In a competitive eCommerce world, you are either innovating and reinventing your marketing strategy, or you’re falling behind. This means that there can be no room for outdated marketing practices and that you need to use everything from meticulous SEO implementation in your content strategy to web design and other inbound marketing solutions in order to appeal to the modern consumer.
Keep in mind that while outbound marketing still has its uses in certain areas of business, your long-term success in the E-commerce industry will primarily depend on your ability attract people towards your brand, and inspire them to become your loyal customers. With that in mind, here are the five steps you need to take to create a winning inbound marketing strategy for your online store.
IT ALL BEGINS WITH A COMPELLING BRAND IDENTITY
Unlike traditional outbound marketing methods, inbound marketing or SEO focuses on inspiring and incentivizing customers to engage with your brand and to gravitate naturally towards it with the help of emotional stimuli complemented with rational incentives. Translated, this means that your brand’s identity should be your biggest selling point, instead of focusing on pushing products or cold-calling people in hopes of scoring a quick sale.
You should build a winning inbound strategy on the foundation of branding and meticulous brand dissemination throughout the online and offline worlds. To build a compelling brand identity imbued with soul and substance, tend to the following:
- Stand up for something meaningful. Separate your brand from the competition by defining a set of values your customers can relate to on an emotional level.
- Let these values permeate your entire content and digital marketing strategies.
- Build a striking visual presence. A clean, well-optimized, and unique web design can help you build a trustworthy image in the eyes of your customers, and search engines as well.
- Define your brand’s unique tone of voice to stand apart from other online stores and give your customer service agents a unique way of communicating with your customers.
OPTIMIZING THE SALES CYCLE FOR INBOUND MARKETING
The sales department is often thought of as an outbound marketing tool exclusively, and up until a couple of decades ago, cold calling was just about the only thing sales reps did. Nowadays, though, the sales department has evolved into a lead generation, nurturing, and conversion machine operating on the foundation of inbound marketing complemented with a distinct hint of the old outbound approach.
This means that the best way to optimize your entire sales cycle is to define the pros and cons of inbound vs outbound sales and create a plan that will utilize the unique strengths of both to boost conversions and productivity. Concretely, you want to create a foundation of inbound marketing for your sales representatives and allow them to welcome customers to join your brand, but you also want to use some outbound tactics such as a follow-up phone call or promotional email to improve your brand’s reach and incentivize people to finish a purchase.
ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is the perfect place to disseminate your brand and its values, your content and stories, and increase brand reputation and awareness in the online world. But rather than telling people to go check out your latest collection, you need to focus on inspiring and incentivizing them to become your loyal followers, and more importantly, your lifetime customers.
Remember, one of the keys to long-term eCommerce success lies in recurring business, so you want your customers to keep coming back on a regular basis. By boosting your brand’s reputation on social media using influencer marketing and compelling content, you can easily improve your CTR and drive traffic to your website. What’s more, regular and organized social media management will keep your existing customers interested and motivate them to check you out on a regular basis.
FOCUSING ON PERSONAL BRAND-CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION
Personalization is the name of the modern Ecommerce game, as the modern customer is fed up with faceless brands and direct template emails addressing no one in particular. Simply put, vague and impersonal communication will do nothing but jeopardize your brand’s reputation in the eyes of the public, decrease your email click-through rate, and increase the bounce rate on your website.
Needless to say, this can quickly spell disaster for your long-term standing in the industry. One of the cornerstones of inbound marketing is personalization, or the ability of a brand to communicate with its customers and online audience in a personal way, addressing the individual and their unique needs. Creating personalized email content, engaging with the individual on social media, and researching the exact needs of your audience will go a long way in boosting your brand’s image and driving traffic to your store.
MONITOR RELEVANT KPIS AND ADAPT YOUR APPROACH
Finally, there can be no long-term growth and progress if you have no way of measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of your marketing strategy. It’s imperative that you determine your most relevant metrics, monitor them on a regular basis, and create actionable reports your marketers can use to fine-tune their approach and improve on past results.
There Are Three Basic KPIs You Should Always Keep An Eye On:
- Web traffic. This will tell you where all of your site’s traffic is coming from, allowing you to invest in underperforming areas or boost the best-performing sources even more.
- Funnel metrics. This metric will tell you the total number of leads you’ve gathered in a sales cycle and how many of those have converted into customers.
- Customer lifetime value vs the cost of customer acquisition. Is the customer “profitable” in the long run? Compare these two metrics to determine what leads produce the highest ROI.
The days of cold-calling and pushing products with overly sales-y ads are long gone. This is the age of inbound marketing where outbound methods have only a supplementary role to play, so be sure to follow these steps in order to effectuate a winning inbound marketing strategy and pave the road to a successful future in the E-commerce world.