Garden Products New Zealand Content Strategy
Free Content Strategy
In a fast changing marketplace with a growing number of new brands, easier imports, and knockoff products, staying relevant and remaining an industry leader is harder than ever. Setting your garden brand apart from the competition requires a smart, well thought-out, and deliberate content marketing strategy.
Having a solid content marketing strategy is the best thing that you can do for your business right now. Content online is the recent-past, present, and future of all marketing. Strong words, I know, but it is undeniable and hard to refute. (want more facts about this? just Google it, get it?). Think about it, how many things have you searched for just this week..
Pushy-pull vs Pull Marketing
In the CPC world you have probably gotten used to competing over keywords and keyword phrases. The more searched the keyword or phrase then the higher the price. I view your best-way-forward garden products strategy as the complete opposite of this.
We are not looking for they same type of immediate success with your content marketing strategy as we would if we were paying per click. Cost per click is great in the sense that you can buy a keyword, see if anyone clicks your ad, then check to see if it converted, great. Module Marketing’s content marketing strategy turns this style of advertising on its head. Instead of initiating a ‘push’ we want to create a ‘pull’.
In order to be seen as the industry leader in Garden Products you need to share information with your potential customers. Customers often do not know what they need until they are shown what they need. Consequently they do not want to be ‘sold’ a product right away. Customers want to be given a solution in common language first. After they have been shown how easy (or hard) it is only then are they are willing to purchase, use, and recommend your brand.
So lets look at your already high profile garden products brand and how Module Marketing can help you.
Searching For The Answer
Whether it be on mobile phone, tablet, or laptop billions of searches are happening daily. Searches for specific solutions to problems are happening right now. The question is: Are you doing what is necessary to be included in the results? Sure you can buy keywords and advertise, but it is a constant short-term initiative.
Companies often spend a lot of advertising dollars on Cost Per Click initiatives, banner advertisement, fancy websites, and all the popular ‘push’ advertising. In some situations these things are necessary. However, I would dare say that the single most important past, present, and future marketing initiative that you can do for your company involves more content, much more content.
The follow up question is: what type of content do I make? The answer is really not that difficult, start at the beginning. By that I mean, start, just start.
How To Find New Customers and Continually Delight Current Customers
The idea is to not only keep your current customer base, but it is to also attract new customers to your brand without alienating your current customer base. With your specific brand of garden products alienating your current customers should not be a problem. (It is worth noting in the case that you suddenly had the urge to rebrand.)
Attracting new customers
Lets take our foot off the Cost Per Click gas for a minute and move away from the idea of competing and buying access to the most widely used keywords and phrases. Instead, lets take a slower pace and review the current SEO strategy for our website and whether or not the most appropriate titles (H1 – H4) and easily digestible keywords are being used and not being overused. I would be willing to bet you probably already have a good web company on retainer that is helping you make sure these different basic SEO principles are in place, so I’m not going to go to deep into SEO. If this is not the case then we can talk.
What I really want to talk about is content and how to do it right. Once we know more about what new keywords and phrases we want to inject into the SEO of the website then we can go back to the start and review the current website. This will happen quite naturally further down the line. For now lets look at the Blog.
How To Use Blogs For Content Marketing Initiatives
Blogs are a great platform for generating content. You can create various categories within the same blog and therefore make endless categorized opportunities to write valuable specific searchable posts. Depending on the garden products that you sell, this is a good place to talk about how to use them in very specific situations. This is done without ever talking about the product in which you intend to sell.
It seems like a weird idea to talk about specific gardening without trying sell your product, but don’t let it bother you. You have just attracted new potential customers to your site, potential customers that would have never otherwise arrived on your website and that are now much more likely to view your site as a source for expert advice for in-the-garden knowledge.
Let me paint a picture. I have a lilly pilly hedge out front of my house. The interesting thing about lilly pillys is that they grow very fast so they are a great fast hedge solution. On the other hand once they grow into a hedge they grow very quickly which means lots of trimming. As a home owner I am not particularly up on how to trim my lilly pilly hedge properly, so I search the web for it.
