A New Website Provides a Successful Start to the New Year
Emily / December 5, 2023
A new website offers your vending business a fresh look and opportunity for growth. With the new year approaching, now is a great time to look at boosting your online presence in 2024!
So how do you know if you need a new website? This blog will give busy vending operators like you some key things to consider.
The Case for a New Website
When competing for breakroom service contracts, it’s vital to look fresh. Your site needs to instantly convey that your business is current and trustworthy. This means a modern design, crisp graphics, up to date information, and appealing photos. A fresh website can captivate visitors researching your business online. This first impression should put you ahead of your competition and leave a lasting, positive impression.
A new website can mean more engaged visitors who spend a longer time discovering your offerings. Think about how users might move around your current site. Is the navigation simple? Does your site load quickly? Is the design responsive? How easy is it to view on a mobile device? A user-friendly site keeps visitors shopping. They check out the services you offer and explore more. This increases your chance of conversion.
New SEO practices can boost your website’s visibility in search engines. It is important your site include keywords for the major services you offer and the local cities you operate in. The more in tune your website is with the way customers shop, the better your organic search results will be. This means more organic traffic to your website and more leads.
New Website Security
Cybersecurity is an ongoing concern for many businesses operating online. Be confident your website’s security credentials are up to date. Modern websites can integrate better security measures. This ensures not only the safety of your company’s site but also any data saved from users.
A new website can bring together your company’s updated brand and messaging. If these have evolved over time, a new site will ensure shoppers are seeing the most accurate reflection of your current business. Your website should showcase your brand and your messaging should back it up, telling your story. A new site can let your look and communication best reflect your business today.
A good website is designed to easily convert visitors to customers. It can do that in many ways, including strategic placement of call-to-action buttons and forms. These engage the user and easily guide them into your sales funnel. Simple measures like these can boost sales and leads.
New Website Advantages Are a Click Away
Now you know what should be in a new website for vending companies. It includes a combination of front-facing enhancements and back-end improvements. If you think your site could use a refresh in 2024, we specialize in making the process easy for busy operators. That’s because VendCentral has spent decades helping vending operators succeed with digital sales and marketing. Contact VendCentral today to discuss a new website that will get visitors’ attention and grow leads.
Compare VendCentral’s Marketing Programs
Emily / November 9, 2023
A wide-ranging marketing program is a proven way to expand your reach and drive sales success. But, are you a vending operator who prefers to stay focused on your operations? In that case, managing and executing a marketing strategy may feel like too much work. Lucky for you, VendCentral has you covered. We offer three marketing programs to fit the needs of vending operators. From our foundational program to full-scale support, our solutions make your vending business shine.
Get to Know our Monthly Marketing Programs
At the heart of each marketing program is a collaborative relationship with our client. We get to know you, your brand, and your business goals. We may advise on a new brand positioning or a new logo as a first step. Then, we work to design a new website that properly reflects your business and gives a great user experience. We will make sure it has the features you need to support your goals.
In addition to creating and hosting your new website, we’ll implement a website growth plan. This includes a schedule of new content, including blog article features, to showcase your expertise.
A social media strategy is also put into effect on your behalf. This includes making engaging content that is posted on multiple platforms. Plus, we manage your Google My Business Profile.
All of these elements are included in each program we offer. They unite under the watchful eye of your dedicated Marketing Account Manager. This person spearheads collaboration with you. He or she will also ensure all content supports our overall marketing strategy and craft it to produce outstanding SEO results.
Compare Our 3 Offerings
1. CORE Marketing Program
The CORE Marketing Program is our foundational program and our most affordable. It is designed for smaller vending companies who are looking to dip their toe into marketing on a starter program. CORE provides the basics and allows your company to become more active in the digital arena. Ongoing content is less frequent and customized. However, it is a strong base to build upon or even supplement with your own content.
2. CUSTOM Marketing Program
Our most popular program is the CUSTOM Marketing Program. It layers on personalized content to further differentiate your company from its competitors. Meetings with your Marketing Account Manager are more often and promotional calendars are designed to capitalize on what is going on in your business each month. More social media content is produced to engage with prospects more deeply and produce even stronger SEO. With CUSTOM, you get an increased website growth plan and even a handy tool on your website to see who is shopping for your services online.
