We all have that one friend. You know the one I’m talking about. You seek a conversation with them, maybe because you’ve had a tough week at work or you’re having relationship problems, either way you need them to be there for you. As the conversation progressives you suddenly realize the conversation has somehow shifted to them and the latest antics of their pet iguana. When did that happen? Friends like these—friends who enjoy the sound of their own voice more than anything in the world—aren’t exactly the type of people we tend to rely on or trust. We probably don’t like them all that much either. Unfortunately, the same rule applies to businesses. This means you, inbound marketing for retail.
There is such a vast amount of content available on the internet, that it may be hard for your targeted audience to sift through it all to find interesting information. According to Beth Kanter, who was named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the most influential women in technology, we are living in an era of content abundance. She states that on Facebook alone the average user creates 90 pieces of content each month. Consider for a moment that there are over 800 million Facebook users. That is a lot of content. If retail companies continue to create content for the sole purpose of blabbering on about their brand, it’s going to get old quick for the majority of their customers.
We need to shift the focus of inbound marketing for retail to better provide your users with quality and engaging content. Retail needs to find new ways to advertise their brand without constantly self-promoting and obnoxiously pushing their brand on users who are already blasted with too much content. The solution? Content curation.
Content curation is defined as the process of sorting through overwhelming amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme. If your inbound marketing for retail strategy centers on blabbering about your business and continually patting yourself on the back, people are going to be quick to pass on your self-absorbed content.
So how can inbound marketing for retail utilize content curation? Pinterest has several great examples of effective content curation, although you can apply the same strategies anywhere. The image here was pinned by Evokingyou.com which is a blog focused on photography, fashion among other things. The pin has taken several different stylish pieces and arranged them in a visually pleasing way. These products are not from the same brand, but they are put together cohesively. This example is specific to the clothing industry, of course, but it can apply for any types of goods or services. The key to content curation for inbound marketing for retail is taking your product and displaying it in a way that does not necessarily make it the focus, but as a delightful garnish—an a la carte piece that will encourage viewers to go out and buy it, and buy it now.
The idea behind content curation is not to advertise solely your own brand, but to present your products and pieces with others in a way that will make consumers want to buy it! This may mean having to go outside your brand. This may be a big, scary step for inbound marketing for retail, but it works. Don’t believe me? A study was done by http://www.convinceandconvert.com in 2011 to determine how customers responded to two different content types: created (typical advertisements) and curated. According to that study, brands that posted curated content linking to 3rd party sites experienced a 33% increase in clicks versus those with original content linking back to their site. Still want to keep patting your own back, retail? Consider content curation for inbound marketing for retail. Don’t be that awkward brand left alone in the corner talking about yourself. No one wants to listen!