In this alternate world I am picturing a web search for ‘best way to trim lilly pilly hedge’ or ‘how to trim lilly pilly’. In the results is a link to your blog where we have strategically placed an article about ‘How to care for and trim lilly pilly’. As a result I, the customer, notice the tool you are using to trim the hedge. I buy one.
Specific Are Not Always Paramount
Now, I am aware that the above phrases are not exactly specific search phrases with thousands of hits a day, but search engines are smart. Therefore, as we continue to create helpful blog posts we will start to rank under various versions of the same search phrase used above. We will start to see traffic under things like ‘lilly pilly trim’, ‘fast hedge nz’, and on and on. With each visit and each search we are attracting new potential customers to our garden products website. Most of all without trying to compete over the widest use high-competition keywords and phrases.
View The Analytic Data
This specific strategy goes for almost any subject that relates to our garden products and their multitude of uses. The follow-up to these posts is to view how popular they are and from there choose to make content that extends these subjects or if we are best to write more subjects in an attempt to find more potential customers. If we find that the lilly pilly post or related ‘how to’ post are a hit then we focus more effort into this area.
Potential Content Additions
On top of blog publishing and website page content it is in our best interest to publish guides and white papers for free. We want to be seen as the ‘all things gardening’ experts. By evaluating the content that our customers are interested in we will naturally attract inbound traffic that will convert and close sales, but enough about blogs and general content already.
A good way to take advantage of a high profile bloggers existing fan-base is to provide them with free product. We want them to use the product in blog posts to show it in action. If they talk about the specifics of the product then this is helpful. As much as I do not recommend we ‘push’ our products on the company website, the blogger can do whatever they like as they should know what their fan-base is interested in and responds to the best.
There are situations where it might be in the company’s best interest to limit how ‘pushy’ the blogger is. Sometimes a blogger is quite good at blogging and at being an expert, but they are not plugged into the best way to promote a product they like. Sometimes a simple photo of them using it is more valuable than a blog mention. Having said that, I would ask for a backlink with the link phrase specific to a keyword we are trying to rank under (but that is another SEO related subject).
The downside of working with bloggers is that they own the content. Even though you have had the opportunity to showcase your products to their fans, they remain just that, their fans.
Consequently, to combat this we would take the same approach as the blog and content advice above. Let the blogger have a guest spot on the company blog. This way they promote to their audience that they are over on your site. This makes direct, track-able traffic in which you can see how their audience actually converts, and you own the content.
Q and A
Probably the most value a blogger/expert can bring to your garden products company is through a valuable Q and A forum. I don’t mean that you need to set up an old style forum necessarily. We would be remiss to not allow and make easy questions to be asked publicly and then to be answered publicly.
This has been mastered in the Southern Hemisphere by Yates. Whether by accident or on purpose (I don’t know who their marketing company is) they have this content in spades. Yates has an ‘Expert’ that answers visitor submitted questions and the platform from which the questions are received and answered is not overly sophisticated. However, it does everything that we are trying to achieve (except in relation to fertilizers and pest control). In fact there are probably subject after subject of inspiration that we could draw from Yates.
This is the perfect way for us to use our blogger/experts. That is, to supply potential customers with the answers they need, delight them with content, showcase our products as the leader, and convert, all without ever pushing.
Like it or not social media is still an important place to generate leads. With the addition of video to platforms like Instagram it is still as important as ever. These sub-web areas are a great place to put your brand front and center while tracking the success and impressions of your content on and off the social platform.
I am a huge advocate of making the customer ‘yours’ and not relying on social media platforms for the bulk of brand communication, but it is a fantastic place to reach potential customers and entice them into your brand. The best way to track and evaluate the power of social medial initiatives is to directly tie it together with URL codes, landing pages, and forms.
Bringing it back to content, social media becomes a platform for social publishing. All of the inbound strategies I have outlined thus far are all about making amazing, useful content. By publishing some of our valuable information on the social web we make direct contact with prospects and help to put a face to the name.
If you want your garden products to compete in the short term and survive in the long-term without being beholden to existing sales channels, but to rather support current and future sales channels, then a smart content marketing strategy as outlined here is the best way forward. Past the recommendations above there are more pieces that could be added, but the meat of this proposal is content.