Content Strategy for Retail Marketing

‘Content strategy’ means many different things in the marketing world. This is not because the word ‘content’ is difficult to understand, but rather because it’s not always clear where the boundaries of content are. Content can include blog articles, web copy, social media posts, video and so on.

It’s important to outline the specific benefits of a product using descriptions that will signify to search engines what you website is about. You have to provide detailed descriptions that will signal to the search engine that these products exist. This will also help differentiate your site and your products from competitors in the marketplace. Any unique elements of the products are helpful to mention, anything that would set them aside from other similar products.

Definitely avoid using duplicate content and keyword stuffing. Duplicate content on your site is usually a waste of internal resources. Keyword stuffing also signals to search engines that you’re trying to ‘game the system’ rather than to provide your target audience with content that is useful to them. Meeting user intent means understanding precisely what the user is seeking by making a specific query and answering that question.  

In order to work, your content needs to have at its heart the intention of a genuine value exchange, not a cheesy marketing ploy that is attempting to ‘game’ a search engine. The keyword stuffing approach may have worked 10 years ago (maybe not even then). But Google has long since wised up to content that simply looks to get hits rather than to serve searcher task accomplishment. Yes, the ultimate goal of the content is to gain conversions, and you need to understand that money spent on writing should be linked to ROI. But this doesn’t preclude establishing a reciprocal relationship with your reader. As a standard rule, all sustainable relationships, even in business, need to maintain reciprocity. Exploitation will result in unhappy customers, and excessive generosity will put you out of business.  

As content strategy is applied to online markets, including retail, it needs to focus on providing engage customers and specific search queries, while also abiding by the basic rules of SEO. First, we’ll take a look at some of the pitfalls when dealing with agencies, and then we’ll address some guidelines more specifically.

Using Blog Content to Generate Organic Traffic and User Interest

If you run a brick and mortar retail organization, you’re likely to want to focus mostly on local SEO. You already have the benefit of being in an area where customers are likely to walk by the store. This is not a luxury that websites have. An initial tip is to make sure that all the basic info about your business is updated online. When local consumers search for ‘a jewelry store near me,’ the name of your store should pop up in the results. It should have an address, a phone number and business hours.

Ideally, the website should provide a showcase of your product, if not also be open for online business. It’s good to at least have a Facebook page, which also helps with local social media engagement. You can use content to engage your local community as well. Be sure to use the city name in your titles and content. Address issues that the local community cares about and clarify that you play an active role in the community. Updating regularly will give loyal readers a reason to return to your blog on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. It’s true that retail stores are not necessarily known for having immensely in-depth blogs, but consistent updates help, nonetheless.    

If you’re interested in a sound methodology, it helps to start with understanding the ‘search landscape’ and building content clusters around that. Ask what your ideal client is searching for that would match your services, then publish content that answers those questions. Usually, the path of least resistance is found in subject matter areas that have a favorable volume to competitiveness ratio. It is clearly more difficult to rank for more competitive searches. Less competitive searches are easier to rank on, but more valuable. It can take a bit of research to find your niche.

In going back to local search strategies, there may only be so many retailers in your area, which gives you a clear advantage when dealing with customers who want to see your jewelry in person before they buy it.

It helps to start with a colossal pillar page, which covers an area very comprehensively, and then to break it up into much more honed articles about every individual component discussed there for readers more interested in specific areas. Casual readers will be drawn in by broader content items, whereas experts are more likely to be interested in content that covers narrower subject matter areas in greater detail.  

Establishing subject matter authority through content is a long-term game. If you want to draw traffic more quickly, unless you’re super lucky and are able to go viral, the way to do it is generally through advertisement!

Getting Traffic Quicker with Adwords

Anyone with a gmail account can set up an Adwords account. This allows you to essentially control and manage every aspect of your ad campaign. You’re familiar with some of the first few results on SERPS (search engine result pages) that show clearly that they’re ads? This is the pay-per-click Adspace you’d be paying for.

You can manually enter in all the messaging details of your ad, select your ideal geo, set a budget and are basically good to go. The tricky part is in choosing the right search query to advertise for. This requires understanding a few basic things. First, we can reference the balance mentioned earlier between competitiveness and volume. Adwords is a bit different from content marketing in that you pay for it up-front. In content marketing, you invest over the long-term to build subject matter authority in a particular area. With adwords, the competitiveness of a search term will determine the price of the ad up front. Here’s where it’s important to understand your conversion rates for a particular search term, which will play into your cost of customer acquisition. The cost of an advertising campaign may not be worth your overall conversions, particularly in very competitive landscapes. There are a bunch of moving parts to this, so I’ll just cover some of the basics and may address the issue in more detail later.

Broader search terms usually have higher volume and are more competitive, whereas narrower ones have less traffic and are cheaper. If an area is saturated with competition, it may not be worth it. In content marketing, some search terms are such low volume that they might be of less value. However, an ad campaign can hone the targeting to your demographic directly, and because you only pay per click, there’s a good chance you’ll only be paying to advertise to searchers who have a genuine interest. This is especially if your target term is very closely related to a search that expresses explicit buyer intent. It may also be important to screen out searchers who may not be interested in your product from the outset. That way you don’t have to pay for a click that turns out to be someone who isn’t interested. In this case, it can help as much to clarify what you don’t offer as much as you’d clarify what you do.

The best way to learn about what works and what doesn’t is generally to try different strategies at very limited spends to see which ones work for you best. If you’re just starting out, expect to lose money; it’s essentially the cost of tuition. There are a lot of resources out there that can help with this, but sometimes the best teacher is the pain of failure and the adjustment it requires. Plus, you can start adspends at very low cost. You may be able to get good data with just $500 per month. But if your budget is less than the price of a daily ad, clearly you won’t get any posted!

If you’re running a retail operation and are interested in expanding your selection, whether brick and mortar or online, take a look below.

Wholesale Jewelry / Wholesale Sterling Silver Product Marketing Guide  

As we all know, wholesale jewelry is offered in bulk to jewelry retailers to provide great selections to their customers. I wanted to take a minute to go over some of the trend options in the market and how they can be utilized to increase customer appeal!  

Sterling silver is a mixture of pure silver and another stronger alloy that helps maintain the durability of a piece of jewelry. It’s important that customers understand that pure silver is often not realistic to use for jewelry, although it may sometimes seem desirable. 925 silver is a popular search term for pure silver mixed with silver alloy, and it’s important that your percentage of silver is listed on your product page, so don’t forget to include this aspect of your product. Check out our content on sterling silver vs. pure silver if you’re interested in going more in depth.