Content Generation: 2 Secret Weapons to Generate Content for Omnichannel Marketing

Content Generation: 2 Secret Weapons to Generate Content for Omnichannel Marketing
content generation

Omnichannel marketing is all about providing customers with a seamless, consistent experience. This approach emerged initially to address a problem retailers with both brick-and-mortar and online stores were facing. Customers would research products online, find deals and prices, and then head to the store to make a purchase. But once in store, they often found prices were different, products were out of stock, or they simply had to repeat much of the same research again. 

If only the staff in store had access to all the research that customer had done online. They would be able to provide a better customer experience and create cross-selling and upselling opportunities. Omnichannel marketing, the idea of providing a continuous, seamless customer journey across channels and devices, was born. 

Marketers quickly realized that the same online/offline dynamic also applied to different digital channels and devices. If a customer started interacting with a brand through Instagram using their mobile, would their journey continue when they accessed the brand’s store using their laptop? Or would they start from scratch again? These questions matter, because Google says 90 percent of people who own multiple devices switch between them an average of three times per day to complete one task.

The whole point of omnichannel marketing is consistency of experience. Whatever channel a customer chooses to engage with, they get the same great user experience. And one area where consistency is a challenge for marketers is content. In the old, multi-channel world, content creation for different channels was typically handled by different departments or individuals. Now your challenge is to create consistent content for your clients across multiple channels. This article aims to help you in this task with practical advice to create content for omnichannel marketing.

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Why omnichannel marketing is important

There’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said about why you need to be using omnichannel marketing to market your client’s business. But just in case you’re unsure, chew over these recent stats:

  • Omnichannel helps your clients engage with their users: Nearly half of all customers use four or more touchpoints when connecting with a company
  • Omnichannel helps your client retain customers: The same study found that 90 percent of customers expect an omnichannel experience
  • Omnichannel helps your client sell: Omnichannel customers spend, on average, 10 percent more online, and customer spend increases for every additional channel they use

Get the message? Omnichannel is great, and it’s a tool you can use to further add value to your client’s business.

But just because it’s great, doesn’t mean it’s easy. One of the most daunting aspects of taking on omnichannel marketing for ecommerce is the content volume. You need content for a whole range of channels: email, push notification, SMS, Messenger, social channels, and web. Just the thought of sitting down to create fresh content for each of these can be enough to put marketers off.

What’s more, as this approach becomes more common, customers are getting used to the tricks marketers use. That means that to continue engaging users, we have to be innovative and smart about our content creation.

Which leads us to two secret weapons you can use to generate content for omnichannel marketing.

1. Repurpose existing content on your client’s website

There is probably a huge treasure trove of existing content on your client’s website just waiting to be reused in exciting new ways.

Below, we go through a few simple examples of how to repurpose copy from three parts of a website: the about us page, product pages, and material generated by customers. For each section, we present a brief case study showing how to use content from a successful store’s website for different omnichannel purposes.

The about us page

The about us page of your client’s site may seem like a random page down in the footer that everyone has forgotten about, but it’s where you should start. This page is where your client explains who they are and why they do what they do—something you’ll be explaining a lot in your omnichannel marketing. You’ll be onboarding customers on many different channels, and you’ll need to quickly and clearly articulate your client’s brand and vision. 

People want to connect with brands they believe in, so being able to introduce your client in a compelling way is really critical. Read through their about us page to see what impression it gives, then look for parts of the text you can repurpose for different channels.

Example: Rachel Roy

content generation: rachel roy
Rachel Roy’s about us page.

There is a real purpose and identity to the Rachel Roy fashion label. On their about us page, they share that identity loud and clear:

“Rachel Roy is the founder and creative director of her eponymous brand and a tireless activist for using your voice to encourage change and to design the life you wish to live. Created in 2004, Rachel has built her ready-to-wear and accessories business into a globally recognized brand with product categories including contemporary, curvy, outerwear, jewelry and swim.”

You can make so much just from this small text. It already contains compelling calls to action you can use in pop-ups, SMS, Messenger marketing, or as subject lines in emails:

  • “Design the life you wish to live”
  • “Use your voice to encourage change”

And what about this: “A globally recognized brand with product categories including contemporary, curvy, outerwear, jewelry and swim.”

That’s a perfect one-sentence summary of what Rachel Roy is. I would simply lift this text into a Messenger flow for a Messenger bot:

We are a globally recognized brand with product categories including contemporary, curvy, outerwear, jewelry and swim. What do you want to explore?

