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Strategically blending content and commmerce

Strategically blending content and commmerce

Content and commerce have become the new duo buzzwords when it comes to delivering a customer experience that stands apart. Many assert on the capacity to combine these often siloed efforts, and the technologies behind them are the key to success. But delivering a truly standout customer experience depends on the strength of your business to smoothly and consistently produce a strategic blend of the appropriate content and commerce at all consumer touchpoints.

To elevate the customer experience and adopt a truly customer-centric mindset, organizations must focus on the totality of every experience their customers have with their brand, evaluating the journey from the customer’s perspective.

Delivering a valuable customer experience

Content tells stories. But it’s also a way of providing a relevant customer experience to encourage shoppers to convert. Labels and retailers realize the value of content-driven commerce experience, but that also means a more comprehensive need for web content management systems and other eCommerce solutions to work together.

A successful and standout customer experience depends on the ability of your business to seamlessly and consistently deliver a strategic blend of the appropriate content and commerce at all customer touchpoints.

For delivering a valuable customer experience:

  • Prioritize Content
  • Blend Content with Search Optimization
  • Develop and share the customer strategy
  • Assess the organization’s digital maturity
  • Choose a forward-thinking partner
  • Adopt an eCommerce platform

Today, we share some insights and tips on how to get started on the path to a standout customer experience:

Prioritizing Content

One of the most dependable techniques is to make sure that content strategy is the king in your marketing endeavors, prioritizing it at the CMO level. If your marketing unit has a separate section for content, consider centralizing the marketing department under the CMO or head of marketing.

This will ensure that you don’t have to fight for marketing departments vying for the attention of being greenlit by the managing staff. Generate a content strategy and calendar that is combined with your general marketing calendar to make sure that the appropriate content has been designed and is ready to use when each department requires it.

Blending Content with Search Optimization

Content writing can be considered as both an artwork and a science. Search optimization is often centered on keywords; however, your content shouldn’t seem like a list of keywords. You want to write for the search engines, as well as your target audience.

Most of the time, first creating content for your audience and then making sure that the keywords are in the mix is the most suitable approach. Your searchable content must always be refreshed. Therefore, running reports and making edits should be a regular part of your search optimization content strategy.

Develop and share the customer strategy

If the marketing section is organized by channel, using a customer-centric approach will be new for many stakeholders. Engage top leadership in defining the vision and objectives and rallying support from the rest of the company. It is important to ensure that what the company leadership ‘wants to achieve’ is aligned with the preferences and desires of the customers.

A proven way to educate and motivate everyone is to:

  • Conduct exploratory interviews.
  • Run a series of presentations, seminars, and internal campaigns to highlight the possibilities available and the need to pull together on behalf of the consumer.

With the vision defined and communicated, break the overarching mission into smaller digital goals that span the customer’s journey.

  • Create relevant strategies, specifically micro strategies around digital content and web structure, to ensure the flexibility and capability to change over time as needed.

Assess the organization’s digital maturity

Knowing and understanding where the organization is today in terms of digital customer experience is the only way to know what to strive for in the short and long term. After determining the current state of the organization’s customer experience and goals, create a roadmap for the immediate future and a vision for the long-term mission. Then create a governance process to support both.

Establish a content/commerce team

Content and social media marketing have a co-relative relationship. You need great new content to post on social channels. You also have to promote your other marketing content on social media to amplify the value of your content.

The social media unit must also provide feedback and direction to the writers as to which topics will be best for social engagement. To break down the siloed approach, create a cross-discipline team of content managers, SEO specialists, product marketers, merchandisers, etc. They must be all aligned around the customer experience.

The content marketing unit must work in close collaboration with the social media unit to let the content flow throughout all the appropriate platforms.

Choose a forward-thinking partner

The right implementation partner is crucial to success. Organizations can judge a partner’s suitability based on the alignment in culture, process, direction, services, and other key elements. Organizations should also review the recent projects, teams, and methodologies of the partner.

They should evaluate its leadership to determine if it offers’ new ideas around the customer experience and going digital. Or is it just focused on implementing and integrating websites?

Focus on Customer experience

Keep in mind that technology is in the service of the customer experience. So, focus on the customer experience instead of the technology/tools during implementation. Develop strategies to engage customers through various means, including content, and set up the support and resources to create content over time.

Choose an eCommerce platform that will support a new approach

Skip the current eCommerce platform and functionality and consider new opportunities enabled by fresh media. Look for alternatives that not only tightly blend content and commerce functionality but also support a customer community.

Ensure the platform makes it possible to:

  • Easily create, edit, test and personalize the complete experience
  • Coordinate, monitor, and measure all the customer interactions
  • A/B test all aspects of customer experience
  • Optimize for each end-user device
  • Integrate with social media
  • Track and measure engagement

Crawl, walk, run

Start with basic needs, track and measure what happens, and build upon that over time to shape and continuously improve the customer experience. Then, select a platform that empowers the organization to advance while minimizing disruption to existing processes and business as usual.

Strive for focus, then agility

This is a policy of maintaining the discipline to deliver efficiently on large, complicated integration projects. While you may be enticed to make changes to pick “low-hanging fruit” through the development exercise, it should be carefully examined because varying demands could have an unintended consequence on the system. Adhering to this principle, it is likely for organizations to meet the primary goals while also managing an ecosystem of vendors.

Content should be mapped into reusable components as this allows for greater content reuse.

Put the power of content and commerce into action

Combining content and commerce is quickly establishing itself as a best practice among brands and retailers. But companies cannot capitalize on the full potential of this power duo unless they activate it in the context of the customer experience.

Though this realization is not necessarily groundbreaking, it can be challenging to act upon it effectively. The key is to find a platform that stands up to claims of content-commerce integration—while offering superior functionality in each area—and seamlessly connects with third-party systems to eliminate synchronization issues.

A solution that effectively implements structured content and modular components is better prepared for success in today’s omnichannel environment.

We hope this blog helps you improve, integrate, and modify your content marketing and focus it at the heart of your marketing plans. Keep in mind that it begins with planning and possibly restructuring your marketing units to prioritize content strategy and creation.

As with any marketing efforts, you should continuously re-evaluate your content program to make sure it is performing the best possible for you. If you aren’t using an in-house content development team, ensure that your outsourced content provider understands your business. He should be able to write as if it were a part of your company, sitting in your workplace and working with your consumers and clients.

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