Inspire, help them make their choices and commit your customers after the purchase decision! Read our 7 tips on how to create serving content in your online store and how to create content marketing through journalism.
1) Include a journalist in the content marketing team
Why on earth would an online store content creation team need a journalist? Most of us browse the web for information before making a purchase decision. The flood of information is, however, immense, which means making the purchase decision is more difficult than before as we have more and more alternatives, options, and recommendations.
The strength of a content creator with a background in journalism is to see and think of the world through the consumer’s eyes.
The strength of a content creator with a background in journalism is to see and think of the world through the consumer’s eyes. These people understand human needs, can predict trends and turn content into phenomena.
One part of journalists’ expertise is also summarizing information and finding the right perspective: what you don’t need to know has already been stripped away and the most essential things are pushed forward.
When we have digital content coming out of our ears, summarizing is a service worth the journalists’ weight in gold for the consumer. Content created from a clear perspective also efficiently attracts people in from social media.
2) Create diverse content but never without a goal
Article types and forms familiar from journalism also work in creating online store contents.
To support the shopping, you can use articles guiding the consumer, trendy checklists, personal interviews, expert articles, and tutorial videos. Augmented reality, AR, further increases the possibilities of storytelling and sales.
What’s more important than the form is the article’s goal. It has to be decided before anything else. Online store content created without a clear goal, a focus, is useless.
Defining the goals starts from the brand’s content strategy, and the content creator should be able to crystallize the goal of each content in one phrase.
Is the goal to make the consumer spend a longer time on the website or to increase the number of newsletter subscribers?
Think of your goals through conversion, or what you wish from the consumer: Is the content’s purpose to make the consumer directly buy something or is it to increase the size of the shopping basket?
Does the content communicate extensive selection or contribute to an image of high quality? Is the goal to make the consumer spend a longer time on the website or to increase the number of newsletter subscribers?
3) Know your customer’s shopping path and serve precisely with content
Once you are familiar with your customer’s shopping path, you understand where you can serve and support your customer in making the purchase decision. Journalistic content works especially well in the beginning, middle, and end of the shopping path.
What does this mean in practice? For instance, an online store selling sports equipment could try to respond to the following questions posed by a customer who is a runner:
- Start with inspiration and rousing the need: Why would I need new running trainers now? How do I know that my old trainers need to be replaced? What kinds of running trends are hot right now? What new has entered the market I no longer can live without?
- Continue with decision-making support: What kinds of running trainer alternatives there are on the market? How can I compare the products? What would be the best brand or model for me and my needs?
- Finish off with guidance and committing the customer: How do I take care of my trainers? How should I train? What additional equipment or other suitable products could I find to go with my new trainers? When should I again look at buying new trainers?
4) Invest in contents that stand the test of time
Systematic content creation is always most cost-efficient. You should always use the company’s season or annual marketing plan and monthly top products as a basis for planning the online store contents. This means you can provide the consumer with topical and relevant content for your company.
Online content produced according to a consumer’s yearly plan is also appreciative in that they have a long lifespan. Seasons, such as spring celebrations, summer holidays, or Christmas, come every year.
When you have once created high-quality basic content that is search engine optimized, it will remain stellar with a few updates and new products also next year.
In this case, the URL has also accumulated organic traffic from search engines during the year, which further increases the findability of digital content and results of paid advertising.
5) Speak the consumer’s language and choose your tone
Often the websites of large corporations reflect the tone of the company’s internal communications and, for instance, terms used by the procurement.
When contents are directed at consumers, this shouldn’t be a restriction. Even though the procurement Excel mentions footwear for running, a person about to buy them will enter running shoes or trainers to Google. Respect this.
It’s worth it to take some time to think about the tone of digital content. Do you want to be the most reliable expert in your field or rather the consumers’ best buddy who gives tips on the latest trends with a casual touch?
6) Allow analytics to guide content planning
When you know what and when the consumers want, you will know how to offer just the right thing. This is why there is always data and analytics behind online content that servers the consumer well.
Analytics help you review the functionality of already published content but making use of analytics in content planning is as important. Analytics will help you find the content the consumers are looking for. Do you have the content? If not, create it.
You should also construct the publishing schedule based on analytics. For instance, the season for buying new running trainers is in April, but analytics reveal that consumers are often interested in running already in February–March. The content should be created in good time, preferably in January, so it’s ready and just waiting for the first Google searches.
7) Participate your customers — and make use of unique content
It also matters whose voice is heard in your content. The consumer searches for information from several sources to support the purchase decision but in this phase, the consumer trusts his or her peers more than companies’ messages.
Us Finns are familiar with peer recommendations in the form of commercial co-operation in which a blogger or vlogger who shares the brand’s values tells about their personal experiences on the brand’s products and services.
Native marketing works because a genuine person who feels like someone you know is always more interesting than a brand. In addition, we think bloggers’ product tests and evaluations are honest as they have the chance to bring forth also the negative opinions and thoughts, not just the positive.
Globally, participating customers in online store’s content creation is a hot topic. In Finland, we are only starting to see the opportunities of using user created content. With their online store content, each brand should at least ensure customers can rate, comment, and recommend products to others.
This means the users create a steady flow of content that is relatable, interactive, and supports the brand’s field – for free. Especially Google appreciates this unique and constantly updating content.
The writer works as Development Manager at Aller Ideas, Aller Finland's journalistic content marketing unit. Aller Ideas is a part of Aller Marketing Services.