In the last few years, business-to-business (b-to-b) companies have begun to realize what business to consumer (b-to-c) companies have known all along. Image matters.
Most b-to-b companies don’t have good branding because they’ve never had to in order to get results. Unlike b-to-c companies, spending money to look good in print and broadcast media was often a low priority. B-to-bs were better served generating business through direct sales force efforts and trade press, with image and collateral material taking a back seat. But, all that changed when the world went digital. Today, people expect to find information about your company online. If you’re not on the web or your website is shoddy, it gives a negative impression, that your company is outdated and unprofessional.
If you think you’re not in the image business, think again. Your branding and web presence profoundly affect how customers perceive you.
As a b-to-b company, you’ve probably never had a storefront. But, that’s what your website is, a storefront. It’s usually the first interaction potential clients have with your company. Because of this, your website should not only present a dynamic and professional image, it should also reflect the essence of your company, what you do, your culture, personality and values. A good website will provide ways for the public to interact with you, just as if you had welcomed them to your “store.”
However, a dynamic website is only the first step towards building a solid online presence. You also need a good SEO campaign. In a survey of 2,500 small businesses in the U.S., search engine optimization or SEO was chosen over paid search, mobile, social and traditional media as the marketing tool businesses would use if they could only choose one. Why? Because, SEO makes it easier for people looking for the things you provide (i.e. new customers) to find you.
Today, B-to-bs who invest in their brand, image, collateral material and online presence are finding that it pays big dividends, creates new opportunities and amplifies the efforts of their existing sales teams.
So, if you don’t have a strong online presence or an online presence at all, now’s the time to get one. You don’t want your competitors to show you up or worse, get the opportunities that should be yours.