How Content Marketing Can Increase eCommerce Sales

Albert Maruggi - Tuesday, July 01, 2014

I promised myself I will not use the cliche Content is King in this blog post so I won’t, promise.  

This year’s Internet Retailer Conference and Expo (IRCE) breakout sessions underscored the role content plays in the initial search behavior of consumers as they approach a buying process. Content that a company produces either directly or through an agency is also a major factor once a buyer lands on an eCommerce site to guide, educate, and provide an emotional connection in the decision.  

You’ve heard these types of statistics before to support content marketing -

90% of consumers consult a search engine first when they are considering a product, or by the time a prospect buyer talks to a sales person, the majority of the information necessary for the decision has been researched online.

The power of content and web search is one area where your own behavior is just as good as any statistics you will find.  If you are curious about something chances are you are satisfying that curiosity by going online.  This immediate gratification is gained regardless of your location which raises the importance of mobile capabilities, but we’ll get into that on a future episode of Manna Quick Takes.  For now, let’s just focus on how content marketing leads to eCommerce sales.

Once the user hits the search button in a search engine in a quest to find answers, the resulting content needs to satisfy three major criteria for the buyer.  Those criteria are:

1) Objective information and customer precedence (things like reviews, blog posts that address issues from the perspective of the buyer, and links to reference material)

2) Confidence and reliability (Buyers want to know they can trust either the product or if it’s a new product, then trust the company to be a partner after the purchase is made)

3) Value and pricing (regardless of the product type, price is always an issue, whether it is an issue of getting the lowest price or having a strong enough connection to the product, company and brand to pay a premium price.)  

Todd DeLong, director of sales at Brandpoint, a content marketing company and exhibitor at IRCE,  says companies are using content marketing strategies across a variety of industries.  He also says that the content created for marketing purposes, can be repurposed to support sales directly in presentations, news releases, thought leadership objectives and email campaigns, among other uses.  

Content found during the search process can be distributed on independent sites, blogs, news and trade journal sites, YouTube channels, customer reviews on social sites, among many other resources that will be part of a search result page.

Developing successful content requires matching the terminology used by prospective buyers of your product with the marketing content.  Too much internal jargon can be detrimental to lead generation.  Interpreting keyword analysis and using that information in content marketing tactical pieces will generate greater traffic to your eCommerce site.

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