For several years now, paid advertising has been the tried and tested tactic for customer acquisition. And with the advent of ad retargeting, many businesses have managed to reduce cart abandonment while retaining customers in the process.
In recent times, however, paid advertising has started to lose its edge.
The use of ad blockers continues to grow among users, with approximately 200 million people reportedly using them. In addition, it is believed that over 615 million devices now incorporate some type of ad-blocking software.
With paid advertising increasingly losing its efficacy, how can e-commerce businesses keep their momentum and gain customers through an online presence?
Content marketing is the answer that many businesses have been looking for.
But just exactly what is it and how does it work?
The term “content marketing” goes beyond the traditional blogs and articles that people generally associate with it.
Think beyond the format of content that the term generates.
Content marketing includes the creation and distribution of creative, relevant content that feeds into a long-term strategy. This functions to build a stronger relationship with your target audience, as well as improve engagement and promote your business products or activities.
It differs from paid advertising in that paid advertising is designed to convert prospects into customers, whereas content marketing is all about building trust with your audience while providing them value in exchange for their attention.
Many businesses are hesitant to utilize content marketing as they feel that blogs are outdated and other forms of marketing are more likely to yield results. This is simply not the case.
Most e-commerce businesses fail due to a lack of exposure and promotion. This is because they run more on social recommendation and therefore require a community to give customers a reason to keep talking about the brand.
This is where content marketing really gets its time to shine. It works as a medium to educate consumers, winning trust and brand loyalty in the process.
With such a wide array of content opportunities available, e-commerce businesses would be selling themselves short (literally!) if they didn’t look into the benefits of utilizing content marketing to help them grow.
Content marketing is ultimately about finding the right mix of content that works for your business and then using it to full effect.
And you don’t need a fortune to create the perfect content mix.
Recent reports have revealed that 70% of customers would rather find out about a company through reading an article than any kind of advertisement.
And many customers are actively searching for that content online.
Not sure how to get started or how to create content?
Rather than creating all the content yourself, you can look into outsourcing social media services or overall content creation to someone who can manage resources, connect with your audience, and target content effectively.
In this case, the benefits outweigh the cost.
Here are 5 reasons why you should invest in content marketing for your e-commerce business:
A (bigger) bang for your (smaller) buck
Content marketing costs less than most traditional marketing tactics. About 62% less.
And aside from reduced costs, it also generates 3x the number of leads, on average.
For smaller businesses, that means a greater return on investment for a smaller amount. And honestly, who doesn’t want that?
A better ranking on search engines
Have you ever wondered how websites make it onto the first page of a Google search?
Well, Google determines rankings based on a complicated algorithm that considers a large number of factors including keywords, website structure, site speed, backlinks, etc. To put it simply, Google ranks websites according to how relevant and useful they are in relation to a search term.
Utilizing quality content can help push you to the top, boosting your website traffic in the process.
A means of self-promotion without selling
Customers develop brand loyalty over time because they want to keep up with what is happening with their favourite brand.
From special offers to insider information, they want to feel like they are part of the brand and not just a consumer that purchases from it.
Content marketing not only sells products or services but puts significant value behind a brand, giving consumers more reason to pay attention and go along for the journey.
A sense of credibility
When people think of industry authorities, they often look to brands and individuals who share quality content on authority platforms, as well as their own websites and pages.
The more relevant and useful information you provide to customers, the more likely they are to return to you for resources, giving you credibility in your field.
Being a trusted resource will also add a human element to your business, which can be difficult to obtain due to the anonymous nature of the internet.
A way to provide better customer service
Content marketing is a proactive approach to customer service and helps provide your target audience with quality content that can help reduce the number of queries that are raised.
By explaining your product or service and providing answers to frequently asked questions, you can help reduce response time and attend to customer needs immediately.
It will also help you and your team save time.
No matter what industry you’re in or what size your business is, you can always reap the benefits of more website traffic, better SEO rankings, and deeper brand loyalty.
And the best part about it? Content marketing doesn’t cost a fortune!