Content, Marketing

5 Reasons Content Marketing Works

5 Reasons Content Marketing Works

Did you know that content marketing is one of the most important things you can do to support and grow your e-commerce brand?

Generating high-quality, original content that is of interest to your customers is one of the best marketing strategies an online store can implement. Engaging articles, blog posts, and/or website content keeps your visitors on your site longer, and is one of the top ways to organically rank higher in the search engines and drive traffic to your website.

In short, content should be the foundation of your marketing strategy.

There are many tactics that can be part of your marketing strategy, and many others (such as social media, advertising, and email campaigns) are also vital components of a good marketing plan. But content is king. Keep in mind that with all of your marketing, you should be playing the long game. While some tactics can generate short-term results, the real return on investment (ROI) with marketing is in long-lasting results that take time.

Today we are sharing five powerful things that a good content marketing plan can do for your e-commerce brand.

1. Organic search engine optimization (SEO)

One of the major goals of any online business is to rank high in search, and to get found by Google and other search engines easily and in multiple ways. Some ways you can achieve this include back links (getting other sites to link to you) and guest posting on other sites.

But building a quality library of original content on your own site is by far the most powerful way to achieve SEO results in a completely organic way. Inc. says that search drives just as much traffic as social. You need it.

When thinking about a content marketing strategy for SEO, you want to identify keywords that are important for your ideal target customer. What are they searching for? What products do you offer? What are consumers’ problems that your products can provide the solution for? What benefits or lifestyle do your products offer?

The answers to these questions can help you come up with a list of keywords that can be used in your articles and blog posts when building your content library. Keep in mind that when we say content, we’re talking not just about the written word, but also video, podcasts, downloads, e-books, etc.

The two most important aspects to a content marketing strategy are quality, useful content and a consistent, regular publishing schedule.

It’s vital that your content be unique and original, as well as truly informative and engaging for your visitors. The best content is that which educates, informs, inspires, or entertains. Think about your customers and your brand when deciding the tone and type of content. Should it be fun and entertaining? Or more educational with a less casual tone? Your brand, products, and company mission will determine the voice of your content.

Again, this will take time. You can’t get discouraged in the beginning. Create a consistent schedule of publishing content, whether that’s multiple times a day or once or twice a month. Consistency is the key, and more important than frequency. Do what you can, and build later.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

2. Building engagement and time spent

The more useful, fun, or engaging content you have on your website, the more you will bring your visitors deeper into the site and your brand. As a customer visits and scrolls through your site, the more she sees articles that address her needs and are informative or entertaining, the more time she’ll spend reading them on your site.

Anytime you can increase the time spent on your e-commerce site, the more likely you are to get a sale. The more engagement you create, the more you are creating brand awareness in the customer’s mind and building a relationship with that customer.

3. Hyper-boost your social media strategy

For most people and companies, one of the biggest challenges of social media is what to post. A good, consistent social media presence relies on an endless stream of content to post.

A library of content on your site, that’s continually building, is like a feeder for your social media strategy. Articles, videos, blog posts, FAQs, how-to pieces — all of these make for stellar social media posts that get interaction and shares.

Filling your social media channels with quality content is how you increase your number of followers and fans.

4. It helps generate media coverage

The Holy Grail of publicity about your business lies in media coverage. Unlike advertising or marketing, when a journalist writes about or mentions your company, or interviews you for a story, you gain instant credibility as an expert in your field.

To the public, independent media coverage is completely different than advertising and marketing. It’s not something you are saying about your company and products, and it’s not a message you’re paying for like with ads. It is much more trustworthy because a reporter has written about your company or products in an objective way. The best coverage of all is that which you don’t pay for or write yourself.

So, you might be thinking, what does this have to do with content marketing that you (or a content specialist like Brand Yak), produces for your brand? Two things. First, it helps journalists discover your brand. When there is content out there about your company (even if it’s on your own site or blog), just like that leads to discovery in the search engines for potential customers, it also leads to searchability for the media. They often find ideas about stories through search, or if they’re already working on a story and doing research, when you have valuable content out there, it helps them find you.

You can take my word for this, because I come from a background in journalism. Check out my website at shelleyseale.com. I have been a freelance writer for more than 15 years before coming to Brand Yak, and I have found countless stories and sources by doing Google searches. For example, let’s say a publication assigns a story to me (or any reporter) about skin care. The first thing I do is hit the internet and start searching for background material and potential sources.

If your brand is a skin care brand and you have a wealth of factual, educational articles out there, I’m likely to find you and include some of your information in the article, or even contact you for an interview as an expert source to be quoted in the article.

Second, your own content gives you a legitimate base to actually reach out to the media yourself, in the form of press releases or directly contacting journalists with story ideas. Good content can often be used to craft compelling press releases that entice media outlets to write about your brand or topic.

Content changes the entire dynamic between your brand and the media. 

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash
Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

5. Elevate your brand for user acquisition

We already talked about how your own content can help you get found in the search engines, through social media, and by journalists. But in addition to simply leading visitors to your website, your content also puts you several steps ahead in terms of brand trust and reliability.

If your company is not just promoting itself, but also generating content that helps your visitors through great information, education, and/or entertainment, then your visitors view you more as an expert in your field rather than merely a company trying to sell them products.

Think about your own experience as a consumer. Say you see an advertisement or social media post for a product that intrigues you, and you click on it to visit the site. Depending on the product, what problem it solves for you, how much you want it, and price/reviews etc., you may or may not buy. It’s what is known as a “cold click” — the visitor is there on your site, but the conversion funnel is more difficult. It typically takes several exposures to a brand (some experts say as many as 7-10) before a prospect buys.

On the other hand, say you come across an interesting podcast or article about a topic you’re interested in. As you listen or read, you realize that it was produced by a company who knows what it’s talking about, and offers products around the topic. Perhaps you’ve already seen some Tweets or videos from the company.

Suddenly, when you click over to the website now, you’re a warm click. You’re already more inclined to buy, because you already view the brand as an expert in the field who doesn’t just have a product they’re trying to sell you — they’ve published extremely relevant content, not just about their brand, but about the issue and the problem you’re trying to find a solution for.

Simply put, a good content marketing plan makes the visitor-to-customer journey much more frictionless. It increases your trust factor as an expert in your field, amplifies your brand recognition and value, and ups your conversion rates.

So, what are you waiting for?

It’s clear that content marketing should be not just a part of your marketing strategy, but its foundation. If you aren’t already, it’s time to start producing content of your own. If you already do some content, perhaps it’s time to review your strategy and put more focus on it to produce more content, and maybe add different platforms (podcasts, videos, etc.)

It can be a fairly big undertaking, which is why experts in the field like Brand Yak handle content strategy for clients. With a 15+ year background in journalism and content marketing, we can help you craft a top-notch, ongoing content marketing strategy.

But even if you aren’t ready to hire someone or don’t have the budget yet, the important thing is to get started. Even if you can just produce one or two articles per month, just get going.

Here are some tips for a good content strategy:

  • Make sure all your content is original and of high quality.
  • Incorporate your brand’s personality and tone into the content.
  • Don’t make it just about you. Good content shouldn’t focus on your brand and product, but rather on the customer’s needs. Provide useful or entertaining content about things related to your products and customers.
  • Make it consistent. Publish on a schedule, no matter how often you can do so.
  • Mix it up! Alternate between articles and lists or how-to tips. Consider incorporating video and audio.
  • Use good imagery. You can source royalty-free photos from places like Pexels and Unsplash.

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