Top 4 digital marketing trends for distributors

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In a world saturated with superficial distractions and fleeting trends, business owners in the distribution industry know that success isn't about chasing after vanity metrics such as "likes" and "clicks". It's about rolling up your sleeves, engaging with your customers, and seeing results. For those with old-school values and a no-nonsense approach, this blog is your guide to cutting through the noise, learning from the latest trends, and focusing on actionable steps your distribution or dealership business can make.

Here at Illumine8, we see four major digital marketing trends take center stage: a more significant emphasis on marketing attribution, the rise of hyper-personalization, the incorporation of voice search in SEO, and an increase in preference for user-generated content. 

Trend #1: Marketing attribution

Marketing budgets are often the first to be impacted by cost-cutting measures. Because of technological advancements and consumer behavior reporting, attribution for marketing dollars is easier than ever. Equipment dealerships and distributors evaluate their spending priorities with their sales goals and profits.

With this trend, be ready to show how your marketing spending is creating opportunities for your sales team to develop and close deals. Multi-touch attribution reporting helps demonstrate how multiple interactions contribute to sales. Interactions typically influence sales through a combination of factors rather than just one. Determine the value of each marketing touchpoint of your distribution customer as experienced in their buyer's journey. 

CMS software like HubSpot helps track a customer's journey and show attribution. For example, we reviewed a client's marketing program last year and found a clear link between sales and their website. After the customer saw a blog that the client featured on their home page, they completed the "Get a Quote" form. 

Through the sales process, email lead nurturing automation and a strategic marketing program, a lead was tracked and successfully resulted in a closed deal. Showing the "proof in the pudding" and the multi-touch attribution allowed us to ensure the client that their investment in SEO marketing was paying off. 

Trend #2: Hyper-personalization

Remember those "choose your own adventure" books? One choice changes your content path, often leading to the same buried treasure. Similarly, a growing need for customized marketing tailored to a person's preferences and information is growing. Gone are the days of blanket emails sent to everyone in your database.  

Hyper-targeted ads can be customized for specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. Understanding lead behavior achieves this customization, making the ads more effective. This is where brand positioning is critical.

Personalized strategic marketing uses different online tools to send specific messages to the right audience at the right time. This includes social media, display ads, and search engine marketing. By targeting your messages, your marketing efforts become more effective. 

You can populate your site to show specific messages, headlines, and blogs through smart content. Through segmented lists, you can avoid sending irrelevant messages to customers. With a CMS, you can see a customer's behavior and tailor your follow-up calls to address the various pages they may have visited on your site. 

Imagine you're selling expensive equipment through distributors and dealerships. If a customer has already bought something from you, it doesn't make sense to bombard them with information about deals they can't use. Instead, tailor their experience by showing them maintenance packages or accessories that complement what they've already bought.

Trend #3: Voice search SEO

My family can't stand that I don't use the voice search feature on the remote. Meanwhile, my 5-year-old's voice search diction is so precise it's a bit terrifying. While I am slow to adopt this shortcut, the voice command trend isn't going away anytime soon. 

Voice search SEO helps make your distributor website content more accessible and valuable for voice command searches. This SEO type targets searches on devices such as smartphones, smart speakers, and virtual assistants. It's like traditional SEO, but now we have to think about how people ask questions verbally when creating web content.

Some quick things to consider when keeping up with this trend in your distributor marketing strategy include:

Use Long-Tail Keywords: Voice searches are more conversational and longer than text-based searches. Focus on optimizing your content for long-tail keywords and natural language phrases that mimic how people speak.

An example of Long-Tailed Keywords for an equipment distributor would be:

  • Commercial Mower with attachments
  • The Perfect Tractor for Farmette

Answer Questions: Voice searches often involve asking questions, so optimizing your content to provide direct answers to common questions related to your industry, products, or services can improve your chances of appearing in voice search results.

  • What's the best commercial push mower?
  • Where can I find a commercial mower distributor?

Optimize for Local Search: Many voice searches are location-based, so optimizing your website for local SEO is essential. This includes claiming your Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) listing, optimizing your website for local keywords, and ensuring that your distribution business information is consistent across online directories.

  • The zero-turn mower for sale in Frederick, MD
  • Best snowblower for Frederick, Maryland, weather

Improve Page Speed: Page speed is critical for voice search SEO since users expect fast and seamless experiences when using voice-enabled devices. Optimize your website's loading times to improve user experience and increase the likelihood of appearing in voice search results. Are you concerned about your page speed? Try our marketing grader to see how your site performs.

Optimize for Featured Snippets: Featured snippets often appear at the top of search results. This makes snippets prime real estate for voice search queries. Optimize your content to increase the likelihood of being featured in these snippets. Provide concise answers to common questions or use structured data markup to mark up critical information.

There is no guarantee that Google will use the content you've created for a featured snippet. But creating high-quality, specific, and targeted content gives you an advantage over your competitors.

Trend #4: User-generated content

Customers are becoming more familiar with AI content. We all are starting to tell the difference between computer-generated and human-curated content. A trend is moving back towards personal experience with your brand. Focus on providing authentic, human-created content for your distribution or dealership.

In the right context, customers are not always going to respond well to a polished and perfectly branded experience - they also want to see the human side. From user-generated reviews and testimonials to behind-the-scenes glimpses of daily operations, distributors recognize the value of authentic content to build trust and credibility. 

In an era where authenticity reigns supreme, the ability to create genuine, human-centric content has become a cornerstone of effective digital marketing strategies. Positioning your marketing and messaging to appeal to your customer's interactions with your employees is a great start. 

For example, take a photo of your team instead of using a stock image for your social media post. Your employees have the potential to be the best brand ambassadors for your dealership and distribution company.  

Keeping up with the clicks

Embracing marketing attribution, hyper-personalization, voice search optimization, and user-generated content enables distributors to remain relevant in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

At Illumine8, we firmly believe that regardless of budget constraints, distributors and dealerships can utilize these tactics to compete in today's dynamic digital marketing environment.

Our mission is to empower distributors with the tools and insights to navigate these trends effectively, fostering growth and establishing meaningful connections with their audience. Let Illumine8 be your partner on the journey to digital marketing excellence.

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