Content marketing is hardly a new phenomenon. Pumping out great content on a regular basis is not only the norm, it is also expected by customers from both businesses and nonprofits.
Here’s the real reason why these organizations continue to utilize content marketing – because it works. As part of an overall marketing plan, content marketing is a cost-effective way to connect with your customers. And, according to many content marketing experts, it has the added benefit of retaining your customers and building brand loyalty.
For smaller organizations with ecommerce sites, content marketing can zap time and resources. But, the following benefits can outweigh the investment:
Build relationships with your audience based on trust.
If you know your business or industry inside out, and produce content that lets your expertise shine, customers will trust your authority and feel more confident buying from you.
Attract new customers to your site.
Content can bring many new prospects that didn’t necessarily find you through direct search. Publishing educational content that resonates with your buyers, and those they share it with, is a win-win for increasing your brand awareness.
Make friends with Google.
Great content not only wins over potential buyers, it also helps with Google SEO. Search engine algorithms might be changing rapidly but quality content, that incorporates a strong keyword strategy, will never go out of style for Google rankings.
Increase your conversions.
Sales are the name of the game in ecommerce and it’s what content marketing is built for. Content brings leads to your site where you can grab them with your stellar customer experience. The positive attitude they had with your content can now extend to your products.
This is how a well-executed ecommerce content strategy will not only drive traffic to your site, but ultimately help close sales.
It’s all sounding positive right?
This is where a lot of organizations can get stuck. They understand the importance of content marketing but aren’t quite sure where to start.
Let’s break it down into two steps.
First, let’s talk strategy. This is where you define your audience and your goals for the content you’re going to produce. Ask yourself these questions:
- Who are my ideal customers? Break it down in terms of demographics.
- What problems am I solving for them? Hint: This is where the bulk of your content stems from as you address your customers’ pain points.
- What can their online behavior tell me about where I can reach them? Take a look at Sprout Social’s media stats for some key takeaways on where to strategically place your content once it’s produced.
Once you’ve nailed down your target audiences, always remember to develop content with them in mind. Select the channels where they’ll be most receptive to finding your content and the type of topics that will pique their interest.
Develop the content. Focus on the typical obstacles or problems your customers face. Your content can overcome those barriers, making your products the solution to them.
Decide which type of content your customers and prospects will find valuable. Your options are many: how-to articles, ebooks, blogs, lists and guides, etc. Written content still plays a dominant role.
Take advantage of your current skills or those of your colleagues. If you’re a whiz in Photoshop or other design software, you can create an infographic in no time. If you’re handy with a camera and are comfortable producing videos for customer testimonials, product reviews, or even hosting a webcast, try them out. Visual content is increasingly becoming the most popular choice for customers to consume your content.
Whichever medium or channel you choose, the objective for all content remains the same: address and hopefully solve your customers’ problems. Ask your customer service reps and look for customer questions in your social media channels to identify these obstacles. These can spark good content ideas.
Problem solving with content might seem like an obvious way to promote your products as the solution to your customers’ needs, but at the same time, that content reinforces your value proposition and helps to differentiate you from the competition.
Now what about the sage advice that organizations should be producing timely content at regular intervals? It might seem like you’ve signed up for a never-ending loop of developing content.
Here’s one of the best kept secrets in content marketing – one piece of content can easily be turned into 10 pieces! After spending the time and effort on producing winning content, you can repurpose it. It requires some work to change it up and make it fresh but in the end, that new piece of content can be distributed differently, appealing to a whole new audience.
Let’s take a how-to article, for example. Looking at the steps outlined, it could easily be turned into a listicle, or designed differently for an infographic. Pose the steps as questions in an interview or podcast. Break up the content into slides for a presentation that can then be recorded and used for a video. Got a few how-to articles? Combine them into an ebook for new downloadable content and a new lead source stream.
To achieve ecommerce success, your content marketing strategy should reflect your industry, profession, or nonprofit mission. That’s why it’s crucial to understand your audiences and what can ultimately motivate them to close the sale.
Author: Nicki Schill is a marketing content strategist working in the tech industry of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. She’s an experienced content writer who focuses on developing sound marketing strategies. Working with start-ups and tech giants, Nicki is comfortable tailoring strategies for businesses both big and small. https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolekarns/