Talk to most bloggers, website owners, or online marketers and you’ll hear them obsess about SEO (search engine optimisation) and the importance of it to drive visitor traffic to their websites. And quite rightly, too.
In January 2012 Insight Data launched the Insight Index, a new online supplier directory and product finder specifically for the window, door, conservatory and glazing industry. It may come as a surprise to many but when we launched the Index, SEO to drive visitor traffic to the site was not a top priority.
The saying goes ‘he who uses a hammer sees everything as a nail’ and this is true in online marketing. If you live and breathe ‘online’, then your universe revolves around ‘online’. There is a fundamental flaw in this. As any experienced marketing expert will tell you, it’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality. Or more precisely, it’s about the relevance. What relevance is 100,000 visitors from Africa if you install windows in Ealing?
When we launched the Insight Index, we were very clear on who we wanted to engage with and how to engage with them. The Index is a trade-only supplier directory for the UK glazing industry. It is not designed for end-users or others outside the glazing industry.
While many in the glass and glazing industry interact online, the majority of the industry still prefer traditional media. That’s why trade magazines are still hugely influential and effective, and why direct marketing still outperforms online marketing.
We worked with the trade press and introduced a high profile PR and advertising campaign to create awareness and build substance behind the Index brand. We then implemented one of the industry’s biggest ever direct marketing campaigns to engage with fabricators, installers, glass companies and even architects and builders – busy people who used the internet, but did not ‘live online’ – who needed relevant information quickly but didn’t spend hours surfing the net.
Using traditional marketing to drive visitors to a specific online portal is unusual and expensive, but the results are outstanding. That’s why Google uses it to drive potential advertisers to try their online Adwords service.
So has it worked?
It’s still early days; the Insight Index was only ‘born’ six months ago, but so far the results are looking good. Over 600 suppliers are already listed on the Index making it the industry’s largest supplier directory. The site has just past 50,000 page-views and over 10,000 ‘unique’ visitors have already used the Index. That’s relevant visitors – people involved in the glazing industry.
Thousands of people across the industry are now using the Index to find products and suppliers, and new suppliers are signing up every week. Our work to make the Index a trusted, reliable source of information is already paying dividends, with many suppliers already reporting an increase in visitor traffic to their own website from the Insight Index – relevant traffic from interested buyers who would not otherwise have visited their site.
We certainly haven’t ignored online marketing – the Insight Index has 180 Facebook fans and almost 800 Twitter follows (www.facebook.com/insightindex and www.twitter.com/insightindex) as well as a spread of online banner ads. But as any marketing expert will tell you, you have to go where the customers are.
In the months ahead we have some very exciting plans to develop the Insight Index, including our online strategy, and we welcome your input and suggestions. Visit the Insight Index at http://www.insightindex.co.uk
If you are a supplier and would like to register on the Index, please call our support team on 01934 808293 or email firstname.lastname@example.org