Content marketing is an approach that revolves around the conception of related and important contents, with the ultimate goal to increase conversion rate and retention rate. It might not generate sales right away, but content marketing is one of the most effective strategies to grow your online business in the long term, to attract the specific, most profitable group of customers that you choose to target.
As great as it is to see online stores following this marketing bandwagon, a good number of developing business new-comers may struggle with learning the ropes.
Here are 5 steps that you can take and start an effective content marketing strategy for your online store:
1. Create a persona of your target customers
…and cater to their needs accordingly. Defining your targets and identifying their needs sets the stage to a successful content marketing approach. You may begin by creating a survey with these questions:
a. Audience demographic
- age range
- education level
- other demographic (e.g., lifestyle, what social media do they use)
b. Audience preferences
- Which of your services do they need the most?
- Which of your services do they want to be improved?
Once you have conceptualized your survey, send this to your contacts in your mailing list or set up a popup survey within your store. This action gives your target audience an idea that you are seriously building your thriving business.
2. Choose and focus on an effective channel
Upon doing the survey, you should be able to identify which channel your audiences are most likely to be on, and focus on that channel to build your worth-sharing content strategy. Most online store owners would choose to start an on-site blog, social media, and email newsletter as the most effective channels for to develop content on. For example, H&M choose their blog H&M Life to spread celebrity fashion insights, tips and tricks to help and help their customers dress better.
3. Create a content plan
Content plan is what helps you stay focused on your goals as your conceptualize your content. Without it, you may end up meandering with your previously gathered data with no exact path on leading your audiences to successful transactions. Here are some questions you can ask yourself while creating your first content plan:
- What will be my reader’s best take-away after reading my content? Addressing your customers’ frequently asked questions (FAQ) and major concerns should help, too.
- How do I make this content appealing to my target?
- Do I need to incorporate a certain audio-visual media in my content?
- Should I consider outsourcing for a better and more optimized content? If so, much am I able to spend for this?
- If I am looking towards market expansion, can I repurpose this content for future use?
A good example is Revlon’s content campaign, where they decide that to help their target audience learn more about make up (as well as Revlon products), a video should be the best and most attractive medium. They also ask and sponsor Youtube beauty gurus (outsourcing) to create quality content and promote Revlon brand awareness even further.
4. Learn from influencers in your industry and write shareable content
Without great, shareable and frequent content, your marketing efforts won’t keep customers’ attention for long. One way to find ideas to produce good content is to find and learn from populars influencers in your industry.
- Make a list of the top 20 blogs, social media accounts that you find interesting and follow them, you should be updated with ideas every day.
- Learn how they are generating content to appeal to their audience and you might be able to apply those methods to yours.
Let’s say you are selling cosmetics online, following beauty influencers such as Michelle Phan should give you a lot of ideas to create and promote your own content.
5. Engage your audience
Once you have had your content up and running, let’s get it spread! It’s no use preparing content if it is not heard of, so try engaging customers on your channels Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest,… or email newsletter. The first method you can try today is offering some small yet exciting incentives like a discount code, and ask your customers to follow you.
Then, all you have to do is sending these interested customers your well-prepared content campaign and watch your conversion rate increasing.
Content marketing may be one of the most effective way to gain your niche in your market, so why not try these beginner steps today and develop a long-term thriving online business of your own? Let’s share with us what you are doing for your content strategy.