3. COMPLETE Marketing Program
The top-tier COMPLETE marketing program is our most comprehensive. It contains all that is in our CUSTOM Marketing Program and much more. You and your Marketing Account Manager work jointly on a personalized social media sales strategy. Social media content is 100% tailored to your needs and published often. Website growth is accelerated for the strongest SEO performance. Additional features like email campaigns and LinkedIn Ads are layered into this program. They are used to reinforce branding, boost sales, and expand reach. Clients on the COMPLETE program enjoy the same benefits as having an in-house marketing department at a fraction of the cost.
Marketing Programs That Grow and Evolve
VendCentral takes pride in being nimble and flexible. That’s why as your business grows and evolves, our marketing programs will, too. VendCentral provides the option to scale up or down between programs if there is ever a need. You can also always supplement your program with individual services, too. To further explore our marketing programs, contact VendCentral. We’ll listen to your needs and find the Marketing Program to promote your business and grow your sales.
Why Vending Operators Need to be Social Selling
Emily / September 18, 2023
Social selling and other types of sales are key to all businesses, especially breakroom services. Why? Because a well-stocked vending machine or hard-working office coffee brewer goes mostly unnoticed by decision makers.
How then do you ensure the facility manager remembers your great breakroom service? How do you have the type of relationship with a client’s HR that will last years? And what about new customers? How will you show them that you can give the personalized service that they want? This is where social selling comes in.
What is Social Selling?
First, let’s define this type of selling. In a nutshell, social selling is a method of building relationships using social media. Typically, it’s done through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The idea is to engage customers, old and new, and show your talent and service level. As a result, sales increase.
Why Social Selling Works
Social selling is highly successful for B2B customers. That is because it can be a significant investment for the company, either in subsidized services or a long contract. Because of that many B2B buyers, like office managers, do research online before reaching out to a salesperson. This is the main reason social selling works so well. It is about building trust and showing the level of knowledge and service your company is about.
Other Benefits of Social Selling
There are many other reasons you should be using this selling approach. Here are some key perks to build the case for this type of sales.
Compared to advertising and cold calls, social selling can get you a better return for the money. That is due to the fact that social media platforms offer free and paid ways to connect with that ideal customer.
Social media platforms offer reports and tools to see engagement. These analytics give you measurable metrics about how you are doing. The insights can also help you refine your strategies to produce better results.
Social selling helps your business stand out. In the way reviews help your company, being on social media platforms will too. Customers will see your presence online and how you connect with others. This boosts your brand in their minds. It shows you are customer-focused, responsive, and helpful. That will set you apart from the other vendors in the area.
Social Selling is an Important Tool
In the end, this type of selling helps get the trust of facility managers and other breakroom service buyers. It shows that you are a reliable expert and care about your clients. It also lets you reach a wider group of people in a cost-efficient way. Don’t forget that the results are measurable, so you can pivot, and gain the upper hand over the vending competition. Thus, drive up sales.
Need some help? VendCentral is a digital marketing company just for the vending industry. We can help you with building relationships online that result in higher sales. Discuss your options today by calling (866) 699-8363 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creating A New Vending Website? Here’s What You Need To Know
Emily / April 12, 2023
When it’s time for your vending company to create a new website there’s a lot to consider. After all, this is where facility managers and human resource managers learn about your company. The new website needs to showcase your brand identity and offer everything your current customers and prospects want to learn.
To get you started, here are some of our new vending website MUSTS.
Start With Services & Products
A clear message about what your vending company offers must be front and center. That means links for each service. In fact, each service should have at least one dedicated webpage. Focus on showing the service with great-looking custom pictures. Plus, include short descriptions that tell why the service is a benefit.
Enhance the User Experience
For business-to-business (B2B) websites like yours, it’s important to optimize the customer experience. Ensure information is up-to-date, links work, and most importantly, everything loads quickly. Nothing frustrates potential clients more than a website that takes several seconds to load (or never does).
It is also critical your new website displays well on a mobile device. Statista reports that 16% of B2B website traffic was from mobile in 2022. The number is growing, suggesting that mobile devices will be used more in the future. Don’t miss a sale because you’re counting on a desktop user! Ensure your website is mobile-optimized.
