You know that inbound leads are an amazing way to grow your Shopify store. Yet, it might seem intimidating and difficult to get started. Why not simply go all-in with online advertising methods like Facebook ads? We hear that a lot in our discussions with Shopify store owners.
You Need A Portfolio of Marketing Strategies, Not One Hit Wonders
Would you be comfortable putting all of your retirement account investments into a single stock? That would expose your financial future to incredible risk! In the same way, it is risky to rely entirely on a single channel to bring you new customers.
You might be getting most of your customers through Google Ads or Facebook Ads today. Those are great places to acquire customers, and you should continue those strategies if they are producing ROI for you. However, there are two problems with relying exclusively on online advertising to acquire new customers.
First, there is no long term asset created with online advertising. Once you stop spending, traffic stops immediately. With inbound marketing, you are building an asset that continues to attract leads for months and years into the future.
Second, your advertising may be stopped when the platforms change the rules. When you use another company’s platform, they set the rules. For example, online advertising companies have recently changed their rules for political advertising. That’s a problem for Shopify store owners if you sell politically-themed products.
The alternative is to build your audience. To make that happen, use this short guide to get started.
Your Step By Step Process To Increase Shopify Sales With Inbound Marketing
1) Set Your Goals
Before you start writing, you’ll need to set some high-level goals. At a minimum, we recommend setting a lead goal and a traffic goal.
- Traffic Goal: In the next 12 months, how many new website visitors do you want to attract to your website?
- Lead Goal: How many of those website visitors do you want to convert into leads? As a benchmark, aim for a 1-2% conversion rate on your homepage. For better results, use landing pages such as those provided by Unbounce or Leadpages. With those assets, you can 10% or more of website visitors to your email list.
2) Publish Helpful Information For Your Market By Answering Questions
Do you want to know the most common failure in inbound marketing?
It is failing to speak directly to the needs, goals, and problems of your audience. For example, if your Shopify store blog has company news, updates to your shipping policies and ‘bland’ new product announcements, you are probably making this error.
As a starting point, find the questions your target market asks and start creating content around those questions. For example, here are some of the questions your market might have if you were in the marathon running apparel category.
1) How do I avoid chafing when running long distances?
2) How do I carry more water when running?
3) How often should I replace my running shoes?
Tip: Call or email five of your recent customers this week and ask them what questions they have about your products. Alternatively, use AnswerThePublic to come up with ideas.
3) Create Content That Answers Their Questions
Now that you have a few questions your market cares about, it is time to start creating and publishing content. As a general rule, we recommend starting with text blog posts first since they are easiest to produce and bring in search traffic. If you’re stuck when facing a blank page, talk to us about managing your Shopify inbound marketing.
Tip: The days of writing 500-word posts stuffed with products keywords are gone. If you want to win with inbound marketing, you need to publish high-quality content that provides value.
4) Promote Your Content To Attract Visitors
Most online business owners completely neglect content promotion. Publishing new content on your website is not enough, especially if you have a small amount of traffic. Instead, you need to promote that content online. To get you started, here are ten places where you can promote your content and get more traffic and leads:
- Facebook. You can promote your content several ways on Facebook: publish an update to your company page and in Groups. Taking the time to build a relationship with owners of Facebook Groups is an excellent way to build traffic. For example, if you offer apparel for runners, reach out to Facebook Groups such as:
- Twitter. Use the Keyword Tool (https://keywordtool.io/twitter), to find hashtags related to your content, so you are more likely to be discovered.
- Pinterest. An excellent platform to use if you have highly visual content and want to seek out female customers.
- YouTube. You’ve already created a piece of content – why not create a video based on the same material? That will help you to attract traffic from one of the world’s most popular websites.
- Niche Specific Forums. There are specialized forums dedicated to every interest under the sun. While some of these discourage promotional activities, other forums welcome contributors who share interesting content. To find forums related to your niche, use a Google search like this:
- “NICHE forum” (e.g., running forum).
- Paid Content Promotion. With services like Outbrain and Taboola, you can pay to distribute your content online. We recommend holding off on this strategy until you see results with free content promotion sources.
5) Convert Website Visitors To Leads and Buyers
If someone visits your Shopify store and leaves sixty seconds later, did your company benefit? Not really. Sure, the person may have bookmarked your website and become more familiar with your brand. However, in our distracted world, they are unlikely ever to return.
That’s why you need to convert those casual website visitors into leads and buyers. If you are looking to attract buyers right now, make a direct sales pitch! We recommend experimenting with the following offers:
- Offer a discount code for 10% off when they purchase in the next 24 hours.
- Offer a “BOGO” coupon (Buy One, Get One) promotion.
- Offer a seasonal promotion (e.g., Black Friday sale, Christmas sale, back to school sale
In the example below, we can see that Beauty Tools NYC, a Shopify store selling beauty products, is using these type of offers to convert website visitors by offering a discount code:
Losing a small amount of profit on the first sale is often worthwhile. Once a customer makes a purchase, they have a much higher likelihood to buy again. If you add personal touches – like a thank you card in the package – the odds of them making a purchase increase even further.
What about all the other people who visit your website but who are not ready to buy today? We’ll address their needs next.
6) Follow Up With Leads On Your List
According to sales author Chet Holmes, only 3% of prospects are ready to buy right away. Everybody else is not quite ready yet. For example, a person visiting a Shopify store might be waiting for a birthday to splurge on a gift. To get those prospects to buy, you need to stay in touch with them via your email list.
Tip: Did you know that inbound marketing helps you to diversify your revenue stream beyond e-commerce product sales? By the way, building an email list of prospects is valuable for the long term health of your business. When you have a list of prospects, you have additional revenue opportunities. You can organize joint venture promotions with partners in different fields and earn revenue. Also, you could sell advertising space in your newsletter.
There Are Two Paths To Inbound Marketing Success: Which Will You Choose?
Achieving success with inbound marketing is one of the best ways to build your Shopify store. However, it takes considerable effort to implement. It takes months of publishing and promoting to earn significant traffic and leads through inbound. If you have an in-house marketing employee, you can ask them to take on this responsibility.
What can you do if you and your company do not have the expertise to implement inbound marketing? In that case, contact us to discuss ways we can help you run your content marketing program.