You know that content is important. You've seen the content marketing stats, you've heard the buzz, you've probably even put some kind of content marketing in place for your brand, but is it working? Like, really working to drive the traffic, leads and sales you deserve? Let's first take a step back and talk about how your target audience is shopping, shall we?
- In Store: Your ideal customer is standing in front of a wall of products at a retail store. Your product is there, hanging alongside 15 other competitive products.
- Online: An online shopper does a quick search on Google or Amazon for a type of product, a mixer, silverware, new pots and pans, but not a brand name. They are served thousands of search results.
In either scenario, how does the consumer choose? Price is the easy answer, but there's more to it than that. Understanding your consumers' path to purchase is more important than ever.
Understanding today's consumer takes work, and understanding your target audiences in particular is an important task. The majority of consumers today share some important characteristics, though. Their need to research online is a vital one for brands to understand and adapt to.
It's no secret that consumers are using online channels to research brands, products and services before making a purchase. They are creating digital touch points throughout the buying journey, doing online research whether they end up making the purchase online or in store. With shoppers consuming so much digital content along their path to purchase, it's more important than ever for brands to craft the right content that will establish them as the best choice, no matter where the final purchase is made. But what are the top three things your content should be doing for you?
- Increasing brand awareness - Shoppers need pages to read, Facebook reviews to share and tweets to retweet. If you want people to talk about your brand, you have to give them something to talk about. Educate them on how and why your brand and products are best, so that when they are faced with that wall of products or thousands of search results, they recognize and respond to your brand name. Don't settle for brochure-style product information, give them more. Talk about your brand, why and how your products were developed. Go deeper to create a connection.
- Establishing brand authority - When confronted with options, consumers need to know (and remember) why your brand is the best choice. Your online content gives you the opportunity to start establishing your authority early on in the buying cycle. Are you using better quality materials? Do you have a no waste manufacturing process? Is your technology more innovative than the competition? Set yourself apart, early and often, so that consumers know why your brand is the best choice.
- Building online search visibility- Content is king when it comes to online marketing. Search engines need optimized content to award you relevant search visibility. This is a basic function of content and has been for a very long time. When your consumers are doing online searches for your products, is your website ranking? Beyond that, are people clicking through the search results to your website? Is your content generating the organic traffic you deserve?
Based on how people are shopping, your online content could very well become the starting point for most of your future sales. You have to use each piece of your online presence, from your website to your social channels to your ads, to move consumers through the sales funnel. Whether they are shopping for your product on your website, on Amazon or in store, your content pieces are the seeds to future sales. Don't get left behind, invest in a strategic, creative content marketing strategy to set your brand apart from the competition!