Four steps to create an effective content marketing strategy for your eShop

The importance of content marketing cuts across all niches and the e-commerce niche is not left behind. Content marketing is the kind of marketing that attracts your target audience or gets them to take a particular action through content.

In this article, you’ll learn four content marketing steps you can take as an ecommerce store owner that will lead you to an increase in your conversion rate and sales. Plus, thanks to technology, we’ll also be dropping some content marketing tools that’ll give you the backup you need.

P. S. You don’t need to be a guru to try content marketing.

But first, let’s lay some foundation before you take your first step.

You may run your eShop from the comfort of your computer on your secure browser, but just like any brick and mortar business, you’ve got to know your ideal customers like the palm of your hand.

The effectiveness of this content marketing strategy relies on how well you understand your target customers.

Who exactly are the products you’re selling on your eShop for?

Don’t give some vague answer like “women who like jewelry” or “men who like fun logo tees”. If you want to get the full benefit of content marketing then you need to get crystal clear with who you’re selling your products to and allow them to help you generate the kind of content that can grow your business too.

The reason why this is important is that knowing exactly who you’re targeting makes it so much easier to target them. You have a laser focus on who your customers are and you won’t have to waste time on people who aren’t your customers. So you need to be clear on their:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Activities they’re interested in

And then form as clear a description of who your target customer is as possible. One smart tool that will help you get some insight into your target audience is Quora. You can use it as a search engine and search keywords relevant to your niche. What you get is a list of questions people ask around that keyword. When you go through the results and read through the responses, you’ll begin to get more insight as to who your ideal clients are.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s hop right into the content marketing steps you must take.

1. Zeroing in on consumers’ social media habits

Once you have a clear idea of who your ideal customer is, next on the agenda is to know where those ideal customers hang out.

Social media is a great place to put yourself right in the midst of your target customers. There are 3.5 billion people online and over two-thirds of those people are on social media.

To kickstart your content marketing efforts you have to know the kind of content that will appeal to your target audience. To do this, you need to find out which platform they spend their time on and study how they spend their time on social media.

This step is crucial because it will point you in the right direction of:

1. How they use each social media platform

You log in to a social media platform for various reasons like watching videos, scrolling through pictures or reading short captions. Knowing this will help you define the kind of content you should be posting on those platforms.

2. What kind of content attracts their attention on those platforms

Once you know which platforms your ideal customers spend time the most and why you’ll be able to know which content they enjoy consuming the most. This will help inform you of the kind of content you can create when you’re executing your content marketing strategy.

3. What time are they most active on those platforms

Each platform has its peak periods where your target audience is the most active on those platforms? That time is the best time to make posts, comment, and even schedule your ads. Being active during the times when your audience is the least active will kill your content marketing effort and it will be a complete waste of time. The infographic below will guide you when those peak periods are.

Source: Sumall.com

2. Mastering content formats

By now you should start having a deeper understanding of your target audience. Probably you’ve already started developing some content ideas that you’re sure they’d be interested in.

There are so many different types of content you can create to advance your content marketing strategy. Content primarily can come in the form of text, video or audio. Whatever form of content you decide to go with you need to bear in mind that your content must be something that educates, entertains or enlightens your audience. Providing value is the key.

Here are some ideas you can get started with:

  • Tutorials – Depending on the kind of items you sell in your ecommerce store, there are a lot of people out there who will appreciate a detailed tutorial on how to use it.
  • Product reviews – Before making a decision on whether to buy an item or not, people look up reviews on the product. This is a good way to capture the attention of your target customers.
  • Listicles – Who doesn’t like them? Listicles like “Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas” or “Six Things You Need to Start a Bullet Journal” are creative ways you can mention the items you sell in your eShop while providing value for your audience at the same time.

3. Reverse engineering competitor’s content portfolio

Who said taking a sneak peek of what your competitors are doing is a bad thing? As a newbie in content marketing, it’s a great way to get ideas on what works in the market and what your target audience finds interesting.

Check what kind of content other eShop owners (especially the big time e-commerce stores) are doing and how they are using their content to convert their target market to sales leads.

A handy tool that will show you the kind of content your competitors are creating is Buzzsumo. It gives you the ability to analyze which topics worked best for your competitor and, by extension, what kind of topics you should be creating content around. So ask yourself:

  • What is the common thing you notice?
  • How do your ideal customers respond to the content?
  • How can you put your own spin to their approach and enjoy the same results they’re enjoying?

Reverse engineering your competitors’ content will act as a guide on what you can apply in your business. They’ve done it and they’re getting the attention from your ideal customer, so why not you?

