5 Things Successful Distributors Are Doing That You Need To Try

Posted to Trend Watch | 05/10/2017

Staying up-to-date with your competitors is vital – not just for our industry, but for any industry. It’s important to always keep tabs on them, and take ideas and make them your own.

Here are 5 simple things that we’ve noticed our highest-performing distributors are doing that will help you grow your business, and get you up there with the big boys of the industry:

1. SEO.

Search Engine Optimization is the practice of optimizing your website, blog, or eCommerce store for the highest ranking on major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL (to name a few. Obviously, Google is the most important search engine to optimize for). It’s super important that your customers can find you – so make sure that you’re doing your due diligence in keyword research, sitemap submission, and backlink building.

A great tool to track your search engine performance is Google Analytics – not only can you track how you rank, but you will receive suggestions about how you can improve your ranking. The best advice you will hear, though, is to offer great products, or create great content (or both!)

2. Social Media.

All the cool kids are doing it – so why aren’t you?

Social media is currently one of the most important methods of reaching your customers– in fact, there are businesses in existence who capitalize solely on social media presence without even selling anything! Sounds crazy, right?

You need to be sharing your product videos, writing articles (or sharing other industry-related articles), and engaging with readers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest, and more. If it sounds a little too overwhelming, you can always hire a qualified person or outsource to a professional firm that specializes in social media.

3. Industry Tradeshows.

There are two kinds of tradeshows within this industry – supplier-distributor tradeshows, and distributor-end user tradeshows. As a distributor, it’s extremely important to go to both – you need to know which products are hottest on the market, and you also want to market yourself with an awesome booth (we’ll touch on that in a bit).

The best distributors in the industry are all over the tradeshows that happen. Some of the most prominent industry-related tradeshows are:

  • ASI - Orlando
  • PPAI Expo - Las Vegas
  • The HALOPalooza End User Event - Los Angeles
  • IPU Supplier Showcase - San Diego
  • Something Inked Show - Las Vegas

And that’s only to name a few! There are many more shows depending on what state, or country, your business is located in!

You can’t miss out on anything when it comes to tradeshows, and in order to have the best chance at people stopping by, your booth has to be on point. Hire an awesome tradeshow display designer to make sure that your foot traffic - conversion rate is as high as it can be!

4. Clean Graphic Design and Branding

Decent graphic design is important in any industry, but is more than vital within the promotional products industry.

In an industry where – let’s face it – everyone is selling pretty much the same products, it’s important that your business stands out in terms of web design, graphic design, and customer service. The easiest problem to face here is the graphic design – a good designer can employ a “fake it till you make it” tactic: this method creates a highly professional set of designs, UI, and ads that appear to potential customers as a business that knows what it’s doing.

Good graphic design can make or break a promotional products distribution company. Everything from your logo, to your business cards, to your website will be a contributing factor to whether or not people will want to buy from you.

Besides – your customers are looking to YOU to help THEM promote THEIR BRAND. If you can’t professionally represent yourself with adequate and aesthetically pleasing design, how can they trust you to give them what they need?

5. Cross-Platform Advertising

Cross-platform advertising basically means that you are marketing/advertising your brand, services, and products on more than one platform – whether it’s online, or in-person. It’s easier said than done, but diversifying how you market your business services is what is going to make or break your success as a distributor.

Advertising is how you can scale your business from a profitable income, to a thriving corporate giant – spend money to make money, the ancient saying. In the modern, digital age, there are so many platforms available for advertising that it is difficult to know where to start – but, if you take a step back to examine your audience, the answer is:

  • Social Media Advertising.
  • Search Engine Advertising.
  • Tradeshow Advertising.
  • Word-Of-Mouth Advertising.
  • PPAI and SAGE Advertising

Having your brand listed on PPAI and SAGE not only increase your discover-ability, but adds to your brand authority. Make sure to invest in these avenues of advertising!

6. Bonus Tip! Pick The Right Suppliers!

Pricing is inevitably important, because your price margins have to make sense in order to become a profitable distribution agency. But don’t just think about pricing – there are several factors you should take into consideration before buying from a supplier:

  • Make sure that a supplier has a wide array of creative, unique, fun, and professional promotional items with varying imprint methods. We can’t tell you how many times our customers have let us know that the amount of products we carry is impressive – so don’t be afraid to shop around!
  • Quality inventory and shipping options are key, too – the most disappointing thing that can happen to a distributor is to fall in love with a product on a supplier website, and call only to learn that the stock is limited. Thankfully, last year, High Caliber Line began to invest in massive inventory in all of our best-selling items.

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If you can think of any additional tactics that any and all distributors should be doing, let us know in the comments section below and share it for your friends to see.