We’ve all heard the cliché: content is king. It may be an overused saying, but it holds true now more than ever. Factors like the focus on digital, the rise of personalization, and the explosion of different channels and formats have further emphasized the importance of a strong content pipeline.
Content comes in all shapes and sizes. In the social media era, the demand for engaging, sharable content is essentially non-stop.
In fact, social media content for brands and companies will increase multi-fold, which is why 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. And with Instagram users visiting at least one business profile daily and 75% of U.S. businesses expected to use Instagram in 2020, mastering the digital realm of content is essential. The need for content has only been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, which, according to IBM, has accelerated consumers’ shift toward e-commerce by five years.
As an example, we are witnessing some fundamental shifts in grocery and food retailing – some of which will become permanent. Before the pandemic, only about 3% or 4% of grocery spending in the U.S. was online, but that’s surged to over 15% now. An estimated 35% to 45% of the recent increase in online sales will likely carry over beyond the pandemic as well, since many customers have downloaded apps, tried new services, and discovered their convenience.
Another emerging trend? Food prep and cooking – which felt like a necessity during the pandemic – is now creating a new segment of consumers that are re-discovering the passion of healthy living. Now, businesses must get proactive about adding in health-related inputs into product descriptions, as it can ultimately support sales.
As trends continue to shift, businesses must adopt online channels to expand their reach — and those channels need content.
Mind you, while the written word remains important, the hunger for visual content has exploded: it’s been reported that videos made up more than 80% of internet traffic. But the production of videos, GIFs, and even high-quality images adds a whole new layer of challenges to content development. Building a pipeline of diverse, engaging content now requires more time, technology, and skill sets than ever before.
And that’s just the beginning. Once you have a piece of content, what do you do with it? Where should it be posted, and how should it be tailored for different channels and audiences? Should it be gated or free? How often should it be shared and when should it be retired? These are only some of the questions that must be addressed to ensure content is used to its full potential. In today’s always-on, content-hungry environment, the importance of a robust content strategy cannot be overstated.
It goes without saying that the consistent development of high-quality content, coupled with a thoughtful dissemination strategy, is no small feat. It takes significant time, thought, and talent, and many companies simply don’t have the internal bandwidth to execute at this level. However, those that don’t are missing out on the opportunity to engage customers, expand their footprint, and build their brand. Content essentially determines an organization's long-term viability.
The solution to a future-proofed content strategy? Third-party support.
At Sutherland, our Content Services are customized to meet the needs of your business. Our content Center of Excellence (CoE) includes content strategy, creation, production, management, and moderation of customer reviews, as well as customized content services specifically for e-commerce brands.
Our dedicated team works directly with clients to understand their mission, audience, and goals, tailoring our services to meet their needs. From social media platforms to community support and reviews, we help clients take control of their content and elevate it to ensure it’s reaching the right audience, when and where it matters most.
Capture the Online Buyer
Now more than ever, personalized e-commerce content has come to the forefront of future-state content strategies for many brands. Online shopping has been on the rise for years – the number of digital buyers worldwide has nearly doubled to 2.1B from 2014 to 2020 – and the current environment has only exacerbated that growth, driving online sales through the roof. However, many brands still struggle with the quality of their online content, and poor content experiences can cause shoppers to abandon their carts.
Sutherland’s Content for Commerce services help brands ditch catalog-style websites in favor of experience-rich websites and apps featuring high-quality content that allows for data mining and personalization. Our Content for Commerce services range from page design and content, to SKU management, to account integrity, and everything in-between – all tailored to meet individual client needs. With the demand for superior online shopping on the rise, the time is now to focus on your brand’s online experience, and quality content is central to that end.
Maximize Your Content
Without a thoughtful content strategy in place, organizations operate on a shaky foundation. Future-forward content is not only crucial, it's a competitive advantage – a lack of internal manpower shouldn’t be a reason to let your content strategy go by the wayside. By working with a third-party content services provider, organizations reach their audience in an impactful way, better engage customers, build loyalty, and ultimately grow your footprint. The cliché rings true: content really is king.