Content Marketing for Retail: Building Authority and an AudienceBy Paul Wynter February 17, 2020
We can now officially determine that both online selling and online buying is here to stay, which is precisely why more and more brands and businesses are turning to the up and coming world of content marketing as it relates to retail. No longer is content considered important for SEO purposes and nothing more. It’s a key part in building a brand and giving yourself an authoritative voice that your audience can get to know and trust when they start shopping around online and hunting for your products. However, are you making the right impression?
What is content marketing for retail?
When most people think of content marketing, they think of a way of text. But, there are many different forms that can exist in retail specifically related to content marketing. These include interviews, eBooks, listicle or how-to articles, blog posts, infographics and even product reviews. The actual content of content marketing specific retail is content from a potential variety of resources that focuses on your brand and/or product or service so that you can get the word out about it so that it’s more than just a name and a few products or services for sale.
Why is content marketing important?
• It gets people to like you (and talk about you): When you’ve got content online for people to see — in a variety of the forms above — you can gain customer interest and respect. They’ll be entertained and/or educated by the content that you’ve got up there and they’ll be more likely to talk about you to others as well as give your feeds a share, which helps you get the word to even more people. Since most business comes as a result of customer referrals, it’s important to really make sure of this.
• It builds trust and respect with the customer: Customers have a lot of options available to them, so rely on content marketing to help build trust as well as respect with customers. They want to know that they are being informed and educated as well as entertained by what you offer. If you don’t prioritize that. They’ll go with the competition that is focusing on them and their wants instead.
• It shows that you are in retail for the right reasons: The truth is, everyone already knows that you are in business to make money. But, don’t let that show. Focus on the customer and helping them out with their needs and wants. It shows that you’re true professionals and that you want to do what is right for the customer, always. If they say things like “you’re all about making a sale”, you’re doing it wrong and it will cost you business.
How to make content work for you:
If you’re ready to get on the content train, here are some tips and ideas that will help you get both the audience that you deserve, and keep you as an authority figure in the marketplace, which is important with the competition out there.
• Keep it customer-focused instead of product-focused: Even when it comes to reviews and white-papers, make sure you keep a customer-focused angle. It doesn’t mean that you can’t highlight the features or the important details of your product or service, just make sure that these always come back to the customer. Why do they care? Why is it important that they know this or have this product? This will show the customer that you are talking to them specifically and that you are there for them as a result.
• Really make social media work for you: The type of content you want to publish is your call, but whatever you decide to do, involve social media. It’s free, efficient, and gives you access to thousands and thousands of people. Having a website and other content is important too, but make sure that you use social media accounts to get access to all sorts of people that want to know you’re out there.
• Don’t forget to blog: Blogging is a great example of content marketing, and it’s also an underused tool. When you write and publish blog posts regularly, it gives customers all sorts of content to search through and enjoy while they’re browsing. It shows that you are authoritative and that you want to share that knowledge with those out there that are looking for it. It’s also great for SEO, which helps you rank higher and reach even more people.
• Be honest and transparent: Whether it’s negative reviews, potential drawbacks or even just enteral content, be honest. If your products aren’t eco-friendly, don’t say they are. If you get a negative review, allow it to show up on your platforms and respond to it properly and professionally. Allow customers to see that you are the real deal and remember that having everything cheery and positive and “perfect” can actually turn people away because it feels too good to be true. Be as honest and transparent as possible to keep your audience trusting you.
• Remember the goal: It can be frustrating to dedicate time to designing infographics or outsourcing graphic or writing projects, but you must remember that the whole goal is to make your brand into an authority figure. When you show people that you are putting up content they care about and that is relevant to your business, it brings customers that are loyal and also much more likely to bring friends along to check you out as well. This all translates to more sales and a better bottom line.
Keeping your had above water and becoming the leader of the pack in retail means working smarter instead of harder. Keep the customer as the prime focus and remember the value in honesty when it comes to building your online presence. Content marketing isn’t just about SEO anymore and the sooner that you make that work to your advantage, the sooner you’ll be able to start bringing in customers that convert to sales.