If you sell online, content creation and marketing can be your most powerful sales tool. Done well, you’ll make sales 24 x 7.
Whether you’re in charge of marketing for a big company, or own a micro business, it’s likely that before 2020, you paid little attention to ecommerce and online sales.
Today, you’re aware of content and want to make it work on your website and in your online store.
Let’s look at some content stats before we get to the content creation tips.
SEO company Semrush surveyed 1500 companies about their content marketing.
- 84% of the 1500 had a content marketing strategy; but…
- Just 11% assessed their content marketing strategy as excellent;
- Even though 89% relied on organic search as their most effective distribution channel.
It’s an eye-opening survey. Without a doubt, content creation and marketing is challenging for many companies. What about you? Are you using content creation and marketing? Concerns, challenges, results?
Years ago, my darling mum refused to shop online. Nothing I said convinced her. She said she wanted to see what she was buying. That’s still the big challenge: your customers and clients want to see what they’re getting too.
The content creation and marketing challenge for ecommerce: see it, feel it, buy it
I’ve used content creation and marketing for my business for a couple of decades. And I create content for companies. Way back in 1998, I wrote one of the first books on making sales online. (Published by Allen & Unwin.)
So I have thoughts on why companies rely on organic search, but struggle with content.
Common content creation and marketing challenges I see for ecommerce:
- It’s a struggle for companies to connect emotionally to their customers;
- They also struggle to differentiate their products and services from those of competitors.
Let’s look at some quick tips worth considering in your content creation.
1. Connect emotionally: emotions lead to sales
You know what you’re selling, but have you considered your customers’ emotions?
Harvard Business Review’s article, The New Science of Customer Emotions, provides examples of connecting emotionally with customers:
After a major bank introduced a credit card for Millennials that was designed to inspire emotional connection, use among the segment increased by 70% and new account growth rose by 40%.
You may be thinking that that’s wonderful, but you can’t afford to spend big dollars on research. You don’t have to. A quick scan of Instagram and Facebook et al can tell you a great deal about the emotional motivators driving your customers.
I like using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a starting point for making emotional connections in content creation.
The HBR article linked above also offers a good starting point: check out their graphic of “emotional motivators” which “significantly affect customer value across all categories studied.”
In summary: strive to make emotional connections in your content creation. That connection makes all the difference to your content’s effectiveness.
2. If you rely on organic search, you need your content to be found (but AI may not be the answer)
Yes, SEO and keywords are important in organic search; basically the search engines are just indexing scripts. So it makes sense that the more content you have, the more opportunities you have to be found.
However, generating thousands of pages of word salad for your site isn’t a solution.
Although Artificial Intelligence (AI) may help in generating content, Aaron Wall points out the danger:
Basing content creation on “proven content” means you’re likely using the same phrases, techniques, and styles already used by successful competitors… it can be an echo chamber. Marketers must not forget that execution must still be fresh. Otherwise, you’ll sound like everyone else.
Content matters only because it’s your content: your thoughts; your opinions; your feelings about what you’re selling. Artificial Intelligence is artificial. As the saying goes, you can’t fake sincerity.
3. Consider your touchpoints: content creation is both cumulative and powerful
What’s a “touchpoint?” A touchpoint is anytime a customer/ client comes into contact with your brand in any way.
Today, we expect instant results. If I order a baking pan online, I want it asap and that means now. Many companies and business owners demand instant results from content too.
Back in the day, companies knew that consistent marketing efforts would show results in around three months. You needn’t wait as long for content marketing to take effect, but you do need to remember customer touchpoints; IMHO, it takes around 30 touchpoints to make a sale.
The Buyer’s Journey of awareness, consideration and decision gives lots of opportunities for touchpoints. An optimistic view of the journey to a sale suggests seven to ten touchpoints. More realistically, it’s likely to take 30 touchpoints.
Content gives you lots of touchpoints. Moreover, that content is cumulative and powerful. Each word and page counts. Unlike advertising, your content stays on your site. Each page provides useful touchpoints for your site visitors today and for years to come.
In summary, content creation is a powerful marketing tool
When creating content and using it for marketing, be aware of:
- Using content to connect emotionally with customers;
- Words are powerful. Think beyond SEO and keywords: use words wisely;
- Your content provides touchpoints and they lead to sales.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.