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Content marketing for retail is a loaded term. No one enjoys the unwanted commercials that interrupt their favorite shows, or the multi-page ads sucking up magazine space. There’s just something so in-your-face about those kind of outbound marketing ploys. More often than not, the brand doesn’t know the audience and, even worse, is wasting their time. Ads applied to such a broad spectrum as television or magazine consumers aren’t specific. The majority of people interacting with the ad probably don’t care about the product or the product company at all. Instead, at best they feel indifferent, at worst they feel annoyed.
Inbound Content Marketing for Retail
This is where outbound marketing’s good witch sister, inbound marketing, comes in. Inbound marketing focuses on attracting a specific audience to your company naturally. Employing inbound marketing techniques is a way to organically build an audience, based on relationship, loyalty and branding. Content marketing for retail doesn’t need to be aggressive. Instead, content marketing for retail can benefit both the customer’s experience as well as the company’s bottom line. According to the Content Marketing Institute, inbound tactics see 7.8x more traffic than their outbound counterparts. Inbound tactics are also 62% cheaper when compared to outbound methods. Clearly, inbound methods are the right way to go. But what is inbound content marketing? Inbound forms include any content marketing which allows an audience to come to you after interacting with your brand. These may include:
A company website
A company blog
Email lists & subscription newsletters
Social media accounts
All of these are excellent examples of inbound gambits. They are used to help people find the content and company they are really looking for. Let’s look at some of the ways to improve your customers’ experience using inbound content marketing for retail.
Build a Brand
It may seem obvious, but you need to build a cohesive, memorable brand that distinguishes you from your competitors. Remember, getting customers to recognize your brand at first glance is the goal here. One Logo to Rule Them All Ideally, your company should have one logo across all platforms. This allows customers to immediately recognize your brand. Make sure to choose a logo which both represents your company’s vision and also catches the eye. Logos made of the company’s initials are especially noteworthy because they prompt the customer to remember the company’s name. Streamlined Aesthetics Another great way to build a recognizable brand is to streamline aesthetics across the board. It may be that your content is always of a similar color palette. Maybe your company uses a distinctive font. Whatever the case may be, choose a look and stick with it. Customers won’t know who you are if you keep changing how things look. Mobile Management Home phones are out. Cell phones are in. Mobile phones have become our telephones, search engines, and social media platforms. There is a very good chance that a customer viewing your site is doing so through their cellphone. Spend the extra time and make sure all of your branded accounts are accessible in mobile-viewing orientations. Free Cookies Most people like cookies. This is especially true when they’re free. The concept of “free” alleviates any feeling of weighing pros and cons. A free cookie is a free cookie, after all. The only reason you’d refuse a free cookie is if you didn’t like what was in it. The same is true of a brand. Make your content (not your services) free. Free access to your company’s sites allows customers to see if they like your content or not, without any pressure. If they stick around, it is because they truly like your brand.
Content marketing for retail is all about creating the best retail experience for both the customer and the company. In order for the two to meet, there need to be lots of chances for socialization. The goal here is to create social opportunities for your customer to meet your brand. The Bare Necessities A company should at least have a website and accompanying blog. According to DemandMetric, companies that write blogs have a 67% increase in generated leads per month than their blogless competitors. That is no small number. A website and blog is the foundation on which every inbound content marketing plan is built. Platforms & Personality Social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram are a great way to show off your company’s personality. These platforms are effective because they are often visually catching and offer space for engagement. Audience comments are beneficial for both sharing with your customers and also gauging your target audience. Consistency Is Key There are many social media platform options to choose from. However, keep in mind that in order to build momentum, you need to create content consistently. It is always better to manage a few accounts consistently than manage ten accounts sporadically.
Establish a Relationship
So, your company and ideal customer have met each other a few times. Now it’s time to take things to the next level. Build a relationship with your customers by employing some of these tips aimed at content marketing for retail. Go Slow The main idea behind inbound concept marketing is that the customer will come to you. You do not need to chase after the customer. Your job is to make sure that when they do interact with your content, what you’ve created speaks for itself. Keep Bumping Into Each Other Provide as many points of contact with your customer as possible. If they interact with your company across platforms, they are very likely to become familiar with your content. These repeated instances establish the basis of a relationship. They are experiencing your content whenever they choose, however they’d like, but they are still consuming it. They’re now in a relationship with your company and content. Back for More The real threshold in the company-customer relationship is when a customer comes back to the site on their own. This means they’re engaging with the content. It also means your content marketing for retail worked!
Customer as Brand Ambassador
Transparency, Trust & Loyalty These days, customers like to know who is behind their products and what they stand for. Using social platforms to discuss topics honestly and openly allows the audience to see you as person, not a company. If audience viewers align with your messages, they may feel ideological kinship. This kind of alignment between creator and consumer is a fantastic way to build trust. After enough exposure and positive experience, customers may feel a sense of brand loyalty, the dream outcome for any company. Sharing Is Caring All platforms should link to all of your company’s other sites. Customers should be able to share or promote your content easily. This free customer-based content marketing is the best form of inbound content marketing. The customer acts as both a certifier and a promoter, immediately authenticating your company and its product. Brand Ambassadors The final transformation of customer to brand ambassador occurs when the customer truly believes in your company’s content. And, not only do they believe in the message, but they are loyal and loud. They share and promote your content on their own time. Why? They do it because they love the content you bring to the table. If this happens to you, you’ve completely satisfied both the customer and your company. Excellent work.
The Sweet Spot Between Customers & Content
Content marketing for retail can be a drag if approached in the wrong fashion. Instead, use inbound marketing techniques to bring customers to your content naturally. Focus on building and perfecting your own company vision and content. Before you know it, the customers will engage with your content, possibly even wanting to be your brand ambassador!
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When it comes time to pick a content provider, a bargain isn’t always the best way to go. Content is more than filler; it’s what draws visitors to your site, but inspired content keeps them there. It keeps them coming back. Content is a relationship. It’s your brand. We get it. Furthermore, we can deliver it. Contact us today for a quote.