The value of content marketing for both Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) companies has been proven to a point of universal acceptance, yet it is still underutilized in Canadian eCommerce. Using content to its fullest extent and developing a working strategy is even more rare. The holiday season offers plenty of opportunities for Canadian businesses, drop shippers, online sellers, affiliate marketers and bloggers to embrace content marketing.
Top 10 Reasons to Use Content Marketing for Selling Online and Offline
- Increase brand awareness and reputation.
- Establish expertise and instill confidence.
- Lead generation & sales conversions.
- The search engine optimization (SEO) value alone makes it well worth doing for online retail and in-store sales, especially in this age of online pre-purchase research. Keyword research will help you optimize your content and generate new ideas. SEO tools make the process efficient. For example, SEMRush retains a firm focus on competitive intelligence with organic, advertising and keyword research. They track many different keyword metrics including volume, competition score, top 20 organic results, and monthly trends. Long Tail Pro Keyword Research Software quickly generates thousands of keywords at once. Before you know it, you’ll have all kinds of strategic content ideas.
- Bring in new customers who are researching products, and keep them on your website until they purchase from you.
- Let shoppers know you’re in Canada by referring to it, as well as your province and city.
- Content marketing increases customer engagement and loyalty, which is virtually priceless. Double the impact by sharing you’re excellent content on social media networks.
- You can use content to solve a customer’s problem, often even before they know they have one.
- Content metrics can offer tons of insights into customer shopping habits, wants and needs, which you can in turn apply to your paid marketing campaigns to ensure their success.
- You can gain a serious competitive advantage over other retailers who are still behind in quality content creation. Visit your top competitors websites to see what they’re doing and figure out how you can do it better.
Probably one of the biggest opportunities for Canadian retailers this year will be brought to you by the low Canadian dollar. Canadians will be doing their best to shop in Canada due to the struggling loonie. What’s more, Americans will be looking for deals in Canada to make their dollar stretch. Therefore, you’d be wise to call attention to the fact that you are based in Canada. Content marketing offers endless opportunities for you to do just that.
How to Use Content Marketing to Increase Leads and Sales Conversions:
- Launch a helpful info-product like a whitepaper or eBook. Double the impact by offering it as a free download when people sign up for your mailing list.
- Gift guides offer the opportunity to really show off your products. If possible, make it easy for shoppers to create a wish list too.
- Check search data & use your own data to tailor content.
- Don’t limit testimonials to a page of their own. They can be distributed around your site to help buyers decide to buy from you.
- Product reviews & comparisons are especially effective in eCommerce this time of year. For one thing, gift shoppers are often looking for the best item in a category they’re not familiar with. For the same reason, include keywords that describe what a product does in content and product descriptions. A guy shopping for a special lady could search for “a curling iron that does those long swirly curls,” but has no clue that it’s called a “waver” or “wave curling iron”.
- Holiday news releases, notices and policies, such as the final ordering date for guaranteed delivery before Christmas.
- News about your products, be it your own news or media coverage.
- If you don’t already have a blog, it’s way past time you did! A blog makes it easy to organize and share content. Fill it with original, in-depth content and the search engines will be all over it. It also provides fresh links to share on your social media accounts and in your newsletter. Invest in professional email marketing tools, such as Constant Contact, Aweber, or ConvertKit (for bloggers) for maximum functionality.
- Solve problems that many people have this time of year. Articles might include “Holiday Meals on a Budget” or “12 Stocking Stuffers Every Canadian Teen Wants (for under $12)” and so on.
- Share research that’s related to your products.
- Offer holiday checklists and include a few strategically placed links.
- Quizzes and other interactive content engages visitors, plus you can learn more about them.
- Festive infographics and memes, preferably with a Canadian slant. Infographics can also be used for tips, instructions or data.
- Put a holiday twist on guest posts and get them onto influential sites. We have a list of Canadian PR3+ blogs to help you get started.
It’s important to note that optimizing your aging content is also very effective. In retail, that can include product descriptions, older blog posts, images, and anything else that has gone stale. You should also be cross-linking your content, such as adding a link to a “How to…” video on the product page.
Additionally, content optimization can include upgrading your eCommerce software solution for better content management and integration, as well as optimizing and streamlining every aspect of online retail (such as catalogues, inventory, payments, SEO, mobile, and social media marketing). For example, a popular eCommerce platform choice is Shopify Canada for their cross-platform functionality and endless list of features. Make sure your website loading speed is as fast as possible to avoid frustrating visitors. If you’re just now bringing your business online or are looking for a new website host, have a look at our Checklist: Choosing a Website Host for your Canadian Business.
Producing Content Isn’t Enough
The Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Prof’s recently released a study about B2B content marketing. These North American statistics demonstrated that several factors are involved in how effective your content marketing is.
Content effectiveness levels increase with:
- Experience (64% of sophisticated/mature marketers say they are effective)
- A documented content marketing strategy (48%)
- A documented editorial mission statement (49%)
- Organizational clarity on what content marketing success looks like (55%)
- Daily or weekly content marketing meetings (41%)
‘Tis the Season of Giving
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of producing content that is truly valuable to consumers. The age of pushy sales is over. You must offer your visitors something unique, interesting and useful. Leave the sales pitches out entirely. The marketing angle should be so subtle, it feels almost like an afterthought.
It’s critically important to invest the time required to create solid content. If you can’t do it yourself, you literally have a world full of options at your fingertips. There is no need to bring someone into the office and invest in equipment or try to find space for them. This is the perfect job for remote hiring. For example, I write for businesses all over the world, but I’m based in British Columbia, Canada. What’s important is that you seek out and retain experts who will produce excellent content specifically for your niche, backed by Canadian market expertise if applicable.
How are you using content marketing to increase holiday sales? Please share your questions or experience in the comments below.
Statistics Source: Content Marketing Institute, B2B Content Marketing: 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
2016 Holiday Season – Canadian Online Shopping Forecast Data
Top 13 Reasons Canadians Shop Online (Statistics)
10 Tips for Taking Product Photos That Sell Online
Top Keyword Research and Competitive Intelligence Tools
10 Hot Product Niches to Sell or Drop Ship Online in Canada
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