It’s the age-old story in the 21st century: You’re creating an ecommerce business that combines your passion with your creative niche. The opportunities are endless and your business is expanding with good strategy and great customer service. But you’re looking to bring business to that next level, stepping out of the red and into the bright sunshine of turning a profit.
Today, a well thought out content strategy can offer the benefits you need when building your brand. The real question is: Where do you even start?
Building Your Online Branding
If executed correctly, content marketing has the potential to be a very fun and engaging attribute of your business. The key to content marketing is to create meaningful, creative, and high-quality content to address a key audience. This marketing endeavor often soft sells a brand or product across numerous platforms, engaging key audiences and offering valuable information that can increase reach and engagement.
Expanding your reach and improving engagement can lead to valuable sales and can help guide individuals through the sales funnel. Effective content marketing strategies can help address customer needs, prove yourself to be a reliable source for information and products, and build long-term loyalty with your target audiences.
When you develop a strong strategy, your brand can benefit from:
- Increased website traffic
- Higher conversions
- Strengthened brand loyalty
- An additional revenue stream
- Useful evergreen content
Without a strong content strategy and brand development plan, your ecommerce business can suffer from a lack of focus and an inconsistent brand voice across platforms. However, adapting a great content strategy can help grow your business and exponentially increase your sales.
Step 1: Identify your Target Buyer Persona and Their Buying Cycle
Your audience matters. In order to offer content tailored to your consumers, you need to have a good handle on who your audience is and what they require from your business. An easy trick? Developing target buyer personas based on real market data and statistics can help you create content that serves your business' audiences. It’s important to consider key traits when developing your buyer personas, including:
- Age and location demographics
- Personality traits that can define buying habits
- Preferred social channels where your audience will be looking for information (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc.)
It’s crucial to consider the sales funnel and where you should meet your potential customers. If you’re meeting your customers at the beginning of their buyer journey, your messaging should warrant discovery and create awareness. If you’re meeting your customer farther into the funnel, you should be focusing on your conversions and loyalty with new and returning customers through different types of content.
Step 2: Learn How Your Audience Consumes Content and What Platforms to Use
When building out a target buyer persona, consider where you’re first encountering your customer base. Learning how your target audience consumes content is key to improving your own online content strategy. Exploring industry trends or internal consumer data can offer key insights into your audiences. Consider:
- What is the most popular social media platform for my target audience?
- What content best supports my business strategy and what content will my audience engage with (videos, long-form content, blogs, etc.)?
- Will my audience purchase products directly off of social media platforms and other mobile channels?
Step 3: Research, Research, Research!
Every good strategy starts with research. Having a good handle on your target audience and the platforms to meet them on means your next step is to offer the best content to get them to support your brand and potentially become a customer.
We recommend taking part in numerous types of research to fully develop out your content strategy, including:
- Secondary Research: Using research that was already completed to understand potential audiences in your industry and where to meet them.
- Primary Research: Collecting data yourself, including customer surveys, reviews, and business analysis to build out and develop your strategy.
- SWOT Analysis: Developing information internally regarding the strengths and weaknesses of your business, and the external opportunities and threats your business may face.
- A/B Testing: Improving your content as you go, using data to decide on what brings in the engagement and the most conversions, improving your strategy as you go.
Step 4: Post Content to Highlight Each Part of the Buyer Journey
We said it earlier and we’ll say it again: Always consider the sales funnel when developing content for your audiences. The top of the sales funnel focuses primarily on discovery and awareness, where you demonstrate your understanding of their pain points. Your content at this stage is easily consumable, easily found, and easy to interact with. A prime example of content that works well in this stage includes social media marketing, blogging, search engine marketing and more!
The middle portion of the buyer journey includes the consideration stage, where your customers are looking to build trust with your brand and point towards solutions for their potential needs. As opposed to just creating awareness, here you’re offering solutions and answers to any problems they may be looking to have answered. A prime example of content for this stage includes case studies, competitor analysis, and even free samples depending on your budget and brand.
The bottom of the sales funnel is the purchase or conversion stage. This is when people fully invest in your business after working their way through every stage of the funnel. A good example to engage with customers at this stage can include an online chat bot, direct messaging, or remarketing emails to customers who may be close to completing a purchase. Considering each part of the funnel means your audiences are receiving content that connects them to your brand and leads to long-term loyalty.
Step 5: Analyze Results, Improve Your Plans, Work from Feedback
Track your results and analytics over time to tweak your strategy and better your reach for potential new customers. Always look at past efforts to improve your efforts going forward!
Good metrics offer insight into your ROI (return on investment). Some great key performance indicators (KPIs) for this includes:
- Organic traffic
- Time on page
- Social shares
Your analytics can vary depending on the content you put out. Using different social analytics tools can offer important insight into your business and improve your strategy in the long term.
Step 6: Maintain Creativity and Look For New Ways to Improve
It’s essential to constantly refine the content you share online, while also growing your business and product. Improving your content strategy can be based on analytics, whereas improvements within your business can occur when you listen to customer reviews and complaints.
Understanding how your customer feels about your sales process and content strategy will offer assistance increasing your customer base and expanding loyalty. Looking for new and creative ways to build out your content strategy? Consider:
- Blog Posts
- Original Photography
- Short-Form and Long-Form Video Content
- Product Guides
- Customer Stories and Reviews
- Email Marketing
- Google and Facebook Advertising
Content and Commerce Go Hand in Hand
It is absolutely crucial to develop your content marketing strategy as you grow your ecommerce business. In a competitive and constantly developing market, customers are hard to get and even harder to keep. But it doesn’t have to be so difficult!
At Saltbox, we’re assisting your business from start to scale. We solve the toughest parts of business development with comprehensive logistics support in a community-focused workspace. Stop worrying about the fulfillment and logistics of your company, and start focusing on your creative strategy and content marketing by working with a 3PL service built for your ecommerce business needs.
At Saltbox, we want to grow your small business with you. Offering the key fulfillment services all businesses require across a wide variety of locations, Saltbox benefits your growing business by focusing on those personal needs that many 3PL services overlook.
Saltbox offers hands-on care when it comes to logistic solutions and fulfillment, letting owners take the lead on running their business and improving their marketing while we handle everything else. You don’t have to expand your business alone. Get started with Saltbox Fulfillment and let’s grow your business together.