Article | May 4, 2021
In recent years, the focus and surge in ecommerce has been undeniable. There has been clear evidence of how a lack of online consideration can ultimately result in a brand’s demise, with Debenhams and Topshop just two recent examples. However, the latest moves by online giants, including Amazon, are suggesting we’re not quite ready for a complete digital switchover just yet.
In this article, Nate Burke, CEO at Diginius, a proprietary software solutions provider for digital marketing and ecommerce, explains that multichannel models are the next logical step, and how businesses can boost their prospects with not just a presence in both the digital and physical space, but by combining the two to create a frictionless customer experience.
While it might have felt like the pandemic was driving us closer to some sort of digital utopia, particularly with the closure of non-essential shops, remote working and online social gatherings being the norm for over a year now, it has become apparent neither businesses nor consumers are quite ready for things to transform to such an extent just yet.
One clear piece of evidence is the buzz and excitement that surrounded the reopening of retail in England and Wales from 12 April. This date marks the first time this year non-essential stores allowed customers to enter, browse and purchase items in the traditional bricks and mortar way.
Stores and hospitality venues were met with queuing customers on day one of the eased restrictions, showing a clear desire for physical brand offerings. One brand in particular which is known for its strictly-bricks and mortar model is Primark. Despite months of plummeted sales, its stores across England and Wales were one of the most popular among consumers on the first day of reopening, with many even lining up outside before business hours.
Although the excitement may have simply been down to pent up frustration after having spent months indoors with few other recreational activities available, there is undeniably a certain sense of trust, convenience and comfort offered by the in-store experience, that digital channels are yet to trump.
However, when taking to high streets and re-entering shopping centres after so long, consumers are no doubt being met with an unrecognisable physical retail landscape, with a significant number of empty units, some of which once belonged to flagship stores and iconic brands.
A changing physical landscape
The pandemic was the tipping point for many brands that had been slow or reluctant to adapt to the gradual digital transformation that has been occurring for some years now, examples of which include Debenhams and businesses operating under the Arcadia Group. Essentially, while some of these brands were struggling against online competitors before the initial lockdown, forced store closures drove customers to shop with those that had perfected their digital experience as there was no physical alternative anymore. So with no other options, the enhanced experience and simpler processes of trusted online brands outweighed any incentives to remain loyal to those which favoured the in-store offering. Evidently, the two channels are not the same and a mere presence in both online and offline spaces is not enough.
But while consumers bid farewell to stores they have known and visited their whole life, we welcome new brands and ways of shopping to the high street, suggesting it’s not completely over for bricks and mortar just yet.
One of the latest additions is Amazon Fresh. The online giant has been taking up space in physical retail across the U.S. for some years now, with bookstores, Amazon Go and the acquisition of Whole Foods. While the latter helped Amazon break into the competitive grocery market in the UK too, its most recent Amazon Fresh store opening in Ealing, London, is on track to solidify its position.
The unique store concept of a till-less shopping experience aims to disrupt the grocery industry by removing frictions and enabling customers to get their goods in the most convenient way. The concept utilises hundreds of cameras, depth sensors and artificial intelligence to recognise and monitor items customers pick up and put back. Upon entry, they scan a barcode on their Amazon Shopping smartphone app, and upon leaving, their accounts are automatically charged with the items they walk out with.
Of course, Amazon certainly did not need to make this move into physical retail, especially considering their growing online financial performance. However, the business clearly understands the importance of a model that comprises both online and physical channels, particularly as consumers’ behaviours and sentiments adjust following the pandemic.
Digital-led bricks and mortar
While digital offerings have provided a lifeline for both businesses and consumers amid lockdown restrictions, there are still certain items that customers prefer to buy in-store, with groceries and clothing two of the biggest categories. Ultimately, in-store grocery shopping remains the most convenient way to get items you need instantly, and digital is yet to offer a way to help customers gauge fit, feel and quality of clothing items online. The only option is to place an order and return it if you are unsatisfied, which as Amazon is beginning to understand, comes at a great financial and environmental cost.
