We are a rubber parts supplier and we are trying to attract customers through our website.
Traditionally our business has been very low-key and old school, but we want to introduce ecommerce methods to increase exposure and sales volume. As its not a "sexy" business, we are somewhat confused on how to market using the methods suggested in the forum here. For example, a customer looking for sewing machine damper would not typically use Instagram.
If you are not sure what our business looks like please take a look at our site:
Any suggestions welcome.
1) Your priority should be on SEO or even SEM, as your target audience would likely to be really sure about their needs and looking specifically for the products you are providing, instead of impulse purchase. Search Engine as a PULL channel is better than a push channel like Instagram or Facebook.
2) You may also consider being active in question and answer sites or relevant forums. For example if some one is asking question about missing parts in their sewing machine. General site could be Quora or Yahoo Answers. Not sure if there are some forums specifically related to industries that may use your products.
3) Facebook advertising should be on a lower priority. One possible use of it is to build a community of people who are likely to be your frequent customers. Populate your fan page with useful content for your community and possibly you can keep them as loyal customers. (I see that you have quite a lot of content in "Captain's Corner")
4) If you are also looking to reach professionals, LinkedIn may be an option. But not sure how effective it could be for your product categories. Very low priority.
Hope it helps, and hope I didnt misunderstood your business.
What a niche website you have there!
Social media might not be the best arena for your site. I think the most important thing is to identify your audience. What is the avergae age and gender of your buyers? Are you looking for individuals or businesses to sell to?
For something so niche, using Google adwords is a great way to precisiley hit your targets. For instance I'm sure people search "PVC GRIPS". You need those people to hit your site.
Let me know if you need help.
SEO: Yes, definitely. Social Media: Agreed, not the best route for you guys but it may have some value. The main strategy I'd advise is PPC - Google AdWords, Bing, etc - also maybe some marketplace like Amazon and Ebay which isn't something I'd normally suggest except your company is pretty well suited.
To get a bit more in depth, for PPC, I'd want to focus primarily on Google Shopping and then on search ads, maybe 60/40 or 70/30 split. Btw, Shopping ads are the product listings that show up in search results and under the "Shopping" tab, not the regular text search ads.
Back to Social Media, maybe not the typical Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest route but possibly Linkedin, there's lots of B2B opportunity there.
Let me know if you'd like to discuss.
OK, maybe not "sexy", but definitely something that lots of people will want/need at some point...
What if you had some examples of customers whom you have helped with what you do best? That could go well on FB. Or you could use it in your Captains Corner for more human interest, as well as scientific.
But, I agree with Bruce - it sounds like Amazon or perhaps eBay would be a good fit. The benefit with those is people are already going there looking for what you have, you don't have to drum up a market.
Just my 2 cents.