Especially in these Covid times, everyone is after your online marketing spend – but what gets you ‘REAL’ results? Directories, SEO, PPC, marketing agencies or PlastikCity?
Industry directories such as Yell, Applegate and Magnet are totally generic and only a small step on from the old Yellow Pages. Anyone who pays can list, including non-UK based suppliers. There is no vetting process, so if someone spends more, they will get seen before you, even though you are often a better supplier. The more you pay, the more you get seen.
In fact, lower cost and free entries will very rarely get seen at all. They don’t have a quote request facility so rely on the user reading your profile then taking the time to make contact.
The Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is usually based on ‘industry directories’ and not specific to the UK plastics industry. If you were on Google and wanted to find a moulder, would you go to a website that says ‘links buyers to suppliers in the UK plastics industry’ or ‘industry directory’? The directories work on volume – they tempt you in with a free listing then immediately call you to say these rarely get seen, and you need to spend a minimum of £200 to appear near the top or £500 to buy a keyword!
Directories will, however, give you backlinks which do help SEO. This is the only reason we occasionally list on general directories.
Only Quality Suppliers
Anyone can list their company on industry directories.
PlastikCity ONLY allows high-quality suppliers that supply premium products, are financially sound and have an excellent reputation for UK based service. There is a vetting process, and suppliers that don’t meet the criteria are not invited. Users then know if they select a supplier on PlastikCity, they’ll have met these criteria, no matter how much money the supplier wants to spend.
In each section, the supplier’s position is randomised with each page refresh, so they all have an equal chance of being top. As we have a selective process, there is usually a maximum of eight suppliers in each section, so your chances of getting seen and selected are MUCH higher with PlastikCity.
Our ‘Quote Request’ facility is tailored to the product or service offered and leads the user through a simple process to answer a few relevant questions. This helps the supplier understand if they are serious and reduces the time and cost required to generate a quote.
Search Engines & Pay Per Click (PPC)
If you do any two activities, they should be SEO and PlastikCity. Search engines such as Google are similar, and whilst it is important to have a first-page ranking, it is necessary to invest large monthly sums to achieve this. Plastics is a technical industry, so how can you expect a marketing agency to know what terms people will use to find your products. For example, do they know that a TCU, temperature controller and mould heater are all phrases people will use to find the same product?
If you want your website to rank high on search engines for the ‘correct’ search terms, you need to use a marketing agency that knows the industry. You’re busy, so you want them to do this work with minimal involvement from your team. Speak to marketing agencies such as PlastikMedia whose team are all experienced in your sector.
If you don’t want to do SEO, you can use PPC to get to the top of search engines. This can be expensive and a waste of money, especially in technical sectors. Keyword ‘plastic moulding’ for example, is circa £3 per click, and most clicks are a waste of money as many people are actually looking for something completely different. An example is a company that sells industrial chillers. A user may want a wine chiller, so he just puts ‘chiller’ in his search box. Your website appears first because you’ve paid for the privilege. They click on your website, it costs you £3, and they come straight off because you don’t supply wine chillers!
Managing your ‘negative keywords’ in your PPC is essential in not throwing money down the drain. This is a role that can only be done efficiently by someone with an in-depth knowledge of your business. You also can’t stop your PPC marketing company (or your competitors) clicking on your payable links helping them deliver you ‘better’ PPC results. At £3 per click, you can easily spend £2,000 per month for very little! I know, I did it!
PlastikCity actively promotes its services to the market via highly targeted digital media. This includes weekly e-newsletters and promos, extensive social media coverage (Linkedin & Twitter predominantly), blogs, plastic industry trade shows, advertising and press releases. We have also been a finalist in the last four Plastic Industry Awards (Business Initiative of the Year), so we have a very high profile in the UK plastics industry. Do industry directories do any of this?
PlastikCity is selective – both in the suppliers it works with and the marketing channels it uses. WE INVEST in SEO and occasionally in PPC so that users find you by first finding us. We currently rank in the top 10 for 181 of our 204 targeted keywords. Just put ‘injection moulding companies’ or ‘plastic material supplier’ into Google, and you will see our corresponding sections on PlastikCity number one or two.
