The e-commerce industry is bursting with potential; at the same time, businesses often struggle even to get their brands noticed, not to mention having them command loyalty from consumers. How to differentiate yourself in a good way? Place the relatable human element in the forefront while enjoying the fruits of automated data collection and mass content dispersion.
For the best sales results, consider how to incorporate and adapt your content to proven techniques in marketing.
Personalize your image and be creative in how you do it. Build a trustworthy and widespread reputation. Delegate specific tasks to your team members and collaborate closely with them. Experts have already broken down the constituent parts of how to create an effective content marketing strategy, from setting clear and measurable goals to guiding the lead through the buying journey and everything necessary in-between.
Recap of the 80/20 Rule(s)
1. There’s the 80/20 Rule that states that you should have 80% shareable content and 20% brand-focused content. In other words, 80% is about you (the consumer) and what you want to know/need to get from me, and 20% is about me (the business) promoting myself and what I’m selling.
We can apply that 80/20 Rule to the content creation portion of content marketing. This article will focus on #1’s 20%.
2. There’s the 80/20 Rule as stated by Social Trigger’s Derek Halpern: create content 20% of the time. Promote that content for the remaining 80%.
We can apply that 80/20 Rule to the marketing strategy portion of content marketing. This article will focus on #2’s 80%.
Thoroughly research the market and then identify the consumer needs:
- Study the lay of the land to find out how your business can present itself as a uniquely valuable proposition.
You’ll want to be aware of which social channels consumers tend to frequent (B2B customers might prefer LinkedIn, for example).
- Familiarize yourself with the publication type and style of the content available on those platforms. Avoid batch blasting.
- Examine questions and concerns that seem to come up time and again, in forums, comments sections—wherever people leave feedback. Repeated inquiries indicate this question either hasn’t been adequately answered or that the answer isn’t as widely available as possible.
That’s the spot your business fits oh so perfectly. Go on, sit down. The catch? You have to convince everyone else it’s your seat.
- Find existing successful models to stimulate creative activity
By looking at “existing successful models” I’m mainly winking, very slowly and carefully, at industry competitors.
- What are businesses with a similar product doing?
If their performance is outstanding, what are the causes enabling their success? Can you improve on their presentation in terms of content offerings to consumers?
Have a glance at business turning belly up, too, so you can tell yourself with a resolution that won’t happen to you because you’re taking steps to ensure your company’s positive development.
- Generate content ideas based on said consumer needs.
This is the part where, after you’ve completed a substantial amount of the above two requirements, your team brainstorms madly for good ideas to implement for your own business.
- Construct your content around what consumers are searching for.
Position yourself as having the solution to their problem. Be able to persuasively and ideally, implicitly, respond to questions such as “why do I need this product? Why your company?”
That was just the 20%–the brand-focused content material.
Keep in mind that content marketing should complement other marketing tactics, such as public relations, SEO, native advertising, et cetera, and that all of those together should aim toward overarching goals.
Strategy Behind the Content
Having decided to head in a direction that will underline your unique selling points, you next arrange your content marketing strategy in response to each stage of the so-called buyer’s journey.
You’ll notice some overlap in steps, which indicates how closely aligned the creation of content is to the marketing of said content.
Adjustments in the relationship according to individual factors influencing both are inevitable to ensure the most seamless cohesion possible.
- Define what you want and how you’ll achieve those aims as well as determining project limits.
From the beginning, you should have a documented strategy. If you don’t at this stage of content marketing, go back and read page 1 (not in this article. Other articles).
- Create and maintain a uniquely engaging brand voice.
Pass out a style guide for your team to follow to ensure high standards and consistent content presentation.
- Research the personality types and demographics of your target audience. The last stage of this step is to profile buyer personas. Existing customers are an excellent resource to analyze.
- Make potential buyers aware of your business’ existence by regularly supplying useful, high-quality content (referenced above as #1’s 80%).
- Demonstrate to or otherwise convince consumers that you, more so than your competitors, have the solution to their problems.
Content holds a great deal of power in influencing the perception of the brand and the ultimate decision the consumer makes.
- Offer incentives to wavering prospects in the form of free trials, specials, discounts, personal consultations, et cetera.
Considering how effective content marketing is and it’s much lower costs as compared to traditional advertising, not to mention that the lead needs just a slight nudge, a sign that choosing your brand is the right move, these incentives are worthwhile.
- Increase your customer retention rate by providing post-sales content (i.e. rewards programs), thereby assuring them that their patronage is valued and appreciated.
You caught the fish. Can you keep it from wiggling off the hook?
Promoting the Content
#2’s 80%! We made it! This is the more straightforward part of content marketing, relatively speaking.
Engage with Your Audience.
Aside from attracting positive attention through educational content, you want to build a rapport with your consumer base.
- Persistently offer opportunities on your web and social media sites to subscribe for updates on your company, products, services, et cetera.
- Encourage website and social media visitors to advance to the next level of the interest, one link leading to another, toward the ultimate goal: the consumer’s satisfied purchase.
- Guest-blog on related sites to reach a wider audience and to boost consumer confidence in your company by virtue of having another industry source endorse your credibility.
- Furnish helpful media content such as infographics, product comparison charts, professional product photos, et cetera.
- Collect professional and user reviews of your products and services as a comparatively painless way to advertise via personal consumer experiences.
Thinking of content marketing strategy as a flexible and creative process rather than only a series of black and red columns (include graphs, charts, and other data analysis figures in that category) can help your business to recover more quickly and thoroughly from unrewarding outreach attempts.
Is content marketing an essential part of your marketing strategy?