Once you have an Online Business, the thing that largely determines your success or failure is the number of visits to your website. Payment methods are there, logistics have been taken care of, the website design is fantastic and all the backend stuff is sorted, but you still need the right people (target audience) to discover you exist, in order to be able to satisfy their needs. This is where Inbound Marketing comes in.
What is Inbound Marketing?
In simple terms, inbound marketing is to “Get Found”. This strategy is designed to attract people that fall into the group of your Target Audience and is willing to buy. Inbound marketing is often the most inexpensive medium of advertising, the ROI is great as you more often get “ready-to-buy” visitors and it is an organic way of growing which help you in the long run. In e-commerce there are many methods that can be used for inbound marketing, here is a list of some popular ones:
Blogs and articles
Inbound marketing is NOT Interruption Marketing!
Never confuse Inbound Marketing with Interruption Marketing, the later is a more aggressive form of marketing and can be a riskier option. Inbound marketing is the opposite of interruption marketing. It is made clear with a few examples:
Outbound Sales Calls
Billboards / Outdoor Ads
Not Targeted paid ads online
TV and Radio Ads
Implementing Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing consists of four goals, and through these goals, you can define the stages of the customer buying process. These goals are:
Getting the attention of your Target Audience! To be successful at this, you must understand your customer. You need to know what is your average customer like, what are their needs, where do they go to fulfill those needs and how can you attract them. It is recommended to create a Buyer Persona to learn more about who you are selling too. Once you have figured that out, you can start with creating a strategy to attract them, by creating or modifying your content and targeting on relevant channels. Popular tools for Attracting prospects include Blogs, Social Media and Content Marketing.
Now that you have frequent visitors to your website and the traffic is on the up, it is time to start with the conversions. There are a number of ways to do this, by making them subscribe to your newsletters, having meetings, giving a presentation skype etc. The important thing is to engage the visitors.
This is where you make your money! Once you have generated leads, it is time to convert them into customers by making sales. If you have done the previous steps correctly, this should be a lot easier. The best way to close deals is to give personal attention to the clients or at least give them the impression of being personal! You can use personalized emails, check with your sales team if the process is efficient or if there are any blockages, and guide the leads every step of the way.
To a large extent, loyalty depends on the complete customer experience, if the customer experience has been good, it is more than likely they will be loyal to your brand. After you have completed the sale, next you have to delight the customer by your after sale service. Ask for feedback, offer loyalty discounts, send them informative content, and keep them up-to-date.
To be successful in e-commerce, it is now a business essential to have inbound marketing incorporated into your marketing strategy. The size of the business does not matter here, if you know your target audience well enough, Inbound Marketing can be the growth hack that propels your business to the next level.
See examples of good Inbound Marketing Campaigns: http://www.getspokal.com/8-extroardinary-examples-of-businesses-that-were-saved-by-inbound-marketing/