How online marketing can maximize lead generation in the tank terminal industry
Optimize potential customer reach via online channels
The potential for generating leads through online marketing is enormous, especially for equipment suppliers in the tank storage sector with its vast market and global geographical spread. Online channels that we use every day can be easily leveraged for more efficient and precise sales leads, if applied effectively. To be effective, prospects need to go through the “know-like-trust” process in order to turn into “hot” leads that can be converted into clients. If you manage to nail this down, the rewards are tremendous. The scale of potential customers you can reach is huge, and because they communicate their interest in your product and/or service back to you through online channels, you will be able to target your sales efforts on those leads that show a genuine interest in your products and/or services. Clear communication based on data-driven information and market segmentation is key and should focus on what solutions you can offer their business. More importantly, timely responses are critical once you are contacted.
Digitization has been accelerated to new heights during the Covid-19 crisis
The current Covid-19 crisis has brought most tank terminal industry events to a near standstill. In normal market circumstances, industry events are usually the place where most equipment suppliers in the tank terminal sector generate their sales leads. With the possibility of sudden travel restrictions looming in the background of any type of planning currently, organizing or attending events can be too great a risk for many businesses, unless a hybrid attendance option is available.
The new normal: working remotely
In addition, with many countries going in and out of lockdown, working remotely has become the norm. Since many companies have been able to slash costs by eliminating business travel or reducing it to a minimum, this behavioral change in business is expected to become mainstay, too. Online marketing channels offer a robust way to continue generating sales leads whatever the circumstances and regardless of location.
Lead generation through online marketing is always a robust option
Online marketing offers you a way to contact your potential customer anytime or anywhere and position your company in the market so that you can target the right customers. Numerous studies have shown that targeted online marketing has a direct effect on customer conversion rates. More importantly, if a potential lead has responded to your online content with their contact information, you can be certain they have a genuine interest in your products and/or services. To reach the right target audience, there are a number of critical strategies you can apply to improve conversion rates and generate sales leads.
Differentiate your business from your competitors
In all your online communications, it is important that you distinguish your products and/or services from your competitors, especially if you specialize in a specific segment of the tank storage industry. By doing so, your potential customer will immediately know whether your offering holds any relevance for their business. Never assume everyone already knows what you do or what you specialize in. For instance, if you are an equipment supplier that specializes in loading arms, specify in all your communications what type of loading arm you specialize in: marine loading arms for terminals with barge and/or sea access, or top and bottom loading arms for terminals with truck and/or rail access.
Avoid online advertising waste: the know phase
Even if you sell all types of loading arms, be sure to indicate that differentiation clearly to your target audience since you could be particularly interesting for larger, corporate buyers which can impact your bargaining position. It is especially important to be clear and specific about your products and/or services in online advertising to avoid advertising waste. This not only saves your company costs, it also saves a potential customer time and resources if they contact you and discover you are unable to help them. In the know phase, your goal is to be “top of mind” for your prospective and existing customers and remain there. To achieve this, have your company’s logo placed in well-designed online banners and advertisements in trusted industry channels.
Produce relevant content for your target audience and potential leads: the like phase
When you produce online content for your target audience, make sure it is also present and highlighted in the industry’s most respected online channels and relevant on how your offering can be impactful on your customers’ business. This does not mean you have to give all information away as an equipment supplier, but enough to entice potential customers to contact you as a specialist. When you showcase your specialist knowledge with case studies from satisfied customers, you are demonstrating your company’s credibility and reputation in the industry.
How relevant and engaging content converts to sales leads: a promoted article
One example could be a subject matter expert’s blog on a steel manufacturer’s website that discusses which steel should be used for storage tanks with volatile products in locations with increasingly adverse weather conditions. Have as many people as possible share the blog internally and externally on Linkedin, and also placed in the tank terminal industry’s most used and trusted online channels, such as the TankTerminals.com newsletter, news website and Linkedin page. A promoted article such as this will generate traffic to your company’s website and demonstrate your thought leadership in the industry. The right, relevant content for your target audience should generate a conversation and contacts, and from there sales leads. Always update your content regularly to keep the conversation and momentum going.
Timely response to contacts is key: the trust phase
Slow reaction times are never good in any business and the same holds true online. Always respond in a timely manner, even if the commentary is negative. A reaction is an indication that this person is open to discussion. This can open up doors to a conversation and potential business for you as an equipment supplier because it creates a platform for you to engage with the potential customer. Research has shown that potential buyers online expect to be contacted within 20 minutes. Responding to a potential lead quickly indicates to them that you value their business as well as customer service.
The behavioral shift to online is permanent in B2B, too
A recent study by McKinsey & Company shows that the behavioral shift to online is now the preferred way of doing business for both B2B buyers and sellers even after the Covid-19 pandemic has passed. For equipment suppliers in the tank terminal industry, the benefits of a successful online marketing strategy cannot be overemphasized due to vast geographical spread of its potential customer base. By using the right data-driven information and market segmentation strategy, you can create an online marketing strategy that effectively increases conversion rates and generates sales leads wherever you or your potential customers are located.
The information in this article was gathered from the tankterminals.com database platform, where information on market players globally is just a few clicks away.
For more information, contact: Michael Muijen, Marketing & Sales Manager at Insights Global by following this link.