Are you making the most of all directory opportunities at your disposal?

We pose the question because in this blog post we underline the key role directory entries can play in helping your customers find you – and vice versa.

Thanks to the internet, directories have become vibrant, ever-evolving documents which provide a wealth of invaluable links.

Here’s how to make your directory entries the hard-working and effective tools they should be.

Why do they want our entries?

All directory publishers want their publications to have a huge audience, so they’ll do all in the power to be the most comprehensive authority in their field.

The larger their reach the more they’re going to impress potential advertisers, so they need your entry to add volume and build respect among their audience.

For this reason they want you on board, so the big benefit to you is that they’ll usually offer a basic entry at no cost to you.

Paid for or free entries?

Don’t be too quick to pay, even if a paid-for option appears to be attractive. Yes, the directory will want you to cough up for an enhanced presence or featured status with an eye-catching image, but try the free option before splashing out.

You can always upgrade later, after evaluating the results of your free listing.

Keyword-rich product information

In addition to basic information such as company name and contact details there will often be room for a products and services summary, even in a free entry.

Use the keywords which are already working for you on your website, and if you are offered the opportunity to add tags and there is only a limited number available, focus on those that are going to be most relevant to people using that particular directory.

Which directories?

It’s tempting to say ‘all of them’ but a directory focusing on businesses in your geographical location won’t necessarily benefit you unless people who want your products and services are on your doorstep.

If you sell nationwide or internationally as opposed to locally, seek out niche market directories.

There might be fewer people seeing your entry, but if they are using the long-tail keyword search that you have so painstakingly researched and opted for, then they are more likely to be serious about buying from you.

For further information see our Top Tips For Directory Management (free entries)

Websites have moved on so much in recent years, so it’s likely you’ll have upgraded or relaunched at least once. If not, you’re probably considering doing so.

The process is no easy task and it will represent an investment of thousands of pounds financially, and it will cost a fair amount of emotional and physical energy.

But the work can’t stop there. You need to raise awareness of your business and promote your website at minimum cost, and here are four low-cost options.

Directories

On-line trade directories will get your url in front of the right people and often at no cost.

Trade directories are also likely to have some form of editorial output to complement the bare bones of the site, so contact the web admin to alert them to your website relaunch and offer to provide a few paragraphs of copy and some images.

Make sure you provide urls to the relevant pages so the admin can make your story and images clickable.

Blogging

You know your products inside-out, so generating a couple of hundred words every other week should prove straightforward, and regular updates provide value in terms of Search Engine Optimisation for your site, pushing it high up the rankings.

If you can’t think what to write about, brainstorm topics with your team. A great place to start is with the questions already being posed by customers or potential buyers. If they’re asking questions, chances are others will want to hear the answers.

Social media

You have a social media presence and you’re always wondering what to talk about on the various platforms. An upgrade to your website provides the perfect opportunity to generate exciting content. Make it rich in visuals and light on words. Social media is all about show and tell.

E-Mailing

You have a list of previous buyers and previous enquirers, so a great starting point is to tell them about your new website in an e-mail.

Don’t be lazy, though. The words ‘Check out our new website’ are not going to excite any interest, because nobody is going to visit your website out of the goodness of their heart. They need one question answered, and it is this – ‘What’s in it for me?’

So spell it out with specific promises you know you can deliver, making it impossible for the reader to ignore your invitation to click through.

One crucial thing to add regarding email marketing – if you are considering building an e-mail list and sending regular updates to people on it, there are strict regulations covering such activity. One key element is to tell people how they came to be receiving an email from you, and giving them the opportunity to opt out of hearing from you again. Regulations are different for mailing to individuals and for sending to companies.

Full details found here.

Outsource it

Most companies find that is an awful lot of work for a small company – which is where we can come in and do it for you. The chances are that most of your competitors will be doing very little of the above and we can put together a package that is appropriate to your business and won’t involve a corporate mega-budget – after all, what we do is to specialise in growing small companies into big ones – by working smarter.

For more inspiration on promoting your website read Ian Deavin’s white paper entitled ‘How small companies are competing successfully and punching above their weight’

or

  • Speak to us on 01462 850040 or 07860 218334.

Product images are a valuable commodity and can even be described as the extra member of your sales/marketing team.

You’ll have heard the expression ‘don’t tell me, show me’, which supports the view that a visual aid or demonstration has a greater impact on an audience than mere words.

