Inbound Marketing for eCommerce - Magento Imagine 2014 Breakout session

This session is Inbound Marketing for eCommerce: Double Down on Content to Create a Scalable Customer Acquisition Strategy with Ethan Giffin, Founder & CEO, Groove and Michael Sapera, CFO & Director of IT, Perlis Inc.

Why focus on content?

Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram - 79% of online shoppers spend at least 50% of their shopping time researching products. 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their blog. 67% of B2C companies and 41% of B2B have acquired a customer through Facebook. So, content is important - it generates customers. Finally, Google's Panda & Penguin updates make content vital for SEO. Inbound vs outbound marketing. In inbound marketing, communication is interactive and two way. Outbound is just broadcasting a message out (TV, radio, etc). Customers come to you via search engines, referrals, Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. Marketers are providing value and educating their customers to help them make a purchase decision. Seeks to entertain or educate.

Elements of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a hub and spoke. It brings in blogging & content strategy, public relations, SEO, ratings & reviews, PPC, retargeting, social media, online video, conversion optimization and email nurturing. Inbound marketing cycle - Attract -> Convert -> Close -> Delight. You turn strangers into visitors via blogs and social media. Visitors turn into leads via forms, landing pages, etc. Leads turn into customers via emails and sales workflows. Customers turn into promoters for your brand via events, social and smart content. Closing the loop on your marketing - tie everything together. Make sure you aren't just acquiring customers and then not nurturing the relationship to encourage them to come back.

Goals & Planning aka "The Mission Link"

Rare for small to medium eTailers to plan, but they should. Focus on 3 main metrics - average order value, traffic and conversion rate. GPCT - Goal -> Plan -> Challenge -> Timeline. Set realistic goals. Example goals to consider... Increase: monthly visitors, conversion rate, average order size, email list, search traffic, etc. Conversion rate worksheet at http://groov.co/1nOSFi9 (as an aside, that's a great example of Inbound Marketing and Hubspot in action on Groove's site). Optimal frequencies - test for your audience, but a guideline is 1-2 blogs per week; 4+ emails per month and 5-30 social updates per week. Start a content calendar.

10 Ideas for Creating Quality Content in 2014

Give your site some soul. Talk about yourself. Tell your story. How are you different from the big boys? What's your history? Write good content. Create buyers guides. Have an opinion. Show your expertise.

Check your product descriptions. Don't use the manufacturer's default description!

Classify your catalog - productions for promotion (low traffic, high conversion). products to remove (low traffic, low conversion - if you don't outright remove them, at least noindex them), top selling products (high traffic, high conversion), productions needing optimization (high traffic, low conversion).

Blog top lists - top problems, top solutions.

Versus & compare - interview your audience and write comparison articles because prospects are always looking for education. Type your first keyword into Google, then vs, and look at the auto suggestions are - create content around that.

Show your experience - let prospects know your project and industry experience. Create "How To's", not too technical or detailed, just to show your expertise. Great things to create videos around as well.

Stay Connected!

Social media contests - don't have to be big; even just giving away a drink koozie got hundreds of comments and entries.

Start an email welcome series.

Cart abanondment email series - multiple points of followup, start with simple giveaways. This one process saved one Magento merchant $31,000

Start a birthday email series.

Put a form on your thank you page after an order with some followup questions for birthdate and other customer segmentation info.

Send a post-purchase followup - send emails requesting reviews. Visitors expect 3-7 reviews per product. Don't use Javascript-based reviews systems, get the content on the page in a Google-friendly manner.

Q&A

More information about HubSpot connector? It will feed historical data and current behavioral data from Magento into HubSpot.

How do you get people to engage with your content? Especially people 30+ to engage with your content and social. It's challenging. There's different ways of engaging - if you're a B2C brand engaging an older demographic, it's challenging, but there's ways to do that. Don't try to get them to download an eBook - email and blog posts are the best ways to engage that demographic.