  • Clothing
  • Curvy
  • Accessories
  • Something else

So what’s the takeaway? When you’re writing content, a starting point is one of the most important things to have. Instead of staring at a blank page for hours, here we have simply found some strong copy that already exists and built on it. A real time and effort saver.

Marketer’s tip: Did you just read this, take a look at your client’s about us page, and realize that it sucks? Don’t worry, this happens a lot in the frenzied pace of entrepreneurialism. But make time for it. Now. If you’re going to embark on omnichannel marketing, consistency is really important. You want to make sure a user’s experience doesn’t feel completely different from one channel to another. Clearly defining your client’s identity will help you achieve this.

You might also like: Why and How to Improve Your Writing as a Web Designer or Developer.

Product pages

Your client’s product pages are another hidden gem of tasty texts. They’re also usually short and focused, though this depends a bit on what kind of products they sell. 

A lot of your client’s most engaging and immersive texts will be found on their product pages. That’s because on product pages you’re not only explaining how products work, you’re also aiming to recreate the kind of experience customers will have with them. And this makes product pages a great source of inspiration when it comes to content you can use in omnichannel communication. 

In your omnichannel marketing, you’re often going to want to present a few intriguing product options to users. This will be engaging for them, and can be a great way to segment the audience, too. Rather than just simply sharing product names or images, find catchy phrases, expressions, and even single words from your client’s product pages and use them in your messages and emails.

Example: Fragrenza

A great example to look at is Fragrenza, a niche and designer fragrance store. Their product descriptions are full of evocative, engaging texts:

  • Sweet pineapples bursting with evanescent blooms
  • Caraway blended with patchouli leaves add a mystical and mysterious essence to a refreshing self
  • Mysterious floral wisps of soft and warm vanilla essence

Their scents will “drive you through an imaginary land,” or “sweep your imagination towards the floral gardens of Eden.” 

These expressions will work perfectly when creating curiosity, be it on a Facebook ad or a call to action in an email campaign. They would also be great in welcome flows for SMS or Messenger, or even abandoned cart messages, where you want to engage the audience and create a compelling first impression.

The takeaway: spend some time reading through your client’s product descriptions, and highlight any places where the focus is on the experience of the product and how it will make customers feel. These are phrases you’ll be able to use time and time again. 

Material from users

Right on your client’s website, you have stories. Loads of stories. Personal stories. And people, whoever they are and wherever they’re from, love stories. 

Find the places on your client’s website where others are telling a story related to their product. It could be reviews, case studies, content from social media, user-generated content, influencer generated material, content by ambassadors, partner testimonials—anything that has genuine users’ voices.

This material is great because:

  1. It’s human: you can create an engaging story or an unusual way to present your client’s products through the perspective of a real person
  2. It’s different: your client’s brand will have its own voice, but hearing another is also very compelling.

Example: Sidekick Art

Sidekick Art is a store that sells original art related to manga and cosplay. As you might expect, one of its main focuses is on the artists themselves. On its artists page, each artist has written a short biography and a description of what inspires them.

content generation: sidekick art
An example of an artist’s page on Sidekick Art.

The profiles are authentic and honest, and help to create real engagement. Just take a look at this real-life example from the site:

  • “When I draw characters, I like to capture the personality of the character(s) in a single image. My goal isn’t just to make cool looking drawings. It’s to connect others to the content in each piece and show what makes the characters interesting.” 

Hearing the artist’s story helps users decide to support them. You can use this information to build engagement in different ways:

  • Conversational flows: Quote the artist’s inspiration to introduce the user to different options available on the shop
  • Email campaign: Tell the author’s story as part of a drip campaign
  • Social media: Share the author’s picture with their story

The takeaway: even if the people involved are not as prominent in your client’s store as they are in Sidekick Art’s, their stories can still be compelling. What about the designers of some of the products on offer? Or a particular brand your client stocks? What about influencers? Find stories from different perspectives and put them at the heart of your omnichannel marketing.

Marketer’s tip: The language used by the artists in this case study is a great example of a conversational, informal tone. Using a conversational approach in your omnichannel marketing is going to be increasingly common as channels like SMS and Messenger become more popular. Of course, you need to be clear on your client’s tone of voice and how this communication style would fit with it, but in general sounding more personal and less corporate is going to be more engaging for your audience. 

You might also like: UI of the Future: Conversational Interfaces.

