That ‘like’ your company page has just got on Facebook. Somebody you’ve had a nice chat with on Twitter. Traffic statistics and website visitors staring back at you from Google Analytics.
They’re coming in thick and fast. That’s great, but it counts for little if they don’t stick around and make an order.
How on earth do you turn those people into customers, both in the short- and long-term?
It’s something that evades and frustrates a huge amount of small business owners, especially those that are looking to take the next step and grow their business.
There must be some secret to it… After all, so many competing businesses are doing it on a daily basis and disappearing over the horizon.
There is a secret to it, but an open one. It revolves around streamlining and optimising your online presence with an inbound marketing strategy designed to attract the best leads and convert them.
There’s also a tool you can use to greatly enhance your conversion rate, speed up the sales process, nurture leads and keep people coming back for more. That tool is marketing automation.
Converting traffic to sales with inbound and marketing automation
So often small business owners typically do two things with their website when they want to generate more sales. They’ll either:
1: Put more calls to action (such as BUY NOW buttons) on their site to hopefully increase sales
2: Leave it alone entirely
Both are a waste of time and money. Putting more CTAs on a site is likely to put people off, and leaving it alone is probably the worst thing you can do as part of your online sales strategy.
How can leaving it alone be a waste of time? SME owners can become so frustrated that they leave the site be, even when it’s producing high volumes of traffic and interaction.
Your site exists to either complement your shop or be your main point of sales. It’s doing a job to some extent; implementing a bespoke inbound strategy that makes best use of marketing automation software gives SME owners the chance to better convert that initial interest into repeat sales.
How exactly does marketing automation work?
You could need to overhaul the way you do business online, or you may need to slightly tweak a couple of things to see that passing interest turn into sales.
Marketing automation, when working with an experienced agency, automates and personalises tasks and recognises certain triggers that will enhance the way you do business online.
How, though? It sounds too good to be true. Not at all; marketing automation is becoming more common and has been essential to SME growth across the world. Here’s how it works, and how it could work for your business:
1: Segmenting and categorising traffic
Your website traffic doesn’t come from just one source. It comes from a number of areas; from people finding you on a search engine, from social media, from emails and more.
Marketing automation working alongside an inbound marketing strategy will help you to better identify where that traffic is coming from and its purchasing intentions. If people directly land on a product page, for instance, they’re likely to be looking specifically for that product.
A good marketing automation strategy can help them to complete a purchase without pressure or direct that lead to specific areas on your website to capture their data in transparent ways to keep in touch with them, and more.
2: Nurturing leads with content
Personalisation is a huge part of the lead nurturing experience, but with so much traffic visiting a site, can you really offer a personalised shopping experience to every visitor?
You can with the right marketing automation strategy. Again, categorising traffic and working out whether they want to make a purchase or are just browsing is key.
Collecting the right data from undecided leads is also essential. Automating and personalising emails, social media and more with the right content is crucial to converting passing interest and encouraging shoppers back to your site.
3: Always keeping you on-hand
Brands are expected to be on hand 24-hours a day, seven days a week thanks to social media. That can be an almost impossible task for busy SME owners who have other jobs to do, and family life to juggle.
Marketing automation can, again, segment and automate the most common queries and interactions you receive over social media, whether it’s a simple tweet or a chatbot interaction over Facebook.
Not only can personalised social interactions with marketing automation help to convert interest, it can also help resolve customer complaints as soon as possible, increasing customer satisfaction in the long-term.
4: Saving you time and money
Many people are under the impression that marketing automation is a hugely expensive, all-in-one piece of software.
Not so; the more common the practice is becoming, the more affordable it can be for SMEs, especially if you work with an experienced agency that will work to reduce your costs per lead. Overall, once the system is implemented it could end up saving you money in the long-term.
The alternative is working to an existing system, checking several different social media accounts and trialling different conversion techniques in the hope that they may work, on top of your existing job. Automation can save you both time and money and help you grow.
5: Attracting existing customers back
One of the most valuable parts of a great inbound marketing automation strategy is to attract repeat business over a variety of channels.
Personalisation and automation can reach out to people who have made a purchase with you before at times likely most suitable to them without overloading them or turning them off. It will introduce them to purchases they may be interested in and also encourage them to share your content with others.
Repeat business is essential to SME growth and automation can help turn shoppers into long-term brand advocates. The right strategy can also help you to spread word of mouth from repeat business; still the best form of advertising there is.
Find out more about the costs of marketing automation and how it can take your business to the next level by speaking to a Web Presence representative!
Working as a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2004, Lee helps SMEs win more business through developing effective digital marketing strategies. He is a dedicated Liverpool FC fan, dog lover and loves long country walks (and a cheeky pint) with his dog, Banjo.