Building Relationships: Why Inbound Marketing works
Building strong business relationships with both existing and prospective customers is more critical than ever. Winning people’s trust has become a challenge for many companies, especially when there are the added hurdles of being unable to meet customers and prospects directly. Applied to e-commerce, where you might not even have a brick and mortar enterprise to promote your products, what do you do in a situation like this? The answer is simple: an inbound marketing strategy.
First of all, What is Inbound Marketing?
In simple terms, inbound marketing is the process of helping prospective customers find your business. This happens often before the customer is even ready to purchase. Making early contact can turn into brand preference and, eventually, revenue and leads.
Inbound marketing is a strategy that uses many forms of pull marketing—blogs, search engine optimisation (SEO), social media and content marketing among others—to generate brand awareness and attract customers. On the other hand, outbound marketing looks for customers where inbound marketing focuses on visibility, thus, pulling buyers to you. When you employ inbound marketing, you are focusing on new methods aimed at generating awareness, creating relationships and producing leads.
All these methods make your business attractive to customers because they do not make people feel like they are being marketed to. The content provided by inbound marketing is entertaining, informative and welcomed by customers. When it’s done right, inbound marketing can deliver dramatically improved results than conventional marketing, presenting them with an open invitation to engage. When customers find your business in this way, it has a more powerful impact on their future buying decisions and their feelings towards your company in general.
Inbound Marketing and E-commerce
Inbound marketing is not just one tactic, tool or campaign. It is comprised of ongoing activities that, when done together, produces an extremely scalable revenue driver.
Now, do you need inbound marketing for e-commerce? The answer goes beyond revenue and focuses on relevancy. Shopping online is moving to mobile; more and more people are using their smartphones as their primary online shopping tool. Purchases online are not happening on websites alone—they are taking place through social media apps such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
Therefore, e-commerce is becoming more accessible, getting quicker and happening over a diverse range of devices and platforms. For most e-tailers today, the bottom line is that inbound marketing is among the marketing approaches that empower them to scale engagement with past, present and future customers. You can approach inbound marketing methods through the sales funnel lens: attract, convert, close and delight.
First in order, attracting is all about generating brand awareness and recognition among the main targeted audiences.
Convert can have various meanings in various business categories or industries, but here, we use it to define obtaining some sort of initial connection with a potential customer. It could be an email that captures a customer so that you can keep marketing to them over time.
This is where the sale occurs.
The final stage is where you not only fulfil an order but you go beyond the customer’s expectations. The goal here is to both reinforce customer loyalty and motivate them to share their experience on social media and with their friends and family. This amplifies business reach, reputation and exposure (and thereby, feeding back to the first level of the sales funnel).
Why Inbound Marketing Works
As outbound marketing campaign involves many channels such as television, radio, billboards and so on. Likewise, inbound marketing needs channels as well. The most common among those channels are SEO, social media and content marketing. Maintaining a robust website is also a critical component because many inbound marketing tactics are created to bring prospective customers to your site.
Now, the main question: does inbound marketing really work? Yes, it does, here’s how.
SEO and content marketing are among the many key elements of inbound marketing. When used correctly, it will result in more qualified traffic to your site. You can turn the traffic into leads or customers. You acquire them by producing informative, comprehensive pages that are optimised for keywords significant to your prospects.
The more content you produce, the more opportunities you have to rank for particular phrases and keywords.
Any media company that offers advertising space can offer an all-inclusive description of their audience, usually in terms of gender, interests and age. But even if they are accurate with such information, there’s no guarantee that their audience is interested in your company’s services or products.
However, with inbound marketing, you can reach prospects who are more likely to be interested in your business. When you create content with a target audience in mind, you attract visitors with an interest in those topics to your website.
Did you know that 94% of B2B buyers currently research services or products online before they make a purchase? So, you can’t build a relationship with them if they aren’t aware of your existence. When you create great content consistently, using SEO techniques to rank well, you multiply your chances of being found. You also increase your online presence and brand awareness.
Having strong relationships with customers is your e-commerce business’s best asset during uncertain times and key to your success. When you use inbound marketing strategies, you can create those connections and win the customer’s trust. And this is why inbound marketing just works.