Content Marketing for Ecommerce Websites: 3 Strategies to Lead The Game

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The most successful ecommerce companies already know the simple truth – sassy product descriptions and big juicy product images are not enough to land a sale.

Ecommerce websites no longer just sell products. They sell a related lifestyle, ideas and inspiration.

With ecommerce giants like Amazon, Wal-Mart and Costco dominating the web, product discovery and promotion gets tough for small to medium sized sellers.

So, enter content marketing – the buzzing trick business of all size and shape use to drive traffic to their stores and land sales.

But what if I’m not a good writer? What if I don’t have enough creativity to blog, tweet and fill my Instagram feed on a regular basis?

Fret not. In this post I’d like to share some of the simple, yet effective content marketing strategies backed up with examples and all sort of practicalities!

Video Marketing: You don’t need to be a pro or break the bank.

Visual marketing and video marketing in particular are among the top trends leading the content marketing game in 2015 and onward.

With 1 billion active users and people now spending over 40 minutes per session, YouTube is definitely the platform to be for an ecommerce business.

The good news is – you don’t enormous budgets and celebrity speakers to capture your audience attention.

All you need is good natural lighting, an iPhone or a digital camera shooting in decent quality and a few good ideas. I’ve got you covered with the latter.

Recommended for YouWebcast: Convert Like a Boss: How to Achieve 30% Gains in Conversion Rates in 7 Days

Make a video tutorial showing what awesome things can be done with your product. According to Social Media Today at least 64% of users are making a purchase after watching a video. A rather impressive conversion rate, compared to other marketing channels, right?

Show how your product is made or behind the scene snaps. People are always curious how things are made and never miss a peek inside the personal side of any business. Show your production process if it’s curious enough or shoot a video of your team at work or at play.

Invite a popular vlogger for collaboration offering them to shoot your tutorial video or showcase your product in a certain way. However, the more popular the person is, the bigger your budgets will stretch.

Newsjack and/or capitalize on a popular social trend. Something major just happened in your industry? Be fast and shoot a video offering your opinion and commentary on the matter. Your video, if properly optimized, is likely to rank well next to the original news posting.

Share your company’s story. Authentic stories win hearts and minds, especially when it comes to millennial consumers. Share how you’ve came up with the idea of launching your business, talk about the challenges you’ve faced, be vocal about your brand values and ethos. At the end of the day, everyone loves a good story more than a glossy promo video.

Blogging: Bring value and educate your audience

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If you want people to read about your product, answer the questions they have.

The strategy works great as:

You bring value and help to your potential customers and establish your brand credibility. Isn’t it nice to be spoken of as “that amazing retailer from Twitter”?

You have a fresh stock of blog ideas all the time. Start entering “how-to” in Google and you’ll get swiped away with thousands of answers people are looking for. To find the burning questions people in your industry have browse Quora; check your competitors FAQ sections and relevant support forums and desk; find a relevant SkillShare class and see what topics they are covering in the course plan; use Ubersuggest to discover new how-to keyword suggestions.

You gradually build your expertise as the niche authority and a one-shop stop for everyone looking for answers in your niche, journalists seeking expert opinions and buyers looking for additional information before making a purchase.

River Pools and Spa were among the first to use the “answering questions strategy” and now land loads of sales from users that came in search for the answer e.g. “How much does a fiberglass pool cost?” an so on. In fact, this strategy also landed Marcus Sheridan an interview on The New York Times.

Social Media Marketing: Take advantage of user-generate content

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As visual social media and in-the-moment updates now prevail in social media, a lot of ecommerce businesses struggle to stay consistent with their social media marketing.

Simply posting images of your products no longer does the trick on Instagram and Facebook. Pinterest is leading the product purchasing game with 87% of users saying they made a purchase through it, however it’s the certain type of content that performs particularly well there.

If you are struggling to fill in your social feeds with consistent content, here are some strategies to help:

Instagram: Create a business hashtag and encourage users to share images with your product. The initial decent following is required, however.

