No one has to remind you, the owner of a brick-and-mortar business, that consumers continue to migrate to the “surf and click” domain of online shopping.
Although you’re savvy enough to realize that some shoppers will always prefer to see and hold products in their hands before making a purchase, you’ve been around long enough to know that you cannot afford to take these tactile shoppers—and others like them—for granted.
You must stay competitive in the digital world—and your website, arguably your business’s best advertisement and the sharpest tool in your marketing arsenal, holds the key. Only by using your website can you unlock the transformative influence of inbound marketing, enhance your online business presence, and continually attract new customers. You might even show those “surf and clickers” what they’re missing.
As a brick-and-mortar business owner, you probably have done your fair share of outbound marketing, such as the catalogs, sales offers, coupons, flyers, postcards, and other materials that have gone out your door. Even when these pieces are executed perfectly, you know that, at best, they might generate a response rate of about 2 percent.
Inbound marketing reverses this traditional flow of marketing—and greatly increases your odds of success by bringing vetted customers in through the door of your brick-and-mortar business. Content serves as the bait, and once customers are hooked by the content you offer, all you have to do is reel them in.
With a sound marketing strategy as the foundation, inbound marketing can draw customers to your business at a fraction of the cost of outbound marketing initiatives while transforming your online business presence.
Before you begin to integrate the six tactics of an inbound marketing strategy, consider inbound marketing’s track record of success. HubSpot’s eighth annual report on the strategy—the result of interviews with more than 4,500 businesses—found that inbound marketing is:
If you’re familiar with the sales “funnel,” you’ll see some similarities in how inbound marketing is designed to motivate potential customers, moving them through the four-step process of attraction, conversion, closing, and indulging/surprising them (in other words, keeping them happy).
With this strategy as your backdrop, six inbound marketing tactics will increase your online business presence and help your business stay competitive in the digital marketplace:
Mastering the tactics of inbound marketing requires skill, experience, and steady, confident leadership. But even the most impressive efforts will flounder if they are not driven by a sound inbound marketing strategy.
Call the professionals at Integrated Digital Strategies for a consultation. When it comes to inbound marketing, they know all the right moves, and they will ensure that your brick-and-mortar business stays competitive in the digital world with an online business presence.
Face it: To get customers more familiar with your brand, you need marketing. The end goal is gaining more brand awareness, or customer familiarity with your products and services, and leveraging that brand awareness into brand equity and increased sales.
Brand equity is the value that comes from having a great, reliable product. It’s the force compelling customers in the grocery store to buy Coke rather than a generic alternative. Customers usually go with the former—Coke—because they know they’re getting a great product.
You need marketing to bring that same level of confidence to customers. What kinds of marketing, though? What’s the difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing? Is one better than the other? Which kind of marketing is more relevant to today’s technology, smartphones, and social media?
Outbound marketing is the kind of marketing with which most people are familiar. Outbound marketing gets its name from the fact that companies are transmitting advertising about their finished goods and services “out” to customers who might need them.
Over the years, outbound marketing has become known as “interruption” marketing because some view it as a less nuanced version of inbound marketing. Whereas inbound marketing brings customers in through email marketing campaigns and search engine optimization (SEO), outbound marketing simply broadcasts a company’s message.
Such a technique might work, but it might not. An upside of outbound marketing is that it can reach a large number of people; this is also a downside since outbound marketing can be expensive, and its lack of sophistication means that it might bother some people. Outbound marketing includes things like telemarketing, direct mail, and TV commercials.
Inbound marketing tends to be more targeted and cost-efficient since you can bring customers into the fold without necessarily spending a lot of money on outreach.
Because inbound marketing provides different material to different sets of customers as they move through the sales funnel—from awareness to interest, decision, and action (buying your product)—you’re also captivating customers’ attention more consistently.
Inbound marketing is usually seen as the more cost-efficient and targeted marketing approach. Imagine the difference between being steered toward a restaurant in which you’re interested through local SEO or engaging blogs versus getting blasted with a TV commercial or door hanger for a restaurant. See the difference?
Integrated Digital Strategies is a full-service inbound marketing solutions provider that works with popular marketing tools like HubSpot and Marketo to help you bring in more customers. The marketing experts at Integrated Digital Strategies also use Pardot, a marketing automation tool, to help you attract, convert, and retain customers.
Tools that Integrated Digital Strategies uses to get you there include search engine optimization, targeted email marketing campaigns, keyword optimization, content generation, and blogging, call tracking, and social media engagement. The goal is reaching the greatest number of potential customers without losing your message or edge in the process.
You need all these options at your disposal because most of your customers are mobile and smartphone-equipped. This means that you need to enhance your social media presence to keep up, optimize your content around keywords designed to get you seen, and make sure that you can consistently achieve page-one status on major search engines like Google.
The staff at Integrated Digital Strategies realizes that your ideal Web presence needs to draw on a number of related tools. This means embracing search engine optimization, but it also means online reputation management, social media engagement, and analytics and tracking to ensure that everything stays on track.
Online listing management programs also work with Integrated Digital Strategies’ search engine optimization efforts, so you’ll be discovered early and often by local customers. Email marketing campaigns with Integrated Digital Strategies also include the regular deployment of original content, follow-up with customers, and ultimately more actionable leads.