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Out-Marketing Amazon

Out-Marketing Amazon

How do you out-market Amazon? Truthfully, you don’t. You can’t. Considering the fact that Amazon spends billions of dollars each year on marketing and advertising, you shouldn’t worry about trying, because you’d be wasting your time.

In fact, even when Amazon has an occasional fail (for example, the recent Amazon Prime Day when their system crashed), they get free press. No distributor can compete with that. Not even Grainger.

While you may not be able to be heard amongst the noise Amazon generates, you can easily be present and heard where their noise doesn’t exist. You can maintain a presence where Amazon isn’t, and your customers are; a place where Amazon doesn’t feel the need to be just yet and perhaps never will. Sound interesting? If so, allow me to introduce you to the always improving and ever-present, Google My Business™.

Google My Business is the prime digital real estate that appears at the top of just about every Google search engine results page that includes a geographic reference. It includes a free suite of tools to expand your company’s internet presence and promote your business. Chances are, as a consumer, you’ve seen Google My Business listings in your own search results, but what you probably didn’t notice were the many opportunities for sharing information these listings offer.

For example, did you know your Google My Business listing includes an area for daily social posts? You can quickly and easily get the word out about new products, ongoing sales, counter days and other events and promotions at the very top of the search engine. You also can post photos to appear prominently, giving you a great opportunity to get your branding, logo, and any other images in front of a lot of people.

In fact, Google My Business listings allow you to include much more than just your company’s name, address and driving directions. Since these listings appear so often and so prominently, use the exposure the listings offer to help build your company’s platform as an industry leader and to keep you top-of-mind, in addition to simply attracting customers into your branches.

Here are just a few of the additional pieces of content to add to your listings that will elevate the public perception of your company:

  • A detailed description of your business;
  • Posts that promote your industry knowledge, your products, and any special offers you’re running. These posts can be up to 300 words long, include a photo or a video, as well as a call-to-action button for the reader to get even more of your information;
  • A categorized list of the services your offer along with a detailed description of each*;
  • Photos and videos about your products, your company, your company activities, perhaps even a virtual tour of your distribution center;
  • Promotions of upcoming events

You’re permitted to add an unlimited number of all of the items listed above, except for the detailed description, which is limited to 750 characters.

In addition to the items above, other cool features Google My Business listings include are the ability to accept and answer questions from the public, the ability to receive text messages (visible from a smartphone only) and phone calls directly from your listing, the ability to respond to Google reviews, and the ability to appear on Google Maps™ as a labeled location (as opposed to just an address.)

If your distribution company has local branches, create a Google My Business listing for each branch. Once you create them, if you have ten branches, you’ll now have ten opportunities to share your information at the top of the search engine. If you do not have branches, create a Google My Business listing for your corporate location.

Google focuses on putting fresh new content toward the top of the search engines. Keep your listings fresh and at the very top of searches by enlisting your branch managers and their teams to update and maintain their individual branch listings on a regular basis. There are apps your team members can add to their smartphones that will enable them to do so quickly and easily.

Another benefit of Google My Business is the access to its analytics, where you’ll find insights about what people look for when they find you, where they came from geographically, and what attracted them to you. Once you see a trend of success and have an idea of what works, you can do more of the same.

Leverage Your Homefield Advantage

Your customers find comfort in knowing you’re there and available when they need you. It’s important, therefore, that you make it as easy as possible for them to find you, contact you, and know about all that you offer. The relationships you build with your customers are probably the strongest advantage you have over Amazon, so be sure to leverage every opportunity to keep those relationships going strong.

When you build out your Google My Business listings you become an informational resource that lives at the fingertips of your customers, which gives you a terrific homefield advantage that Amazon can’t touch.


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Susan Merlo  is a strategic marketing consultant, speaker, and trainer who specializes in digital marketing for the distribution industry. To learn more about her visit www.SusanMerlo.com or email her directly at Susan@SusanMerlo.com.

Discussion (2 comments)

    Lee September 14, 2018 / 6:49 am

    Very informative article! Thank you Susan, and I’ll be passing this on to others I know who are looking for your great marketing tips!

    Brian Bayford September 17, 2018 / 9:25 am

    Great information, we are constantly looking for ways to expand our marketing for our businesses.
    Brian Bayford

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