Many of my recent blogs, social media posts, memes, live seminars, podcasts, videos and online training courses have all been about content creation. (Notice all the different content types I’ve been creating myself?) clearly I am a huge believer in content marketing as it helps you to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Content marketing has become the major digital marketing tactic, with over 90% of B2B and nearly 90% of B2C marketers including content in each of their marketing campaigns. But this growth in popularity has brought about several important outcomes:
- Content creation is quickly exceeding content demand.
- Consumers have access to more content they possibly need. It’s getting harder and harder to surprise or engage them.
- It’s getting harder to compete with bigger content marketing budgets. The more that big brands start building content in your niche, the higher the content standards, and the more your target audience expects from any content they come across, including yours.
These trends cause concern for small businesses trying to gain an edge with their internet marketing. Most likely, you are already strained trying to create consist, quality content, but there is so much already out there, you wonder if you should even both. Will anyone even notice or care about what you are creating? Those are valid concerns, but content marketing is not going away, it is simply evolving. The great thing about digital marketing is that ingenuity and creativity can always win over big marketing budgets.
Here are some major content marketing trends (that are already happening) and how to use them to your advantage, especially if you have an ecommerce store where you are selling products online.
Content collaboration means working with other people (inside and/or outside your company) on creating and marketing your content. You might use influencers, joint-venture partners, affiliates, and non-marketing employees to help build your content. In a recent interview I had with my podcast, JV Crum III said that you should consider everyone you meet a potential partner. I believe this is true. My friend and colleague Ken McArthur says we can accomplish so much more by working together than by working alone. Try to think of ways that you can collaborate with others, both inside and outside your industry to create content that even large organizations with big budgets can’t compete with.Try to think of ways that you can collaborate with others, both inside and outside your industry to create content that even large organizations with big budgets can't compete with. Click To Tweet
Take this a step further by guest blogging and being a guest on other people’s podcasts. Few ecommerce companies are doing this and it will help you spread your content and your message.
Despite all the growing privacy concerns, dynamic personalization is a significant trend that customizes the web experience for each particular user. This is not the same as segmenting, which simply provides a customized experience to an identified group of customers, and it goes beyond simply inserting a person’s name in an email. Amazon has been providing customized user experience for ages, and while this is the gold standard to emulate, you probably don’t have the programming budget of an amazon or Netflix. Still, even with a WordPress website, there are certain things you can do to engage your visitors with more personalized content. for example, the plugin “If-So,” offers many personalization options. Watch this video for more information:
One advantage in-store shopping still has over the online experience is, in most cases, interactivity. Shopping in person can be a more engaging experience, and many still find it relatively fun. E-commerce retailers can change up this dynamic – and you can stand out from your online competitors – by investing in interactive content. This might include augmented reality apps, like Revealio, calculators, personality quizzes, and interactive video. Revealio augmented reality can be a fun and engaging way for customers to make an image “come to life.” Download the Revealio app on your phone, then hold it over our logo to see this for yourself.
Interactive video can be created using linked videos on YouTube. For example:
Granted, this is a lame example, but if you use your imagination, you can see how linking videos together could create an engaging buying experience.
Online virtual agents and chatbots typically do not require consumers to divulge personally identifiable information, yet still give them access to on-demand advice that directly addresses their questions or concerns. This is a great way to provide interactive content and there are several affordable options available. You may notice that we sometimes have a chatbot visible on this website – if the bot is not visible, you can still see it in action by following this link.
Whenever someone buys from you, you should be collecting their email address. this is used to communicate about their order, but it also provides several other opportunities to ecommerce specific content including sending out future coupons, product recommendations based on past purchases (personalization), marketing materials, and abandonded cart emails. A great way to automate the process of abandonded cart emails is through the use of a plugin called “Abandoned Cart for WooCommerce.”
Manish Dudharejia at the Content Marketing Institute says, “In general, e-commerce brands heavily rely on style and lifestyle appeal. Investing in that doesn’t mean ditching your more practical, use-focused content, but it does mean investing more in storytelling and creating memorable experiences.” We’ve talked about this before, and it is so important. Use your customer’s stories to create content. People remember stories more than they do facts and figures. Include these stories in your content and your ecommerce site will perform better than your competitors.
Did you find this article useful or learn anything? If so, I’d love some feedback about what you thought.