Content marketing starts from the premise that by regularly providing value to your prospective customers, you establish credibility, improve engagement, and strengthen brand awareness. This, in turn, should increase the quantity and quality of leads generated.
Live chat can support your content marketing efforts by helping you to customize your calls to action, by re-affirming your audience’s impression of your business as a provider of value, by making it easy to capture testimonials, and by helping your chat agents to identify the buyer personas of your visitors and to approach them accordingly.
Content Marketing for Ecommerce
If you’re planning to utilize a content marketing approach to lead generation and brand awareness, you should reasonably expect to see a boost in the credibility, engagement, and brand awareness of your ecommerce content marketing efforts.
Credibility increases because the great content you’re providing helps establish you as an expert in your industry. Additionally, by making it a priority to provide valuable content to your audience, you present your organization as a group of professionals interested in helping to grow the market, rather than just another online sales company trying to make a buck off unsuspecting customers.
Engagement increases because you’ve created a positive expectation in your audience: the expectation that your marketing materials consistently provide value. At that point, your marketing materials don’t feel like marketing spam anymore, they feel like free help.
Brand awareness increases because when your content is genuinely interesting and/or useful, your audience will naturally want to share it with their coworkers, peers, and others. That said, you should not rely solely on “word of mouth” to distribute your content. It takes a long time to build the audience size and SEO clout required to just publish and share content on your social media channels and expect that to be sufficient to bring in new leads (some might argue even then, that’s a recipe for missed opportunities). Find influencers and consider paid options as well. There’s a useful guide to ecommerce content marketing, full of links to other resources here.
Live Chat for Ecommerce Content Marketing: Building Basic Credibility
Live chat is a highly preferred channel for customers because it is so quick and unobtrusive. Unlike traditional customer service channels, shoppers can easily maintain an active conversation with your customer service team while doing other things. By making it this convenient to reach and engage with your friendly and knowledgeable customer service team, you further develop the impression of your organization as a provider of value, who understands the pain points of your customers, and is well-equipped to address them.
Because live chat is a text-based channel, because it can incorporate surveys before and after customer service is provided, and because transcripts can be easily saved to a customer record via live chat integration with your CRM system, it is very easy to collect and verify customer testimonials. Admittedly, independently-created customer reviews are significantly more credible than testimonials the business shares itself, but live chat makes it so easy to request a satisfaction score or positive statement from customers (as well as permission to share it in marketing materials), that it’s worth going through the minimal effort to include testimonials on your website.
Both of these benefits strengthen perception of your business in general, read on for more advanced benefits live chat can provide in support of a content marketing strategy.
Live Chat for Ecommerce Content Marketing: Using Advanced Targeting
You should already have established audience segments and/or buyer personas as part of your content marketing strategy, and filled out a plan to ensure you have content that addresses each persona/segment at each stage in their buyer’s journey(awareness, consideration, decision).
From here, it’s just one extra step to create a customized invitation to chat, as a powerful call to action, for each type of content. This is a happy medium between using the same proactive chat invitation across every page on your site (good but could be much better with just a little extra effort) and creating a customized call to action for each individual piece of content (effective but inefficient). If even this happy medium is more effort than you’re willing to invest, at least create a custom invitation to chat for your checkout pages that lets visitors know there’s a live person ready to help them if they have a last-minute question about their order. You’d be surprised by how many would-be abandoned carts that one simple step can prevent.
The final benefit live chat brings to a well-implemented content marketing strategy is providing data that helps categorize shoppers. Data such as the site or channel that brought them to your site, the pages they’ve visited on your site, duration on each page, activity that suggests comparing pages for similar products, etc. This can help your chat agents identify the buyer personas and buyer stages of your site visitors, and use the right language to engage those prospective customers to help move them further down the sales funnel.
Again, you will be best-equipped to take advantage of these benefits of live chat if you already have established what your top buyer personas or audience segments are, but it is possible to make use of customized chat invitations and visitor categories without them (especially if you’ve set up a live chat integration with an ecommerce platform that includes a customer groups feature, e.g. Magento).