In February, I covered why your website is important and why you need to be found by search engines. However, I’d forgive you for saying – “Well that’s easy for you Andy, you work for a large company like Xerox, it’s totally different if you are a channel partner”.
Good point – well made. That’s why I caught up with a three Xerox Authorized Agents after a digital marketing session in New Orleans to gain their perspective.
Here is an overview of how their journey to building a great website started – with some tips on how they approached the task.
Be prepared – you’re in it for the long haul
Professional Document Solutions (PDS)
18 months ago, PDS redesigned their website, added an e-commerce shopping cart and focused on search engine optimization, content, and social media.
Here are five tips from Ben Devries and Terry Knight:
Search like a prospect
Establish how bad it is for your business. Many prospects won’t search for you by name. They search [color copier] + [your city/town] or [What’s the best printer ] + [your city/town]. If you’re not on the first page of Google or bing, you unlikely to be found – this should ring the alarm.
Don’t delay – start today
Digital marketing is not a magic bullet. It took 18-months for PDS to see tangible returns after redesigning their website from scratch. The sooner you get started, the better.
Selling online takes time
Netting the first online sale via an e-commerce shopping cart didn’t happen immediately but visitors are now buying from PDS online more regularly.
Content is a connector
You may not get a sale or a lead from one visit but if you get an email address for your newsletter you gain a warm audience to nurture. A 500% increase in website traffic in the last six months has brought 400 new, opt-in subscribers to the PDS newsletter.
Consider the customer lifetime value
What’s the value of a lead compared to the cost of digital marketing? In the first year, PDS captured 12 net-new leads and generated 128 new service emails in addition to the e-commerce orders.
No time? Outsource to get you started
Document Services Inc
Four months ago, Document Services, launched an updated website to provide their social media audiences a place to learn more about their business and the products and services they offered. Here are four tips from Karie Padilla on how they went the outsource route:
Social media alone won’t cut it
Don’t get caught thinking social media profiles can replace a website. A Facebook page and ads make building a local audience easy. Prospects may connect there, but they aren’t buying on Facebook. A website is where they research your offerings before contacting you.
Think about your look
A website is often a buyer’s first impression. What should it portray? Is it easy to navigate? Are your product pages up to date? Search other websites for ideas before embarking on a redesign and make sure it’s mobile friendly.
Time doesn’t have to be a showstopper
You don’t have to do it all yourself. Xerox Agents can use approved vendors to build their websites. Document Services Inc. liked the PDS website and had them build theirs with co-op funds. It launched two-weeks later, and now PDS manages the product pages, regular updates and website maintenance, saving time for Document Services Inc.
Start with small steps
Once you start, it doesn’t take long to see enough results to keep the excitement going. It’s been four months and the positive feedback and new interest from potential customers made it easy to add more activity on Twitter and LinkedIn plus a blog is in the works.
Include your entire team and remember the basics
Benchmark has opened five new locations within the past three years and with a new website recently launched they’re ready to keep growing and investing in digital. Constance Barbian is the marketing force behind their digital strategy here are her five tips.
Think about brand recall and awareness
Choose a domain name that’s easy to remember. Include the URL on everything; email signatures, letterhead, business cards, and advertising.
Add “calls to action”
It’s common to ask for newsletter subscribers and other calls to action to encourage visitors to connect and provide their email address. They might not buy now, but staying on their radar will help you to win their business in the future.
Let metrics guide you
Set up robust website analytics and use the data to inform your digital decisions. Knowing where visitors come from, pages visited and other metrics help you provide more of what they come looking for.
Budget allocation gives marketing an important seat at the table alongside service, sales and operations. Do not underestimate this!
Bring your team on the journey
Employees can be your best advocates. Sales and service work daily with your audience. Use their knowledge to develop content that maps to customers needs and share marketing strategy and metrics internally.
Your vendor can help
So there you have it, real life digital marketing tips from channel partners who are just like you. We’re so convinced that you need to master your digital presence that we created a program called Xerox Digital Mastery.
If you are already a Xerox channel partner, check out the Digital Mastery section of the Xerox SMARTCentre website for more tips and links to useful resources to help you master digital marketing.
If you aren’t already working with us, ask your current vendor how they can help you master digital marketing – and feel free to check out the Xerox Global Partner Program, to compare the difference.
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