Once on board, visitors understand that we have vetted all the companies and put them into categories, so it is easy to find new quality suppliers. They can read reviews on your business and visit your website. They can then set up meetings, make direct contact using the details on their profile, or use the quotation system to receive a bespoke quotation. They select suppliers to send the same information to, thereby getting comparative quotes. They will know all suppliers have been vetted, so they can choose one to work with and sort out the final specification once the quotes have come in. The whole procurement process is more efficient and leads to better supply.
We continuously monitor the performance of our partners. This way, we check how suppliers reacted and whether the buyer found the process beneficial. If we hear any negative feedback, we will inform the supplier, enabling them to modify their approach and improve their future business chances.
We receive our income from annual subscriptions to occupy these slots. The costs are deliberately low, so we do not deter quality suppliers from joining us. Subscriptions range from £9-£46 per week depending on the category and the volume of enquiries they should receive. Users can be sure to receive the most competitive quotes as no commissions are ever charged.
PlastikCity is essentially a digital marketing agency for the best UK suppliers in the industry. We cover all the requirements for plastic processing companies and the industry in general. We have a very active job section and an area that companies can trade their old or redundant equipment or materials. There are many such sections, all of which benefit from driving additional traffic to the website, thereby increasing buyers’ chances of finding our suppliers.
Our division, PlastikMedia, publishes and promotes press releases and editorials for our partners. This helps our audience read about our suppliers’ recent activities or new product launches. This facility is included in their subscriptions and provides a `showroom’ for suppliers to demonstrate any advantages their equipment offers.
PlastikCity has the industry’s most extensive targeted list of UK plastic industry subscribers to whom it distributes its media. The list is very actively managed and conforms to GDPR. Our subscribers are the most important and valuable asset PlastikCity has. Our circa 15,000 subscriber list consists of plastic industry professionals split across suppliers, buyers and OEM’s. 90% of our subscribers are based in the UK or Ireland. As an additional facility available to our partners, we can build and distribute email promotions to this highly targeted audience.
Our industry needs a targeted approach. There are just over 1,000 injection moulders in the UK with the other processing disciplines (blow, extrusion, vacuum, rotational and compression) adding about 500 more. As such, the market is not huge, so it requires a marketing company that understands the businesses it represents to get results. PlastikCity is a small team, but as a collective, have over 65 years of plastic industry experience. On my own, I have more than 30 years of experience in UK injection moulding.
So, where should I spend my marketing money?
Search engines such as Google or Bing are useful if you have someone new to the industry and he is looking for a local moulder. Unfortunately, many of these enquiries are ‘Fred in the Shed’ and are looking to make their latest invention. The particular process the project needs is often not supplied by this company. In the meantime, the moulder who sits on top of Google has to spend hours sifting through these to try and find one that could turn into a real customer.
The industry directories are too generic, so why would you use one of these if you have Google. I don’t know anyone who has said to me “I’m going onto XX directory to find a moulder” – they would just type into Google ‘injection moulder UK’ and thousands would appear.
So, investing in SEO and PPC has its place in our industry if you want to receive 10’s of enquiries to find the one that might be the ‘gold’. I do, however, believe industry directories are a waste of your time and resources.
PlastikCity is the place for suppliers to find ‘less but real’ enquiries. We often do the ‘sifting out’ when visitors contact us direct, or after they complete the questionnaires. We will often determine the manufacturing process they need and point them to the correct section on PlastikCity to find a supplier.
But watch your prices!
PlastikCity is also the place for experienced buyers to find new and familiar suppliers and make their procurement process more efficient. They understand the product they want but need to find a new supplier or check their existing one is competitive. PlastikCity does a great job of this, as every supplier who receives a quote request through PlastikCity understands there are probably two others also quoting. Usually, no need for further negotiation!
If you can afford to do two things, spend money on your SEO to get good keyword rankings AND join PlastikCity. If not, I hope you have seen that PlastikCity is the one you should choose.
In my view, do not use PPC or industry directories – you will probably waste your money!
So, if you’re a high-quality supplier to the UK plastics market and you want more customers:
- Visit plastikcity.co.uk to see how it all works
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive details on joining us
- Phone us on 01455 209270 to discuss your options