Anyone who runs an e-commerce site knows that the key to survival is to get traffic into your store and convert them into buying customers. You need keep growing and building steady traffic to your store. Then, you must convert that traffic into leads and sales, or your shop will not survive.
Content marketing is a great way to turn traffic into those leads and sales. Successful content marketing may increase your conversion rate by almost six times, and the average conversion rate with content marketing is 2.9%. E-commerce sites without content marketing only having a conversion rate of 0.5%. That is a big difference.
Yet, you can’t just put a few videos and infographics up on the internet and hope for the best. You need to have a solid strategy in place for creating the perfect content for your target audience and your business. So, what is content marketing?
Content marketing is a method of creating and publishing information about your brand that builds trust and authority among your ideal customers. “It can be anything from blog posts, to process videos on how you create your products, and infographics that help build your personal brand and drive potential customers to your e-commerce store” says Angela Smith, a tech blogger at Paperfellows and Boomessays.
Content marketing creates a relationship with you, your personal brand, and your customers. It’s more of a soft sell approach, building up trust in your brand and customer engagement. Ultimately, you are guiding customers down the sales funnel process of addressing your customers needs, proving that you are a reliable source of information, establishing yourself as an authority best suited to help them and then converting their interest into sales for your business. Then this process repeats itself, with you refining the process, as you take on the new information you have gathered from your previous attempts.
Some benefits of a well-executed content strategy are:
- It will drive new traffic to your company site.
- It helps establish trust in your brand.
- It can help increase your conversion rate.
- Content marketing can create a separate new income stream
- The content you create can provide enduring value.
However, if you try to create content without a good strategy in place your content risks creating the opposite problems. Your content will lack focus and purpose. This will cause confusion and put off potential customers. Not only that, but you could lose out to the competition who are using a more effective content marketing strategy.
Here are some tips for building a great content marketing strategy. By following these key steps, you will create good content that will drive traffic to your site and convert it into sales and grow your brand and your business.
Step 1: Identify your audience and target buyer persona.
If you are creating content for people who do not need nor want your product then you will not be successful. You need to know who you are targeting and laser-focus on these potential customers.
Develop a fictional version of your ideal customer or buyer, based on the real data and marketing insights. Then design your content to target those customers, refining it depending on where you are placing it in your sales funnel and what part of the buyer’s journey you are targeting.
Here is a list of some of the information you might want to use for creating your buyer persona:
- Demographics-this includes age, ethnicity, and location
- Personality- Are they productive go-getters or lazy, prefer to let others take charge kind of people? This information helps determine their shopping behaviour.
- Motivation- Why are they shopping at your e-commerce site? Are they trying to learn more about your products and services? Are they ready to buy or just looking? This information will allow you to customise content accordingly.
- Pain points- If you know what is frustrating your customers, then you can offer a solution to end their frustration.
- Preferred content channel- Where are they going to see and ingest your content? If you know this information, then you can make sure that your preferred customers will take in your content and go check out your site.
You can use the following ways to gather information about your ideal customer persona:
- Contacts databases
- Interviews with existing and potential customers
- Form fields to capture personal information
- Feedback and insights from your sales and marketing teams
When you can get inside your buyer’s head, you can create a persona and from this, design a customer journey map which outlines the process in which they buy from you. When you know this, then you can offer content against this map.
Step 2: Understand how your audience is consuming content
If you want to reach your target audience effectively, then you need to know how they like to take in their content. Some questions that you will need to answer are:
- What is the most popular social media channel that my target audience uses?
- Do they prefer a specific type of content (video, whitepaper, etc.)?
- Does my target audience make purchases from their phone?
- How long will my target audience spend reviewing content?
Step 3: Research and create your unique content.
Now it’s time to actually make your valuable content. It makes sense to spend a little time doing some front end research first. This can help you identify gaps in your SEO so you can create content that will negate this issue.
Some excellent ways to come up with great, new content include brainstorming, examining what content top brands are producing, and sometimes out-of-the-box thinking.
“Recognising good quality content is as much of an artform as it is science and data” says Ruth Garrett, a writer at State Of Writing and Essayroo. You need to always be asking yourself if it’s original and will reach your target audience and adjust when it’s missing the mark.
Step 4: Publish your content based on where it goes according to the buyer’s journey.
If you made an introduction video to your brand and company, then you wouldn’t give it to customers after they have already purchased your product, would you? That wouldn’t make any sense. So, it’s important to aim your content at which part of the sales funnel it needs to be at. For the top part, maybe a good blog post would go a long way in getting your audience interested. Then for the middle of the funnel a comparison guide, case studies, or free samples are a good content strategy. For the bottom where you are about to hopefully make a sale, maybe a live chat or email them directly.
Step 5: Measure the results and get feedback
After you release your content, it’s super important to track the results. Always use good metrics and track your ROI. Keep in mind the metrics will vary depending on which type of content you use.
Then finally, ask your customers for feedback.
This is how to develop and implement a good content marketing strategy.