Sharing knowledge and information online via Content Marketing helps your business gain more followers on social media and better search engine rankings. Both of which are highly effective for getting more customers into your store. Garden Connect, who provide online marketing services to over 300 garden centres in the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and UK, believes Content Marketing is a hugely powerful and increasingly important tool. To help you get a slice of the action, they’ve compiled their Top 5 tips for effective Content Marketing.
1.SHARING IS CARING
It may seem counterintuitive, but the more information you give customers before they come to your store, the more likely they actually are to do so. Garden centres are a go-to place for knowledge and advice, but you might think customers will save themselves the trip if everything they want to know is online. However, extensive research shows that businesses who share information online do get more customers, to both their physical and online stores.
Talking about your own business is always good. But when others talk about your business, you gain a whole lot more! Online influencers such as bloggers are essential for generating more awareness about your products and store. Grabbing their attention with content inspiration will help spread your message among their readers and followers, thereby significantly broadening your reach and credibility. At Garden Connect, we use influencers for two reasons:
1. to gain more attention for the garden centres we work with
2. to get valuable inbound links to our clients’ websites.
As well as generating more traffic to your website, inbound links from reputable influencers do wonders for improving your site’s search engine ranking.
3. SET YOUR GOALS
Different goals require different kinds of content. Do you want to boost online sales? Drive more visitors to a physical store? Or generally increase brand awareness? Knowing what you’re aiming for is essential for determining the right content. So be clear about what you want to happen before you start writing. For example, to help a customer who wanted to boost garden furniture sales, we created a topic “How to buy the right garden furniture?” Through this, we advised consumers on choosing furniture and what to do before coming to the store to buy. The article included practical tips such as:
- Make photos of your garden
- Measure the size of the area where the furniture will be
- Search online for furniture you like via Google Images
Customers who came to the garden centre having already prepared in this way had a very high conversion rate. Why? Because they were better informed about their own needs and preferences, so were able to make the purchase decision on the spot.
4. MAKE IT RELEVANT
thinking carefully about your target audience. An article about luxurious outdoor rooms for an inner city garden centre doesn’t add up – its customers won’t have that kind of space. But writing about creating an attractive outdoor area on a small balcony could be really effective. You also need to consider what actually interests your audience and how they’ll consume your content. For example, the younger generation tend to be less into “die-hard” gardening and more interested in house plants and grow-your-own. This audience loves Instagram, so that’s a great medium for reaching them. We have a customer who uses Instagram very successfully. They know their target audience likes fashionable plants and easy solutions – and they’re willing to spend on nice products! So they capture attention by posting about ready-to-buy products.
5. BE VISUAL
Let the plants do the hard work! Their own natural beauty is always an attention grabber. We’ve been creating posts like “Top 5 container plants this summer” which generated a lot of views and helped drive in-store traffic to our customer. Creating these posts wasn’t hard: we just had to figure out trends in container planting and describe them in a list, accompanied by stunning photos of course! People love lists. They are so easy to digest. Lists are a strategy that often works well and are perfectly suited to social media such as Facebook.
Are you ready to join the buzz?
At Garden Connect, we’re really excited about the opportunities Content Marketing opens up for garden centres. However, making it work takes time, effort and know-how. You need to define a good strategy and allocate sufficient budget and staff resources. But the investment will bring returns! Contact Garden Connect if you want to learn more: www.gardenconnect.com, www.instagram.com/gardenconnectonline or e-mail Edwin Meijer at firstname.lastname@example.org