A New Vending Website Needs Custom Content
Your vending website needs to show who you are as a company. That means personalization. Be open to including photos of your team, warehouse, and the breakrooms you service. Having more than stock photos on your website will help decision-makers relate to your business. A great place to personalize is an About Us page, which can tell your company’s story.
On your new website, don’t forget to create a space for blogs. Writing a blog is a great way to highlight your vending business’ personality, showcase the breakroom services you offer, and help your search engine optimization (SEO).
Generate Leads With a New Vending Website
Your website acts as a sales tool 24/7. Ensure it’s seen by focusing on services and custom content that is full of SEO keywords. That way prospects in your area find your refreshment services company.
Need to know more about what makes a good vending website? Ask VendCentral, the convenience services industry’s digital marketing experts. We offer different levels of marketing support to match your need. Learn more about how one of our vending marketing programs can drive sales by contacting us at email@example.com or (866) 699-8363.
The Power of Building Your Vending Business Network
Emily / March 23, 2023
Research shows there is power in building a network. Those who actively network get more jobs, opportunities, industry knowledge, and respect. That makes it a valuable skill and crucial to growing your vending company. With that being said, networking looks different today than in the past. In fact, it can happen in many ways, including social media, trade shows, cold calling, or in-person meetings.
But what is networking, exactly? And how can you do it well? Read on to find out.
What is Networking?
To put it simply, it means talking to people. For instance, you might talk to them about trends or breakroom ideas. At other times you might talk about your services and how they fit their needs. This is the best kind of networking because it adds value to both people.
What Does Building a Network Look Like?
It’s no surprise that networking can take place anywhere. However, building it with other vending operators and industry members will likely take place at a tradeshow, a community event, or a seminar. Think mingling during happy hour at conferences or talking to your dinner neighbor at a sponsored event. It can also happen at educational seminars. Showing genuine interest in what the presenters have to offer is sure to leave a lasting impression. Plus, it opens the door to chatting with them and getting their contact information.
Don’t forget about posting and commenting on social media platforms. Yes, it’s a new(er) yet vital place to connect with people. For some, it’s preferred. According to Novorésumé, 40% of people would rather network online. So, get out there and post!
What are the Benefits?
Networking is good for your reputation. How, might you ask? First, it adds to your business profile, leading others to see you as well-informed. On the flip side, it can help you gain industry knowledge. For example, you might learn new solutions that enhance your vending services.
Additionally, every connection you make will “humanize” your company. People like to do business with other people, not companies. Therefore, your connections to people can lead directly to new customers and more prospects. It’s also a way to showcase your brand and boost loyalty. That ultimately helps you can gain referrals and drive-up sales!
Network Often, Everywhere, to Win
In summary, networking is a must to grow your vending business naturally. Don’t wait. Start building your vending network now and reap the rewards.
Want some help with online networking? VendCentral has digital sales and marketing experts ready to assist. Our team specializes in the vending, micro-market, pantry, and office coffee service industry to help you grow sales. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) 699-8363.
VendCentral: Spreading Good Karma
Jen / August 23, 2022
Five years ago, we shared the philosophy of Karmic Management and how it influenced VendCentral’s team and business approach. Our founder, Neil Swindale, connected with the concept when he first read the book Karmic Management many years prior and its principles continue to shape the way our company operates and grows. Today, the idea of good karma is still one of the cornerstones of our vending marketing agency. Here are some of the biggest ways it is impacting our own people and our relationships with clients.
Do for Others
We believe in putting out into the world what we hope to get back. Because of that, VendCentral nurtures an honest and ethical team with a strong desire to do for others. We know it is just as much our people as our business practices that turn new customers into long-term clients. We aim to foster a supportive community within the vending industry and to lend a hand to hardworking breakroom operators, whether they are our clients or not. To us, it’s just as important as hitting profit goals. In our practice of doing for others, we have been fortunate to gain valuable friends and business relationships in the vending industry and grow our revenues.
