Content Marketing for Retailers
One of the stranger trends we’ve seen in the world of content marketing is a shift away from bigger businesses. Increasingly, small companies are marketing themselves well, and they’re reaping the rewards: increased sales and positive buzz. That doesn’t mean big-budget retailers are doomed, but it does mean the way to succeed is to think small. Whether you run a small store or a huge retail business, content marketing has to be part of your overall strategy.
The first step toward success is to have a strategy. You need to understand where you’re going, have a planned route to get there and have a way to measure your success. Ask yourself who your customers are and where you’re likely to find them, be that searching for products on Google or hanging out on social media. Then, go where your customers are, and go armed.
Content is king, and you’re going to need a lot of it to get ahead. Here are a few channels that need to be part of your content marketing strategy.
Blogging for Retail Success
Over fifty percent of consumers say they’re looking for tailor-made, relevant content from retailers, and one of the best places to deliver that content is a company blog. While promotional blog posts are fine, the real power of blogging lies in establishing yourself as an industry expert. Offer your customers tips and tricks or answer common questions to really sell them on your expertise.
A simple way to pick out blog topics is to ask your customers, either directly or through customer service staff. Find out what they want to know, and hire authors to write info-packed posts on that subject.
Social Media Content
The social scene is constantly shifting, so to take full advantage of this marketing opportunity, you’ll need to keep your ear to the ground and understand where your target customers are lurking. Pinterest, for instance, is still only used by a minority of retailers, but some companies saw it triple their revenue on Cyber Monday.
Social media thrives on up-to-the-minute updates, so you’ll need to pair your updates with other content projects. For instance, consider requesting a blog post and promotional Facebook and Twitter content as part of the same project.
Too many retailers are content to list off their products’ features and call it a day. A good product description needs to be just that, descriptive. You need content that tells your customers why they mustbuy the item in question, and that means researching their needs and using descriptions that explain how your product meets those needs.
YouTube and Slideshare
If a picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words, how priceless is a slideshow or video? As with all sorts of content marketing, the key to successful video or slideshow content is to understand your target customers and deliver something that meets their needs. Employ basic storytelling techniques with a clear beginning, middle and end, and use clear, easy-to-read written content to drive your points home.