How much is quality content creation worth?

Quality Content Creation

A lot of ecommerce sites are thin and wide, by that I mean they have lots of products but no detail about them. Here is the product, here is the price, here?s a picture of it. You wanna buy?

If you desperately want that specific product at that specific time for that specific price then you will buy.

SEO can work wonders for the “desperate to buy crowd” You want something desperately, you tap into Google, go to the website, tap in the credit card and you have your purchasing fix.

But what proportion of the entire market is made up of product hunter buyers?

I have no idea. But I do know that most purchasing decisions are emotional and that people like to buy from organisations and people they trust, from people they have a relationship with.

So how the hell can you have a relationship with a site that is thin and wide, which is simply a catalogue site. Making little or no attempt to have a relationship with customers?

Particularly in a crowded market. What will differentiate a new catalogue website from the older, more established sites? In a market that is not crowded a thin, catalogue site may have a chance.

Most of the sites in this area I look at treat SEO as an after thought and even then, SEO is simply not going to be enough.

It is not enough to be number one in Google anymore.

People have moved on from the wonders of the WWW and now treat it as a tool to get what they want. Being on the first page of Google will help, but what happens when you get to the site and all you find is a collection of things to buy.

Having quality content on your site which is useful and solves prospective customers problems will earn trust and build your brand. It will eventually earn you sales.

You may think people only use the Internet to buy stuff.

You are wrong!

People use the Internet to have an experience, for the possibility of experiencing something wonderful. If you are a regular reader of this blog you probably already knew that.

Ways an ecommerce site can add experience.

  • Providing articles that solve problems
  • Include customer reviews
  • Allow a community to grow on the site.
  • Allow customers to build wish lists
  • Provide a blog for people to give feedback to the sites announcements
  • Make available articles which enhance the pre sell experience
  • Have a blog where the passion and knowledge of the staff shine

No one does this better than the Daddy of ecommerce sites, Amazon

This week I had the classic, “I don’t want no bloody free community of wasters on my website, they can buy the stuff or piss off”. Sadly, I come across this attitude far too often.

Lego have got rid of their R & D department, they let the “free community of wasters” on their website provide cutting edge design ideas. Passionate customers who have ownership of the company provide free product development. Amazing.

Of course going the quality content route can cost money, but then so does most effective marketing solutions. But if you run a business, you are usually knowledgeable and passionate about your products or services and will usually have a lot to say to your customers. Setting up the systems to allow communication between the seller and the buyer, once set up, can be very effective.

I see a need for helping ecommerce outlets in areas of online marketing other than SEO. Not to denigrate SEO in any way, but it’s just another tool in the toolbox.

I am thinking offering a service for blog marketing, social media marketing, linkbaiting (which I do already), copywriting and article creation.

There are such services out there already, but they tend not to concentrate on cutting edge marketing techniques like “How to use youtube to sell your business”, or which social network is best to get leverage, and which social media to target linkbait to.

Sometimes all a business needs is a good, solid article a week. It fills out the site, gives people a reason to return, provides Google food, communicates to the customer, can pre sell specific items.

I think the reason it is hard for most ecommerce outlets to invest in such marketing is education, they simply do not understand the power of such techniques.

How much is quality content creation worth?

It’s worth a customer.

Comments

  1. says

    nice post Lyndon (again!) – I also see these ‘flat’ sites a lot, particularly for large e-commerce.

    One additional point I’d like to tag onto this is internal linking – a lot of SEO work is often done on internal linking – but done for the search engines, too many people fail to see the benefit of internal linking to the customer. By producing all this great content and linking deep within your own site to specific products it can greatly improve your conversion rates.

  2. says

    You make some valid points. The key, however, is to write so well, so persuasively and present a product or provide a service that creates buzz — word-of-mouth chatter among customers and their friends.

    Acheiving that means you’re product or service is truly one of a kind.

    Rodger

  3. says

    Hello Lyndon

    Another way e commerce sites can add experience is to have a tool that can add value to your website by having the ability to solve problems for users, i.e. Mortgage calculators for mortgage sites.

  4. says

    Hello Lyndon.