Build the Connection
Our relationships with our clients are just that: relationships. And, we know a great relationship can’t result from two people just doing their own thing. We invest in building a connection with our clients that generates positive energy for us both. The foundation of that relationship is communication, collaboration, and respect. Through it, we gain a deeper understanding of our client’s business goals. For those relationships to be strong long-term, VendCentral invests in learning, growing, and adapting to our client’s changing needs. It has allowed us to exceed our client’s expectations as they evolve.
Be Comfortable with Change
Growing a small business is the result of being open and responsive to change all of the time. And in the world of digital marketing things are changing all of the time too. Our mindset is to view change as an opportunity, even when it’s hard. Change, in itself, is the constant we can always count on in the vending industry, in digital marketing, and in our own lives as well.
Live (and work) with Purpose
Personally, and professionally, we believe life is much fuller when we live it with purpose. Our purpose at VendCentral is to use our talents to help vending operators succeed online. Through authentic customer engagement, we drive new businesses to increase their sales and profits. For us, it means more than building vending websites or developing marketing programs. It means helping family-run operators thrive. It means secure jobs for route drivers. It means spreading the word on what better breakroom services can do for employees and communities across the nation. It means spreading good karma.
VendCentral is laser-focused on supporting the vending industry. To discover how our marketing programs can help you achieve your sales goals contact us or call (866) 699-8363.
Vending Marketing That Works, Part 2: Develop Your Marketing Plan
Emily / August 10, 2022
For vending operators, developing an effective marketing plan can be overwhelming. That is why your vending marketing plan should start with a solid marketing strategy first. A marketing strategy is a foundation for any successful marketing plan. If you have not created a marketing strategy yet, useful tips can be found in our last article. If you are satisfied you have a great marketing strategy in place then let’s start discussing how to turn that strategy into action. That, in essence, is your marketing plan. Here are some things to consider:
The majority of a vending company’s marketing is now done online. It is important to remember that consistency is key. As you execute your marketing plan over multiple platforms be consistent in your brand look and messaging. Also, develop and maintain a consistent schedule with your content creation. And finally, ensure your marketing content is consistently supporting your marketing strategy.
Your vending website is one of the biggest components of your online brand and marketing plan so it’s a good idea to start here first. Remember when you detailed your company’s mission and goals during your marketing strategy development? Your vending website should support them. It should also clearly show how your vending business differentiates itself from your competitors. If your website is outdated, it may be time to refresh your image to get off to a good start. Websites that are difficult to navigate or hard to read on mobile devices will lose your audience fast. Consider a website health check to see if a refresh is in order. A website refresh may also give you the opportunity to breathe new life into your company logo, brand colors, font styles, etc. These factors all contribute to your company’s brand image and personality online.
Remember, keeping your website updated and growing is an important part of your marketing plan. Add web pages to support new products, brands, or services. Consider publishing blogs to stay on top of new and trending topics. Your new content will continue to improve SEO performance, especially if it contains keywords potential clients might use to find you.
Social Media Content
In addition to your website, social media plays a huge role in vending marketing. If you’re happy with your website branding, terrific! Keep a consistent look on social media by using the same fonts, colors, taglines, etc. This will reinforce your brand image across your social media platforms.
What social media channels are your potential customers visiting? Are facility managers reading news feeds on LinkedIn? Do breakroom service providers read Google Business Reviews? You bet they are. Your marketing plan should include a social media posting schedule across these multiple platforms. This will help your company stay relevant and top of mind for current and potential customers. Don’t forget to use social media as a tool to direct potential and existing customers back to your website to learn more about you.
No matter where you are posting your marketing content, your messaging should reinforce the goals established in your original marketing strategy. Include content that helps potential customers learn more about your business and the team that makes it thrive. Dive into important industry trends to reinforce your company’s expertise. Share customer reviews to show how you are helping customers improve their employee breakrooms – and even show off some of your incredible breakroom installs. Marketing content like this will help tell customers how you are different than your competitors.
For your vending marketing plan to work, someone must build it and oversee it. This person, or team, will create a schedule for website growth, blogs, and social media posts. They will likely compliment it with email campaigns, print, grassroots marketing efforts, and more. They will also review key performance indicators to make sure your marketing plan is working. If no one can take on these responsibilities internally, consider outsourcing to a reputable marketing firm that specializes in vending marketing.
