Here I explain why PlastikCity encompasses and beats them all if you are a supplier to the UK plastics industry.

Companies tell us they invest in SEO (for search engines) & PPC (Pay per Click) to find new customers. Good SEO is expensive and you have to constantly monitor and update your site to keep up with the ever changing Google algorithms – So what do you do? You fall off page 1 so you spend on PPC while you work on your SEO to get back up there. Many say they’ve spent money on B2B directories but they haven’t had any success. Some of you see PlastikCity as another directory!

B2B Directories

B2B DirectoryIndustry 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 usually have a quote request facility so rely on the user reading your profile then taking the time to make contact. If they do have a quote facility, then they are totally generic, with no process to get the correct information to you.

The SEO of these sites is just 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 site that says ‘links buyers to suppliers in the UK plastics industry’ or ‘industry directory’? The directories just 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!

Search Engines & PPC

Pay per clickSearch engines such as Google are similar, and whilst it is good to have a first page ranking it is necessary to invest large monthly sums to achieve this. This will also never end, as other suppliers continually compete for your first page ranking. If you slip down, you either increase your SEO spend to try and get better results or use PPC (Pay per Click) which can be very expensive. 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.

Managing your ‘negative keywords’ in your PPC is essential in not throwing money down the drain whilst 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 PPC marketing companies clicking on your payable links so they can deliver a selling job on getting you better PPC results. At £3 per click you can easily spend £2,000 per month for very little! I know I did it!

Quality Suppliers only please!

QualityPlastikCity ONLY wants good quality suppliers that are UK based, have proven quality products and an excellent reputation for service. There is a vetting process and suppliers that don’t meet the criteria will not be added. 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.

It’s a first come first served basis so first added entries appear at the top and stay there until they leave. As we have a selective process, there is usually a maximum of 6 suppliers in each section, so your chances of getting seen and selected are MUCH higher with PlastikCity – no matter where you’re positioned.

Our ‘Quote Request’ facility is tailored to the product being sold 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.

Targeted Marketing

PlastikCity actively promotes its services to the market via highly targeted digital media. This includes weekly e-newsletters & promos, extensive social media (Linkedin & Twitter predominantly), Blogs, plastic industry trade shows, advertising and press releases. We also made finalist in the 2014 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 spend on the PPC & SEO so that users find you by first finding us.

Once on board visitors understand that we have vetted all the companies and put them into categories, so it’s easy to find new quality suppliers. They can read reviews on your business and visit your website. They can then make direct contact using the details on your profile, or use our quotation system to receive a bespoke quotation. They can even select 3 suppliers to send the same information to, thereby getting comparative quotes. They will know all suppliers are excellent, so once the quotes come in they can select one to work with and sort out the final specification. The whole procurement process is more efficient and leads to better supply.

Quality Control

We constantly monitor the performance of our partners by sending out questionnaires after every quote request. 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 chances of obtaining future business.

Value

We receive our income from annual subscriptions to occupy these slots. The costs are deliberately low, ranging from £9 per week to £46 per week depending on the category and based on the volume of enquiries they should receive.

Marketing

MarketingPlastikCity is essentially a digital marketing agency for the best UK suppliers in the industry. We pretty much 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 have the benefit of driving additional traffic to the site, thereby increasing the chances of buyers finding you.

Partner PR

We also publish press releases and editorials for our partners, helping our visitors read about our suppliers recent activities or new product launches. We publish this PR in our news section as well as across our newsletters & social media channels. This is a facility that is included in their subscriptions, and provides a `showroom’ for suppliers to demonstrate any advantages their equipment provides.

Industry subscribers

PlastikCity has the industry’s largest targeted list of UK plastic industry subscribers to whom it distributes its media. The list is managed very carefully as this is the most important and valuable tool PlastikCity has. Our circa 8,000 subscriber list consists of only UK plastic industry professionals split across suppliers, buyers and OEM’s.

As an additional facility available to our partners, we can build and distribute any promotions to this highly targeted audience. For partner promos we receive an average 22% open rate and total opens are usually in excess of 2,000.

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, compression) adding about 500 more. As such the market isn’t huge, so it requires a marketing company that understands the businesses it represents in order to get results. PlastikCity is a small team, but between them they have over 50 years experience dedicated to the UK plastics industry. The MD, Carl Futcher, on his own has over 30 years experience in UK injection moulding.

So where should I spend my marketing money?

Search engines such as Google or Bing are good if you have someone new to the industry and he’s looking for a moulder. Unfortunately many of these are individuals are looking to make a couple of gadgets they’ve just thought of and want a supplier to tell them how to make it. Generally, once they find out tooling and development costs they don’t come back. In the meantime the moulder who sits on top of Google has to spend hours sifting through these to try and find one that turns 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 believe directories for our industry are 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.

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!

Conclusion

HandshakeIf 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’ve seen that PlastikCity is the one you should choose.

In my view don’t use PPC or industry directories – your money will probably be wasted!

So if you’re a quality supplier to the UK plastics market and you want more customers: