December 28th, 1732, United States.
Mr. Franklin (under the pseudonym of Richard Saunders) just launched his first annual publication called Poor Richard’s Almanac. It provided its readers with everything from annual forecasts to proverbs, poems, weather, calendars, and observations. The conversational and easy-to-read style and the usefulness of the content made the publication so popular that the sales reached 10.000 copies per year (it’s pretty huge for that time, remember, the internet and social media didn’t exist).
A few months earlier, Mr. Franklin created a printing business and so the main goal behind Mr. Franklin’s publication was neither to get rich (okay, maybe it was a nice side effect for him) nor for the love of writing. The true purpose behind it was to advertise the printing business that he just created (yes, this guy was a genius), that was the first example of content marketing and it worked pretty well. So, Benjamin Franklin was not only a successful entrepreneur or a future President of the United States of America but also the man behind content marketing.
Almost 3 centuries later, content marketing became the must-have marketing approach for every business as the content marketing service revenues reached $50 billion in 2019. Little did Mr. Franklin know about the huge importance his approach will play in modern marketing.
So before we move to the reason why it is important to use content marketing, we’ll start with the basics and we’ll clearly define what content marketing is.
According to the Content Marketing Institute:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The keyword here is “valuable.” It’s what differentiates content marketing and typical advertising. In other words, it is a long term strategy that aims to build a strong relationship between a brand and its customers. In order to successfully do it, brands (e-commerce in our case) need to create quality content that brings value to their customers in a consistent way. Quality content comes through the sharing of educational, entertaining, and insightful information that will ultimately help readers improve their lives and solve daily problems.
Now that we have clearly defined what content marketing is, let’s explore its importance and its impact on your e-commerce business. Find below the 10 reasons why you should implement a content marketing campaign.
Have you ever asked yourself how does google rank websites on the 1st page?
They determine the rankings by using a complicated algorithm that takes into account hundreds of factors such as keywords, website structure, page loading speed, numbers of backlinks, etc. To put it simply, Google ranks the ones that are considered the most useful and relevant to the search request. So using quality content can help you rank in the top pages of Google and that can drastically boost your traffic (don’t worry, I am talking about online traffic).
90% of web traffic comes from being on the first page on Google and so producing high-quality content while targeting specific markets by using specific keywords can help you rank on the first page of Google and thus drive more traffic to your website (the highest you’ll rank, the more traffic you’ll have)
According to Hubspot, companies that publish consistent blog articles are driving 55% more traffic than other companies. So make sure to provide your readers with quality content and work on your SEO (search engine optimization) to drive more traffic to your e-commerce.
It may seem like a simple thing, but the more content you produce, the more content you’ll have on your site. Having an extremely rich website, full of content, will help you showcase your expertise and establish yourself as an authority on the subjects related to your products and services.
Customers want content that helps them make better and smarter decisions, so providing that for them can help you gain the trust of your customers, leads, and the industry as a whole.
Knowing that there are trillions of content materials out there, it can be really hard to separate the good from the trash and since people usually seek out information from sources they trust, establishing yourself as a respectable and trust-worthy brand will make people return more frequently. It also gives more reasons for your visitors to stick around, navigate through your website, spend more time on it and thus maximize the chances of them purchasing in your e-commerce.
After all, you want to learn from and do business with people you trust, don’t you?
Driving more traffic to your website is already top-notch, but what’s the purpose if you don’t turn this traffic into leads? Creating quality content for each stage of your customers’ journey can help you easily convert these visitors into leads and leads into customers. The most important is to provide content that engages customers during each phase of their journey and to guide them to make a better and faster-purchasing decision. Content marketing clearly helps to create faster sales funnel.
According to the Aberdeen Group, content significantly drives conversions. On average, conversion rates are six times higher (2.9% vs. 0.5%) for companies and brands using content marketing than those that aren’t. So creating a content that resonates in your targets’ mind can help you not only to generate more traffic and leads but also boost your conversion rates and convert those leads into customers. This will definitely lead to an increase in your sales and thus your revenues. So despite results not showing up directly, in the long run, content marketing can be a real lever for boosting sales and revenues.
Another important benefit of content marketing is the increased engagement that you get from your customers. Providing helpful and relevant information on questions and topics that are interesting to your target audience is the best way to start a conversation and get them to interact with your brand or around your brand. A good way to drive engagement can be by sharing your content on social media such as Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn. This will also help you to drive social media traffic, which is one of the most powerful ways to reach and engage with new leads while at the same time nurture a long-lasting relationship with your current customers.
The more content you create, the more visibility your brand gets.
It gives you an opportunity to be more consistent in the delivery of the message behind your brand. A highly visible brand sticks in the minds of customers, and through quality content, can create an emotional connection with its followers. Ensuring consistent and positive experiences with your customers and followers will turn them into brand advocates that will talk about your products and your brands and thus attract many more customers.
As Pat Ahern brilliantly quoted it in his article on Junto:
“Content marketing makes life way easier for your customer service team”.
Providing quality content where you explain how your services or your product work can help you decrease the number of tickets your customers raise.
Content marketing has a proactive approach to customer service, as you’ll be able to produce content such as detailed product pages, videos, articles, etc. that will help answer your customers' questions. You can also, as an example, write posts that answer the most frequent questions asked by your customers. This proactive approach (among many others) will help you reduce response time and answer your customers’ needs immediately, it will also help you save your teams’ effort, who instead of answering thousands of emails, can redirect customers directly to relevant blog posts, videos, or FAQs.
The number 3, except for being my favorite number, it also represents the number of ads that I had to watch while playing my favorite Calvin Harris’s clip (don’t judge my music tastes, please!) on Youtube, so I end up hating the brands that broke my perfect moment rather than wanting to buy from them, lousy results for them, isn't it? (And yes, I know what you are thinking, I should definitely pay for a Spotify account!)
In contrast to typical advertising, which pushes information and is intrusive (615 million devices have installed ad blocker technology), annoying, boring, etc (and I can continue like this for a little while), content marketing takes a pull approach, where you attract customers by sharing high quality and valuable information to a targeted audience and this is much more enjoyable to everyone. According to Demandmetric, 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles rather than an advert.
Content marketing isn’t just more enjoyable than traditional marketing, it is also much cheaper. According to demandmetric, content marketing costs 62% less and generates 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing. So not only does it cost less but it also continues to generate traffic long after it is published, whereas paid ads stop generating traffic as soon as your budget runs out.
Good content also gets shared on social media and reposted on blogs and thus can go insanely viral and easily reach millions of users (just think about your favorite meme). Trying to reach a similar number of people through traditional marketing channels would cost millions more.
As Gary Vaynerchuk famously quoted:
“If you are not producing 100 pieces of content … every single day you are leaving the greatest opportunity in the world on the table.”
And Gary is right, with so many powerful benefits, it’s easy to understand why more and more companies are investing so much time, money, and effort to create a high quality and extremely valuable content. This explains why, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 56% of businesses reported that they want to increase their content creation spending.
No matter what industry you are in or what size your e-commerce is, the sooner you start investing and implementing content marketing in your strategies, the sooner you’ll improve your brand recognition and sales.
So be clever, be like Mr. Franklin and go produce some kick*** content (who knows maybe you’ll also end up President one day)