The idea of using content to help drive ecommerce sales can sometimes feel daunting. Today’s digital landscape is a 24-hour news cycle, with social media platforms that never sleep. Content is constantly created and published. So the question often arises, “If I want to take on content marketing for my business, where do I begin?”
In this post, I will address how to build the ultimate content marketing strategy and make the process organized and smooth.
First, begin with your company’s mission, its culture, its core values, and your goals for the business. I addressed all of this at “Does your company have soul?”
The easiest way to generate ideas for content is to simply look at the questions your shoppers ask you — via customer support, comments on product pages, and general interactions. All of that dialog can be an opportunity for content. In my experience, by listening to customers and interacting with them, there’s no shortage of creative content ideas.
Next, identify opportunities for communicating with your audience. What channels are your customers and prospects using? Maybe it’s Twitter. Maybe it’s YouTube. Maybe it’s a printed magazine. Remember, the idea of “content” isn’t limited to social media or blogs. There are many options — a seemingly unlimited number of places and platforms.
Once you’ve located your audience, it’s time to build your team to execute your strategy.
If you’re focused on YouTube, make sure you have professional equipment, perhaps a videographer, and all the necessary tools and capabilities to create regular content at high levels. If it’s a blog post, hire a professional writer. If it’s social media, use someone who can build a bond with your audience, across all relevant channels.
At Beardbrand, we have one person who handles our blog and social media responsibilities, another who does our video editing and design work, and two people who work in front of the camera for our YouTube videos. We also partner with contributors outside Beardbrand to help with the workload.
In other words, narrow your focus on the areas and channels you want to utilize and build a team that can help carry out your plan — and establish a budget to manage it all.
The advantage of social media marketing is to build a unique bond with your customers. That’s something your competitors can’t mimic. You can build something uniquely yours that becomes part of your brand and your style.
Conversely, if you decide to use Google AdWords, for example, you’re essentially renting your customers. You will likely have buy them over and over to continually generate revenue.
Making content creation easier
While constantly creating content can seem overwhelming, there are ways to make it easier.
First, hard, rigid deadlines are a must. Create a process to meet those deadlines. Remove as many barriers as you can. For example, if you’re shooting videos, have your studio space set up and dedicated to filming. This avoids having to continuously set up, break down, and adjust, all of which adds more work and stress.
There’s also always the battle of quality content versus quantity. Quality will always win if there’s a choice. But quantity does have its place. More quantity creates routines and habits from your audience. Regardless, focus on content that is associated with your products. Over time, you’ll likely see the rise of your organic search traffic and the related increase in revenue.
Create content at a regular enough pace that people will consistently check in. Once you’ve nailed the schedule and the process, figure out how to increase the quality. This is the best of both worlds: enough content to meet a schedule with a quality to attract and retain readers.
Create a six-month content marketing calendar. You do not need everything written in advance for the entire six months. But at least have a good idea of the topics, how to develop each piece of content, and how that content will drive sales.
For example, content that explained how to fly kites would be a bad strategy for Beardbrand. It’s not going to generate any hits or sales. But topics like beard care and hair styling would. So always consider your topics, and stick to content that will drive sales without being overly promotional, full of sales speak.
Importantly, always remember that you’re creating content constantly with routine daily tasks. Every time you send out an email, talk with someone on the phone, and answer a customer’s question, you’re creating content. How you broadcast your message and values will determine how it’s received by customers, prospects, and society.
In short, don’t be afraid to use content marketing. You have no choice, really. You have to communicate with your audience. It’s just a matter of which tools you choose to deliver your message.