In today’s economy, buyers seek to make informed decisions before making a purchase. Especially when buying something from someone on the internet. Content marketing becomes the face and voice of your brand. The challenge is to present yourself to your target market in such a way as to promote and generate honesty and trustworthiness. If you say the wrong thing at the wrong time and don’t do what you say you’re going to do, it won’t be long before a flight of negative comments invades your network of social media platforms. Think Yelp. We don’t want that and we know that you don’t want that either.
The day of the hard-sell is behind us and it won’t work in content marketing anyway. According to the 2016 Social Media Industry Report, marketers were asked if they had any plans to change how they used content in 2017. A glaring 73% were planning on increasing their use of videos and it would be an excellent way to lean with the advent of Facebook video. Also, 71% of marketers responding indicated they plan on increasing their use of visuals. Think Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.
The best part of content marketing is you have complete control over how you present your brand. Think about the product or service you want to sell online, then consider all its features and benefits. Using available content marketing tools, such as video, images, infographics, and written content, you have the best possible chance to present your brand in the best possible light and highlight every single feature you want to.
Be sure to answer all frequently asked questions (FAQ’S). In fact, you could create an Excel spreadsheet where you track the frequency of commonly asked questions and create a FAQ page for your website based on what real customers are asking. Be diligent to answer all questions honestly and promptly.
There are three types of links to consider. An internal link is one that leads the viewer from the page they are viewing on one website to another page on the same website. Create links within your content that feedback to your website. The link should comprise relevance.
An outbound link is one that points viewers to another website with like-minded content. The primary benefit of an outbound link is to establish authority in whatever brand you propagate.
The inbound link may be the most important link of the three because these are links that lead to your website from other websites. Inbound links are the number one factor for how Google ranks your page. Inbound links act as a recommendation, assist in building credibility, build traffic, and add sales.
Offer Free Content
In exchange for registering for a free newsletter subscription, offer free content. We are seeing this strategy played out more and more enhancing content marketing growth. Always be people friendly and remind your visitors that they can always unsubscribe at any time if they are getting too much email from you. A relatively easy way to create an ebook would be to write a daily relevant blog for a month and designate each day as a new chapter in the e-book you plan to give away for free to those who sign up on your email list.
If you don’t have the time or the writing chops to compose a helpful relevant e-book or some other form of content, why not consider outsourcing your content marketing strategy to a professional marketer who does have the time and resource to fulfill this need.
Always address customer service issues immediately. Do not ignore a complaint any more than you would ignore a complement. An apt and timely apology or comment may serve to retain customers. Honest open communication is a stimulus to create trust. When other visitors see your honesty, they may be compelled to learn what your brand offers. Confirm that the problem was of an unusual nature and that you are doing everything in your power to correct it. Be positive, not defensive.
Brand History Considerations
Include a page explaining the birth of your brand. Include such things as its history, mission, and goals. These are building blocks that aid in bringing your target market into your realm. No need to embellish your brand’s history – let it speak for itself; let the customer decide for themselves. Consumers are largely more informed than in the past and appreciate openness. Consumers trust honesty.
Answer and address all comments made on whatever social platforms you use. Try to have a conversation with visitors, prospects, and customers. Open, honest, relevant content equates to healthy conversation.
Types of Content
So, you’ve got your e-commerce store all setup. Now what?
Have you thought through the type of content you’re going to include? You should have a strategy in place before you launch your site. The following should stir up your imagination a bit and get you rolling down the tracks:
- Provide inspiring stories, quotes, or trivia that encourage and motivate your market.
- Include a few images that portray your brand and share not only your story but other stories of success.
- Useful educational content like case studies, industry research, free resources, and live video training are the stuff great content dreams are made of.
- Create content that answers questions. If no one is asking questions, created some yourself. And then answer them. Not deceptively, but in ways that inform and delight.
- Create surveys that help you determine market trends and include dialogue where prospects and customers can offer you helpful advice that should help you improve your aim.
- Share personal stories and photos of your life, behind the scenes footage, and other types of content that make you and your company seem real.
- Create a page where you highlight employees, vendors, and colleagues. Review upcoming products and give a behind the scenes look of your brand. Invite scrutiny and constructive criticism.
- Promote your brand through webinars, product giveaways, client testimonials and opt-in emails.
Content marketing strategies are intended to reach more of your target market than what you otherwise could do with other marketing strategies. The pitfall is that if you are not ready for the time-consuming effort that entails a successful content marketing strategy, the entire thing can fail. Content marketing is not something that it is easy to halfway do.
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