If you have a product or service to sell online, even if your main concern is your brick-and-mortar establishment, inbound marketing can be a valuable tool for you to use. The way people buy things has changed drastically since the more widespread use of the internet, and certainly in the last couple of years.

If your business is not reacting to that change, then you might, with some justification, be worried about the future of your business. If, however, you don't have the first idea of how to go about this, or even know what is meant by the term inbound marketing, then this short overview will be extremely useful.

How Shopping Has Changed
Before the widespread use of the internet, the sales process was very different. If you wanted to buy, for instance, a washing machine, you would wander down the high street into the local electrical retailers. Once there, you would speak to a salesman who would discuss your needs with you and present possible solutions. You typically wouldn't have a great deal of information about what type of washing machine you wanted, or what models were available, and you would be very dependent on what the salesman had to tell you, as they had all the information and knowledge.

These days, the internet has made most of that process redundant. People can find out everything they need to know about washing machines and the model they are looking for with a few clicks and in a matter of minutes. However, if you can position your product or service to feature in their search, then you have the chance to take the place of that salesman in the new process.

Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is the process of doing just that - using a process involving a combination of PPC ads, a strong social media presence, and content marketing. Your goal is to make an impression on the person looking for a product or service that puts you at the forefront of their mind and them into your sales funnel. You can then use further contact with them to guide them towards buying from you, and becoming a long-term customer, which are the best type of customers to have.

Build the Customer Journey
Working out how your customer moves from that first point of contact to the place where you have a long-term relationship with them needs to be defined carefully, and using a specialist agency, like Web Presence, can help you take care of this whole process for you.

As was mentioned right at the start of this overview, getting this process right is key. So, using people who know what they're doing could bring a great deal more success than just blundering around in the dark using a rather expensive process of trial and error to define what does and doesn't work.

Wrapping Everything Up
People buy things very differently from how they did 20 years ago, as they now actively search for what they want from their own homes. Offering useful information to those searching is an important first step in the relationship that could lead to a sale. There are many ways of going about this but going it alone can sometimes prove both fruitless and expensive, and getting a specialist agency involved can often be the best approach, allowing you to focus on your business’s core activities.