The brand’s physical stores offer a way to combat these issues until a digital solution is established. Not only do they offer a fast and seamless way to shop for essential grocery items, Amazon Fresh also features a station at which online orders can be picked up and returned, minimising the impact delivery to multiple addresses and round return trips have on its bottom line and the planet.
Going forward, this is precisely what the future of retail will look like. Rather than pulling all physical presence, technology and digital software needs to be integrated into in-store offerings in order to reduce pain points of either channel.
Many multichannel retailers offer similar click and collect services that help merge customer experiences across channels and create a seamless and convenient process. And while Amazon Fresh is a unique concept, we can see other brands making similar moves with the likes of Scan and Go services and self-checkouts.
By embracing and leveraging the technology available, brands can make the most of their multichannel models, whereby online and offline routes are not separate entities, but rather a way to boost business prospects through greater presence, frictionless processes and an overall better buying experience for the customer.
Article | March 31, 2020
It’s always essential to get the basics right. Looking at this year’s digital marketing trends can help your business get in on the ground floor of tomorrow’s leading-edge strategies.
Let’s take a close look at the most critical aspects of the digital marketing trends you can’t ignore in 2020.
Article | May 12, 2021
It has been over a year since retailers were forced to temporarily shut their doors or put in place restrictions to limit the in-store experience. Now, as we return to some semblance of normality, it’s essential that trust and brand value are retained for those operating a digital-only presence.
In this article, Nate Burke, CEO at Diginius, discusses how brands have effectively kept customers engaged, consequently building trust and brand value in the process, and what techniques to use while navigating the next steps of the pandemic.
As I write this, physical retail and outdoor hospitality are feeling a little more rejuvenated after welcoming customers back. My inbox and notification centre are full of alerts from brands offering high street discounts and incentives for scanning an app in-store. This is a prime example of how fast and timely brands need to be in order to capture their customers’ attention when trends and circumstances change.
It’s also a great example of how essential communication and marketing techniques are in building trust and creating brand value. While I might not be one to rush back to high street stores so soon, I do feel reassured and excited by these messages. And nothing could be more important at a time like this.
It’s a reminder that these shops are still there and are prepared to welcome customers back in. After all, if they’ve had time to plan and create a whole marketing campaign around the event, I can only hope their efforts towards a safe reopening have been given just as much thought and attention.
Digital tactics like those mentioned above have only ramped up during the course of the pandemic, where remote communication and at-distance offerings have been the only touch points between brands and consumers. And of course, this hasn’t been without challenge.
It’s human nature for us to trust and find greater value in something we can see for ourselves in person. Traditionally, brands have been able to create this through in-store experiences where customers know they can see products and services in action and are able to interact with staff and experts should there be any concerns. While digital channels do offer their own set of benefits, meeting these innate human needs is not one of them.
So, in a bid to retain consumer trust amid the uncertainty of forced closures, measures and constantly changing restrictions, we’ve seen a number of effective strategies from brands. Regular push notifications and email communications just scratch the surface. These tactics are a great way to generate instant response, whether it’s a brand reminder, an update on important changes or simply an alert of a new deal in an attempt to drive website traffic.
By now, it’s a known fact that personalised messages generate better results. And these forms of digital communication can certainly be personalised with little effort on the brand’s part. Whether it's a mass email with a tailored first name field, or an app alert that is sent as a restriction lifts - both feel personal and as though they have been sent by a real individual who knows who you are and understands the context of a situation.
But today’s customers need and expect more. These tactics have been used for years, and the sensitivity of the pandemic has called for a more human approach in terms of marketing and customer service. And that’s exactly what many successful brands have been doing.
While driving traffic to a website is important, it’s the service on offer once a customer lands on a page that makes the difference when it comes to building trust and brand value, and ultimately, converting. It’s all about translating the human in-store experience online.
