Post contributed by Olapic partner, Quill Content.
“Content” remains the digital marketing buzzword of the day as brands continue to face the challenges of creating, curating, and distributing relevant and engaging content to an information-hungry customer base. This is especially true for e-commerce content.
A number of brands with first-hand experience of these challenges were in attendance at London’s OXO Tower on February 23rd, where Quill, Olapic, and Movable Ink hosted a breakfast event focused on how travel and retail businesses can use e-commerce content to drive engagement, conversion, and loyalty.
Hygiene or hero?
Quill CEO Ed Bussey took to the stage first to talk about the challenges associated with producing e-commerce content. “Consumers, from a business perspective, are increasingly distracted,” he said. “The challenge now is for businesses to communicate their rapidly expanding product ranges to those consumers, across multiple channels and devices.” Bussey, who was part of the founding team of pioneering online retail success story Figleaves, broke the content space into two segments – ‘hero content’ and ‘primary content’. Hero content is inspirational, while primary content is informational. “Primary content is the hygiene layer in your website,” he said, “it converts the browsers to buyers.” He also explained the three common challenges faced by businesses producing e-commerce content – delivering consistent quality, achieving economies of scale, and being able to perform at speed.
A case study: Shop Direct
Jennifer Gac, SEO Manager at Shop Direct, stepped up next to speak about their experience of creating that primary content to boost search rankings and organic traffic. Gac spoke about the defining three questions on content marketing that Shop Direct seeks to answer: what content do our customers actually want, when do they want to see it, and how are they using it? Gac believes answering these questions is fundamental to the creation of optimised content.
The power of authenticity
Speaking third was Jose de Cabo, Co-Founder of Olapic. Cabo delivered insights on visual content and the use of paid, owned and ‘earned’ channels, highlighting how most companies miss out on effective earned content in the search for authenticity. He talked about user-generated content as a powerful tool for marketers, explaining how “people trust another person’s photo more than a brand’s” and how appearing authentic can be the difference between being shared and being ignored.
Context is everything
Dragana Ljubisavljevic, SVP General Manager EMEA at Movable Ink was the final speaker of the morning. She shared her expertise on the importance of context in content marketing, telling her audience: “Digital marketing is in trouble, because it is forever taking the customer out of context.” Ljubisavljevic went on to discuss how brands need to position their content within the right context in order for it to thrive. She also asserted the need for content to provide a great experience and offer utility to consumers, highlighting the importance of innovation in the content marketing space.
The panel discussion came next, featuring Jo O’Keefe from Cancer Research and Virgin Holidays’ Saul Lopes. The pair were asked to share their thoughts on creating and maintaining brand loyalty. “You need to provide content that people genuinely want to hear about,” Jo said. Lopes detailed how Virgin Holidays decided to give customers the opportunity to purchase inventory before it went on general sale, in order to encourage loyalty and engagement in the travel industry. “We want to make their holiday experience effortless” he said, illustrating how content helps to create a synergy with customers’ needs.
Our top three takeaways
The role of content has evolved to become a fundamental part of every stage of the purchase journey. Increasingly it is the most effective way of reaching out to consumers online, driving sales and building lasting brand loyalty. Our top three takeaways from the event are:
- Primary Content is what drives consumers from browsing to basket, and brands need to be able to deliver consistent quality at speed and at scale in order to capture the attention of distracted consumers.
- Brands are missing out on the opportunity to use earned content to engage consumers and build their trust. Brands should use visual content from their consumers to demonstrate authenticity.
- Content should be relevant and useful. Brands should consider how different methods of personalisation can drive loyalty by adding context to their content and communications.
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Author: Ed Bussey, CEO at Quill Content