    Great post and I completely agree that you must establish a relationship. It’s completely true that eCommerce and retail sites are thin & wide. That’s a recipe for failure all around. Your suggestions of quality, engaging content are spot on. Customer review are crucial at the end of the day. Blogs and content from the staff are crucial.

    I wrote a post recently on 10e20.com about creating quality content for your site, which some may wish to review. Here is the post:

    10 Helpful Hints for Creating Strong Web Site Content
    http://www.10e20.com/2007/05/01/10-helpful-hints-for-creating-strong-web-site-content/

    I look forward to your future ideas and discussion in this important realm.

    Regards,

    Jake

  5. says

    Indeed, quality content is worth a customer. They could find your quality content through search and buy or the quality content could convince them to buy. The only real addiotn I would make is that to be most affective, you will need to try and provide quality content you can’t get from other sites, i.e. rather than writing a general SEO blog, you could write a blog solely about how to reduce your bounce rate.

  6. Lyndoman says

    Tom – Totally agree, usually I will advise a client to improve internal linking, particularly when post copy. Of course I have not done it myself, there are several words in this post I could use for internally linking, but the beach beckons. Actually I’m knee deep in client work, sigh.

    David – Yeah it’s sad, and frustrating when you can see the benefit but the client can’t. Blogging can be an extremely effective marketing tool for small business people as long as it is done right.

    Rodger – You echo my thoughts. Brilliant writing will attract brilliant recognition. When packaged up with a juicey headline and killer networking a piece of content can be that nuclear bomb you need under your website.

    Jake – Will head over to 10e20 to comment, it’s a great blog and I advise anyone else to do the same.

    There is a feeling I get that the very nature of doing business is changing, because of the web and because of blogging. This idea of creating the relationship is alien to a lot of small business people I meet. Who quite honestly couldn’t give a toss about building relationships with their customers.

    They are the dinosaurs, the “buy it or piss off”, crowd.

    Our job as marketers is to educate or blog them into exctinction.

  7. Lyndoman says

    Mutiny, I think you have something there. Generalise is out, specific is in. Marketing specific services to specific people to solve specific problems is the way to go now.

    I think the days are gone where you simply say, “I do SEO”. At least to anyone who knows what the market can off. Of course for some that may be enough, but how successful are general services.

  8. says

    Indeed it is. If you are sloppy with your content or your content is sparse, you may get some lookers, but you will get very few takers.

    On the other hand, if you put your full effort into producing a winning and unique site, then you stand to attract people who may be persuaded to purchase your product.

  9. says

    I just would like to asnwer “How much is quality content creation worth?”. I usually pay $15 per 1 quality article :) . Unique and well written articles are still worth it.

    However, now I am thinking of sending my writers to libraries :D and paying them $40 per article.

    If you know where to invest, you can get those bucks back in a short time.

  10. says

    Frankly, I really like the whole “buy or piss off” technique. Who needs to care about their customers, anyway? It’s far easier to use stock manufacturer product descriptions and catalog titles that have nothing to do with the product. One day someone will find the product page and might just buy something!

  11. Lyndoman says

    Jan, I guess I’m not going to get you as a client, I charge $500 an article and am never seen anywhere near a library ;0

    Abhilash, people do make money with the hit and run crowd and with the kind of seo you describe. But that’s renting, not owning. A repeat customer is where the true profits lie.

    Compound interest is a powerful concept.

    For years I ran with the hit and run crowd, now I’m all about building the list and a grateful crowd of clients who keep coming back.

  12. says

    Lyndoman, $500 per article is too much :) . If people outsource their projects it is easy to lower the price because there are many-many-many professional writers willing to work for such amounts. Yes, they are usually from Asia where average monthly income is $50-$60. But who does care? They get what they need, I get what I need. Both parties are satisfied.

  13. Lyndoman says

    Jan, on September the 1st I creased my fee to $1,000 per article.

    Something is worth whatever someone else is willing to pay for it.

    I do not simply write an article, but craft an article to get links. I also submit the article through my power network.

    Compared to other marketing services it is quite effective.

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