In California’s Orange County, an up-and-coming ecommerce venture is striving to redefine how people shop online. Wrappled, a company that specializes in unique consumer gadgets, is aiming to simplify a problem that is far too common — confusion. Their secret sauce? Content.
According to the company’s marketing director, Vicki Chan, Wrappled’s strategy is one that stemmed from a common frustration experienced by the company’s co-founders, Albert Alquisola and Alex DeLeon.
“They always shop online but found it boring to read through lengthy product descriptions and still-life images of a product,” Chan said in a quote for the Contently Blog. “They brainstormed a more interactive way to sell things — through video. This way, you can see how something works and is used in everyday life.”
Content gives Wrappled a competitive edge, too.
“Wrappled is really one of the first online storefronts to provide an interactive and educational way for consumers to shop, combining innovative gadgets and creative videos,” Chan said.
As Chan highlights, a content marketing strategy involves more than just blogging. It’s a powerful tool for facilitating connections between companies and end users. It’s foundational to the transactions and sales that underscore your business’s bottom line. That’s why big brands like American Express, Sears, and GE are creating innovative multimedia channels through blogs, interactive tutorials and video.
A content marketing strategy involves more than just blogging. It’s a powerful tool for facilitating connections between companies and end users. It’s foundational to the transactions and sales that underscore your business’s bottom line.
Not convinced yet? Here are some stats from InboundWriter that will simply wow you:
- 61% of consumers say that they feel better about companies that generate custom content. They’re also more likely to buy from these brands that they trust.
- From an SEO perspective, blogs give websites a 434% lift on indexed pages and a 97% lift on indexed links.
- B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more monthly leads than firms that don’t blog. only 47% of B2B marketers are actively engaging audiences on LinkedIn (vs. the 90% on Facebook).
- LinkedIn generates more B2B leads than Facebook, Twitter, or company blogs, however, back into ROI. It’s user-friendly and simply rocks for customer experience.
Okay, now you’re convinced and ready to jump into the game. But where do you start? Kickstart your strategy with inspiration from the following five startups.
1. They Got Their Community Involved (Part A): ModCloth
Women’s clothing boutique ModCloth has built a customer community that transcends a basic Facebook page. Appealing to teen and twenty-something women, ModCloth has launched a ‘Be the Buyer’ program that gives customers a say in picking inventory. When the product gets enough votes, ModCloth will buy it and sell it (presumably to the women who voted on it in the first place).
“ModCloth’s ‘Be the Buyer’ program creates an instant customer base,” according to the CrazyEgg Blog. “Furthermore, the data from the voting feature can help ModCloth forecast supply and demand on niche items. The company can use this information to plan its inventory more efficiently.”
2. They Got their Community Involved (Part B): CrazyEgg
If you’re not familiar with CrazyEgg, be sure to check them out — the company provides some pretty cool heatmapping software at cost-effective price points. To get the community involved, CrazyEgg maintains a conversion optimization blog that features industry experts (some of whom actually use the product with their own clients and websites). In other words, Crazy Egg’s prospective customers are their bloggers. The customers are integral in helping build the brand.
What’s important to consider is that customers have spheres of influence within their own communities. In addition to writing, bloggers promote their posts. By getting your company involved, you’ll be well-positioned to rapidly expand your audience.
3. They Made Every Product a Video: Wrappled
Let’s circle back to the Wrappled discussion. While the company is only a few months old and are working on building a solid customer base, they’ve made videos foundational to their strategy. Every product comes with a video that humanizes product descriptions beyond boring and confusing text. Instead of developing a heavy marketing strategy, the company strives to let their high-quality products speak for themselves. It’s a technique seen on commercials and infomercials for decades, so why aren’t more companies doing it?
“Fear is the thing that freezes companies up,” wrote Grant Crowell in a blog post for ReelSEO.
Companies are afraid of failing, looking silly, or investing in new technology. But if you don’t give it a go, how will you develop a successful strategy? Why not give video a try?
4. They Wrote Insanely Helpful Guidebooks: HubSpot
In the marketing community, HubSpot is a genuinely loved brand. They dominate SEO rankings, and they’re frequently quoted across industry blogs. Their secret? Great content.
Through this strategy, the company generates a wealth of links, which is great for networking, brand promotion, and SEO. Want to get links and reach new audiences? Write in-depth content that helps people learn.
5. They Care: Udacity
Computer science professor Sebastian Thrun started Udacity with one goal in mind — to improve access to educational opportunities around the world. So he gave up his teaching position at Stanford to build a business based on teaching people for free. He cared. He was passionate. People listened.
“Usually I reach about 200 students and now I reach 160,000,” Thrun explained in a quote for CNN. “In my entire life of education, I didn’t have as much of an impact on people as I had in these two months.”
Thrun’s passion has translated into an outstanding mission, vision, and product that is improving people’s lives. Now that is attention-worthy.
When it comes to content marketing, there is certainly no foolproof formula. You need a strategy that is custom-tailored and right for your brand. You need more than just a blog. You need a vision. You need creativity. With passion and some smart direction, content marketing can be your company’s secret weapon.