The rise of e-commerce is the defining trend of the retail industry over the past decade. As brands compete to grow their online presence, content marketing has an important role to play.
Between brick-and-mortar retailers developing their online presence, online giants transforming the shopping experience, and small retailers finding their niche online, e-commerce is a diverse space.
This market keeps growing, which translates into more opportunities to reach customers. However, it’s also a competitive space. Brands can stand out by leveraging an online shopping platform to deliver a unique experience and go further by investing in a managed content marketing service to connect with their audience.
The role of content
The online shopping journey differs from in-person purchases. Consumers have access to an unparalleled breadth of information to research a purchase and compare options.
From branded content to online reviews, consumers are likely to go on a rich content consumption journey before making a buying decision. This journey will also continue after the purchase, with content designed to upsell, generate repeat sales, or increase loyalty.
You need to deliver a meaningful experience at every step of this journey by offering content that is engaging and meets your audience’s expectations. Getting help from a content marketing service can make a difference since you’ll have access to a team of experts who know how to create content that engages and converts.
Meeting the expectations of your audience
Common challenges for retailers are understanding and meeting the expectations of their target audience. Consumers have expectations regarding product quality, but they also want a convenient experience when buying something or contacting customer service.
A content marketing service can help you identify the expectations of your audience and create content that meets these expectations, in terms of both adopting a branding strategy that reflects consumers’ values and sharing a message aligned with the pain points shoppers are experiencing.
The rise of user-generated content
Branded content is everywhere, but a new type of content is quickly taking over the online shopping space. As consumers become more aware of the strategies that brands use to share promotional messages, the content generated by users has established itself as a more relatable and trustworthy source of information.
Leveraging user-generated content can create a sense of community for your fans. Engaging with the users who create content can also result in a more organic and genuine connection with your brand.
User-generated content can become a driver of scalable growth if you build a strong community of loyal fans who can help with word-of-mouth marketing.
Many brands are also focusing on influencer marketing. This approach often feels more genuine and relatable. With 49% of shoppers depending on recommendations from influencers and 37% trusting influencers more than brands, this type of UGC can have a significant impact on sales.
Partnering with influencers can help you grow awareness in certain niches, but don’t lose sight of the fact that every customer has the potential to create content. Shoppers can share online reviews, testimonials, social media posts, etc.
Engaging with these users post-purchase and encouraging them to share their content is important for word-of-mouth marketing. It will also establish social proof for your brand since 38% of shoppers consider online reviews as very important.
Thanks to their comprehensive approach, managed marketing services can help you implement successful programs for connecting with influencers and customers and promoting user-generated content.
The omnichannel experience
We’ve already established the importance of meeting your audience’s expectations with quality content. However, shoppers have additional expectations regarding content consumption.
In order to deliver an optimal experience, you need to meet prospects and shoppers where they are and share content on their preferred channels. Blogs, email, and social media are common channels. Some retailers are going further with the omnichannel experience by using podcasts, videos, or live chat features.
You also need to keep up with new trends and incorporate the latest popular channels into your omnichannel strategy. For instance, many brands are currently focusing on TikTok to reach its 136 million U.S. users.
Developing an omnichannel experience is another area where a managed service can make a difference. You’ll get to work with experts who can help you identify the best channels for your target audience and ensure that your marketing efforts remain consistent from one channel to another.
The importance of thought leadership
With the rise of online shopping, brands are always challenging themselves to stand out with value and creativity. This competitive environment gives shoppers access to more options than ever, but it can also feel overwhelming.
Experts believe that shoppers are happiest with fewer options. The more options a shopper has to compare, the more difficult the decision will be. It can result in analysis paralysis. Shoppers can also second-guess their decision and regret their purchase because they didn’t get to try the myriad of other products available.
The best way to prevent analysis paralysis is to instill confidence in your audience with thought leadership. If shoppers feel they can trust you, they’ll have the peace of mind to know they made the best decision possible by following your advice.
Outsourcing content creation to a team of experts can help build trust and authority. You can work with a managed service to develop content that educates about your products and shows how they solve pain points in an authoritative manner.
Get help with content marketing
A strong content marketing strategy is paramount to the success of your online shop brand. Content is the primary channel through which you can form a meaningful connection with your audience and deliver a memorable experience.
However, many brands don’t have the time or resources necessary to implement the right content marketing strategies. If you find yourself in this situation, getting help from a team of content marketing experts is an option worth exploring.
As a managed content marketing service, Tempesta Media can help you grow your online presence through compelling content. Besides creating and publishing content on your behalf, Tempesta Media can implement a social media marketing or influencer marketing strategy to help you get the most out of these channels.
Get in touch with us to learn more about the services we offer, or take a look at our 100 digital marketing mistakes e-book for more advice about content marketing.