Content marketing is a powerful way to support and expand your catalog business. Creating engaging and relevant content lets you bridge the gap between online and offline marketing. The right content will motivate your audience to explore your catalogs. Let’s look at some guidelines for creating a catalog content strategy that will boost your business.
Know Your Audience
When you want to form an effective content strategy, the first step is to target the right audience. Who are the customers that will get the most out of your catalogs? When you put together a catalog, you already have a specific audience in mind. Your goal is to create digital content that will inform your website visitors, social media followers, and others of what your catalogs offer. Here are some facts you need to learn about your customers:
- Where do they live?
- What are their demographics? These include gender, age, marital status, profession, income, and education.
- What are their psychographics? Demographics are all about numbers but psychographics go deeper and includes interests, lifestyle, and preferences. Creating accurate buyer personas helps you tap into these factors. For example, if your business is food-related, it would be important to know that your target audience is largely made up of health-conscious urban professionals who want a simple and nutritious meal choice after getting home from work.
Learning More About Your Customers
You can never know too much about your audience. There are many creative ways to collect valuable information.
- Study your data. Analytics, both from your online activities and product sales, provide you with crucial information about your customers. Keep in mind that your customers are always changing in response to new trends, economic conditions, and other factors such as competitors (e.g. if a new company starts offering similar products at lower prices, customers may suddenly see your products as too expensive).
- Engage with your followers. Monitor your blog, social media posts, and other content for questions and comments. Ask provocative questions. When you respond to comments, you make it more enticing for others to participate.
- Polls and surveys. Use survey apps on your social media pages. You can direct people to your surveys from your website and social media posts. Since you’re already sending your customers catalogs, you could also send them surveys via direct mail, such as postcards.
Content Marketing Ideas to Boost Your Catalog Business
Keeping in mind that it’s best to connect all of your channels and platforms, here are some of the best types of content that will help you to expand your catalog business.
Make the Most of Social Media
Just about everybody is active on social media these days. You can use your posts and pages in a way that supports your catalogs.
- Stories on Instagram and Facebook — Stories appear at the top of the page and are more likely to be seen than regular posts. Create a quick Story to connect with your audience and talk about your latest products.
- Contests — Invite your followers to send in their own photos or videos with them using your products. Create themed contests for holidays, summer vacations, and other events. Facebook and Instagram both have apps that make it easy to create contests and giveaways.
- Twitter — Tweet images and descriptions of your products.
- Pinterest — This often underappreciated visual site is great for showcasing products.
Create More Videos
In The State of Video Marketing, HubSpot reveals that 92% of marketers in 2020 consider video an important part of their marketing strategy, up from 78% five years earlier. Videos can be a great complement to your catalogs, demonstrating products, and talking about your latest deals. Videos can be integrated into your social media strategy, especially on Facebook and Instagram. Releasing videos on YouTube and other video sharing sites can boost your SEO if you insert relevant keywords into your video titles and descriptions.
Leverage Your Catalog Content
Catalog content, the content that you include in your print catalogs, can supplement and complement your digital content. In addition to your product listings, you can publish all kinds of useful and informative items such as:
- Information about your business such as your history, mission, goals, and some background about you and your employees. This type of content helps to strengthen your branding.
- Tips that are relevant to your customers. These can be taken from existing content such as blog posts or created specifically for your catalog. For example, a food-related business might share recipes. If you sell pet products, you can share helpful tips on pet care. If you sell items for the home, your readers will appreciate home decorating or home repair DIY tips.
- Links to your online channels. Remind readers of your print catalog to visit your website, social media pages, video channel, etc. This brings us to the next point, which is creating an omnichannel marketing approach that links online and offline channels.
Adopt an Omnichannel Strategy
It’s no longer enough to focus on one channel or platform such as a website or Facebook page. People are now accustomed to switching casually between devices, websites, and channels. Your customer, for example, is likely to check email and Facebook from her phone when moving about, check out websites from her computer at work, and leaf through your catalog when she gets home from work. You need a marketing strategy that works seamlessly across these and other channels. Your catalog itself is one of many places where you can share valuable content. However, you can also use digital channels to promote your catalogs and vice versa.
Hubspot provides some examples of brands with outstanding omnichannel marketing strategies. Companies such as Chipotle, Sephora, Walgreen, and others are learning how to reach customers on multiple devices and channels with innovative apps, social media pages, websites, videos, and more. Your catalogs are among these channels. The objective is to not see your channels as separate entities but to allow customers to move effortlessly between your website, blog posts, social media pages, catalogs, and other platforms.
One important omnichannel tip that will increase attention to both your print catalogs and website is to create a digital version of your print catalog. This will boost your SEO as you’ll be giving the search engines lots of keywords and content to crawl. Just as importantly, it will give customers another way to order your products.
The Right Content Strategy Helps You Build Your Business
You can grow your catalog business by publishing engaging and relevant content, both in your catalogs and using various digital platforms. While there’s a massive amount of content out there, people are still eager to find tips, resources, and products that solve problems and improve their lives. If you can deliver timely and useful content, you’ll be helping your customers as well as your own business.