When it comes to photo product sales, content marketing isn’t always the first choice. Yet, while it isn’t the easiest method, it can definitely prove a profitable method in the long term, alongside the likes of Adwords and social media. Here’s how you can make it happen.
However, before you do, you need to know the answers to these following three questions…
1. Why do you want to try it?
Before you start, you need to know why you’ve decided on this course of action. If you create content for the simple sake of it, you won’t gain anything other than wasted time and money.
This is because your goal and reasoning determines your audience, in turn deciding what resources you need. Perhaps, for example, you want to get more visitors on your website, or to help them make a purchase. Alternatively, you might want to bring back previous visitors, or gain interest from a certain niche audience.
You can do any and all of these, of course, but you can’t do them all at once. So you need to know why you want to use content marketing.
2. Who would you like to read it?
Who are your current customers? Aside from them, who else would you like to sell products to?
This can be a very simple answer. For instance, maybe you want to to attract visitors, including previous customers, during seasonal periods? In which case, creating gift guides for special occasions would be a highly useful method.
Alternatively, you may wish to attract entirely new visitors. This could include an entire new niche, such as amateur photographers that want to show off their work, or people who are passionate about home decor.
In either case, you need to create content your target readers would find valuable. Possible examples include ways to create both online and offline portfolios (your photo products make excellent offline options) or guides to personalised home decor. Use your imagination and be creative.
3. Where would you like to publish it?
If you’re looking to expand your reach, finding new readers, then it’s often best to cooperate with influencers, or publish your content on a website that has many relevant visitors – you can read all about influencers and guest posting here.
This can, however, often prove expensive. Alternatively, you can create content on your blog and make up for this with advertising. Similarly, if you want to target previous customers at your store, you can use your newsletter and company blog, where they are more likely to read it.
When it comes to a particular niche audience, you should identify websites they are likely reading and try to guest post there. Whichever option you choose, they all require different preparation so you need to know this answer in advance, so you can adjust your marketing budget and resources accordingly.
Once you have these questions answered, you can move on to planning your strategy.
Create a content calendar
First, you need to decide how often you would like to post. It’s much easier to work to a set plan when you have a calendar updated with every publication date. Yet your calendar can do more than this.
Use it to include any helpful information you have, such as content type (is it an article, infographic, newsletter or video?), where it will be published (a blog, social media channel, via email or on another website etc), it’s current status (in progress, awaiting approval, ready to publish), where you will promote it and so on. This will let you know exactly what is currently going on and what you need to do next.
Decide on content type and the necessary resources
You publish more than just articles, as infographics, video content, pdf guides and more are all viable options. Try anything that you think will work well with your target audience.
Each of these will require different resources, so you need to know if you have them available and if you can create the content well. If, for example, you don’t have the means to create professional video content, it’s wise to stick to simple strategies, such as articles and blog posts.
Click and SEO optimize your content
Your content needs to be optimized with your goals in mind. It’s not easy encouraging people to click on a link embedded in your content, so you should try A/B testing different headlines to see what works the best.
Another thing you can do, if you want your content to prove profitable in the long term, is to optimize it for SEO. This way, people who are looking for content in search engines – such as a Christmas guide for women, for example – will find your website.
Create a promotion plan
Content can’t just sit on your blog and achieve success. If you don’t promote it, new readers can’t find it.
Send out newsletters with links to your latest blog posts, share them via social media and even consider paid advertising, such as Facebook. You can also think outside the box a little. Try answering questions on specialised websites such as Quora and Reddit, or even comment on other blogs with a similar theme.
However, make sure you know what you’re going to do before you publish. This way, you can dive into promotional efforts without hesitation. Just remember to include these promotions in your original calendar.
Ultimately, this short guide doesn’t cover everything content marketing has to offer, but it will give you a solid understanding of how it works. More importantly, you’re now ready to start your own campaigns and content.