4. Boosting content distribution

Now you’ve got your content ready and published, what next? Content is basically useless unless visible and the way you do that is by increasing your content distribution efforts. This is where the information you gathered in the first tip will come in handy. Knowing the behavior of your ideal customers on social media and the peak periods when your ideal customer is active on social media will help you know just where and when to share your content.

Stick with two to three platforms to prevent yourself from spreading too thin. But note: Sharing your content once will not be enough! You have to push out your content regularly. This article by Louise Myers gives you a fair idea of how often you should post on each social media platform.

Scheduling tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Coshedule will help you ensure that you’re posting the recommended number of times per day. You can schedule your posts for the day, the week or even for the month and each post will be automatically posted at the exact time you schedule them.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to spam. The idea is to put your content in front of as many of your ideal customers as possible so that they know about you and buy from you too.

Now it’s your turn

Content marketing is a process. But when you follow through the steps you will be able to get the traction you need to help grow your e-commerce store and increase your sales. But remember you won’t see results overnight.

But as you learn more about your ideal client, create and distribute your content, slowly you’ll start to see that you not only build customers but also raving fans.

What better time to get started than now?

Segun Onibalusi is the Founder and CEO at SEO POW, an organic link building agency. He can be found on Twitter @iamsegun_oni.

The post Four steps to create an effective content marketing strategy for your eShop appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Luxury marketing search strategy, Part 3: Integrated marketing communication

In the first two articles of my luxury search marketing series, we discussed the consumer mindset, what motivates and drives shoppers to purchase, and then the strategies and tactics that can be used to reach those shoppers and maximize results.

Now, I’m going to tie everything together. In the third and final article of the series, we’ll discuss the importance of an integrated marketing communication (IMC) campaign in the luxury goods industry and why it’s a must if you want to survive in today’s ultra-competitive and highly fragmented search landscape.

What is integrated marketing and why do luxury brands need it?

Today’s consumers are bombarded with messaging from many different marketing channels. Integrated Marketing cuts through the clutter by delivering a unified and seamless brand experience for consumers across channels. Integrated Marketing delivers a seamless experience with one clear message that is relevant to consumers no matter what channel they are using.

In the second article of my series, we discussed how the luxury consumer craves an experience. Luxury shoppers search online to find the luxury items they want, discover new experiences, and to engage with their favorite brands wherever, and to make their purchase whenever they want1. Therefore, creating seamless experiences along the customer journey is especially critical for luxury brands.

Understanding the consumer decision journey is crucial

The consumer journey is no longer a linear path-to-purchase. It has evolved into a complicated and dynamic process during which consumers interact with many different touchpoints along the way. Reaching consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions should be our goal as marketers. McKinsey’s Consumer Decision Journey applies touchpoints for these different opportunities to influence consumers.

The consumer decision journey is a circular decision-making process with four phases:

  1. Initial consideration
  2. Active evaluation – information gathering, shopping
  3. Closure – the moment of purchase
  4. Post-purchase – ongoing exposure to the brand

For search marketers to leverage the consumer decision journey, you need to find ways to get your brand into the consumer’s initial consideration set. We can do this through SEO and integration with other marketing channels.

Integrated marketing and SEO

Search marketers strive to maximize brands’ and companies’ visibility through top search engine rankings. This visibility is key to making it into the consumer’s initial consideration set. I’ll share some integrated marketing strategies that will help improve your SEO and overall business results.

1. Integrate organic and paid search marketing

Numerous studies2 have illustrated how SEO impacts the number of clicks that paid ads receive. Google has shown that when a site has strong organic results, the site is likely to see an increase their click-through-rate for paid search ads on the same search results page. Other studies have shown that the reverse is true – paid search can improve the results of organic search campaigns.

Putting it into practice

Align organic and paid messaging: You want unified messaging, not conflicting messaging. All messaging should be aligned and customer-centric. One way to achieve this is to include top-performing paid ad copy into your organic meta descriptions. For example, one of my paid search counterparts at our agency identified that the term “award-winning” performed the best in their ad copy. We have incorporated it into our meta descriptions to improve organic click-through-rates and to present a unified message to the searcher. This maximizes SEO performance while delivering a seamless experience for the luxury customer.

Improve pages with low-quality scores: Identify the pages where you have a low-quality score and work to increase it. Higher costs-per-click can be reduced by improving landing page experiences and page load times. Identify paid keywords that need organic support. Improving organic content for these keywords can help to drive your paid search campaigns and improve your campaign’s efficiency.