At VendCentral, we are dedicated to the vending industry and marketing to bring our clients new breakroom customers. To get a marketing plan started today, contact us online or call (866) 699-8363.
4 Google Business Listing MUSTS For Vending Companies
Emily / May 19, 2022
Having a Google Business Listing is a great first step in vending marketing success. However, if you are only doing the basics, you are missing out on potential business. That’s why we’ve pulled together the 4 essential elements that your vending company needs to maximize your Google Business Listing. Upgrade your listing with:
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
It’s no secret that today’s consumer puts heavy emphasis on reviews. However, it’s not just consumers. Facility Managers, Human Resource Managers, and Decision Makers research refreshment and vending services business online too. Where do they look? Google Business Reviews. Those stars (and comments) come up as soon as they search for your business name. They can show decision-makers that you are as reliable and competent as you say, which will help them choose you for a breakroom services partnership.
Timely Responses & Content
While getting lots of reviews is important, that’s not all. You also need to respond to reviews. Even if the review is 5-star, offer the reviewer a quick thank you. The more personal the thank you sounds, the better. Replying to reviews shows everyone that you appreciate your customers and keep an eye on your image. It can also encourage more people to leave reviews.
We know what you’re thinking. What happens if the review you get is less than 5 stars? The good news is that having a few 4-star reviews, or even a negative review or two, actually makes your listing more credible. No one is perfect, and vending service decision-makers will appreciate the integrity of allowing all types of reviews to show. Having said that, your company must respond to negative reviews. Avoid defensive language and be personal. Ask questions and explain how you did or will fix the issue. You can also direct them to call you to discuss the issue, which takes the issue offline. While it may be offline, visitors to your Google Business Listing will see that you responded quickly and care about your level of service.
Similar to responding to reviews, it’s important to keep your Google Business Listing information updated. Old addresses, logos, and messages from years ago all need to be removed. Ensure your service area is current too. This impacts whether your company shows up when a decision-maker searches for vending “near me.” Keep your company considered for a business partnership by being up-to-date.
Stock photos are beautiful, but anyone exploring your business on Google is looking to find out about you! That means they want to see your location, your employees, and your services in action. Grab some shots at vending and micro-market installations. Add photos from your company events. These real-world photos will show that you take pride in your business, exactly what a company looking for a refreshment services partner wants.
While your Google Business Listing photos should be of your business and services, aim for high quality. The best vending marketing photos are well lit (with daylight), high resolution (even if it’s a smartphone camera), and look appealing. Avoid blurry, grainy, dark photos that don’t showcase the best of your vending business.
Today’s vending marketing pros know that your online image is important. That’s where an optimized Google Business Listing can help. If you need help optimizing your Google Business Listing or improving your online marketing presence, contact VendCentral. We’ll develop a distinctive vending marketing strategy to attract new leads and impress your existing clients.
ZippyAssist Improves Service and Profits for Operators
Jen / April 28, 2022
The refreshment services industry is buzzing about ZippyAssist. The powerful but simple-to-use customer service platform is seeing tremendous growth in the marketplace this year and there is good reason for all the excitement. ZippyAssist can be used from any mobile device and it offers speedy support for customers in unattended environments like micro-markets, vending machines, and office coffee locations. Here we dig into the big reasons why ZippyAssist is receiving a warm welcome from operators in the refreshment services industry.
One of ZippyAssists’ key advantages is how easy it is to issue a refund online through electronic payment systems like Venmo and PayPal. When a customer submits a refund request through their mobile device, a breakroom operator can see and authorize the request right away, with the customer then automatically reimbursed if they choose an online option. Breakroom operators love ZippyAssists’ focus on simplicity and ease-of-use, with the new online refund feature just the latest example of this attention to improving the customer experience. And for customers themselves, having their money refunded without unnecessary hassle and delays is a game-changer.
Calls and emails for customer service issues are drastically reduced when customers shift to ZippyAssist. The ZippyAssist dashboard allows multiple members of an operator’s team to see and manage the service requests submitted. Customer service representatives spend less time receiving and forwarding issues for follow-up. Instead, they can focus on other tasks and become more productive.
