September 14, 2022

Future Proof Your Ecommerce Brand: What is Content Marketing?

CSP What is content marketing

Content marketing is a powerhouse marketing tool that has become essential for any online business to grow and succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. This list of Frequently Asked Questions should help you navigate through all your concerns or queries about content and show you exactly why a strong content marketing strategy is vital for your eCommerce site.

If you are reading this then you should have at least an idea that your brand, business or eCommerce site needs content to scale and grow, but like most people you perhaps have a few questions. Maybe you don’t know how it works exactly, or maybe don’t know how to utilise content to its best advantage, or what exactly the return on investment is. You aren’t alone. Content is quite frankly one of the most powerful marketing approaches you can take for your business, but it is far outside the traditional marketing comfort zone for many people and it can be quite confusing at first. We are experts in content marketing, so let us take you through some of the most commonly asked questions.

In a rush? Skip to the question you need to answer:
What is content marketing?
Why is content marketing important?
What are the benefits of content marketing?
Is content marketing cost effective? What budget do I need to set for content?
What is the ROI (Return On Investment) for content marketing?
Does content marketing work for eCommerce sites?
What type of content do I need for my business?
What is content marketing?

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is quite simply using a range of content, articles, video, podcasts, social media and so much more besides, to reach your target audience and help convert them to paying customers. The Content Marketing Institute defines it as such:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Why is content marketing important?

To be perfectly blunt you cannot have an online business in today’s marketplace without content. You need it. Content is king, and content marketing is important for the simple reason that it provides the consumer with exactly what they are looking for in a competitive marketplace in a way that traditional marketing methods can never do. Content tells your brand story to potential customers and builds trust and engagement. It provides consumers with a service above and beyond simply selling them something and builds your brand authority in your industry. Content is the difference between being seen on the platforms your potential customers are looking on or not being seen by them at all.. Content marketing is so important that in the State of Marketing Report 2022 by Hubspot, 70% of marketers are investing in content marketing and it is now a 400 billion dollar industry with no sign of slowing down.

What are the benefits of content marketing?

  • Content marketing has a wide variety of benefits no matter what type of business or website you have, and can bring huge returns even on a relatively small budget.
  • Content builds your website into a professional, branded resource for consumers.
  • Turns your brand into a credible authority in your industry.
  • It increases brand awareness and visibility.
  • Improves SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and search engine rankings while driving traffic to your website.
  • Increases natural organic traffic over time as opposed to pay per click advertising.
  • Reaches a wider audience base than targeted traditional marketing and increases conversions.
  • Improves customer experience, trust, engagement and relationships.
  • Provides new value added content that can be repurposed across other platforms.
  • Can be gated to collect important consumer information.
  • Keeps your website looking fresh.

Why should I invest in content marketing?

Quite simply because if you don’t, your competitors will, and they will dominate the search engines and take all your customers. If you have a business and know that marketing in general is important, content marketing is the most relevant, most powerful and most cost effective way to reach and market to your customers.

Is content marketing cost effective? What budget do I need to set for content?

Let’s be very clear, high quality, professional content is not cheap and you will absolutely need to set a budget for it. That has always been true for all marketing and there is no way around that. However, studies show that content marketing is on average 62% less costly than traditional marketing, but is at least three times more effective, and the most successful brands allocate at least 40% of their entire marketing budget to content alone according to the Content Marketing Institute. So yes, you will have to spend money, but your return on investment will be significantly higher.

The good news is that whilst it is true that you get what you pay for and quality does cost money, there is almost always something you can produce at any budget. Maybe you can’t afford to budget for a huge influencer marketing campaign, but you can start a blog on your site. Maybe you can’t allocate resources for multiple long form posts every week, but you can start with one a week, focus on quality over quantity and build from there. No matter what the size of your business, content marketing is vital and you have to ask yourself can you afford not to put resources into it?

What is the ROI (Return On Investment) for content marketing?

