To understand how important content marketing is for an online store, you need to know at least the definition of this term.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is one of the components of digital marketing; marketing strategy, which consists of creating content that is relevant to the requests and needs of the target audience; a marketing strategy that aims to build trust between the brand and the customer.
Investments in content marketing can be attributed to the long-term, ie. the result will not be visible immediately, such as from contextual or targeted advertising, but over time, "dividends" will grow steadily (dividends can be understood not only as sales growth but also the arrival of a new audience, traffic growth, strengthening of the emotional connection between customers and the brand - it all depends on the goals set).
If you started blogging in an online store or hired an SMM specialist who publishes interesting, useful, and engaging posts on social networks - you are already engaged in content marketing.
Content marketing is not aimed at direct sales, like contextual or other advertising, but indirectly, it still affects the level of sales.CM also allows you to achieve the following goals:
• Form the company's image;
• Increase website traffic;
• Strengthen the emotional connection between the client and the brand;
• Form a loyal base, regular customers.
Content marketing is a content engineer who, in turn, attracts specialists: copywriters, SMM managers.
In Ukraine, they are just starting to dive into the topic of content marketing, while America has been implementing these methods since 1990.
Companies that are interested in strengthening their image, creating long-term relationships with customers.
Companies that do not have their brand and who have chosen a strategy of fast sales. For companies that are not interested in building long-term relationships with customers, repeat sales.
So, what tools are used to build a content marketing strategy for e-commerce:
• Blog articles: product reviews, product comparisons, guides, life hacks on the use of products, recommendations for choosing, the best products in the opinion of users
• Posts on social networks
• Attracting influencers
• Books, booklets
• User content (UGC)
• Research, charts, graphs
• Checklists, Collections
• Video Content
You need to start implementing content marketing with the study of the target audience. This service can be ordered from marketers, or you can try to cope with the task yourself. We have already published How to Create a Portrait of the Target Audience.
Next, you need to develop a content plan. This can be a separate type of service or part of a comprehensive promotion. You can draw up a content plan for a week, a month, several months - the cost of the work will be appropriate for the specialists. After developing a content plan, you can start cooperation with a copywriter and an SMM specialist.
What criteria can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented content marketing
By what "symptoms" the owner of an online store can conclude that the CM strategy is effective:
1. The total number of site visitors is growing
2. The number of unique visitors to the site is growing
3. Decreased bounce rate
4. Average user time on site has increased
5. The number of orders, purchases have increased
6. The number of reviews and comments has increased
In social networks, you can also track the effectiveness of such indicators:
1. Number of subscribers
2. Comments, likes, messages in Direct
3. Views and reactions in Stories
4. The number of reposts and post save to bookmarks
In SoloMono online stores, you can connect the "Multilanguage" module. This way you can promote online stores in several countries. And the "Automatic Translation" module will save the budget for translating text content on the site.
You can see how this happens on the example of our blog SoloMono. The same article, but in different languages, covers a different number of users.
Well, we got to the most interesting part. So, 5 Key Principles of Successful Content Marketing for Online Stores in 2021
In 2021, focusing on SEO alone would be very reckless. given that search engines are now trained to distinguish valuable content from content "sharpened" for key queries. Now SEO specialists must not only select keywords but also naturally embed them in useful text for the user.
Analyzing the most popular user questions and topics that are gaining popularity, the following tools will help:
• Google Trends
• Google search suggestion (use questions like “how”, “where”, “why”, etc. + main search query)
• YouTube search suggestion
Many companies have included information on Covid-19 in their sections. They refer to reliable sources and answer the most common user questions about the pandemic, publish information where you can go in case of illness, and more. Many companies began to provide their customers with masks and antiseptics for orders. This significantly increases customer loyalty, and at the same time contributes to the promotion of the resource through high-frequency search queries.
The buyer of your online store may be at different stages of the sales funnel. This can be the initial stage - collecting information about the product or the subsequent stage when the customer has already purchased the product and now wants to receive more technical information or advice on how to use the product.
In 2021, content creation needs to be approached with intelligence and flexibility. Analyze at what stage of the sales funnel different groups of customers may be, record this. Then, for each stage, think about the topics (make a content plan). Information can also be divided according to the level of expertise, for example, you sell fishing tackle, then the information can be conditionally divided into groups:
• Information for those who have just started to be interested in fishing, diving into the topic;
• Information for experienced fishermen.
You can also include a DIY rubric. For a given target audience, there can be a lot of topics of interest. As a rule, people who are fond of fishing are in constant search of scenic spots and equipment for tourism. This plus two more huge areas for which keywords can be selected and a lot of articles are written.
Only constant data analysis will help to change the strategy in time and effectively distribute the content marketing budget. Analyze the pages with the highest traffic and views, determine which keywords are popular.
Similarly, it is necessary to analyze the pages on social networks: which posts received the most reactions, views, profile visits. Here it is necessary to evaluate not only the content of the post but also its type - there was more text or graphics; carousel, video or photo liked by your subscribers. Analyze at the end of each week to identify the best practices.
Before discussing how to encourage users to share your products on social media, here are some of the benefits of User Generated Content (UC) why it is worthy of attention:
• UC will build image and trust in your brand;
• Increase awareness;
• UC - free advertising of your products.
How to encourage users to share photos and videos of your products? Take care of the aesthetic packaging of the product, take beautiful photos of the product in the interior or outdoors, attach a small gift to each order (even a small candy or keychain will delight your customers and encourage them to share this little joy with their friends). Most social media users are visuals and aesthetes.
On the site, you can create a separate page where user photos will be published. A unique branded hashtag is created for a business account in social networks. Publish subscriber posts with your products, create Stories, and tag users in them.
First, you can do a little trick if no one wants to share photos with your products. Ask your employees to do this in their accounts. Then post these photos to your account - a chain reaction should happen.
Research in 2020 showed that people are tired of intrusive and toxic ads. The vast majority do not trust what brands offer them (especially if the product is new). Then marketers set other goals - generating useful and expert content for users.
Now brands are becoming experts in their field and sharing valuable advice with their subscribers. They educate and communicate, make users' lives easier and more enjoyable.
The company's mission and values may not match the values of some of your clients and you need to be prepared for this. The events of 2020 brought a lot of negativity, brand representatives need to learn how to react to this correctly. "You can just not react" - you might think, but as studies have shown, silence brings more losses than the correct reaction. If you don't know how to react to certain negative comments - learn from big brands, view reactions on social networks, choose tactics for communicating with customers. You may find our article “How to Respond to Bad Customer Review” useful.
Today, multichannel plays an important role in brand promotion. Most of the distribution channels are free, so why not use this opportunity. For example, along with texts and posts on social networks, you can shoot video reviews of products or video instructions for use. Groups in messengers will help you keep in touch with your audience and build a community.
Content marketing doesn't work that way. To run it, you need a so-called booster. What you need to do to make content marketing effective:
1. Distribute content to all channels
2. Make an e-mail newsletter about the release of new material
3. Publish posts on social networks
4. Disseminate information on authoritative resources with backlinks
Content marketing should work in tandem with the CEO, this is the only way to bypass competitors and take a leading position in the niche. In addition, content marketing does not require specific knowledge and a whole staff of employees; for a start, it is enough to hire a copywriter and SMM specialist. Compared to contextual advertising, this type of promotion is much more budgetary, it gives a slow but steady growth in traffic, conversions, and sales. In 2021, online retailers should implement and invest in content marketing.