Service companies march along the content path, cashing in on blog marketing to convert readers into loyal followers and loyal followers into customers.
That leaves e-businesses in the grey. They’re already on the blog bandwagon and are already converting site visitors into customers. It seems like there wouldn’t be much more that digital business owners could really do to re-think and grow their business through content.
Competitive businesses know there’s a big difference between blogging for the sake of it and blogging to really captivate an audience and establish a brand voice. Yet some companies are taking it even further.
Known for generating income through ads, online magazines are now integrating shopping into the e-reading experience. Instead of just resting on the ad laurels, they’re creating an opportunity to connect readers with products. Real Simple, Refinery29 and Elle have already integrated this feature into their online platform – a genius move that harnesses the power of content they were already producing. The move also gives digital publishing yet another plus point over print publishing by offering customer convenience.
The shift in business content doesn’t just end with online magazines connecting readers with retailers. Retailers are now connecting with writers and photographers to create editorial content. Moving beyond the scope of online retail that is essentially little more than a digital shopping catalogue, some retailers are working to create content out of their products. Packaging products in a magazine-inspired spread with great photos and killer content goes a long way towards getting interest (that converts to sales).
The content commerce game is clearly interchanging, toppling and restructuring itself all at once. The best way to keep tabs is to hone in on your industry and adapt as needed. Step one is to get off the generic self-serving roadmap and trek into creating engaging content that speaks to readers, has a strong consistent voice and offers magazine-worthy images – no matter the industry.
The content revolution doesn’t just start and stop with text and visuals. It’s moving into video. It’s hinted that Amazon is looking into investing in film and television production. A series of public outreach campaigns calling for talent, along with generous prize money awarded to the best idea generators means that the rumor is probably true. Amazon is calling it an original content strategy, meaning that content is clearly changing face – followed by Netflix, who is also looking into creating its own consumable content in line with the long list of film and TV shows they already offer.
Small business owners should take a cue from these trends. Many small business owners have been strong-armed into blogging (albeit it poorly in most cases). Soon after, they were funneled into getting on board with image marketing. Those last lingering small business owners who thought image marketing wasn’t important were quickly persuaded a year into Pinterest’s sky-rocketing popularity. They’re now on board with image marketing too. Next it’ll be video marketing, which most business owners see as an inconvenience. While it may be an inconvenience, the fact that Amazon’s getting on board (along with several e-commerce custom video publications) means that your audience will soon come to expect video.