Content marketing has been proven, time after time, to be a necessity for eCommerce merchants. In fact, the ones that use content marketing see the conversion rate 6 times higher than their competitors who don’t.
Sounds exciting right? But this is not the only reason that you should incorporate content marketing into your eCommerce business.
The more important reason is that content marketing focuses on creating and distributing relevant and valuable content on an ongoing basis for your target customers. The valuable content enhances brand awareness, improves the shopping experience, optimizes search engine rankings, and deepens customer relationship, the list goes on. What’s more, each day, content marketing is becoming more critical to your brand’s success as its value accumulates, its influential power compounds every time you communicate with your target audience under its guidelines.
Now let’s take a closer look at the benefits of adopting a content marketing strategy for your eCommerce business.
#1. Increase brand awareness
Brand awareness is not just about exposing your brand. That’s just one aspect of it. Building brand awareness is a process that is comprised of multi-faceted approaches to creating value to customers thus improving brand engagement.
It is critical to the success of eCommerce merchants because customers pick up the brand, one in a million, that connects them with the value that exists in every aspect that customers know, feel and experience the brand.
With meaningful and interesting content, you can provide the value by educating, entertaining and even “wowing” them. For instance, we have seen eCommerce merchants that successfully managed to create hysterical anticipation for soon-to-be-released products on social media platforms. With that kind of buzz generation, the products got instant hit upon launch.
In additions, the more valuable content you provide, the less you have to promote yourself in the future because your audience will do that job for you.
#2. Differentiate your brand and products
Online shoppers are spoiled with way too many choices. As more players pile up within your niche, you and your competitors will have to “fight for” the scarce attention of potential customers. In the light of this increasingly competitive landscape, content marketing is playing a critical role in differentiating your brand.
To build that industry authoritative status, you need to find out your audience’s acute pain points and suggest solutions that are “10 times” better than what they already know or what they would find from other sources. For instance, if you consistently generate informative white paper and practical “how to” tutorials, you will be regarded as the “go-to expert” in your niche.
#3. It influences every step along the funnel
Content marketing can reach the potential audience at every stage of the sales funnel and widens the funnel as it moves further down. And because the content can be restructured into various site experience, it allows you to tailor the message to accommodate any particular stage where your audience is.
Stage 1: Awareness: the top of the funnel is where you see the content marketing at its most effectiveness. Quality content (e.g. shoppable blogs) generates early interest, uncovers the hidden needs and increases your brand visibility in general. Simply put, content marketing is like a magnet that attracts and nudges potential customers from different channels into your conversion funnel.
Stage 2: Consideration: In this phrase, potential customers begin to associate your brand with your products/solutions. Content marketing serves as a handy tool to evaluate your qualifications in helping them overcome something negative or achieve something positive.
Stage 3: Conversion: Here is where you make your final pitch. At this point, you know that people remaining in the funnel are interested in what you have to offer; so content marketing acts as the finger that pulls the trigger. Content such as reviews assists people in making the final move.
Stage 4: Retention: Once you’ve got those customers, your goal is to make them stay. Content marketing (such as email follow-ups) plays an important role in letting them know they are not forgotten. You can also pull customers through from email lists to your social media community. This is because it’s difficult to have people constantly open your emails, but people do come back through social media such as Instagram time and time again.
#4. It boosts SEO
The majority of people begin their shopping journey using search engines. Therefore, it is impossible for eCommerce players to thrive without the input of search engine optimization (SEO). Content, when done right, is the optimal way to boost your search engine rankings.
For one reason: Google prefers websites that carry quality, relevant and fresh content. But do remember, if the content is overly polished with sneaky SEO tricks, it is considered as a spam. Another main target of SEO is to gain valuable backlinks from reputable websites. Again, this goal won’t be achieved without distributing exceptionally awesome content.
#5. It builds loyalty
Content marketing produces more than just higher conversion rates and longer email lists. It creates familiarity and loyalty. If your audiences find the content meaningful, they will come back for more. It helps win the loyal followers who are more likely to convert into repeat customers.
A few more thoughts…
The benefits of content marketing mentioned above can be enjoyed only if you, firstly, have a solid content marketing strategy in place.
It begins with answering the questions of how to seamlessly align content marketing with your business objectives, whom you want to reach and how to reach them. That’s another story for another time.