Content marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it is a long term investment in your business, and the ROI is largely qualitative, not quantitative. One of the biggest mistakes most business owners, and even marketers themselves make, is assuming that they can put some budget into marketing and see a direct quantitative result a month later in terms of instant traffic or direct sales. It does not work like that.

There is of course some quantitative data that you can gain from content marketing within the first few months in terms of page visits, search engine results, product views and so on, and this is good to create a long term data tracking system, but this should be done over months and years with results coming over time, not immediately.

The good news is that ROI comes in the form of valuable assets that you cannot get from any other type of marketing and it is self perpetuating. Unlike traditional marketing such as paid advertising where the results stop as soon as your spend does, content marketing can continue to give you returns years after you have spent that initial budget. Google rankings may take a little time to establish, but they will grow over time. The more content you produce and the more value you provide the higher you will climb. Your brand authority and trust will continue to grow, and as a result your conversion rates will increase exponentially as they do, and the more content you put out there, the wider the net you will cast for potential customers who can be converted.

Don’t make the mistake so many businesses do and try and compare content marketing to traditional marketing, expecting specific results immediately after allocating your budget. Think of content marketing as a long term investment in your business that will help grow and scale it for many years to come.

Does content marketing work for eCommerce sites?

Yes. It works for any type of business. Each business is of course unique and will require a bespoke approach to content but all websites need content. It is just a question of how content can best be used to serve your needs.

How do I incorporate content into my business marketing strategy?

Content marketing is a dedicated skill that takes time, investment and resources, so if you have an internal marketing team already, make sure you hire enough people with the right skills and qualifications to devote to it. It is not something you should palm off on a team who are already focused on other aspects of marketing, no one can do everything, and you need someone who is an expert in content strategy, planning, creation and execution.

If you don’t have the team or the resources to do this, then consider outsourcing the role to an outside team. Content management services already have the benefit of a skilled, experienced team in place who will know how to create a bespoke strategy unique to your business and the time and resources to create rich, unique content. This is an extremely cost effective way to take advantage of that experience and take a lot of the weight and work off your shoulders, allowing you to concentrate on other aspects of your business.

What type of content do I need for my business?

There is an ever growing list of content types and platforms out there, and which one is right for you depends entirely on your unique circumstances. The big question to ask yourself is what will serve your customers the best. Are your customers younger and primarily on Tik Tok? Do they like long informational articles or will they more likely look at how to videos? What content works well for your competitors? This is why a strong content marketing strategy is absolutely essential.

Hopefully this list of frequently asked questions has been helpful to you and you have found it informative. Content marketing is daunting at first but as long as you keep your customer in mind and create content that will help, entertain and solve problems for them, they will thank you for it, and so will your bottom line.

 

‘How To Use Content Marketing As Your Secret Weapon For Growth and Sales in 2023’

Join Michael Huxley, Content Manager for Cloud Seller Pro, for a live webinar on ‘How To Use Content Marketing As Your Secret Weapon For Growth and Sales in 2023’.

When: 10 am -11 am Thursday, 20th October 2022

What we will be covering:

  • A game of risk: the current situation and opportunities in eCommerce
  • How to fight back with smarter marketing strategies (paid vs paid social vs organic)
  • What is content marketing?
  • The importance of content to your brand and business.
  • How to use content marketing as your secret weapon for eCommerce
  • Why content marketing needs to be included in your growth strategy for 2023
  • What can your business do today to start increasing your organic traffic
  • Learning from the best

Learn more and sign up for our webinar here

 

Cloud Seller Pro

Leading Ecommerce Growth Marketing Agency

As part of WPP, we are a world leading Marketing Growth Agency offering Content, Web Design, Paid Advertising and Multichannel Commerce services.Our Google and Amazon Partner status recognises our dedication to delivering outstanding marketing strategies and our team are highly respected experts in Shopify, WooCommerce and WordPress for Ecommerce.
If you have any further questions on how content marketing or another one of our marketing services can help your eCommerce business grow, then our expert Manchester based team are here to help.