Retailers, whether of e-commerce or brick and mortar variety, have quite the selection when it comes to content marketing. There are many variations on content in the marketing world, but not all types of content are suitable for all brands. Some companies have little room for social media campaigns or white papers. Retailers, on the other hand, can use almost any type of content to grow their businesses. That doesn’t mean all content is created equal, however. Find out which types of content work best for your brand, and more specifically, your brand type.
B2C vs. B2B
All businesses are either B2C or B2B. B2C, or business to consumer, is intended for the general public. B2C content is the most versatile of all because it’s highly dependent on the brand voice. For example, if you’re an apparel retailer selling clothes to young adults, you most likely have a fun and engaging brand personality. High-end retailers usually have a more formal tone of voice, though they still rely on the good ol’ engagement factor to drive sales.
On the other end of the spectrum lies B2B, or business to business content. B2B industries use informational content to educate their clients. When buyers are shopping on behalf of their companies, they want readily available and useful information. They don’t put too much emphasis on entertainment – they have a job to do! B2B content is, for the most part, highly polished and professional. Within this realm of content possibility, there are a handful of content types optimized for retailers within either the B2C or B2B world.
Make Information Digestible With a List
Oh boy, do consumers love lists! A recent Hubspot study found that lists get the most shares on social media, accounting for 22.5% of all social media shares. You see this on social media all the time. Websites like Buzzfeed and Listverse thrive off of consumers’ love for lists. Incorporating a list into your blog is incredibly easy, too.
Why not make a numbered list of your top-selling products, each accompanied by a description? Or for a little more entertainment, make a list of hacks for your products, featuring innovative ways to use them. Lists work well for both B2C and B2B companies because they can be adjusted to match brand voice. B2C customers will find lists entertaining and sharable, while B2B customers will appreciate information delivered in an easily digestible format.
Asking Questions, Takin’ Names
B2C companies can use social media to harness the power of the consumer. Ask questions and host polls or surveys across your social media channels. The benefits from this are three-fold. You’re gathering valuable information straight from the consumer’s mouth (fingers), you’re increasing engagement with your audience, and you can tailor questions for market research purposes. For example, imagine you’re an apparel retailer putting together a fall line. Do your consumers prefer the hound’s-tooth trench over the leather bomber jacket? The sooner you ask, the sooner you’ll find out.
Let Your Customers Brag About You
User generated content comes in many flavors. It can be in the form of reviews, forum posts, guest blogging, social media content, and more. Use this content for all its worth! B2C and B2B companies alike benefit from this type of content. After all, it’s akin to one of your customers telling a close friend how awesome your store is.
And you know what they say about naturally-occurring word-of-mouth marketing. Oh, you don’t? It works; that’s what they say. In fact, it works so well that 49% of Americans take online WOM marketing to be highly credible. So round up those positive vibes your customers are sending your way, and show them off to the world. One of the best ways to do this is to incorporate testimonials into a narrative. Everyone likes a good brand story, so sprinkle some user reviews throughout your “story” page, and you’ll have emotional, entertaining content that promotes your business.
Tell ‘Em What to Do
Ranking up there with lists, how-to articles pack a punch on social media shares, too. They account for about 18.42% of shares. They also show off your command of industry knowledge. That same apparel retailer could create a how-to post on garment care, how to put together a trendy fall ensemble, how to organize your closet… the list goes on. How-to posts make your customers feel like you’ve got their backs (because you do, right?) and you want to bestow upon them your insider knowledge. B2B companies benefit from how-to posts, as well – just keep it professional and formal.
Fill Their Heads With Info
White papers and e-Books are great for B2B companies with a lot of information to deliver about their products. Whether your B2B business is selling wholesale tires to truck manufacturers, office furniture to businesses, or anything in between, your customers will greatly appreciate a white paper or eBook of your products. E-Books are chock-full of information and let you show off your industry expertise. White papers are similar to e-Books in that they deliver a hefty load of information, though they’re much shorter than an e-Book. White papers usually address a particular problem within the industry and how your product solves that problem.
Now that you know how to tweak your content marketing strategy and use the content that’s just right for your retail brand, it’s time to start crafting.
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