Snapchat: Share special promo codes (time-sensitive) to amass the initial following. Share behind the scenes snaps and product sneak peeks to gauge the interest further.

Pinterest: Create relevant graphics with Canva for your blog posts, esp. how-tos + products. Product collages also work great.

Facebook: Curating user-generated content works great for the platform as well. Check out how GoPro is nailing it. On top, upload your videos directly to Facebook, rather than sharing YouTube links for bigger impact.

Twitter: As the platform has gone visual recently, the stats say that tweets with visuals receive 150% more re-tweets and 18% more click-through. Tweet blog graphics, share visual discount coupons, parts of infographics and charts used in your blog post.

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6 Strategies to Immunize Yourself from the Sales “Rejection-Flu”

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Image of sick businessman sneezing while anxious female looking at him in office

Author: Chris Gillespie

As the weather gets colder, the days get shorter—one other sure sign of the changing season is the flu. Offices are awash with red noses and kleenex tissues, and sales teams are catching the “rejection-flu” as they wrap up the sales year. If you’re a salesperson, this is the time for you to brush up on your preventative measures and keep your immune system happy, healthy, and fighting back.

What is the rejection-flu? It’s when you start feeling down from too much rejection—day in and day out. And for those who aren’t familiar, sales can be like asking someone on a date and being turned down over and over again. Imagine that as your job.

While you never fully escape the sting of hearing “no,” “no thanks,” or “I chose your competitor,” you do get used to it and you start to build up an immunity. But, like all immunities, it goes away over time if you don’t maintain it. If you go for a few weeks without hearing “no” or engaging in tough conversations, you’ll start to get soft and susceptible. Your immunity will drop and you run the risk of getting yourself and coworkers sick.

What are the symptoms of the rejection-flu?

A salesperson suffering from rejection-flu has unusually low confidence. You can hear the shakiness in their voice and see the defensiveness of their body posture. They’re engaged in negative self-talk like “no one would want to buy from me,” and they’re locked into this unrealistic belief that they or their product isn’t good enough. Here are some specific symptoms:

  • Feverish chills about getting on the phone
  • Negative coughs about their abilities
  • Rejection fatigue or taking the first “no” for an answer
  • Sore throat or a knot in their stomach
  • Runny questions or adding “tails” to their questions like “Do you see value? It’s totally fine if you don’t, but if you do, let me know…”
  • “Mind-reading headaches” from trying to assume they know everything

What can immunization do for me?

It pays to be immunized against rejection because it’s the only way to get to a “yes” and close deals. Rejection is merely a phase in the prospect’s journey and it takes, on average, 5 “no’s” to get to a “yes.” There are a myriad of possibilities for why someone would reject you and most of them have nothing to do with you, although you may feel like it at the time. They could be having a bad day, fighting with a significant other, stressed from obligations, or just plain old hungry.

A demoralized salesperson will think it’s their fault and won’t take “no” well. But once you’re immunized against taking rejection personally, rather than reacting defensively, you’ll become curious and start digging in to find out “why?” It may take encountering a few more rejections before you get to the bottom of things, but this process is absolutely the only way that you can do your job well. They say that the true selling doesn’t really begin until you hear your first “no.”

Want to close deals and get paid? Of course you do, so let’s start by getting you immunized. Here are six ways to build up your immunity to rejection:

1. Don’t procrastinate. If there’s a conversation that you’re dreading having because the client might say no, just get it over with. There’s a reason that this one comes first. Exposure to getting rejected is like diving off of a diving board—the longer you think about it, the more likely you are not going to do it. So get the bad stuff over with and you’ll soon realize that it wasn’t so bad after all. Don’t accept excuses from yourself, like “I’ll wait until the timing is right,” just get to it!