For example, we’ve seen greater focus and uptake in live chat features on websites, with this now being an expected function for over half of consumers. Through such features, customers expect to be able to talk to a real person on the side of the screen who is able to understand their queries and responsively provide a solution.
Companies such as Currys PC World have taken this one step further, and now offer a ‘Shop Live’ feature that enables customers to video call a real sales representative who can help them with their purchase. In this way, brands are able to bridge the gap between themselves and their consumers, even in a time of social distancing. And as a result, are able to retain trust, while also adding value to their brand through the out of the box and supportive offering.
Other tactics have included offering incentives that encourage repeat purchases. For example, many online retailers offer unlimited next day delivery subscription services, whereby a one off higher yearly fee provides access to a year's worth of free delivery. With the delay between placing an order and it then arriving, as well as delivery fees being some of the biggest deterring factors from online purchases, the incentive has been incredibly effective in increasing loyalty. That feeling of the brand also offering you a better deal is also a great way to build trust, so even though a brand might be increasing the cost it incurs for delivery, the value of a repeating customer and their advocacy hold much more weight.
In this sense, it’s all about how a brand and its offerings are perceived by customers. And another sure fire way of improving brand perceptions is through PPC tactics. Anyone operating in ecommerce knows how competitive the market is. Ensuring your brand is seen above competitors is key in driving awareness and trust, as ultimately, a higher ranking and greater visibility reflect positively on a brand’s trustworthiness.
Clearly, there are a number of ways in which businesses can adapt and improve their offerings in order to encourage trust and add value. Of course, implementing all of these changes will be wasteful for budgets and not necessarily effective for every brand. Therefore, it’s important that you understand your market and customers, which can prove a challenge as things continue to constantly change as they have been.
But a solution may not be too hard to find. Insight software has advanced just as fast as these markets and customer behaviours. Therefore, with the right tools on your side, you can monitor shifts in the market in real time and adjust your offerings in response.
For example, if data shows you receive more website traffic at certain times, it may be an option to increase the number of customer service staff operating the live chat function during those periods in order to minimise waiting times and improve customer experience.
These tools can also help you decide which channels to focus PPC efforts on depending on those your customers visit most often. Using this data, you can then allocate budget accordingly, ensuring wasted spend is minimised while results are maximised. For example, during the pandemic, the figures were showing a greater uptake in use of marketplaces such as Amazon, as well as social commerce channels, including Instagram. If businesses understood this in real time, aided by collaborative commerce software such as VTEX, they may have been able to optimise their performance by increasing their PPC activity and consequently, visibility and status on such platforms.
Ultimately, commerce is facing a period of significant uncertainty that is having an effect on both customers and businesses alike. Regardless of whether stores are open or closed, customer behaviours and needs are constantly changing to keep up. And brands need to understand that how they communicate their messages and offerings is vital in retaining trust and brand value.
It’s evident that a humanistic approach is prevailing, as that is one thing that will never change. But as digital channels take centre stage, it all comes down to how a brand is able to translate its personable approach online. While there are a number of innovative methods brands are using to appear more human on online channels, using the tools and data available is key to ensuring activities help rather than hinder a business.
And in this way, not only will brands be able to retain trust and brand value, but they will be building on it too.
Article | August 9, 2021
An effective pillar page helps to understand human search behaviors and enhance SEO ranking. A powerful strategy for B2B pillar pages can attract the target audience and persuade them to buy your products or services.
Nowadays, businesses are not that focused on the top of the funnel, which helps your target audience know more about your brand. So those types of content are indispensable. Pillar pages are considered one of the most valuable parts of content strategy that determines B2B marketing success.
Let’s take a look at the strategy for B2B pillar pages to scale your business and achieve innumerable outcomes.
What Is A Pillar Page?
A Pillar page is a website page with in-depth information on the main topic and other relevant topics. Thus, it provides thorough information on a certain high-value topic relevant to your business to educate its customers and satisfy them.
Why Have Pillar Pages Become the Need of the Hour?
