Content marketing can be a highly effective way to drive sales and build awareness of your brand. But it’s important to be strategic with your planning and approach to avoid wasting time and money. If you’re planning to invest in content marketing for ecommerce, it would be wise to pay attention to the following advice.
1. Know Your Audience
It doesn’t matter how high-quality your content is – if you’re writing for the wrong audience, it’s not going to benefit you.
It’s vital to understand your audience before you start the process of content production. Many ecommerce companies think they know who their audience is, but they haven’t really done a deep dive into the data or actually asked them what type of content they want to consume.
You need to know exactly who your target audience is in order to create valuable content for them. This means knowing not only their demographics but also their preferences, problems, and online habits.
You can gather this information from many different sources: website and social media analytics, market research data, and your own CRM. But don’t forget to actually ask your customers about what kind of content they’d find most valuable – data will never give you the full story.
Creating personas for your content marketing can be a helpful way to gather all this information in one place and provide a focus for your content production. You may well already have buyer personas in place for your business in general, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that your current customers are the same people as the potential audience for your content.
2. Serve Your Audience
If you see every piece of content you produce as a way to drive sales, you’re approaching content marketing in the wrong way.
Content does drive sales, of course, but this shouldn’t be your main focus. In fact, content with constant sales messages can be very off-putting. For this reason, 60 percent of B2C marketers surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute say that they put their audience’s informational needs ahead of promotional messages.
Above all, your content should be educational. By educating your customers and helping to solve their problems, you’re building a relationship with them, increasing trust and making them more likely to buy from you in the future.
3. Be Willing to Invest in Content
Content marketing is very cost-effective when compared to other types of marketing. But it does require investment in terms of time and money.
And with so many things in life: You get what you pay for. Don’t plan to scrimp on content production by hiring cheap writers because the quality won’t be good enough to bring your business any benefits.
Those who produce their content in-house must also be prepared to offer competitive packages to attract the best talent for content production and promotion.
And while you can get started with content marketing using free and cheap tools, as you scale up it makes sense to invest in a more sophisticated content marketing platform that can help you to produce more and better content and increase your ROI.
4. Set Goals
Just as with any of your marketing activities, it’s important to set goals for your content marketing and measure the effectiveness of each campaign.
Decide early on in the process what you want to achieve from content marketing. That might be to increase traffic to your website, increase email signups, or increase brand awareness.
You’ll create content for every stage of the sales funnel, but much of your content won’t have the primary goal of driving sales. But by increasing traffic and building your audience and brand, you’re more likely to get more sales for customers who are further through the buying funnel.
Forty-three percent of content produced by B2C content marketers is aimed for audiences at the top of the funnel with the aim of generating awareness and interest. Only 18 percent is aimed towards those who are ready to make a purchase.
Your goals for content marketing are likely to be much longer-term than goals for other marketing campaigns, which have a set end date and can be measured more accurately. Content can be a slow burner, but if you’re willing to be patient, it offers huge rewards.
5. Find Your Optimal Distribution Channels
Content marketing doesn’t just mean writing on your own blog. And, you’ll be wasting your time if you focus all your efforts on a channel where few people will even see your content.
A successful content marketing channel involves distribution and promotion on multiple channels, including social media, email, paid search, and others.
Figuring out the most effective content channels to promote your content to your audience is key to a successful content marketing strategy.
Cross-promotion is also important – don’t just publish a blog on your site and be done with it. Make sure you’re making the most of all the promotional channels you have available to you by linking to it from your social media networks, your email newsletters, and any other potential channels.
6. Measure Results, Test, and Optimize
Just as it’s important to set goals for your content marketing efforts, it’s also critical to measure the success of each piece of content and track how your campaigns are doing over time.
Monitoring your analytics will give you valuable insight into what sort of content is resonating with your audience and help you to improve your strategy over time.
As an ecommerce business, you’ll already be aware of how A/B testing and optimization can increase sales. But don’t restrict this testing to your sales pages only.
To get the most out of your content marketing strategy, make sure to experiment with different types of content, headlines, images, and promotional techniques. Once you’ve figured out a content recipe for maximum engagement, you can simply rinse and repeat with your future content production.
Bringing It All Together
An integrated content marketing platform like DivvyHQ gives you the tools you need to bring all your content marketing activities together in one place. Plan your content, organize your team, track content performance, and build customer engagement.
To find out more, request a demo today.