It’s time to rewrite your wholesaler marketing strategy
While there are loose definitions of what a wholesaler is, we’re specifically speaking to those of you who acquire products from manufacturers and sell them to retailers. As a middle-person (so to speak) you’re in a unique marketing position. Traditionally, you acquired customers through referrals, trade shows, and networking events, but the landscape has changed significantly over the last year. Digital marketing has become as integral to your category as it has to the retailers you serve. To remain relevant and competitive, please consider the follow as you plan for the fiscal periods to come.
How Your Wholesale Company Must Evolve Its Online Marketing Strategy to Remain Competitive in 2021-22 (and Beyond)
Remember, You’re eComm Too
Many (maybe all) of your retailers are selling the goods that they purchase from you online, making eCommerce management an integral part of their business. But it’s important for you to recognize that eComm optimization is critical to your own operations. Retailers don’t pick up the phone to place orders like they used to. Like their own customers, they prefer to make their purchases online. Your website needs to be updated to meet this demand. However, as a manufacturer your scale is much grander, and retailer-focused commercial platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce don’t offer the flexibility that you require. You’ll want to focus on open–source software development and build out eCommerce functionality that speaks to your unique needs, allowing for better automation on repeat orders and much more. Not only will it offer customizable functionality to keep your retailers happy, it allows for far superior search engine optimization (SEO) when compared to commercially available software. Customization is just the tip of the iceberg. View our guide to optimizing your eCommerce website for client acquisition.
Content is Just as Important
Most wholesaler websites fall flat on one of the most important parts of online marketing – content creation. The assumption is that because you are not consumer-focused that content marketing isn’t required. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Your retailers are just as hungry for engaging and helpful information as their own customers are. They too want to keep up to date on trends and new products. They also look to wholesalers for guidance on how to better reach their customers. It’s your job as the agent between the manufacturer and them to provide this guidance.
Your digital marketing strategy should include the creation of original and useful information about beneficial features and uses of the products that you usher into the retail sector. When it comes to acquiring new national and/or international retailers, creating content about shipping information is also extremely important. Your catalogue of marketing content should consist of original articles, press releases, user-manuals, photos, info-graphics, and video, all of which should be housed on your website via blog posts, landing pages, and within photo/video galleries, as applicable. Each new publication must be optimized to be found by both retailers and consumers on Google search. It should also be made sharable so that engaged parties can champion it on their own digital assets – including their social networks (more on that below).
You Need to Be More Social
It’s time for wholesalers to leave behind the warehouse mentality and join the folks in the commercial space for some social activity. In 2021-22 no business sector is excused from social media marketing. It is expected by retailers that you are engaged on the same social networks that they are. It shows them that you are relevant, and that you are aware of where their own customers are coming from.
Think about it. Your B2C clients are using Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok every day to build relationships with their customers – the very people that buy the products you (wholesaler) sell them (retailer). B2C owners, marketers, and other decision-makers are behind these business accounts, and are spending hours every day and week on the respective platforms in order to maintain their brand’s social relevance with online consumers. Shouldn’t you be there too? Absolutely.
For a wholesaler, social media is an invaluable public relations tool and provides you with an added channel to communicate with, engage, and foster relationships with clients. In today’s highly competitive environment you need every possible edge. Beyond LinkedIn (that’s expected for a B2B) start building your Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok following like a rock star! Who knew wholesaling could be so cool.
Manufacturers depend upon you to move their goods, and retailers depend on you to get them. You need someone to rely on to acquire vendor relationships online and ensure that the supply chain stays strong. Contact Strategis Consulting to begin your new journey to greater profits.