When I’m on consulting calls with independent designers to discuss their marketing efforts, one of the topics that is covered the most is the state of their website. This leads to a discussion about their content marketing.
A lot is written about the importance of implementing content marketing into your overall strategy in order to improve your SEO (search engine optimizations) as well as have interesting topics to cover on your social media platforms.
What often happens though is brands create content on their websites that is too sales focused and not at all helpful, educational, fun, or interesting for their customers.
To avoid this, ask yourself these questions:
- When you look at your website and everything it offers to the customer, what makes the customer want to come back?
- Is the only information that exists on your site focused on the products?
- Are you offering anything that goes beyond the basic attempt of making a sale?
If you don’t like your answers to these questions, it’s time for an update.
What is content marketing exactly?
Content marketing is a way of gaining brand recognition, new customers, and loyalty through the creation and sharing of media including things like articles, videos, photographs, eBooks, how to’s, and much more.
The single most important part of content marketing is making sure that is it valuable for the customer, and not focused on making the sale. Yet this tends to be where brands screw up the most often and therefore the effectiveness of their efforts is lost.
Why is content marketing important?
With all of the options that consumers have today, why would they choose your product or brand? You want to create an experience for your customers when they come to your website. You want to give them something valuable beyond your product offering.
Content marketing is much less intrusive than other, more traditional approaches. By entertaining, educating, and/or helping your customers, they begin to trust your brand and feel as if you have more to offer them than just a product.
At this point, content marketing strategies have become expected by the consumer. If you’re not implementing them into your website, you now come across as not “getting it” and potential customers will start to go elsewhere.
How do I approach content marketing?
The first thing to remember when deciding on what kind of content to create, is that it must make sense for your brand. Anything that feels forced or unnatural will come across that way and work against rather than for you.
You want to spend some time thinking about your customer. What does she like? How does she spend her time? What motivates and excites her? Does she travel, entertain, cook, craft, or DIY? Create content that speaks to these other aspects of her world, beyond her clothing and accessory choices, and she will identify your brand as one with real value.
Rebecca Minkoff’s RMEdit is a great example of speaking to customer about more than just products. Her team has created a space that, while always on brand, extends beyond bags and shoes, to highlight food, music, travel, arts and culture.
Don’t forget to measure your efforts. Things like website traffic, time spent on site, engagement with content (commenting, sharing), and actual sales as a result of the engagement are all important things to note. As you learn what works and what doesn’t, you’ll need to adjust what you’re doing.
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