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If you’ve done any kind of digital business or marketing before, you’ve probably already heard the phrase “content is king” more than once. But, it’s more than just a tired saying. For e-commerce sites, especially, creating engaging content that is shareable and noticeable is an essential way to boost your audience and rake in more sales.
The content you create should be noticed via social media, blogs, PR campaigns, email blasts, and even on selling platforms like Etsy or eBay. This requires creating multiple forms of content, and paying attention to the quality of what you’re creating, rather than just throwing an advertisement together.
So, how can you create compelling content that will not only get people interested but get people talking? The right kind of content sparks conversations. Every marketing professional knows that word-of-mouth advertising is worth its weight in gold. With this in mind, let’s look at why content is so important, and what you can do to create a strong strategy for your present and future content.
If you’re new to the idea of content marketing, it is “the strategic creation, production, and distribution of content to a clearly defined target audience.”
Content marketing focuses more on awareness and research within the buying cycle than it does sales. While it still deals with consideration and purchase, its main goal is to let customers know you have a solution to their needs. This requires actually understanding what those needs are, and what people are looking for.
Think about the products you sell on your e-commerce site. Who could use them? That’s your target audience. If you have a very particular niche, your audience might be smaller. If you sell a variety of things, you might be able to narrow down your audience by location, age, or even gender.
One of the most important things you can do to create a content marketing strategy is to make research a priority. Do your research to learn about any gaps in content that Google is missing, or think about the key factors that define your audience and create your content based around those factors.
Content marketing focuses less on the sales approach of your business. This can be a hard concept for business owners to grasp, at first. After all, everyone wants to make a sale. But, in order to do that, you need to consistently provide your audience with something of relevance and value. When you do, they will return the favor with a purchase and are even more likely to become loyal customers. Think about serving the needs of your audience first, and let them reward you for it by returning to your site again and again.
The average person is exposed to anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 ads on a daily basis. This kind of exposure has caused such overload that many people try to “tune out” advertisements that are just selling a product or service. People want to see value in marketing. They want to trust the businesses they buy from, which requires communication.
This is one of the most important reasons to take content marketing seriously. Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to your content. Consumers are taking notice of the businesses that create relevant content because it makes that business seem more approachable. Content needs to be readable, informative and engaging in order to spark consistent interest.
Having good content on your website is a start. But it’s also important to make sure the content is shareable. That’s why you should make a blog with a consistent voice a priority on your site. You can share your posts on social media to boost brand awareness, give your business a voice, and let your target audience know who you really are.
Research has shown that 77% of consumers read online content before making a purchase. That likely goes back to the inundation of advertisements they see each day. Consumers want to be able to know information about the brand backing up a product or service before they make a decision. So, spend less of your marketing budget on flashy ads, and more on focused content that actually means something.
Now that you know about the importance of content marketing, how can you use it to grow your e-commerce site? One of the easiest (and most important) concepts is creating SEO-friendly content. That means optimizing your content strategy so everything you post not only garners interest and is easy to share but is well-received by search engines. Quality, SEO-friendly content should have at least some of the following requirements:
Think about the things that spark your interest when you’re looking at them online. Google’s algorithm changes periodically, and it has started to shift. Today, content is about more than just using the right keywords and phrases. Instead, your content should be focused on who is reading it. What will people enjoy? Google and other search sites are picking up on that, and ranking user-friendly websites higher in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
Your content marketing strategy should include more than just text. While blog posts and articles are important, a well-rounded strategy should include videos, infographics, and even podcasts. These are all especially great for social media, and can even encourage more engagement with your audience.
Post video tutorials of how to use your products. Share behind-the-scenes photos. Or, host a live-stream Q&A session for real-time conversations that can help your audience feel more connected to your brand.
Now, more than ever, consumers are looking for ways to connect with businesses. It’s not enough to just advertise to people. Instead, your strategy should be about developing a relationship with your audience. Humanize your business as much as possible. In doing so, the content you create will come more naturally, and that can actually lead to a successful strategy that boosts your sales and gets your site noticed.