Recent research in the field of online marketing suggests that adopting a structured and centralized methodology for content marketing exponentially increases the efficiency of the process. For example, instead of simply having a blog section on the main website of a business, creating an entire resource center for all of the business’s content – blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, articles, etc. – streamlines the effort. This creates a healthy mechanism for your website’s returning and potential readers to have easy access to all new and old content – and prevents older content from seeming old or outdated.
The research was specifically focused on content marketing for B2B businesses, but of course, creating a resource center is not restricted to just B2B brands.
Centralized resource centers can be equally useful for retail businesses involved in B2C content marketing.
B&H and Crutchfield Electronics and Video are two successful examples of content driven retailers. These companies took advantage of e-commerce in its adoption phase and surpassed competing retailers of electronics and video. For example, Blockbuster, a video retailer and once a Fortune 500 Company, lost significant revenue and went bankrupt after the advent of e-commerce, because they failed to stay relevant within the changing dynamics of the virtual market.
These retailers have made efficient use of online B2C content marketing, targeting an engaged online market segment. Both of these businesses have been involved in using resource centers to cater to their prospects and customers, retaining them by educating them and keeping them informed about their purchases.
Just about any B2C business is likely to benefit from applying some of the following tips to their content marketing efforts:
A resource center has to be a visually invigorating experience for viewers. The aesthetics of the site have a significant effect on traffic retention and the effectiveness of product information pages, educational blogs, and other content included in the center.
Expand beyond the scope of monotonous product descriptions and reviews. You have to offer engaging content which does not necessarily have to be sales driven. The effort will have an indirect effect on the sales. For example, a video retailer can offer reviews on indie movies, which already is an obscure concept, attracting newer viewership looking for fresh content.
Online celebrities and “viral content” are fairly new concepts that came into being after the internet’s technological revolution. Since these concepts have become a reality, many businesses have exploited the phenomenon. Creating new jargons or terminologies is the perfect way to associate a brand name with a product or service while creating brand loyalty in consumers.
B&H’s content provides complete solutions for readers. Focusing on the customers’ overall needs instead of just selling a product gives a retailer an advantage over the competitors.
Giving in-depth information in a resource center adds credibility to an otherwise faceless virtual business. The fast paced nature of the online retail market requires businesses to answer technical queries before the questions are even asked. A consumer is more likely to make a purchase from a business that offers a comparative analysis of all the substitutable products, price comparisons, and answers to after-sale questions such as how to install, or tutorials on optimum usage and care, etc.
The internet is a bottomless source of information. Thus, if a new resource center is to be set up, the content has to be easily accessible regardless of its quantity, depth, and scope. Maintaining archives is now considered to be a prehistoric method for tracking content. Every single page should be search engine optimized and interlinked with relevant content.
Robert B. Cialdini, a psychologist, points out in his best selling book, Influence: Psychology of Persuasion, that humans tend to trust those with whom they share some values or background. This association creates a comfort factor for consumers, which is essential in humanizing a virtual business. Adding a small bio along with bylines in your resource center can go a long way in sending out trust vibes.
Crutchfield and B&H have clearly recognized the value of stimulating customer desires with a consistent flow of relatable or useful information. Another extremely effective method is to involve the consumers in the content production process. Photography platforms, for example, can allow commercial and aspiring photographers to learn from articles and virtual events related to the profession.
Clearly, the concept of content resource centers makes sense due to their compatibility with both B2B and B2C businesses. If you would like help incorporating an online resource center into your own business website, fill out our online contact form today. We have extensive experience in creating resource centers for clients, and would be happy to set your company up with this effective, efficient marketing tool, as well.