Finding distributors within your industry can be a very difficult task when trying to use standard marketing tactics. That’s why using inbound marketing to attract distributors is an increasing trend for many B2B businesses. But how do you actually find distributors and why does inbound marketing work so well? Lets take a look.
Inbound Marketing Establishes Yourself As An Industry Thought Leader
Business owners are always looking for the next idea or strategy to improve their business; and these owners are looking for these ideas online, so make sure you are there for what they are looking for. Strive to offer insightful information on your website to attract the attention of these distributors. This information should help establish yourself as an industry thought leader. Once you have that established, your distributors will be looking to you for all the industry news and strategies. At that point they will not only start doing more research about your company, but they will have already started building trust with your company because of the insightfulness you have offered about the industry.
Trust is critical when trying to “sell” your partnership to potential distributors. Businesses want to partner with other companies that will help improve their current situation. If they don’t trust you, they will not be willing to partner with you. That’s why establishing yourself as thought leader can do wonders for attracting distributors and ultimately encouraging them to work with you.
Why LinkedIn is Your Best Friend
Inbound marketing leverages many social networks to get their information out there. The only problem with most of these networks for B2Bs is that they are better designed to reach an end-user instead of a company… except for LinkedIn. LinkedIn is like Facebook’s professional brother. You can create your own company profile and connect with other professionals within your industry. LinkedIn is great for spreading your content via the web and to create more brand awareness.
Sharing relevant resources on LinkedIn groups can help get your information in front of the right crowd. Groups can be thought of as an informal brainstorming session for an industry or idea. If you find the right groups, you could possibly tap into a bountiful amount of business owners looking for partners like yourself. All it takes is one really great piece of information to raise the awareness of your company. So how do you find the right groups?
The best way to find groups for your company is by searching with keywords that relate to your business. So heres an example, lets say you are looking for a distributor in the food service. You could type in a keyword like food service management and see what kind of groups appear. You also need to evaluate how many members are in the group and the frequency of posts. You may think you have found a great group due to its name, but what is it really worth when their are only 3 people in the group. Once you have a couple good groups to follow there are a few strategies you should use. First you should start making connections with the “power players” of the group. Conversate with them and offer good information. Others will see this and possibly start thinking of you as a “power player”. Also if you establish good relationships, they will be more willing to share your information with others within the industry.
When it comes to attracting distributors, inbound marketing is one of the best ways to do so. Leverage tools like LinkedIn to help spread your information of the industry and establish yourself as a thought leader. Once you have accomplished this, distributors will start looking for you to learn more and ultimately may become a partner.