2. Capitalize on events

Leveraging event marketing3 is another way to reach potential customers and build brand awareness. You can leverage specific event types based on your industry to build brand awareness, and as an additional benefit, drive direct and referral traffic. Recurring seasonal events, fashion shows, and international fairs are likely to have strong search volume. These types of events present a great opportunity to increase your brand’s visibility during key moments throughout the year among a highly engaged audience.

The luxury watch brand, TUDOR, created a dedicated page on its website for Baselworld, an international watch and jewelry industry event. This dedicated page is optimized for “New TUDOR Watches – Baselworld 2017” and the content speaks to the new models of watches that would be debuted at the show. This type of page offers another avenue to generate organic visibility and traffic to the website.

Putting it into practice

Create a dedicated event page: You can create a page on your website that’s dedicated to a specific event type. For example, brand.com/eventtype-2019. This page can be used for PR and shared on social networks to help build search authority and brand awareness. Make sure that the brand message you share is consistent across all customer touchpoints.

3. Utilize visual social networks

Don’t limit your SEO to just Google. Visual and social networks4 like Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube present a significant opportunity for brands to generate awareness and visibility. Pictures and videos are powerful mediums capable of evoking the aspirational emotions associated with luxury purchases. Don’t forget, one of the primary reasons people buy luxury goods is to display status. Brands should be taking advantage of this by publishing content that helps luxury consumers fill this need.

CHANEL frequently creates this type of content. The “Inside CHANEL” campaign is a great example of how you can leverage images and videos. “Inside CHANEL” gives people an exclusive look into the brand’s history and it does this by sharing the brand’s story through pictures and videos. In addition to the “Inside CHANEL” website, the campaign’s videos are hosted on YouTube making it easy to share them among your social networks.

Putting it into practice

Create visual, aspirational content for social networks: Think about the type of content that people will want to share to impress their friends and peers. When creating this content like pictures or videos remember that it should evoke the types of emotions that make people want to share it.

Content creation tips

  • Define your target audience and ensure that they are searching on the channel where you want to publish your content – Are they females and/or making the buying decisions? If so, Pinterest can be a good fit.
  • Ensure this content has an exclusivity aspect to it. Ensure that people feel like they have access to something special. It should be original and unique.
  • Make the content easily sharable across your social networks. The last thing you’ll want is to have a great piece of content that’s difficult for people to share.
  • Ensure that the messaging is seamless across channels. Remember, the hallmark of an integrated marketing campaign is messaging that is consistent across channels.
  • Ensure your content is optimized using descriptive image alt text. Make sure you are using the right image format and file size that is optimal for the channel. Each social channel has different tips to maximize visibility within their platform. Make sure you consult their guidelines.

Recap

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this luxury marketing search strategy series. To wrap things up, let’s summarize some of the key points for successful SEO and search marketing in the luxury industry.

The first article discussed the reasons why we buy luxury goods—because of how they make us feel and because we crave an experience along with the exclusivity. Let’s not forget about the role of dopamine in the process, which is where the anticipation of the reward comes in.

The second article covered the SEO importance of creating emotionally fulfilling content and keyword intent research. We also discussed why you need to invest in your meta description to make it more enticing. It’s important to win the click and entice consumers to learn more about your brand, and ultimately, convert.

Finally, the third article covered the role of integrated marketing for luxury brands and the benefits of a consistent brand theme/message across all customer touchpoints. Aligning your paid and organic search efforts, capitalizing on events, and creating visual, aspirational content that can be shared across social networks is a must.

Final thoughts

As marketers, our goal should be to support the organization’s vision, mission, and values, and work hard to improve the company’s bottom line, regardless of the channel. It’s a collaborative effort between multiple marketing channels. It’s all too easy to default to a siloed approach, so we constantly push ourselves to think outside the box and develop inventive solutions for the challenges facing our customers. That’s where our real value as SEOs will shine through.

References

  1. The Meaning of Search Engine Optimization for Luxury, LuxeDigital – https://luxe.digital/digital-luxury-speakeasy/search-engine-optimisation-seo/
  2. How Organic SEO and PPC Impact Each Other, Brightedge –https://www.brightedge.com/content/how-organic-seo-and-ppc-impact-each-other
  3. Why Luxury Brands Should Capitalise on Events, Luxury Society – https://www.luxurysociety.com/en/articles/2018/03/seo-strategy-why-should-luxury-brands-capitalize-events/
  4. 10 Marketing Strategies for Luxury Brands that Deliver Results, VentureHarbour – https://www.ventureharbour.com/luxury-brand-digital-marketing/

Jennifer Kenyon is a Director of Organic Search at Catalyst (part of GroupM). She can be found on Twitter @JennKCatalyst

The post Luxury marketing search strategy, Part 3: Integrated marketing communication appeared first on Search Engine Watch.