Once a customer decides to buy a product or service, he needs some valuable and detailed information. That information helps him to understand the brand in a very comprehensive manner. In addition, a customer finds it valuable and effective as he clears all of his doubts. Therefore, it is the best medium to approach your target audience and enhance their engagement by providing them highly advantageous, constructive, and sufficient information along with some other sub-topics regarding your industry or brand.
Essential Types of Pillar Content
Marketers utilize mainly three types of pillar content to help their potential customers by providing more information about the brand.
The 10x Content Pillar Page
The Sub Topic Pillar Page
The Resource Pillar Page
Let’s Create a Persuasive Strategy for B2B Pillar Pages
Eminent marketers believe that a robust strategy for B2B pillar pages is far superior to blogs. So let’s understand each step of content creation to boost sales.
Keep Thorough Information About Your Target Audience
Your target audience should be your topmost priority while creating ideas for pillar content. Therefore, you need to have detailed information about your target audience. You can make your ideas better for B2B pillar pages while executing them by knowing your ideal reader. What information are they looking for? What types of content do they like the most?
Choose a Main Substantial Topic Related to Your Brand
One of the most essential parts of creating a B2B pillar page is choosing a topic relevant to your industry. You need content intelligence to find out your main topic. Content intelligence is the phenomenon that helps you to deliver authoritative and valuable content to your target audience in the fastest and comprehensive manner. It helps you find a significant and advantageous topic that makes your strategy for B2B pillar pages more effective.
Keywords are the basis of any SEO strategy that helps in promoting pillar articles. It enhances your Google search ranking and makes you stand out from your competitors. You must be aware of your primary keywords, LSI keywords, long-tail keywords, etc.
Properly researched keywords present your articles to your target audience simply and quickly. It encourages them to experience your products or services as they find what exactly they are looking for.
Organized and Systematic Content Approach
While creating a strategy for B2B pillar pages, you have to keep your content very organized. Most marketers found that if the pillar content is scattered or not presented so that the audience needs, it is ignored. Therefore, you need to create an appropriate format for your content that includes attractive headings, subheadings, etc.
Promote Your Pillar Pages Content in all Possible Ways
Once you are done with your writing, you initiate promoting your pillar page content on every platform. Ultimately, your goal is to deliver that content to the audience on different social media platforms. Therefore, you need to promote your pillar content on every platform utilized by your target audience.
Content was, is, and will always be King
The most vital factor of creating a strategy for B2B pillar pages is maintaining the quality of the content. You can’t compromise with the quality of the content. So while providing valuable and relevant information to your target audience, you have to create top-notch content. It includes relevancy, sophisticated language, persuasive approach, in-depth research, info graphics, etc.
Crucial Points in a Nutshell
• Don’t forget to mention the core topic in the pillar page URL
• Use relevant anchor text for internal and external links
• Images play a crucial role, therefore add relevant images with alt text tags
• The back to the top button helps users to direct your page
• Promote your B2B pillar pages content on every platform
• Execute remarketing ads
• Elaborate your core topic at the start of the content
Creating strategy for B2B pillar pages is an innovative way that includes proper SEO understanding, persuasive writing, content intelligence, appropriate information, and industry expertise. Pillar pages guide your audience; educate them by providing answers to their questions. It also helps SEO to perform in a better way. Both things are crucial to escalating conversion rates.
A properly executed strategy for pillar pages can accomplish your business objectives. Follow the above tips to heighten your business in every aspect.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should be on a pillar page?
Your main topic, sub-topics, primary and LSI keywords, in-depth and relevant information, hyperlink, FAQs, etc., should come on your pillar page. They help in enhancing your Google search visibility.
How do you structure a pillar page?
There is no specific structure for a pillar page; however, you need some key elements to make your pillar page more effective. The key elements are the main topic you want to promote, useful keywords, and an evolving pillar page content strategy.
How do you promote a pillar page?
You can influence your target audience by promoting a pillar page on different social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. Social media assist in attracting the audience and convince them to know more about your brand. Constructive Strategy for B2B Pillar Pages in 2022
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