What is a content strategy?
A content strategy for a business involves two basic components.
- A well defined customer base.
- Information to support this customer base.
Define your Customers
Who do you sell your products and services to? What does this audience need to know in order to buy from your business? Simply put, that’s it. Those are the two important questions you need to answer for your business.
For hardware stores your customers probably fall into a few different categories depending on the product mix in your store. Your customers might include:
- Professional Contractors
Your mix of customers will vary depending on what products you sell. When you are seeking to appeal to these customers consider what things they’re most interested in learning or consuming.
For example, many DIYers use videos to help them complete projects. They read articles about how to complete projects and watch videos about how to use power equipment. DIYers also like to calculate the cost of their projects. Perhaps you can offer tools on your website to help them build a budget. Alternatively, DIYers love to show off their projects, invite them to do so on social media or on your website.
Gardeners are truly engaged in their hobby. This includes time researching and improving their skills. Gardeners appreciate information about how to take care of their garden. Consider adding articles to your website such as, “When the best time is to plant vegetables in my climate?”
As you consider your target customers it becomes easier to understand the content your customers might be looking for online.
Provide Information to your Customers
After you decided who your customers are and what they are interested it is time to provide the information. The format you choose to use will be different depending on your goals. For instance, you may want to create a YouTube channel of ‘How-To’ videos that showcase how to use the products you sell in your store. Or, you may want to provide estimate forms so that your contractors can work with you to create budgets for their projects.
A Few Content Ideas
- DIY YouTube Channel
- Company Blog
- Project Estimate Forms
- Online Catalog
- Updated Contractor Events
- Updated Store Events
- Sales/Coupons & Special Offers Pages
- Gardening Tips
- Project Images
All of these resources add value to your relationships with your existing customers. Better yet, it leads new customers to your store. This is the beginning of capturing people online and driving them into your store. Research occurs online, but purchasing doesn’t have to. Turn online researchers into paying customers.
What is a content strategy then?
Your content strategy is the plan you come up with for providing this information on a consistent basis to your customers. This strategy is a combination of using your business website, social media channels and email marketing to put information about your business in front of the right types of customers.
The Case of Sterling Lumber
Take Sterling Lumber as an example. This company focuses on selling hardware and building materials in Colorado. To improve their website and engagement with their customers they use Hardware Store Websites to achieve great results.
To appeal to more contractors, they worked with Hardware Store Websites to design forms for contractors to plan their projects. Forms like the Deck Estimator Form which helps contractors and plan their decking projects.
At Hardware Store Websites, we also write monthly articles to help attract homeowners and DIYers to buy from Sterling. There is an entire section of their website dedicated specifically to DIY customers. View the blog articles here.
One of the first questions a lot of customers want to know about their local hardware store is, “What brands do they carry?” So, Hardware Store Websites designed and uploaded a complete catalog of all the brands carried by Sterling Lumber. This helps encourage customers to drive into to the store because they know Sterling Lumber has what they are looking for!
Content strategy is about providing your current and future customers with the information they need to make their projects successful. If you’re not building a content strategy right now then you’re missing a major opportunity to engage with your customers.
If you don’t have the time or the know how to do it. Call us!
Find out why hundreds of hardware stores choose Hardware Store Websites to run their digital marketing.