The eCommerce industry is constantly evolving, and those changes touch every aspect of the business, including marketing. Traditional advertisements, the old standby of marketing, are no longer as effective as they once were. Instead, organizations are turning to original content to help drive business.
Content marketing uses original content to attract visitors to your site, convert those visitors into leads, close those leads into customers, and delight customers so that they become brand promoters.
While it’s a relatively new marketing concept, content marketing has a large audience. In a recent webinar with the Content Marketing Institute team, Jordan Hyman, who works in custom content sales for the Wall Street Journal, said that 90% of customers find custom content useful. While that’s an impressive number, Jordan also stated that only 61% of customers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content. This indicates that companies can’t just be producing content; they need to be producing quality, useful content.
In his webinar, Jordan outlined some significant trends that are shaping custom content in 2015. Here are three tactics that you can use to improve your content marketing strategy and help grow your business.
1. Define Your Strategy
Creating a marketing strategy from the start is one of the best ways to ensure a successful marketing program. Just like any business endeavor, laying out the objectives and responsibilities of a marketing campaign ahead of time will ensure that all ideas and campaigns adhere to the same goal.
Perhaps most importantly at this stage is to define success. Whether the objective is to increase page views on your blog or double your monthly conversions, the definition of success needs to be determined at the beginning.
Above all, make sure that everyone involved is on the same page. It is much easier to alter a plan at the beginning than to course-correct once underway.
2. Know Your Audience
Your team could create a beautiful, professionally executed, multi-media campaign, but it means nothing if your audience isn’t interested. It may sound elementary, but knowing your audience can be one of the most complicated aspects of content marketing. The best way to achieve this is through personas.
Creating personas helps you get to know your customer in a more faceted way. The information gathered could help to create more targeted content that meets customers’ needs, as well as determining where that content should live.
Using various platforms based on persona can help tailor your content for each individual customer. For example, while one customer may appreciate a detailed review of a product in a blog post, another may be more interested in an Instagram post showing the product in everyday life. Knowing what your customer wants and how they want to consume it will increase your trustworthiness for them, increasing confidence in and loyalty to your brand.
3. Use What You Have
Once your marketing strategy is established and your customer personas have come to life, use that established information to help inspire ideas and keep the content wheel rolling.
At Content Marketing World this fall, one overwhelming concept that nearly every speaker touched on was that one great idea or topic can inspire dozens and dozens of pieces of content. Don’t let a blog post stand alone, bolster it with email campaigns, infographics, and social media postings. As you learned while defining your customer personas, people consume information in different ways, so be sure to optimize on those opportunities.
As Jordan covers in the webinar, there are so many ways to repurpose content in order to properly leverage your marketing ideas. Use brand activity as support, coordinate custom content with event sponsorships, trade shows, and traditional ads, and use content across all channels.
Utilizing these tactics is a great place to start when maximizing the impact of your content marketing plan. For even more info, be sure to check out the entire webinar with Jordan Hyman and the Content Marketing Institute.