Strong Content Marketing Encourages Sales
Using content to enhance the marketing performance of your eCommerce website is an excellent strategy that makes a lot of sense right now. First there was Panda, Google’s pet algorithm telling us to shape up our content. Now it seems they were right; 57% of the online sales can be directly traced to content. This staggering figure was taken from Altimeter Research Group’s report, “Organizing for Content, models to incorporate Content Strategies and Content Marketing in the Enterprise,” that was released earlier this week.
Content Marketing Has Many Faces
The problem is that although most eCommerce websites have stepped up their content, the content marketing is a new tactic to online sales and most marketers do not understand how to go about it. Content marketing includes the content writer who has his place in blogs, copy, and perhaps social media. There are other areas of expertise that must come into play for content marketing to work. Videos are considered a form of content and have their place in content marketing. You cannot have an infographic, which is a form of content, without a graphic design. These three main elements- content writing, video, and graphics – along with organizational structure and strong leadership are the fundamental ingredients of a content marketing strategy.
The Content Marketing Action Plan
If you do have all three of these areas covered, you may still find sorrows waiting unless you have a plan of action. If you create a plan that allows you to align your content with the objectives in place for your marketing strategy, you can more effectively control the increase of your website conversion rate by controlling the individuals’ buying funnel or journey to purchase.
Seven Simple but Powerful Steps
Putting the effective marketing plan in place before the campaign begins is a necessary step if you want the content to follow through as a single unit and reach your objectives. Here is a list of seven questions to ask yourself as you begin to build your content marketing plan.
Will the content achieve the first Brand Objective? In other words, will the individual who finds and reads your content online be convinced to start the journey to purchase? Will your content move them to action? All beginning content marketing should reach for this goal.
What is the target audience for this content? What group of people do you intend to reach? What problems are you solving? Content must be focused on targeted audience, including social media groups.
What will be the central figure or concept of the content? Where will people place themselves after reading the content? Does the content relate to the readers vision, goals, and hopes? A content marketing plan is invisible to the customer being lead towards a sale. The customer’s needs are the central figure of content.
What is the most powerful or unique selling point in the content? Does the content emphasize the strength of the primary selling point? Is it telling the story with the correct direction? Content Marketing uses its greatest strengths to solve a problem or fill a need.
Does the content cover all points? Does it cover the main objective, the secondary considerations, or get the reader to go to the website or at least interact with or about the content? Content must be all-inclusive using all points necessary to secure the successful journey to purchase.
Three Content Objectives and Related Goals
- Main objective: Sale
- Secondary Consideration: Name and email
- Final objective: Site visit
- Ask about a product
- Share product content in social context
What strategy is in place after content reaches objective of reader action? Depending upon reader actions, a content marketing plan should be ready to deploy a new call to action for anything less than a sale. A good content marketing plan covers every feasible possibility except failure.
Is follow-up content formulated to encourage secondary purchases? Your end game in content marketing is not to let the customer go without a content marketing plan in place to issue a second call to action or thank customer for a sale and ensure satisfaction for return visit purposes.
After Campaign Checklist
Is there a follow-up strategy for each of the objectives, including the main objective of a sale? How does the content reach out to reader in all three points of purchase, Share, and customer return?
Engage with Journey to Purchase
The content marketing game is a new one that not many have played well so far. This is because many people miss the point of focusing all of the content to the journey to purchase and the stages within it. Once you have focused all of your marketing content on the journey you will have a winning strategy that creates conversion sales on your eCommerce website.
How Content Marketing Controls the Four Stages
Your content marketing Strategy has to be focused on the stages of the journey in order to encourage the reader to advance through each. Success comes by utilizing each media platform, or market channel, as your content strategy leads the reader through the four stages of a journey to purchase.
- The initial contact with content begins the Awareness stage of the journey to purchase.
- Promotional content (eBook) and video advance the reader to the Consideration stage and builds trust. (name and email)
- Call to action in email or contact through inquiries or social media provide opportunities for content to carry the sales funnel into Intent stage.
- After purchase Decision, a social content contact and email ensures the customer’s satisfaction, thanks the consumer, and expresses a welcome return.
Content Marketing Strength
At some point during the successful content marketing campaign, the people who follow through to the end of the journey should be convinced to make a social gesture on behalf of the eCommerce website. This is the strength of a successful content marketing plan that covers the entire journey from beginning to sale and after. With a plan for content marketing in place, the strength of the campaign becomes a force to be considered.
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