That looked so refreshing! Or those engrossing brand advertisements while you’re on YouTube? It’s content everywhere!
The way consumers interact with brands has changed manifold in the past years. Consumers feed on a lot of content on the internet each day and this content drives their buying decisions a great deal. Buyers now go through information like reviews, testimonials and videos on social media before deciding to make a purchase. They get all the info with just a click. Everyone today wants to consume content that entertains them or educates them. People are learning about new problems and solutions daily and that’s where brands begin their play! They are making use of content for commerce!
Content + Commerce
Fundamentally, commerce is associated with sales while content dwells deep in marketing. Content and commerce are more of a strategy to drive conversions and are being used by brands to engage and convert consumers. ‘Content and commerce’ is basically the combination of telling consumers about your products or services with engaging contextual content (like guides, videos, infographics etc), building narratives around the brand and having a commerce platform along with this content that can lead to better customer experiences and improvised sales.
With increased digitisation, consumer expectations have increased substantially becoming a challenge for brands to keep them engaged and coming back to them. Enhanced and vivid content has helped solve the problem for brands and online retailers.
Earlier, commerce platforms provided the basic content around products or services by being concise. Businesses were focused on SEO texts and ranking their websites high on search engines. But today, customers demand rich experiences all throughout their buying journey and after.
With a high level of competition, businesses need to give customers an extra push to purchase from them and that is possible if they can provide valuable contextual content that can influence their decision. Businesses ought to provide consumers with immersive content to engage and connect with. Excellent customer experiences come from rich content which can drive sales for online retailers.
Why do businesses need a content and commerce combo?
The way brands leverage content has changed to a great extent as it plays a vital role in developing a brand image. Brands are more inclined towards building a narrative with engaging content for consumers to share and take action upon. Reasonable content can help create successful campaigns built around customer preferences (the kind of content they engage with).
Considering D2C brands, that sell directly to consumers, they need a huge audience base that can convert to customers and hence a lot of valuable content to connect to them and build relationships. Ever since Covid-19 hit the world, brick-and-mortar stores have been seeing low footfall but this again became a challenge for brands to provide their online customers with experiences similar to that. Immersive content has come to their rescue! Content has allowed brands to mimic the tangible experience of being in a store and provide digitally to consumers with a great sensory experience. Hence, amazing customer experiences are based on the content itself.
With the right eCommerce platform, content has empowered businesses to do wonders. Brands are leaving no stone unturned to leverage this opportunity to stand apart and be recognised.
How content + commerce can benefit?
Personalised content helps convert
In this highly competitive digital era, every business is aiming to cater to customers’ needs and wants. While everyone is struggling to give customers the best, the benchmark for customer expectations has been escalating. The more personalised the experience customers get, the more they connect to the brand feeling exclusive. This makes it highly likely for them to convert. According to epsilon, 80% of people are more likely to buy from a brand that provides them with personalised experiences. While according to adobe, 66% of consumers say that seeing content that is not personalised would stop them from buying.
Better brand awareness
Content-led commerce engages your audiences and conveys your brand philosophy. Awareness is the most vital part of the marketing campaign because it all starts from there; people getting to know your brand, your offerings, the pain points you’ve addressed and more.
The brand identity depends on the brand ideology and how you convey it to the people right. You need to create content accordingly that aligns with what your brand stands for and that’s what makes a brand unique. There may be brands selling similar products like yours hence your brand without a unique identity would just get lost in the pool of chiliads of brands similar to you.
Great content to which audiences can connect can bring them together into a community around your brand. It helps in higher retention rates and faster awareness of the brand. It also gets organic traffic because people tend to talk and share about the brand.
Content and commerce together bring in more conversions. When people can understand your brand and products properly, it’s obvious their buying decision would be based on their understanding. These customers are also highly likely to come back to you if your products match their expectations.
What type of content can you create?
Marketing people keep experimenting with different content and learn along their journey what works for them and what doesn’t. there’s no limit to what you can do with the content to engage your audience; whatever sails your boat. There are myriad content types that you can put to use.
Here are a few:
Educational or inspirational content
Brands create content around educating their consumers about the pain points and how they can be solved. Not necessarily promoting their product directly but subtly hinting that the consumers might need something like that. It is one of the most used strategies to engage audiences and connect to them by providing them with solutions via their educational content. It builds trust towards the brand impacting brand identity positively.
Build credibility with Testimonials, Case studies
Loyal customers become your advocates and default promoters. Their good reviews work as great content that can be put forth to other audiences creating a superior brand image in their minds. It’s psychological that buyers trust other buyers more when deciding to buy any products online. The reviews and testimonials work as an authentic source of information for others.
Almost all brands are creating short videos and reels on Instagram and other platforms. These can be interactive, live videos, question answers or just awareness creation.
Another great form of content is to have audiences engaged. People like listening to podcasts or watching webinars on the topics they follow. Brands can leverage the fact that about 66% of people prefer podcasts over TV.
Interact with meaningful content on social media
You can engage with your audience on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram with meaningful content. Interacting with them builds relationships.
One great example of a brand doing a commendable job for content + commerce strategy is RedBull. RedBull does storytelling with its intriguing and spectacular videos around extreme sports to boost adrenaline rush while its catchy punchline “RedBull, Gives you wings” justifies the brand ideology. When people think of Redbull, the first thought that strikes them is the “adrenaline rush”, hence picking up a Redbull whenever they are up to any sports or out for an adventure just reinforces their thought. The positioning has been done like that and has proved to be a success. In the minds of the audience, RedBull is just synonymous with Action, Thrill and excitement.
Undoubtedly content is the king and drives traffic to the site, but bombarding consumers with too much information is certainly a red flag for them. Keep the content informative, crisp and to the point to establish the right brand identity and convey the solutions you are providing to the customers. Your product information should be contextual and accurate for consumers to make a firm decision. Try informing or educating audiences rather than selling outright with the content. If you provide them with valuable information that can help them make purchasing decisions, it is highly likely they would prefer you over others as an option.
The coexistence of content and commerce has been in the picture since the beginning but its been not long since businesses realised its value. It is not just a strategy anymore but a prerequisite for brands in order to grow.
Content ensures credibility and builds trust for brands driving traffic to the eCommerce store. This traffic eventually gets converted into customers.
Contextualised content help engage customers giving rise to a better brand recall value and customer relationships by increasing customer experience manifold. The better the communication you have with audiences the better you can understand their pain points and offer the best solutions. It all happens with the right content.
The best boost for your content + commerce strategy is a headless CMS that can empower you to push rich and accurate content across all channels. Headless CMS helps to hyper-personalise content based on past purchases, geo-location, and other factors. Online stores fetch customer data from various touchpoints and accordingly show them what they may like.
It’s a fight among online retailers for attention which doesn’t stop at winning. They must maintain their position and dwell in consumers’ minds which is possible by keeping them engaged with high-quality and valuable content.