As more and more B2C businesses invest in content marketing, more brands are taking on an editorial approach and delivering high-quality branded content and using it to drive customer engagement and inspire action. This approach is especially effective for ecommerce-driven brands as a way to integrate product information and drive sales. This is especially common for CPG and grocery brands that use online recipe hubs to strategically place products used in each recipe.
According to a report from Gartner, 22% of brands allow shoppers to add products to the shopping cart or navigate to product pages directly from blogs and editorial pages. To optimize this strategy, all B2C brands must find innovative ways to position content and then inspire customers to take action.
Sonos, Huggies and Pottery Barn are three retail brands that are effectively using editorial content to position products and drive sales. Here we take a look at some of their strategies to tie content to commerce.
Sonos: Using Content in a Clever Way
Sonos, the maker of powerful wireless speakers, has a variety of elegantly designed speakers that appeal to both music geeks and those looking for stylish speaker gear. The brand uses content to encourage customers to discover relevant products and educate them on various product features.
Sonos uses humor to differentiate its content, all while educating its target audience of music fanatics with content about how Sonos can solve its everyday music listening problems. In one editorial piece, for example, Sonos describes the advantages between Wi-Fi enabled speakers and Bluetooth speakers in terms of sound quality and mobile connectivity. They follow the educational piece with product suggestions, seamlessly tying content to commerce. This strategy allows customers to easily add products to their shopping cart in their moment of content engagement.
Huggies: Using Content to Educate
While traditional marketing is focused on promoting a brand and its products or services, content marketing is focused on creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to ultimately convert your audience into customers. Research shows that consumers are 131% more likely to buy from a brand immediately after they consume early-stage, educational content.
Huggies is one B2C brand using content to educate consumers and then position their products as the solution. As one of the leading brands for families with young children, the Huggies blog provides parents with solutions to their babies’ diapering and toilet training needs. While the brand sells products that are specifically focused on diapers, which is just one aspect of parenting, Huggies delivers educational content to keep its audience engaged throughout each stage of the pregnancy and parenting journey—from sleep scheduling to feeding tips to diapering and more.
The diapering section is where Huggies succeeds at tying content to commerce, linking to their popular products, the Huggies Rewards Program and their branded parenting community on social media.
Pottery Barn: Using Content to Inspire
Pottery Barn is another retail brand tying content to commerce through content designed to both educate and inspire consumers. The brand’s blog is chock-full of interior design inspiration, perfectly positioning the brand’s products in the ideal home setting. The blog homepage even includes a “shop” carousel, conveniently located at the bottom of the blog for highly engaged readers.
But along with the catalog-style photography and product positioning, the brand delivers educational content in the form of DIYs that don’t always directly tie to a specific Pottery Barn product. While an article on DIY masks for Mother’s Day simply leverages influencers to share content the Pottery Barn audience would find engaging, another article offers tips and advices to creating a spa-like atmosphere at home, using a plethora of Pottery Barn products to complete the look.
Pottery Barn, Huggies and Sonos are three just B2C brands that are successfully tying content to commerce to drive customer action at the moment of education and inspiration. These brands and others have an opportunity to combine this editorial strategy with personalized experiences, which will make consumers more likely to action when products are front and center.
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