Good stories build sales

Guest writer Written by Guest writer - Mar 1, 2016

Content marketing can boost sales by influencing the consumers opinion about your products, add a shopping experience and influence their decisions on buying.

Many online merchants hesitate in creating content marketing because they don't believe it will make any clinking in the cash register. However, the latter is entirely possible when inspiring ideas, customer assistance and buying are combined.

Content marketing can be used to not only improve the store’s reputation, it can also help customers understand your products and desire the experiences gained from purchasing the product. It will help you avoid situations where customers come to your store only to compare prices.

With the help of content marketing, the online store can rise in the customer's value chain and be part of the buying process phase.

Customers who compare prices have already made up their mind. It's very difficult to impress them in this phase of the buying process since they most likely are only interested in getting the product as cheap and as fast as possible. 

Regrettably in both aspects, Finnish online merchants often tend to lose to their competitors abroad. With the help of content marketing, the online store can rise in the customer's value chain and be part of the buying process phase where the customer is still shaping an opinion about the products or services they need.

Let's have an example. A potential customer reads an article in the Dream Terrace magazine and is inspired to build a terrace out of larch wood. Google search directs the customer to a blog post on larch terraces by an online store. The story looks interesting even though the customer is unfamiliar with the merchant. 

They click on the link and land on the blog of the online store. The post includes several mood photos of different terraces. The pictures will provide answers to questions the customer is considering ”what does larch timber look like when it greys” and “what does it look like in a large surface”. It touches on the natural oil the larch tree produces, which means it doesn’t need waterproofing treatment. 

This answers other questions the customer is pondering, ”does larch timber splinter” and ”it really doesn’t need to be maintained”. The post also recommends different timber widths suitable for terraces and describes the pros and cons of grooved versus smooth surfaces. This can help the customer choose the width and profile that they need.

The post provides a direct link to product page or an option to add the product directly to the shopping cart. As a bonus, the post offers a link to another post on terrace railings. If the client chooses to read this post instead of making a purchase, the store will remember the customer’s browsing history and based on previous product history, dynamically direct the customer back to making the purchase. If dynamic linking is technically impossible, one can always do it manually as the content grows. 

In addition to providing product information to the buyer, offer a summary of the most important purchase arguments that can influence the decision­ maker in the buying process.

In after reading the post the customer wants to buy, the merchant has prepared the product characteristics, instructions, technical specs, price information and terms of delivery to display in the form of a list, as well as repeat answers to the customer’s posted questions such as molding. This will strengthen the buyer's intentions and make it easier to justify the purchase to others i.e. their spouse. 

Additionally, this will guarantee that only purchase intentions based on direct product searches are directed to the online store. As a bonus, in connection with the product description the customer is also able to read a post on terraces. Linking them to the post is completely safe since based on browsing history they will be redirected back to making the purchase.

Of course you cannot make a customer buy. But you can make buying an easy and rewarding experience. Instead of bits of information gathered from tens of online chats, blogs and physical stores, the customer gets all the information from one place. While the merchant still ensures the customer with the help of recommendations, networks, after sales and product advertising convinces them that buying now is not a bad decision, this will be a remarkable productivity leap, compared to times when an online store had customers aggressively anticipating a product catalog.

Kati_Keronen_200x232_2.jpgKati Keronen 
Development Director




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