The Internet is a vast sea filled with everything imaginable. It can be difficult for anyone to find your light on the water. How come? Truth is, there are a limited number of people who are desperately looking for a product, a service, or an answer to some question. And eCommerce merchants are all competing for their attention and traffic. Content marketing can be your beacon. Shining out across the water, making it easier for you and your new customer to find one another against what may seem like impossible odds.

In this blog, we will discuss what content marketing is, why it is important for your bottom line, and ways to incorporate it into your marketing strategy for long-term success.

Content Marketing Best Practices

Content marketing is the process of explaining to customers, through written text, images or videos, how your product or service can solve their issues. It is not intended to be ‘sales-y’ but educational, explaining to customers how a product works, its benefits and the issues it can solve. It can also be about lifestyle or other issues connected to your offerings.

When visitors come to your site, they get the opportunity to go through your content at their own pace. Or – and this is even more powerful, prospects can search the Web for a topic of interest. If your content meets the search criteria, the prospect can link to your content on your site even if they had never heard of you before. Content marketing gives you the opportunity to tell your own story and gives visitors the opportunity to understand your business, your values, and your brand. There can be a sense of discovery, fulfillment, and delight when visitors find what they are looking for within your website or by connecting with your brand’s mission and values. Without original content on your site, or social channels, where else will the general public learn about your story, your expertise or your perspective?

The Importance of Content Marketing

Marketing is moving towards content creation rather than just paid ads and social media posts. This is because content can better address visitors’ pain points and turn them into customers. Content Marketing is the way to connect with customers, create relationships that can turn into sales, and can help your business to:

  • Attract new customers
  • Engage current customers
  • Build trust and credibility
  • Generate leads
  • Increase website traffic
  • Boost brand awareness

Depending on how well your content matches the needs of your audience, you could see conversion rates increase at a rapid pace more so than if you had no content marketing plan in place. Not only does that mean a lot of leads, but you also have a chance to do some qualifying of potential customers before they even send their first inquiry.

An easy way to think about your content is that it is your website, social media campaigns and other efforts, like email campaigns or newsletters. Without content and a strategy behind it, the content you create and the platforms in which it lives would simply be a blank page and not drive any traffic.

In addition, content marketing is an opportunity to not only connect with your audience and tell them a story, but when done right it can help improve your SEO. After all, the more opportunities you have for Google to index your content, the more opportunities you have to be found in searches for a wide assortment of keywords. Oh, and don’t forget, all that content also gives your loyal fans (and new prospects) something to share, which can do even more for your business’s exposure!

Begin Your Content Strategy with the End in Mind

Despite the open nature of content marketing, you cannot just go about it haphazardly. There is a particular order to things, or there should be. You need to have a plan.

Just like with any sort of marketing campaign, you have to deliver content in a way that makes sense and is consistent with the other content you have created in the past and will create in the future.

Below are some steps that play a vital role in the development of your content marketing strategy to ensure consistency:

    Side Note: All content marketing must be created with the 3 stages of the Buyer’s Journey in mind. Prospects in the ‘Awareness’ stage are not ready to make a decision yet, so the content must be specifically tailored to them. Likewise, a prospect ready to make a decision is interested in more than just informative content.

    •  Set your business goals and objectives
    • Develop KPI’s
    • Know your audience and what you want to achieve with them
    • Assess your current market position and identify any gaps
    • Decide on content types and topics you want to cover to position your brand as the authority
    • Create an omni-channel content calendar to promote your copy

    Depending on how well your content matches the needs of your audience, you could see conversion rates increase at a rapid pace more so than if you had no content marketing plan in place. Not only does that mean a lot of leads, but you also have a chance to do some qualifying of potential customers before they even send their first inquiry.

    The Best Content Types

    The best content marketing is genuinely selfless. It does not overtly sell anything or promote a product. It simply delivers helpful information in an easy-to-understand format for an audience hungry for knowledge. But in all cases it presents information in a way that is consistent with your brand voice and presents your firm as experts. Useful site content comes in many shapes and sizes, including:

    Blog posts: Blogs are by and large one of the most popular forms of content marketing. Not only do they allow you to demonstrate your knowledge or provide your firm’s perspective on a given subject or product, but blogs live on SERPs for a long time – if you play your cards right. Blogs give you several ways to keep your business visible, including collecting inbound links and being excellent fodder for social media platforms. Your blogs can and should also be used to cross-promote other pieces of original content, which will help keep posts on a consistent schedule and ensure you remain relevant with your audience. We could go on and on about the number of ways a well-developed blog and supportive paid campaign can improve your long-term traffic and conversions but we’re trying to keep this blog to a readable length. If you need to make an impact with your content, contact us today.

    Ebooks and White Papers: This type of content marketing gives creators the opportunity to create more long-form and point-of-view pieces. These would include How-To Guides and videos, collections of previous works, and content that features a more narrative structure. Most merchants put this type of content behind a sign-up wall. The goal of these pieces of content is not only to educate, but also to be used as an exchange to gather prospective customer contact information to help build your mailing list.

    Newsletters: Both paper and digital newsletters serve as regular reminders that your company still exists and that you are not just a well of knowledge, but the well of knowledge. After all, why would someone go out of their way to do a lot of research on a subject when they know they can trust you to deliver everything they need in a tidy package? Whether you offer a service or a product, well-designed and executed newsletters are a highly effective way to stay top of mind (and inbox) while connecting your audience to your most recently developed content.

    Video: ​​A video can grab a lot of attention in a short time, but its usefulness will depend mainly on your audience and the topic. Some people detest video content as they might come off as spam or too in-your-face whereas other people love video content and seek it out. In other words, you can think of it as a medium of extremes. A solid video best-practice is to turn off Autoplay features. The sound of your video, potentially buried in a browser tab is easily enough to send visitors BOUNCING off of your site. If your brand is well-served by video, use it liberally, but make sure to provide captions and a summary so people can fully appreciate the glory that is your video content no matter where they find it. Transcripts can help those users who detest sound, too.

    eCommerce videos are not only an essential part of digital marketing, but they are also a strategy by themselves. These are important not just for B2C companies but also B2B as they can explain a complex product or service using an engaging and straightforward narrative.
    When you are using videos to sell online, ensure your storyline solves a problem, highlights one key feature, and provides a clear CTA. Using these tactics, versus being too spammy or in your face will help you see results in no time.

    Infographics: The mark of an effective infographic is its ability to make complex information easy to understand and interesting at the same time by using as little text as possible and letting the imagery tell the story. Presenting information in such a compelling fashion encourages visitors to spend more time on your site, and share more of your content. A couple of examples of companies who have done infographics well can be found below:

    Workbooks and templates: These resources are great ways to keep your brand in front of buyers while continuing to inform. They should be designed for print and made as interactive and practical as possible. These can be built around any internal process or proficiency your brand can speak to with authority.

    Case studies: Build case studies with real numbers and complete stories. This will help keep the content focused on the value and results, not the brand.

    Bringing it all together

    At its core, content marketing is all about creating content that is interesting and engaging enough to get people to click on from a Web search and to stick around on your site. This can take many different forms, as discussed throughout this article, but the goal is always the same – to capture the attention of potential customers by presenting meaningful information from a position of authority and convert them into buyers.

    Are you looking for a way to improve your marketing efforts with great content marketing?

    We can help you build brand awareness, trust, and loyalty with your audience through great site content. Whether that entails helping you develop a site content strategy or direction for your copy by either writing it for you or working with you to edit existing content – we are here to help.

    Schedule Your Free Consultation

    Contact Barry Stein at (513) 469-3346 or [email protected] or schedule a meeting below: