This is a guest post by Kevin Cooper, VP of Sales and Marketing at Insite Software. To learn more about Kevin, register for his upcoming webinar with HubSpot entitled "B2B eCommerce: The Next Frontier of Inbound Marketing" .

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They are doing business with all the companies they know of.

The flaw in this argument is in the phrase, “anyone they know,” because it’s nearly impossible to know ALL of your potential customers, especially in the Internet-age we live in.

Consider this example:

The corrugated box industry has traditionally been limited to localized geographic areas due to shipping costs associated with shipping their bulky products. One of our B2B clients with a clear ecommerce vision launched not one, but four ecommerce sites and tapped into an audience they had never sold to previously. Ecommerce has been an extremely viable and profitable B2B sales strategy for them.

For B2B companies, ecommerce is a powerful way to reach new customers and drive new business. Inbound marketing techniques are the most effective way to harness the power of ecommerce and achieve success. Hinging on the creation and deployment of relevant, dynamic content, inbound marketing:  

1. Calls your company out as an industry thought leader.

  By creating and publishing the robust and relevant content required by inbound marketing, you can’t help but get your company name out there as a leader in your industry. The more your audience finds your content in their Google searches, the more they will look to you for industry-related information in the future. Eventually, they may bypass Google and visit your site directly—a true indication of thought leadership and credibility.  

2. Positions your company as the resource for robust industry-related information.

  Through creating content for your inbound marketing campaigns, you will naturally end up with a library of relevant, industry-related information. Housed on your website—and indexed by search engine crawlers—your B2B ecommerce site will quickly become the destination of choice for information on your industry.  

3. Attracts search engine crawlers with content-focused ecommerce strategies.

Search engine crawlers LOVE new content. Inbound marketing requires that you create and publish meaty content on a consistent basis. This naturally attracts the crawlers to your site on a more frequent basis, driving your site up in the search engine rankings.  

4. Drives more qualified traffic to your site via better search engine results.

The higher you rank on the SERPs, the more likely you are to “get the click.” More clicks equals more traffic for your keywords and long-tail keywords. That’s good stuff all around.  

5. Forces your company to create relevant, dynamic content on an on-going basis, perpetuating your long-term success.

“Forces” might be a strong word choice, but it’s true. Inbound marketing isn’t something you try once or twice and expect immediate success. It’s a way of marketing that takes consistent on-going content creation. Consistently publishing exceptional content feeds the search engine crawlers and generates inbound leads, creating a positive feedback loop.

Ecommerce is an essential growth strategy that a B2B company can use to attract new customers and increase revenues. Utilizing inbound marketing techniques in combination with ecommerce will ensure your ongoing success.

What are some other strategies you think B2B companies can use to grow?

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Originally published Jun 10, 2011 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017