Let’s start with the obvious: what exactly is retail Content Marketing?
Well, if you type it into Google you will get the definition: A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
But you didn’t need me to write a blog to tell you that, did you?
Today, rather than just understanding what content marketing is, I want you to walk away with an understanding of how, with the right tools, just about anyone with a couple of hours to spare a week can be a “content marketer” or “content creator” as the kids call it.
Let’s go back to basics and lay down the groundwork for becoming a superb content marketer!
Today you will learn:
- The 4 Key Elements of Successful Content Marketing
- Why Content Marketing needs to become a central part of your strategy
- What content can you create
- Who in your business gets the job of creating content
- How to plan for a great piece of content using our downloadable Content Creation Questionnaire
The 4 Key Elements of Retail Content Marketing
Content comes in many forms and is distributed through many channels. Almost anything could be classified as ‘content’, but there are defining factors that make it viable as a marketing asset.
An element of storytelling: A great piece of content will either tell a story or form part of one. I often speak about the power of Storytelling and sharing in what we like to call the ‘Emotion Economy’.
Appeals to an emotion: Off the back of the first point, if your content doesn’t elicit any type of emotion from the viewer/reader/or listener, then chances are they won’t remember it any longer than the time it takes them to scroll past.
Identify the emotion you wish to appeal to, whether it be happiness, sorrow, triumph, or fear, and understand how different elements of your content will draw out this emotion.
Adds value or serves a purpose: You’re creating content, GREAT! But does it serve a purpose? It’s ok if your underlying purpose is to sell, but you must always give more than you take. Give your audience something valuable such as knowledge, resources, or experience and they will return the favour by sharing your content or even making a purchase.
Has a call-to-action: Not every piece of content will have a super obvious ‘Check Out Our Website’ sort of call-to-action, at first glance, it may even look like you haven’t included one at all. But it needs to be there, even if it’s just something to sit in the back of their mind until they are ready to act.
Why Content Marketing Needs to Become Part of Your Retail Strategy!
Why do you need content marketing you ask? I won’t write a big long-winded spiel on this topic, I’ll let these stats pulled together by the Content Marketing Institute do the talking.
- When compared to Paid Search, retail Content Marketing gets three times more leads per dollar spent (Kapost Study)
- Content Marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less (Demand Metric)
- Small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without(Impact)
- Websites with blog content have 434% more search engine-indexed pages than those that don’t publish (Tech Client)
What Content Can I Create?
Understanding what content marketing is simple, actually creating the content is where it gets tricky!
The most common roadblock for many small-to-medium-sized businesses is the belief that they are incapable of creating content. ‘I don’t know how to write a blog?’, ‘I don’t have time to film and edit a video!’, ‘I’d rather focus on paid ads because I know they get results.’
And so you go on….spending ludicrous amounts of money on paid advertising and churning out email campaigns plastered with ads.
If you think you have nothing to offer, you’re wrong! A large benefit to working for or owning a small business is that you have extensive knowledge of your product or service. You don’t have the option of being detached, everyone needs to know your product because everyone is closely involved in the retail aspect of your business.
And it is this specialised knowledge that is of value to your consumer. Think of the facts or anecdotes you use to spruce your products in person. How diamond ring styles have evolved from back in the ’80s compared to now, what household products you can use to clean silver, even, what style engagement rings were most popular in 2017.
There’s always going to be something you know that your audience needs to know and this should form the baseline of your strategy.
Whose Job is it to Create Content?
In terms of whom the task falls upon I believe content marketing can either be the job of one, or the job of many. You could hire a content creator, or you could spend as little as a couple of hours a week in between serving customers doing it yourself.
You don’t need to be an expert to write a blog, in fact, short sentences, dot points, and simple summaries will work in your favour in terms of readability. You most certainly don’t need to be an expert in angles and lighting to film a video. You’ve got the perfect point-and-shoot camera sitting in your pocket. If you keep the 4 elements I wrote about above in mind, anyone can create content.
How to Create Superb Content
The best way to create meaningful content is to start with a plan! To maximise the impact of your content you don’t need to be an expert content creator, you just need to carefully consider the purpose and how you plan to communicate this purpose.
Content Marketing isn’t as daunting and time-consuming as it may first appear. Take some time to plan out a piece of content using the template. Check out my blog How to get started with content marketing, which will give you some helpful insights into developing content in line with current trends.