The best e-commerce marketers use content to inexpensively drive high-quality traffic to their site, continually learn about their consumers, and engage with them throughout the entire funnel.
Small marketing teams often don’t have the resources to produce enough content to move the needle.
At Matcha, one way we help solve the production challenge is through licensed content. In this post, we reveal exactly how marketers used licensed content to supercharge their funnel and unlock new growth. They used licensed content to easily and efficiently:
- Acquire high-quality traffic inexpensively
- Gain actionable insights about your consumers
- Improve email marketing returns
We’ve laid out all of the details so you can repeat the success in your marketing efforts.
Acquire new, high-quality traffic
If you went to a networking event, you likely wouldn’t greet a new consumer with all your product details. You’d probably ask a few questions to see if they are interested in the things your product enables. Then you’d offer some helpful resources and relevant stories so they’d know you shared the same interests and values.
At Matcha, we help marketers use licensed content to have these top-of-the-funnel conversations online. Licensed content is highly effective at bringing new consumers into your funnel because it engages an audience around a topic they’re interested in, not selling a product. And when you align the topic of the content with your offering, the article will attract consumers who are real potential users of your product.
For the last five months, we’ve worked with a small-but-growing online retailer of outdoor goods who wanted to grow the top of their funnel by attracting the right audience before they had the intent to buy.
The strategy began with publishing a consistent cadence of four outdoor-adventure stories each month.
To fuel this strategy on limited resources, the retailer published articles from our Matcha Marketplace. We then helped manage the paid social distribution of these articles.
We hold quarterly insight calls with our customers to review their progress, and it was exciting to see the momentum they were building.
In the first month, their four distributed stories brought 2,943 link clicks at an impressive cost-per-click (CPC) of $0.18. Using insights from the first four months, we cut CPC by over 60%, dropping it to $.07 while generating over 7,000 link clicks.
How to get there: Publish a regular cadence of licensed content that addresses what your consumer wants to know, not just what you want them to know. Consistency is the key to building brand awareness and authority.
Distribution is critical to driving immediate results from your content strategy. One of the most powerful ways to fill the top of your funnel is to use licensed content with Facebook ads. We explain how in our ebook, Beginner’s Guide to Driving Efficient Traffic from Facebook. Also, make sure you spend some of the time you saved creating content for analyzing the data.
Gain actionable insights
When you need to invest lots of time in content creation or freelancer management, it’s really difficult to spend time where it’s most needed, understanding the data. Without this insight, original content creation is based on a guess, producing an expensive cycle of hit-or-miss content.
Since licensed content saves you 5-10+ hours on writing and editing every time you publish, you can invest that time in higher value activities like distribution and analyzing the results for key insights about existing and new audiences.
Specifically, you can use licensed content to answer these two questions:
- How can you create more effective custom content?
- Which consumer traits should we target?
Creating better custom content
When developing the hit show House of Cards, Netflix relied on a data-driven process. They reviewed interactions their audience had with similar shows and were better able to choose characters, plots, and even talent that their target audience would find most appealing.
To generate data at the scale needed for this type of reflection, Netflix relies on licensed content. Its low cost, relative to original content, allows the streaming service to create a much larger library and, in turn, a greater number and variety of audience interactions.
Using this data to custom-design shows like House of Cards for their audience has paid off. Netflix garners approval ratings that are double their nearest competitor.
Zeroing in on consumer traits
We recently worked with a startup e-comm apparel brand based in Colorado. They came with a list of audience assumptions, including the geographic targets they felt held the most promise.
We set out to help them understand where their best audiences lived by using several licensed articles relevant to their brand. Among the highest value locations were cities in New York and Florida— a reasonable assumption given population densities.
We started by targeting their original geo list with paid social campaigns promoting several articles to get a baseline. Then, we tested the content with audiences in different cities.
Several of their assumed geographic targets turned out to be winners, but two really surprised them. Washington state and Utah both far surpassed their assumed top locations of New York and Florida.
Using the insights from the geo tests with paid social promoting licensed content, Matcha helped them achieve a 75% decrease in CPC and improve their CTR by 200%!
How to get there: Create a list of your assumed ideal consumer traits (age, gender, geographic location, and interests) and test these consumer traits with several content types. Next, A/B test different variables within the core audience you created. As you continue to test audience variables and content, two things will start to emerge 1. A clearer depiction of who your most valuable audience is and 2. What types of content resonate with them.
Improve email marketing returns
Consumers who receive brand emails share 3x more content and spend 138% more than those who don’t receive emails. That’s why keeping them as subscribers long-term is so valuable.
We’ve learned that an email content mix which includes 50% to 75% consumer-focused content vs. only product-focused and sales content improves effectiveness dramatically.
In 2015, Marmot made that switch. They began sending one email every week that was full of engaging stories. Then they added other emails that had a mix of product, deal, and story to the cadence
This new consumer-first strategy paid off. Marmot increased traffic from emails by 208% and saw corresponding email review jump an amazing 224%.
How to get there: Test a few versions of content-mix balance between consumer-focused content and brand/offer messaging. If you’re using our platform, you can track both email metrics and leads from your dashboard. Pay attention to how both email cadence, content mix, and topic choice affects the data.
To get all the details on how to achieve results like Marmot, read our ebook, Content Marketing for Email.
Written by Rob Glover for Matcha.
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