficial to your website’s search visibility.
Optimizing your website and online presence is important, but as a manufacturer you can and should take that extra step to know what your retailers are doing as well. Helping them grow their online presence will ultimately help your business. Take advantage of these tools and practices to grow your brand by helping your retailers!