This is backed up by a study which found that when people hear information they are likely to remember only 10 per cent of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, they will retain 65 per cent of the information three days later.

So are you making the most of the images in your photo library or product catalogue, and what can you do to get more of them in front of potential customers?

Make images available

Our advice is to include at least one image with each press release you send to print publications or on-line sites. Landscape is preferable and in the case of print publications essential if you want the image to be placed across two or more columns instead of squeezed into a single column.

Be thorough

When sending a press release give full details relating to the image so that the person uploading it or preparing for print doesn’t need to make a call to ask for information. The more thorough you are the more likely your press release and image are to be used.

Think creatively, without losing focus

When commissioning a photographer think about eye-catching opportunities as well as the practicalities, but make sure the photographer works to your brief, not theirs. You don’t want the integrity of your products watered down by extraneous content, but technical images don’t need to be dull.

Is the image usable in a practical sense?

With such huge steps forward in on-line storage capacity news sites can carry hundreds of images, but site admins or bloggers won’t be pleased if you send a handful of images which are of such a high resolution that they each take up 4MB of memory. If each image needs to be resized and reduced you’re giving someone an extra task and it’s possible the images will be spiked.

The whole picture from all sides

Buyers expect to be able to see products close-up and from different angles, but don’t go overboard. If one picture is enough, quit while you’re ahead, but if you need more, make sure you don’t duplicate angles. Stick to the essentials and ensure the picture shows features in an eye-catching way with a colourful and/or relevant background.

Think of the added exposure

It’s true that written explanations – of technical details, functions and benefits – make up most of what you’re going to say, but if any of this can be conveyed in a complementary image or, even better, a brief video, your message will reach a larger audience.

Don’t forget the people behind the products

It’s not just products that need to be shown, either. Let customers see who’s in your team. Get personalities involved, because people not only buy from people, but they buy into people.

  • See Ian Deavin’s white paper on Industrial Photography for Marketeers
  • To discuss services provided by The Industrial Marketing Agency speak to Ian, Lesley or Sue on 01462 850040, or call Ian on 07860 218334 or Lesley on 07799 642863

Have you ever laid down and let people walk all over you? Course not. You’re a planner, a prepper, and when you face challenges you’re a scrambler, a person who keeps going and somehow finds that by striving to meet challenges head-on there’s always a new opportunity presenting itself.

That’s the secret of successful Press Relations for industrial SMEs operating in the industrial marketplace. To keep going. To battle, and put yourself out there so that more people notice you.

Trouble is, you know how to research, develop and produce the products that engineers and technicians want to use – you’ve been serving the industrial marketplace for years – but to you, pushing out news or press releases is a tiresome task, a hit or miss activity that doesn’t bring the rewards it should, given the time and effort you put into them.

Notice we say Press Relations and not Public Relations. The distinction is crucial to you in the industrial marketplace.

Public Relations is more likely associated with the promotion and self-promotion of celebrities, politicians or B2Cs who want to generate hits for their website. The practice is, frankly, becoming a bore to many people as they realise their emotions are being manipulated and that they’ve been baited for a highly prized click.

Press Relations, on the other hand, is the vital interaction between you, your products and services, and the trade press and trade customers. This is a much more meaningful relationship and one you know is worth developing.

The benefits and rewards of doing it properly are immense, but the process of achieving those results can be challenging.

You might have dabbled in Press Relations or delegated it to someone in your organisation who you think has the time and talent to do it.

But could you be doing more? If you’re answering ‘yes, but I don’t have the time, the staff or the money to do it’ then we have a ‘Guide to Press Relations for Industrial SMEs’ that you should see.

In it, we outline how you can achieve maximum results for a minimum investment.

So to answer the question ‘How can we do industrial PR – and how can we do it cheaply?’ see this link and read Ian Deavin’s guide.

• The Industrial Marketing Agency has been providing Press Relations for Industrial SMEs for more than two decades. Some of our clients go back over 20 years with us so you’ve probably sussed that we’re pretty good at what we do and provide value to those clients.
Interestingly, those clients don’t question the level of investment required, instead choosing to focus on the benefits.
Speak to Ian, Lesley or Sue on 01462 850040 or call Ian on 07860 218334 or Lesley on 07799 642863 to arrange a 40-minute meeting with you.

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