1:1 Relationships Require Variety – Content Is King, Even For Commerce

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We’ve all been there – you’re telling a story that you’re convinced is incredibly interesting, when you see your conversation partner’s eyes start to glaze over – they’ve heard this story before. We’ve also all been on the receiving end of this situation and had to decide whether to interrupt or suffer.

It’s bad enough when this occurs between friends or colleagues – but if your brand ends up in the situation with consumers, your fate is far worse: your users will disengage and migrate to your competitors. To ensure you avoid this from happening requires content that’s original and varied. As a marketer you must also tap every channel a consumer may contact your brand through and leverage the most compelling content formats for each. The kind of content that works best for your brand will depend on your industry, but keep these facts in mind:

  • HubSpot found that, out of 8,800 Facebook posts, those with photos received 104% more interactions.

  • The U.S. Digital Video Review found that mobile video ad content produces twice the social engagement as text, links and static images.

  • NewsCred found that companies that blog more than 15 times a month get 5 times more traffic than companies that don’t blog.

  • PeopleClaim found that user generated content such as product reviews create a 10% increase in page views in 48 hours after being made available, and a 74% increase in conversion per product.

Say you’re running an email campaign and it needs to be individualized, because you know that personalized emails can generate 50% more click throughs. That means each email highlights products or services that, according to user data, a given consumer will be the most interested in. The email is delivered at the time that has proven to be the most likely for that individual to read your messages and on a day when they are most likely to convert. Table stakes.

What could possibly be missing from this strategy? Variety. You’re only contacting the user through one channel. Even the most successful email campaigns are only opened 20-30% of the time, and for ecommerce usually that number is closer to 10%, even with personalization. If you back up this well-thought-out email campaign with mobile, social and online marketing endeavors, you’re much more likely to retain that consumer as they navigate around the web.

The capriciousness of modern users can be seen starkly by the evolution of the mobile app ecosystem, specifically the growing trend for unbundling of services, such as with Facebook, Path, and FourSquare. What ecommerce brands can learn from this trend is:

  • Users are increasingly fickle, and will move on the moment they sense a decrease in value, such as general or mass market content.

  • The old saying stands true – don’t put all your eggs in one basket – content must come on multiple channels and in multiple formats.

  • Retention and usability are tightly-linked; work to remove any friction from the user experience just like Facebook decided to do when making the choice to unbundle its messaging app.

Don’t let your marketing team settle for a one-size-fits-all approach that drives away any customer that deviates from the “norm,” or you’ll see your churn rate steadily increase. Every business needs to grow to survive–don’t starve your brand by neglecting to put the customer first, or you’ll soon have none left.

— Neil  Capel, CEO & Founder of Sailthru