Social Commerce: Combining Content with Products

With your eCommerce website ready to reach higher grounds and new crowd, it is time you better strategize the delivery of your content. Content delivery involves two main factors: the smooth cogwheels of technology, allowing for running the fluid processes, and a team that manages them. One significant difference between the two is that while tech components are replaceable, team members are not. A good team appears invisible to the customer because of the natural and smooth way the shopping journey might be.

Does social commerce benefit the shopping experience? We think so, and here’s why.

Content Marketing

The time and research necessary to shape an effective content strategy don’t have to be a mind-bending and tedious procedure. Whether a recently launched start-up project or an already established eCommerce site – they should both incorporate the critical variables involved in successful content marketing and explore them individually, as well as how they work when mixed:

  • people
  • techs
  • operations
Content delivery strategies — just like any complex process bundle —are easier to understand once broken down to their main building blocks. We believe that the three domains mentioned above each spring tree-like structures of tightly connected variables. With thousands of technology pieces applicable to online marketing, you need the leader’s expertise when making the right selection of such tools. We believe that the human factor is crucial since the right choices have to be done by a leading and analytical mind, justifying the decisions made and setting up the course for present and future technological implementations.

People: Team & Clients

Social Commerce; People and Teams

The people involved in content marketing can be further divided into two branches – on one side, there’s your team working to present your product the best way possible. Then there are your customers, riding the content rollercoaster you created for them, helping them get what they want by customizing their shopping experience. Constructing the most fulfilling customer journey involves an equal influence coming from communication and creativity. A team leader is worthless if he brings useful creative input but without the communication skills to make the team members understand and embrace his ideas. Your content marketing team must be vigilant when working even on the smallest details and have a journalistic approach to analysis.

Teams dedicated to managing eCommerce content should be each be responsible for a set of smaller tasks. Still, a broader scheme where everyone is accountable for marketing outcomes could also be detrimental to an improved product impact and influence.

Having a fluid responsibilities distribution across team members creates transparency about how and when. Give your team the proper ownership and responsibility, and they will have more swing when knocking specific business goals. While personal tasks help each member to recognize and endorse their individual role and contribution to the main idea, shared duties and ownership induces an improved internal communication. And that is one of the best possible scenarios leading to marketing excellency.

Martech

Social Commerce; Martech

Great customer experience comes from the relentless effort of marketing professionals to combine technology with promotional efforts. The term martech is becoming increasingly relevant when shedding more light on how to devise a successful marketing strategy. Martech is a word combination of marketing and technology. It turns out to be one of the most challenging jobs since it involved the combined effort of a whole bundle of creative minds, united by a common goal. Tech advances are prolific and frequently drive us to change our existing strategies to optimize further how eCommerce operates and is managed. But new tech is not always the right way to go.

Processes & Workflow

Social Commerce; Process and Workflow

After you create your content marketing team, make sure that all internal processes can be scaled up, if needed. One of the mistakes some content strategists might accidentally make forms a process that is meant to address a problem that changes in time. The way robust plans work is they have an incredible capacity to solve a known issue. Still, once the problem varies due to demand, technological advancements, or shopping trends, it only does not hold the flexibility to re-adapt the initial solution.

Do you need a content marketing team?

Product quality does not correspond to its level of popularity. The world market is big, better connected than ever, and most products usually rival cheaper of better alternatives. Being the best in the branch does not mean you will get the attention you deserve. This is where content marketing comes in, equalizing the value of services with the customers’ needs.

The skills and experience required to promote, retain, and grow thanks to smart content use are impossible by the doings of a single individual. The team here does not mean you need a lot of people necessarily because of volume, or to bounce ideas. Creative minds that work by the beat of different drums can examine possible solution from a broader perspective and bring the in-depth analysis and insights that will eventually be used in constructing an optimal solution. A good content management team usually stays hidden behind the action it produces, their efforts, and accomplishments seen through the level of satisfaction by the end customer.

Content creation

Content creation can take many forms. The word content usually means text and images, but many other components are also included. Video, for example, is not only one unique multi-channel source for content but a standalone medium as well. If new content is in tune with the company’s goals and values, anything becomes a possibility. A successful mix-and-match between different content components form complex systems that are the building blocks of eCommerce. For example, shopping cart pages, including product details, navigation, or visuals, are all microsystems, working in sync. Content pieces are tied together meaningfully.

