Content marketing: the cornerstone of your strategy

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Your marketing strategy, whatever channel or channels you are looking to use, has to start with your content. Getting people to your site is one thing, getting them to buy repeatedly is quite another – and this is where having good content and using it as part of your marketing plan comes into its own.

While it is tempting to offer discounts and never-ending sales, it is better to offer good content, good products, a good brand experience and a strong call to action when marketing what you do. It is a never-ending process and is time consuming. It reaches into every facet of your business from the branding to site design to outbound marketing to social media to email to deliveries and even returns. But get it right and you are half way to having a really successful brand.

So what do you need to do to deliver great content marketing?

Product descriptions

Describing what you sell is vital to inform the customer, but they also have to engage! You need to be as detailed as possible and offer as much information as you can – often above and beyond what the manufacturer tells you. This will make you look like you know and love your products and will help the consumer know what they are buying is right for them. It also helps SEO.

Also include all the boring-but-useful data on physical size and weight of product, identifying codes such as EAN or ISBNs. Also, as we shall see in later on, customer and expert reviews should also be included and regularly updated, as should frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Detailed delivery information

The delivery options and costs – especially if there is a free option and/or a really rapid option – should be displayed at every opportunity. Lead times also need to be made clear. You don’t have to outline all delivery options from the get go, just the ones that cater to low cost through to rapid delivery. ‘Other delivery options are available’ should also be made clear, but these can be clicked through to.

Email capture forms

Getting people to subscribe/sign up to your company is vital as it gives you email and even mobile phone contact details to use for your onging marketing. So make sure that ‘Sign Up Here’ buttons are clear and easy on every page.

However, you also need to give them a reason to sign up/subscribe: regulator newsletters are one way, offers can also help. The key is to make them feel like they are joining something special or exclusive and that signing up gives them some sort of privileged treatment.

As we shall see in the next section, email marketing gives you the best and most cost effective opportunity to drive repeat traffic to your website. If you cannot make a sale, make it as easy as possible to capture your visitors contact details.

Company blog

A well- written blog is an essential marketing tool for any business. Not only does it give your website a pulse – separating it from the many millions of static websites gathering dust on the web – but it is also SEO gold and will provide great content for your email and social media marketing activities.

Remember, just because you have a social media presence, does not mean you have a social media strategy. Great blogged content will kick-start any social media campaigns.

Photography and video

A picture paints a 1000 words, as the old adage goes and great product images will help you perhaps more than anything else: so never skimp on photography. Try and include images taken from all angles and showcasing any specific product features. High quality video will enhance your visitors’ experience even further.

Showing how to assemble or use a product is always helpful – and will get customers to come back to your site rather than trawling for amateur ‘how to…’ vids on Youtube.

Great image or video production does not have to be expensive – it just takes a little planning and experimentation.

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