How to Develop an Inbound Marketing Strategy for your Brick-and-Mortar Store

The days are gone when a few signs in your local area were enough to bring in a steady stream of business. Nowadays, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, you need to be active online. 

This is because the dynamic has entirely changed. Although you’re physically based in a certain location, you are competing with any businesses that are able to reliably ship to your area.

In order to remain relevant, trustworthy, and profitable, you need to get word of your business out there. And that means developing an inbound marketing strategy. 

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing involves attracting potential customers to your company by catching their attention or offering something of value. Unlike traditional outbound marketing – which casts a wide net and hopes for the best – inbound marketing is more targeted and focused on individuals who are actually interested in you. 

Generally, the idea is to find the potential customer before they are ready to purchase. From there, you guide them towards a sale by providing quality content that answers common questions, addresses typical doubts, or provides them with the information to solve whatever problem they have themselves. 

In doing so, you set your brand up as an expert in your field. When they do decide to make a purchase, the customer is more likely to choose you as they have a higher level of trust. 

Developing your strategy: A six-step plan

This may sound simple in theory. But developing an inbound marketing effort that actually produces results involves a holistic approach across all touchpoints (physical or digital) to serve a predetermined goal. 

By taking a solid six-step approach, you can ensure every aspect of your marketing strategy is taken into account. 

Step 1: The planning phase

If you don’t know what you want to achieve, it’s impossible to achieve anything. While they are excellent marketing practices, simply creating ebooks or posting on social media is unlikely to achieve results unless they lead to something specific. 

This is why planning is essential. 

Begin by taking a look at your current needs and turn them into set objectives and measurable goals. Say you want more in-shop purchases. What are the factors that will contribute to that? It may be greater local awareness, higher footfall, increased loyalty, etc. 

So, that would be: 

Objective: Increase in-shop purchases by X% in X timeline. (Being specific is always better!) 


  1. Greater local awareness. 
  2. Increased footfall.
  3. Keep current customers coming back. 

That’s a good start, but how do you measure these goals? There’s no one answer to this. Awareness could be based on increase in social media activity; footfall could be engaging in an offline-to-online measurement initiative; and loyalty could be implementing a loyalty program. 

How you go about it is up to you – as long as it’s measurable, actively contributes to your objective, and is housed on a super-speedy website

Developing your content strategy

Next, you need to begin thinking about how you draw the customers in, which means defining your content strategy. If you want to get a donkey to move, you dangle a carrot in front of it. But if you want to catch a fish, a carrot is of no use to you. 

Your customers are neither donkeys nor fish, of course, but they will have shared interests. If you sell hiking equipment, they will all love nature. If you sell luxury clothes, they will like fashion and the finer things in life. By determining the shared interests and developing specific customer personas, you can create a content strategy that appeals to these tastes. 

It’s vital at this stage that you assign responsibilities to different people. Creating an initiative involves a lot of initial and ongoing work, and having set people for the creation and publishing of your content across different platforms is the only way to move forward.

Now, all that’s left is to brainstorm ideas! Have fun with this part as the better the quality, the more likely it is to connect. 

 Step 2: Create the content

With the planning stage behind you, it’s time to begin creating. If you understand your target well, you should also know where they’re active. 

This will determine the type of content you create, whether: 

  1. Blog articles
  2. Social media
  3. Videos
  4. Webinars
  5. Podcasts
  6. Ebooks
  7. White papers

Generally, it will involve a number of the above, with blogs and social media a baseline staple of any initiative. Posting frequently on social media is a great way to show your business is active, allows you to share the different articles you write, and will contribute to SEO success

Often, it’s a good idea to begin with these two and have a set timeline for introducing new content. Trying too much at once can be overwhelming if you have access to limited resources.  

Step 3: Distribute it far and wide

Social media is powerful… But it’s also time consuming. If you wake up every day, try to think what to post, create the post, then publish it, you’ll soon realize it’s not sustainable. This is especially true if you’re active on multiple platforms! 

Instead, content distribution and customer engagement needs to be planned for as much as possible. Achieving this involves creating a content calendar ideally at least a month in advance. Plan what you want to share and use software like or to schedule your posts. 

Both of the above tools are paid subscriptions. If you’re only posting on Facebook and Instagram, you can use the Meta Business Suite to schedule posts for free. 

Bear in mind that planning doesn’t kill spontaneity – if you get a flash of inspiration, you can still post in the moment. In fact, this is recommended so your social media doesn’t come across as robotic. 

Step 4: Capture your audience 

Not taking active steps to capture your audience is a common mistake businesses make with inbound marketing campaigns. You could be posting a blog post every week, making wacky TikToks, interacting with your customers on social media, but unless you guide them to become qualified prospects, it’s all for nothing. (Or at least much less.) 

The most simple conversion tactic is called a “call to action,” which describes its purpose quite well. Any piece of content you have should serve a purpose that contributes to your outlined goals. At appropriate times, you need to encourage the visitor to perform the action that serves your purpose. 

The action could be “contact us” or “buy now” or “learn more” or “sign up to our webinar.” Simply ask yourself, “what would I like the reader/viewer to do in an ideal situation?” – then ask them! 

Aside from CTAs, you will also need to develop contact forms, landing pages, product pages, checkouts, work on your Google Business Profile, and more. If you’d like more information about these or help creating them, feel free to take a look at what we do

Step 5: Keep tabs on how you’re doing

Unless you measure, you can’t tell how you’re doing and there’s no way to improve. The key is to develop a consistent routine that allows you to gauge progress on a month-to-month basis. 

The data you collect will allow you to see what’s working and what isn’t, so you can adjust your strategy as you go. Being able to see what topics are most popular and where your leads are coming from is gold dust for any business.

Step 6: Nurture and convert

Finally, you need to figure out what you do once you get new leads. All the planning, content, promotion, strategic CTAs, and more will mean you have a steady supply of contact information!

For anyone who isn’t instantly ready to buy (which will be most), you need to nurture the relationship, answer any questions they may have, and then encourage them to make the leap. 

The good news is that most of this can be automated. Generally speaking, people follow the same journey and have the same doubts, questions, and worries. By identifying what these are, you can develop email campaigns to preemptively address all these issues, building trust in the process. 

When done well, this will lead to more conversions, whether online or through in-person visits at your store – depending on your business setup. 

Need help with your inbound marketing strategy?

The fact is that inbound marketing is the only way to stand out from the crowd in today’s business landscape. When done well, it can help you find more people, get them to your store, keep them coming back – and make more sales in the process. 

As effective as it is, there’s no denying that developing your strategy and implementing it is a big task and it can be difficult to know where to start. 

If you’d like any help developing your strategy or improving your current one, let us know and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

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