Content marketing is a growing trend in the ecommerce industry, with data from the Content Marketing Institute revealing that more than half of B2C marketers have a content strategy set in place.
Not all content marketing strategies are effective, however, and it is important that retailers get the best return on investment (ROI) from the content they market - after all, content creation can be a time-consuming process. Fortunately there are a few simple ways retailers can spruce up their content marketing initiatives, and doing so can result in an increase in brand awareness, an uptick in website traffic and even a boost in conversions (and possible search rankings). Check out three of these simple tips below:
1. Provide Value
One of the best ways to increase the effectiveness of content is to make sure that it provides value to consumers.
Clothing retailer Aerie, for example, recently sent out an email with the subject line "Our Stylist's Tip: Add Something Extra!" Not only does the subject line gets straight to the point, but it also doesn't come off too promotional, which isn't the case for many ecommerce emails. What's more, once a consumer clicks on the message they can view brief style tips with image examples that come directly from the retailer's stylist. Plus, some of the tips aren't even clothing-related, which makes the content come off as more trustworthy and less like a marketing campaign. That said, the message still features a "Shop Your Heart Out" call-to-action (CTA) at the bottom, which directs subscribers to Aerie's website so they can put the stylist's tips to use if they are feeling inspired to go on a digital shopping spree.
It is important to note that retailers can find subject matter that will provide value to their consumers by monitoring the social chatter around their brand on the Web, or by looking into the frequently asked questions (FAQs) consumers submit to live chat agents and other customer service channels.
2. Be Inclusive
The great thing about content marketing is that the content does not necessarily have to be produced by the brand itself. In fact, as previously noted, content creation can be a time-consuming process, so retailers are wise to leverage guest blogs from industry experts, or feature user-generated content (UGC) on their site.
Take makeup retailer bareMinerals as an example. While the retailer does have a traditional blog, it also creates a sense of community by featuring a UGC section on its site. This section, which is powered by visual commerce platform Olapic, features social content from its customers. Not only does this make the company's customers feel like they are part of the bareMinerals' community, but it also provides an element of trustworthiness to site visitors looking to purchase products from bareMinerals, similar to how reviews on product pages work.
3. Be Relevant
One sure way to grab consumers' attention with content is by creating content that is relevant for some reason or another, whether it be specific to a certain customer segment or a current event.
PetSmart did this recently by publishing a tweet that took two current events into consideration - Halloween and National Cheeseburger Day. By using both of these hashtags the pet retailer was not only able to be relevant, but also increase its visibility on the social Web.
When consumers clicked the link including in the tweet, they were brought to a Halloween-themed landing page on PetSmart's website, which included a short Halloween-themed video, as well as links to a variety of additional holiday content, including pet-friendly treat recipes, DIY pet costumes and, of course, links to pet costumes product pages.
Not only was PetSmart able to deliver relevant content to its audience with this strategy, but it was also able to do it in a way that wasn't overtly promotional.
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