As a storeowner, you're the expert about the products you sell. You understand the materials used, dimensions and every other spec that goes into it. You know how it stands against the competition, where it falls short and everything else in between.
This knowledge is highly valuable, relevant content that shoppers will actually scour the web for to make purchasing decisions.
So how do you reach those shoppers to communicate this vital information? These days, potential customers are everywhere. They're using search engines to research products, they're talking to groups in Facebook, scrolling hashtag feeds in Instagram, watching videos on YouTube, asking trusted people on Twitter and every other crevice of the internet.
Putting an actionable plan in place to solve this is called Content Marketing and it should be a major part of your plans for the holiday season and ongoing efforts in the new year.
What is content marketing?
Valuable, high-quality, relevant content distributed to a focused audience.
Content can take the form of blog articles, microsite, videos, podcasts, an eBook, emails, images, case studies, white papers and anything else that can be shared.
Focused audiences can be highly targeted groups on Facebook or Google Adwords, website visitors, segments within an email list or social network followers.
The key is that your content should be geared for the specific audience and the channel you're distributing it through.
4 reasons for having a content marketing strategy
It's legitimate question. Building content can takes time so why go through the effort? Because there are some incredibly strong reason for executing this effectively:
- Great for SEO - Search engines reward highly-valuable content that is consistently published. Watch your domain rise the ranks!
- Effective Pay-per-click - Instead of competing on generic terms to the entire world, you'll enjoy the savings by being more specific with your audience if your content speaks to a more isolated group.
- Build Brand Loyalty - When shoppers continue to see your content come up during their research, you'll be perceived as the authoritative expert.
- Drive Inbound Traffic - Nothing drives more inbound traffic and leads than effective content marketing. Who doesn't want more traffic to their store?
5 examples of content marketing
Lets look at some different examples that exemplify content marketing:
The Taste blog by Williams Sonoma is a collection of recipes and how-to articles for everything you could make in the kitchen. In combination with the nice imagery of the end result, they link the products mentioned in posts so when shoppers find the article, they can acquire the products too.
Loreal acquired this blog for their incredibly valuable content and dedicated audience that shows how to use and apply various makeup techniques. Makeup products is about the results they create so their entire blog show peoples just that. How to make a superhero mask or which brush is the right one to use? And of course they link to the products used for easy shopping.
Some say grilling is an art form. Weber Nation is where you to hone your craft. Not only do they have grilling recipes for the perfect steak or the elusive crispy potatoes but they also explain how to properly season fish, slice a ribeye steak or keep your grilled produce from burning. Once shoppers realize they want the same results, a Weber grill is the brand they'll remember.
How do you make lightbulbs interesting? For starters, making them smart and controlled via your smartphone is a great start. GE also used videos and professional photography to show the improved lifestyle with their product. You'll study better, sleep more sound, cook better food... all because of their lightbulbs. Their entire microsite is designed to funnel you to buy the starter pack.
Selling tight-fitting apparel is fairly difficult when communicating fit and size guides. Black Milk Clothing took a unique approach by calling on their existing customers to post a photo of themselves wearing their recently purchased apparel then using special hashtags for size and product, they'd post the pics on Facebook or Instagram. Doing so would feature them on the actual product page but Black Milk would also use those images on their size guides so potential buyers can see the sizes they're interested in on actual people.
Start by building great content... but how?
Now that you have a better handle on different ways content can be delivered to potential shoppers, lets consider a few ways to build content.
Hire a professional - Find talented professionals to help your write content, develop landing pages or take videos if you're too busy to do it yourself.
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