2. Build a content roadmap

Though you can definitely get a lot of mileage out of content already available on your client’s site, you will still have to plan the production and roll out of new content. 

This is where content roadmaps are valuable. A content roadmap is a detailed long-term plan for content creation across multiple channels. The focus is not only on making a schedule and assigning tasks—it also considers the overall business goals and the role content can play in achieving these. You also define how these pieces of content will link together and how they are related to the journeys of individual customers.

There are nine steps to building a strong content roadmap. Before you get into it, though, it’s really important to have thought about these questions, as they will make the decision making process easier later on:

  • What are your client’s business goals, and how will this content help to achieve them?
  • What are the problems this content is going to solve for your client’s target audience?
  • How will this content be unique?

Always try to keep these thoughts in the back of your mind as you’re going through this process. 

9-step guide to building your content road map

To successfully plan out the content that you want to produce, use the following process to make life easier for both you and your client.

  • Identify the audience(s). This sounds very basic, but it’s amazing how often people jump into content creation assuming everyone is on the same page as to who the audience is. Define precisely who the audience or audiences are for this content before you do anything else.

  • Identify problems/“jobs to be done” for your audience(s) at each stage of the conversion funnel (awareness, consideration, conversion). “Jobs to be done” is a useful concept. In essence, it’s about understanding not what a product or service does, but what people use it for. Thinking in these terms can really unlock new topics for content creation. For example, if your client sells kitchen utensils, you might blog about five ways to spend quality family time, because perhaps that’s why your client’s audience enjoys cooking. To identify problems or “jobs to be done” for your audience(s) you can:
    • Brainstorm ideas with your client based on their existing interactions with customers. Don’t forget to invite the customer support team along.
    • Use surveys or market research to identify potential problems.
    • Explore forums and Q&A websites like Quora to understand what kinds of challenges and issues your target audience is facing.
  • Convert these “jobs to be done” into topics relevant to your audience. Create a list of topics for each stage of the funnel: awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty. Use a tool like SEMrush or Moz to search for the specific keywords and search terms related to the problems you have identified. If you’ve conducted market research or interviews, or have looked through forums for ideas, find examples of the language real customers use. This can help you to frame topics in a way that makes sense to your client’s audience.
  • Prioritize topics for each stage of the funnel. In order to prioritize effectively, you’ll need to think about your client’s business goals, their product USPs, and what is most important for their target audience. Either create a list, from highest priority downwards, or group your topics into high, medium, and low priority. This will simplify the process of creating a schedule for your content.
  • Identify what content form is best for each topic. Ask yourself:
    • What kind of search terms are users using related to this topic?
    • What kind of content are they looking for?
    • What form of content is the clearest way to present this information?
    • Do we need different content forms for different user personas?
    • How easy is it to produce this kind of conteng? How much time and resources does it require?
  • Create a list of content that you will produce. Include the title of the content and its form.

  • Create a framework showing how this content will link together, and how customers will move through the conversion funnel via this content. This part takes time, but it’s critical. From your list of content topics, create a diagram showing where you hope to take the customer (ie from chatbot flow, to blog, to landing page, to product page, to checkout). Now, when you actually create the content, you will have a clear idea of where you want the users to go next.
  • Create a schedule for the production of your content.

  • Create clear briefs for each piece of content. Clearly define the purpose of the content and the way it should be presented. Clearly define search terms and keywords to be used.

For awareness stage content (and some consideration stage content), find the top ranking content for specific search terms you are targeting. Then identify ways the content you produce can be better than the current top ranking content and explain this in the brief. This roadmap will help you plot out a content creating process for your clients, and plan resources to use in various stages of omnichannel marketing.

Grow your business with the Shopify Partner Program

Whether you offer marketing, customization, or web design and development services, the Shopify Partner Program will set you up for success. Join for free and access revenue share opportunities, tools to grow your business, and a passionate commerce community.

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Time to create some content

Using these secret weapons should help you both to get up and running with your content, and keep going for the long haul. You’ll help your clients outdo your competitors in terms of content with this approach, which will give them a real advantage. Embrace the technology at your disposal, and marketing your client through every channel that makes sense for their brand.

How have you created content for omnichannel marketing? Share your experience in the comments below.

About the Author

Tom Kacevicius is the CEO of popular Shopify apps Firepush and Tobi. When Tom isn't busy helping Shopify merchants boost their profits, he likes to help other Shopify developers succeed and grow their own businesses.

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