Create a routine to tackle those rejection-flu symptoms before they even begin. Make a few cold calls first thing in the morning. My routine is always the same: I get in early, read a chapter of Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman, write down a list of goals I want to accomplish that day, and then make a few cold calls until I connect with someone. I call people on my list, and it’s like ripping the band-aid off before thinking about it. Once I’ve connected and get a response, either positive or negative, I can breathe a sigh of relief and move on with my day free of the fear of people telling me no.

2. Be open with your team. If you think you’re getting sick of rejection, come right out and say it. Share your worries with the team instead of sharing your sickness with them. The flu is contagious and once a few salespeople in the office start feeling the symptoms, others will start to catch it. But you can nip it in the bud by telling your coworkers that you’re having a bit of a tough time and getting their thoughts and feedback. Sometimes talking through it is all you need to put you back on the right track. Give your team permission to stay on top of you to remind you what you’re fighting for if they hear you being negative or making excuses for not having tough conversations. A good team is a network that’s always picking each other back up. With a little support, you can skate right through the early symptoms without really getting sick.

3. Be prepared. A lot of times rejection protection comes down to simple preparation. If you dive blindly into a situation where you’re not sure if you’re right, but you need to convince someone else that you are, it won’t end well. Write out your argument ahead of time. Why should they buy? Why should they commit to a timeline? Practice it aloud, and then try to anticipate their responses or objections and write those down too. It’s a bad idea to script it out word for word; just have the key bullet points in front of you for the call. If you get lost, reference them. By having your rationale in stone, you’ll find yourself feeling much better to be able to carry the conversation in the direction it needs to go

4. Get curious. Get into the habit of answering questions with questions. This keeps you safe from responding flatly with “OK” to a rejection. Instead of accepting someone’s first answer, get used to digging deeper. Play the question game with teammates and get more comfortable coming back from questions or negative responses. You’ll find that if you can shift your mindset away from being offended at “no” to being curious, you’ll start uncovering the real reason the response was a “no.” Do this consistently and you’ll develop a toolkit of default responses to hearing “no” that become second-nature. Your anxiety will subside when you know that you’re better at dealing with these situations.

5. Avoid negative self-talk. If you’re already sick, this is the key step to recovery. Health and immunity are all based on your mental state and a negative narration going on in your head can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’ve heard plenty of salespeople say, “I’m about to call this vice president and she’s going to tell me no, I just know it.” Lo and behold, that’s what happens. Their negative self-talk set them up for failure. On that call they probably answered their own questions, like “You don’t need my service, right?”, rather than just, “Do you need our service?” Instead, guide them down the right path and give them a fair chance to tell you “Yes!” To get out of the negative mindset, simply step away from your work and take a break and do something that you love and are good at, and rediscover your self-worth. Savor it, then channel that in the office.

6. Find your totem. Find the thing that gives you confidence and keep it nearby. Maybe it’s having your significant other’s picture on your desk. Maybe it’s reading Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman. Maybe it’s Tony Robbins-style positive affirmations and beating your chest while whooping war cries. Or maybe, it’s this video by Nike. Come to think of it, there is probably a lot that salespeople can learn from professional athletes who, while often appearing wacky and superstitious in their pre-game rituals, know a great deal about preparing themselves before stepping into a high-pressure situation where potential defeat looms around the corner. They use totems or rituals to keep their spirits up and avoid getting sick with fear. Michael Jordan wore his lucky shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls uniform. See what thing on your desk can do that for you.

Beat the rejection-flu

While nobody likes rejection, it’s baked into your job and others have suffered it before you. Remind yourself that, ultimately, it’s building you up for much better things. Salespeople who go on to other roles have a massive advantage over coworkers without this experience. It makes you better prepared to ask for raises, and better at being yourself and putting your ideas out there. If you can make it through this rejection-flu season with these six simple steps, you’ll set yourself up for a great end of year, a happy holiday season, and a future that’s full of success.

I’d love to hear how you immunize yourself against the rejection flu in the comments below!

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6 Strategies to Immunize Yourself from the Sales “Rejection-Flu” was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

The post 6 Strategies to Immunize Yourself from the Sales “Rejection-Flu” appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


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