This is Part 1 of a 5-part series on how to drive more sales for your business or company with Content Marketing.
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In 2018 I was brought in to be Content Lead for a team that ran a promotion for a client to generate online sales through their eCommerce website.
Along with generating US$21,000 in sales within the first two months of the campaign, we also increased the client's Social Media following on both Facebook and Instagram by 200% and 300% respectively.
I wanted to go through how we accomplished this within the first two months to show the power of Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing in driving sales for any business, company, product, or service.
The two-month period being highlighted was from October 1 – November 30 2018.
1. Identifying Target Audience
The first thing we did was identify who our target audience was, and create a Buyer Profile based on who we believed would most likely purchase from our client’s website.
We then did research to identify which social platforms this group would most likely frequent, and crossing it with the nature of the promotion (which is heavily visual)
As such we decided Facebook and Instagram would be the two best channels for the campaign.
2. Telling the Story
Once we established our Buyer Profile, we created the story behind the campaign and created content around that story.
This content included videos and blog posts of key stakeholders talking on what the campaign was about and why they’re doing it.
We also integrated this story into PR through television, radio, and newspaper interviews and press releases.
The importance of attaching a story to the campaign is so our audience could connect with it and the campaign would better resonate with them. This would elicit an emotional response and connection, thereby increasing the chances visitors to the website would buy.
People are more likely to buy into your business and marketing message when there is a story that they connect with and see themselves being a part of.
3. Social Media Amplification
Once we had the content (videos, blog posts, interviews), we posted this content on the Facebook and Instagram profiles and created social ads for these posts, targeting key individuals.
We used this to drive traffic back to our Social Media channels to build up a following online.
Note that building a following online isn’t enough, and you have to translate that following to actually business results. We’ll get into how we did this later.
Once we told the story enough times to get people aware and interested in the campaign, we then created content focused on the actual campaign and how it benefits our audience (the product).
For clarification with the different content types, one set of content was used to get buy-in for the campaign, the second focused on the benefits to the target group and what’s in it for them in order to generate sales.
We also had giveaways to further boost the following of our audience online. This tactic worked significantly well as we saw numbers double on Facebook and triple on Instagram within five (5) days.
4. Translating Followers to Sales
During the course of the first four (4) weeks of the campaign we observed a lot of the feedback that were coming from our followers in the form of comments and direct messages on Facebook and Instagram.
A lot of people were commenting on what they would do if they won.
We took that insight and created content with captions mirroring what people were saying on Social Media. Using that content, we tied back to the product with links that directed them to either the home page for more information on the campaign, or directly to the product page to purchase (depending on the nature of the content).
An important point to note is during the checkout process we asked buyers how they found out about the campaign. This is important so that we could maximize our marketing spend, by focusing only on channels that drove sales for our client.
5. Using Data to Improve Results
Not only were we tracking where sales were coming from, we also tracked several other insights from Facebook, Instagram, WooCommerce (the eCommerce platform the product was attached to), as well as Google Analytics.
What we found surprised us.
Initially, we believed most of our sales would come from men in overseas markets. The data however showed us that most of the sales came from women in the local market.
As a matter of fact, 65% of our customers and followers on Social Media were women.
Specifically, women between 35-50, who had at least one child (typically 5-10 years old). They were mostly single mothers but some had significant others, who are family focused, and either are entrepreneurs or have entrepreneurial tendencies.
We used this insight to change the type of content we created to be more reflective of this specific customer base. Otherwise we would have been wasting money trying to convert the wrong target group.
This is why having a mindset of ‘test and improve’ rather than ‘go hard or go home’ is so important. The idea is to increase your success rate over time, not try to be successful at the launch.
We also took the data from our existing customer base to create “Lookalike Audiences” in Facebook. Lookalike Audiences is where Facebook takes demographic data on your customers, such as geographic location, gender, age, email, telephone, etc. and use it during their targeting for Facebook ads.
The concept is they target people with your ads that are the closest match to who your customers are based on this information.
By doing this we saw sales increase 200% from US$7,000 the first month to US$14,000 the second month, which cumulatively accounted for the US$21,000 in sales and profits the first two months.
This is the power of Content Marketing my friend!
Once you understand how to leverage content to drive business results, regardless of the channel or platform, you can use it to work for your business to drive your marketing and business goals.
I hope there are a few takeaways you got from this that you can apply to your own marketing campaigns.
Question...What was your biggest takeaway that created a ‘AHA’ moment from this success story?