Why Small Retailers Should Care About Content Marketing (And a Quick Guide to Getting Started)
Contributed by Drew Allen, VP of Sales Strategy at BKA Content.
Customer happiness is and always will be a key focus for you as a small retail business. Because of this, you have to find a way to market to your current and potential customers in a non-aggressive way that keeps them coming back and promotes brand loyalty.
One way to do that is through content marketing: using engaging content to promote interest in your brand, provide information to help potential customers make buying decisions, and interact with your audience on their own terms.
Even if you don’t think you have the resources or the time to focus on content, you need to make it a priority. Here’s why:
- Set Your Business Apart and Establish Authority in Your Niche
There are over 3 million retail establishments in the U.S. Considering the spread of ecommerce, you’re no longer just competing with the stores in your neighborhood or city. You’re also competing with countless other businesses selling similar products online. Paying attention to the content that you put on your website and social channels is key to differentiating yourself from other businesses and proving that you know what you’re talking about. When done right, content that’s optimized for search engines can also bring more traffic to your site (and put more potential customers in front of your products).
- Build More Intimate Relationships With Your Customers
Building relationships with your customers is important. Brand loyalty is the reason that people come back to the same products or the same stores for years and years, even if there are multiple other places to buy the same items. Providing content is a way of adding value to your customers’ experience and building relationships. Content informs, educates and delights, and it’s the perfect vehicle to communication with existing and potential customers alike.
- Entice Customers to Purchase Your Products With Engaging Lifestyle Content
The well-known retailer Zappos uses their Instagram account to promote their products with sleek pictures and brief captions, also offering their followers an easy way to buy the products they see on Instagram. This is an example of well-planned out content marketing approach that draws people in with lifestyle content and provides a no-fuss (and no-pressure) pathway to the checkout counter.
How to Get Started
Great content doesn’t have to be that complicated. When you boil it down, it’s about finding a few channels that work for you and using them to share the knowledge you already possess about your niche. If you’re new to creating content marketing strategies, start with a look at these three areas:
- Blog: A blog is a great starting point for any content initiative. Blogs allow you to easily publish lifestyle content, information about new products and other updates; and they’re a perfect place to house informational content to help people who are researching products like your own. Not only that but the SEO benefits of having a blog are critical for helping you make your mark online.
- Social Channels: You’re lucky. As a retailer, the more visually focused social networks like Instagram and Pinterest can work very well for marketing your products with both quality images and social media content. Facebook and Twitter are also helpful tools for most businesses, and you can benefit from features like Facebook Live, which allows you to share a live video broadcast with your followers.
- In-Store: Content marketing (as well as your overall branding) should be consistent from digital channels to the physical location of your store. A few ideas include a screen playing video content that you also share online, a physical magazine compiling content and ideas from your blog, or postcards with images that you also share on Instagram.
Content marketing is worth it. It’s an investment, that, though it might take some time during the strategy creation and initial implementation phases, pays off in the long run.
Contributed by Drew Allen, VP of Sales Strategy at BKA Content, an industry-leading content creation company. With both on-page and off-page content solutions, BKA Content is a one-stop shop for clients needing SEO articles, landing pages, premium content, branded blog posts, product and category descriptions, press releases and much more. Follow on twitter @DrewBKA and @BKAContent.