Increased Business Intelligence
A key feature of the ZippyAssist platform is its reporting capabilities. Breakroom operators are now able to access information and identify trends in the types of customer service requests submitted. If problems arise more frequently on a particular driver’s route or with a particular customer or piece of equipment those issues can be recognized and resolved more quickly.
Breakroom operators are using ZippyAssist to market themselves above the competition, and they are noticing it instills a higher level of customer confidence from the very start. Operators report that ZippyAssist helps them demonstrate their commitment to superior customer service in a tangible way and allows them close deals with new accounts more quickly. Sales improvements have also been seen with existing customers. Problems are resolved more quickly, missed sales are avoided, and client satisfaction is higher.
For breakroom operators looking to elevate their customer service, save costs, boost sales, and enjoy more productive operations, ZippyAssist is an easy choice. Getting started is simple and the platform can be up and running in a few short weeks. Want to try it out? Click here for a 14-day free trial. Or schedule a quick demo of ZippyAssist to learn more.
Breakroom Operators: Let’s Improve Your Organic Search Results
Jen / March 31, 2022
Organic search is a top way for buyers to discover a breakroom operator’s products and services. It also allows them to understand who you are as a business, where you operate, and what current customers are saying about you. Your company’s organic search results cannot be improved through paid advertising. Instead, achieving top ranking on search engines is the result of knowing how breakroom buyers shop online and how to influence your SEO.
Keep reading to learn the tactics breakroom operators can implement to improve their organic search ranking and get their business, products, and services noticed online.
What is Organic Search?
When a buyer enters a keyword or query into a search engine, the results they see are a combination of paid and organic search results. After advertisements, organic search results are ranked in priority order. If your website is fully optimized with industry-related keywords and content, it helps your SEO and allows your business to achieve higher rankings, gain organic traffic, and generate leads. Breakroom operators with high organic search rankings have a better likelihood of buyers of breakroom services finding their website.
Compared to paid advertisements, organic search rankings cannot be bought. They are determined by the quality and quantity of your company’s online marketing content.
But what types of content benefit your SEO and what can you do to improve your company’s organic search rankings?
A smart website
Your website is the #1 tool to represent your company’s services online, generate leads, and close sales. Your website should host a wealth of content to support and promote all aspects of your breakroom services, including pantry service, micro-markets, vending, and office coffee. But your website’s design and its content not only affect the user experience, it also impacts your organic search rankings. That is why it is important for breakroom operators to create an SEO-focused website that ‘speaks the same language’ your buyers do. A website with content that is rich in industry-related keywords and phrases specific to the refreshment services industry will make it easier for search engines to match your website with buyers searching for breakroom services.
Informative blog articles
Blogs are a great way to elaborate on topics of interest as well as highlight current breakroom trends. Plus, blogs boost SEO by positioning your website as a source for relevant answers to prospective buyers’ questions. Blog posts that use a variety of keywords and on-page SEO tactics are recognized as more relevant and can give your business more opportunities to rank higher in search engines. Another benefit? Blogs help your business gain industry authority and trust with breakroom customers.
Social Media Content
Posting regular content to your social media platforms helps your company stay top of mind with existing customers and potential buyers of breakroom services. In addition, having a social media presence helps increase your online visibility and supports SEO efforts to drive traffic to your website. Create posts with inbound links to your website and encourage those that engage with your content to click through. This will increase your site’s popularity and credibility for organic search. Posts that tag relevant fellow businesses or clients will increase their exposure – and so will the likes they receive. The more eyes on your content the better. You may even notice your social media profiles showing up near the top of online searches as well.
Online Business Listings
Finally, online business listings are important for SEO because they provide valuable information at a quick glance. Not only do they increase your visibility in local search, but they also increase your chances of ranking higher than competitors. Your business listing also provides a place for existing customers to review your breakroom business and drive more traffic to your website.
Managing your online content to maximize SEO will help ensure your company ranks high in organic search and new leads discover your website. Prospective buyers are looking online for breakroom solutions every day. When your website is optimized, potential customers have an easier time finding the breakroom refreshment products and services you offer and reaching out to you first.
If you’re a breakroom operator looking to improve your online presence and SEO, contact VendCentral. We are 100% focused on the refreshment services industry and develop results-oriented online marketing strategies for breakroom operators.