When you assemble your marketing team, be aware that task distribution determines not only the quality of the outcome but also how impressive or unique. Find a way to extend the task load so that everyone’s best skills are put into the right action. Depending on your team preferences, you can assign multiple responsibilities to a single team member, or, have a few people responsible for a single task.

A successful content marketing strategy is one that manages to harvest intricate details about the ongoing customers’ journey and how to improve it. And what’s probably equally important – to make accurate customers’ profiles. The so-called persona development, despite the ominous ring to the word, holds benign intentions: making it cosy for customers, so they can shop while having a memorable experience that is worth sharing.

Social Commerce

Although eCommerce precedes social media by at least a couple of decades, it has become something short of its subset. Roughly put, everyone who is involved in eCommerce, also uses social media, either for promotional purposes, or personal. Although not everyone coming from Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram is necessarily into online shopping, they are all potential customers.

With merging social media and eCommerce, the boundaries between the two become almost invisible. Since product endorsement methods like word-of-mouth are born in social circles, social media becomes the collective trusty reviewer of quality products. Indeed, the best way to lock on a purchase is to have an invaluable recommendation coming from a close friend or relative. Generation Z is a prime example of that emerging trend –partially explained by the fact they are the ones who hang out on social channels practically all the time. They are not only the fastest-growing generation but soon, they will be the ones with the most purchasing power too. Social commerce, although at its infancy now, is already part of the plans of innovative and forward-looking marketers.

Productive Social commerce is about optimizing the experience customers get across various devices and platforms. Using an omnichannel approach guarantees the delivery of smooth and consistent marketable content.

If your eCommerce analytics suggest that most of your customers are from the younger generation, maybe it’s time you make some videos for your YouTube or Instagram channel. When it comes to using moving pictures, what works best is the use of short clips, saturated with product highlights. Online consumers are busy people, and continuously battle lots of distractions in their daily lives. They tend to selectively filter bulks of incoming information by learning to absorb it in a summarized form. The effectiveness of short clips is what brought a new medium like TikTok, for example. About three years after TikTok was born, its development company (ByteDance) started working towards adapting the platform to social commerce.

Conclusion

Social commerce not only establishes a reliable communication channel between customers and businesses but also extends that network within the collective body of customers themselves. The native experience of social apps can finally be adapted to promote product purchase and awareness. Facebook, for example, uses tools like Messenger to link companies with their clients – before and after-sales. This is not only a consistent way to keep up with the integrity of shopping paths and experience, but the live data insights extracted help eCommerce site owners allocate and apply various improvements on it.

Social Commerce is presently at its infancy. If you just started delving into it, don’t rush and put all your products on your social media page. It is much better to start with a careful selection. For example, it is a good idea to start with your most recent products or services, or aged items that could use some attention resurrection. Some of the best benefits coming from social commerce are their ability to help people do product discovery and evaluation. Excellent content marketing comes as a result of products being naturally introduced to customers, not imposed on them in bulk. One of the common mistakes of new marketers trying to maximize their product impact using social media is pushing too hard. If your services justify the praise you imbued them with, carefully planned promo campaigns with clear focus and intent, are the way to go.

Whatever your content strategy within your social commerce channels is, keep in mind that apps like Instagram or Twitter are used primarily by users to connect with their friends, fans, and peers instantly. Not everyone within the social media network is interested in making purchases by default. Still, the product exposure and awareness that can be achieved through social commerce justify the efforts put into such a marketing attempt. With high-impact projects like mobile eCommerce, combining products with content makes virtually everyone a potential client.

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Author

Andreas Maier | CEO

Andreas is a result-oriented CEO who brings nearly 30 years of experience gained in the high-tech industry. His experience ranges up to leading positions in Fortune 100 companies such as rentalcars.com (PCLN) or Intrasoft International, a leading EU based R&D software vendor. He holds a Ph.D. in Neural Networks from the University of Cologne, Germany.
In the past Andreas has successfully founded and co-founded several startups among others XXL Cloud Inc., eShopLeasing Ltd, and WDS Consulting SA. His expertise is strongly focused on modern headless Commerce and the optimization of processes in IT ecosystems.