If content is the foundation of your brand, having a plan for developing, executing, and maintaining it is essential.
Worth the time and contemplation, the endeavor should be a team effort. And, jewelers who lean into their vendors and staff, are positioned to create a compelling content plan that incorporates and maximizes strong, marketing assets, from pre-billed and custom collateral to organic content.
To begin the task, jewelers should develop a brand positioning statement of what they stand for, what their north star is and their brand voice, encourages Ellen Seckler, CMO Citizen Watch America, in a Plumb Club podcast, ‘Content is King’.
Create Content Roadmap: Develop a content strategy for the entire year, Seckler advocates. “Citizen is unique, as it has its own in-house design studio, but this idea can be used when working with agencies to identify goals.”
After defining your brand positioning statement, decide what products to focus on, which audience they’re for, and what emotionally connects them, says Seckler. To help develop your content roadmap, identify the products you need to create special content for, the ones you can use existing content for, and the products for which the content needs freshening up. Then, it comes down to budget in what and how you execute. A variety of collateral falls under content marketing, including web, product copy, blogs, videos, podcasts, infographics, static product images, lifestyle visuals, emails, white papers, and press releases.
Lean On Suppliers for Assets: Jewelers need not reinvent the wheel when most of their suppliers are happy to provide marketing assets to help their retail customers create ongoing content, shares Theresa Namie, merchandise manager Ostbye. For its retail partners to incorporate in their content plan, the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based manufacturer offers free artwork for social media, digital or print ads, and custom collateral. Extremely popular are the brand’s Top 10 Gift Idea campaign and holiday wish book (print and digitally) that Namie says is an easy way to have something tangible in their client’s hands and on social media for low-cost advertisement. She also adds that jewelers can link their website to Ostbye or use it separately with their mark-up.
It’s important for retailers, who sit in between the brands and consumers they represent, to tell their vendors what they need in marketing assets to make the sale happen, Sara Strauss, director of marketing for Brevani, a Color Merchants brand in New York, encourages in a Plumb Club podcast, ‘Capitalizing on Branded Content to Drive Engagement’. “If you sell more yellow gold semi-precious rings, ask for materials with those styles. If there’s a piece that everyone always stops and looks at, use that. Make a checklist of what you need/would like from your vendors. Ask suppliers for the things that work for you.”
Lean on brands especially for high-quality product and lifestyle photography, videos, and brand storytelling that jewelers can use to create a more engaging shopping experience, Derek Kristopher, associate director of marketing for the New York City-based manufacturer S.D.C Designs advocates in a Plumb Club podcast, ‘The Digital Transformation’. “It’s proven that sites with video get higher engagement than those without.”
Maximize & Repurpose Assets: Consider the ways you can maximize and repurpose marketing assets as you develop your content plan and portfolio. If you do a photo shoot, think about every way you can use those images. And while you’re at that photo-shoot videotape for behind-the-scenes content, Seckler suggests. Filming a store commercial, consider having a photographer on hand to capture the production from different angles.
While budget dictates quantity and quality of content, leaving creative teams prioritizing, Seckler reminds jewelers that not everything they produce needs to be award-winning. And, not every piece of content has the same purpose. “Look at each piece of content and its value to the consumer. Some things are not always sexy, like the setting and operating instructions and infographics for our watches, but it’s important content that gets a lot of engagement.”
Capitalize On Branded PR Initiatives: Retailers can build their promotional, advertising and social media calendar by capitalizing on the PR initiatives that many of their vendors are involved in and the materials that brands can provide, shares Jordan Peck, COO of Brevani, who joined Strauss on The Plumb Club podcast, Capitalizing on Branded Content to Drive Engagement. “Work with your vendors to improve exposure, advertise more effectively, and create consistent messaging to keep customers engaged.”
Use the PR opportunities offered by the brands you carry as PR opportunities to drive people to your store, encourages Peck, using Brevani as an example, a featured brand in multiple seasons of the hit show, The Bachelorette. “Our retail partners promote that exposure in store throughout the year. As we get closer to airdates, they send teaser posts leading up to show to get people excited and engaged. Then, when the show airs, our partners are sharing our posts from the show and tagging us, using Bachelorette hashtags and images. Immediately following the show, and sometimes for days after, there’s post show coverage. That’s a consistent stream of content around one event.” Jewelers report robust interaction from their customer base and social media following, as well as interest coming from new customers in the area because of the show affiliation.
Advocate What Makes Your Business Different: Take the time to determine and define your strengths and communicate them to your customers in ways that get them to notice you above everyone else, encourages James Schneider is director of sales at Ostbye, in a Plumb Club podcast, ‘A Changing Industry, What Can You Do To Adapt’. Identify your unique differences that make customers want to work with you.
“Communicate the value of the services and advice you provide your customers every day that they don’t realize have value, like ring cleaning, small repairs, watch battery replacement, and gift advice,” Schneider says. “One of the best ways to connect with your customers is to drive home the story of who you are by sharing your company history, unique curation of products, talent and expertise on staff, and involvement in the community.”
Nurture Digital Savvy Sales Team: Hire and train sales associates in a way that identifies in them traits that could help create more curated content and manage online assets, advocates Shane O’Neill, who oversees the digital and web efforts at Fruchtman Marketing. As content is getting more sophisticated, and spanning the gamut from website to social media, employing staff savvy in online content will give jewelers a marketing advantage.
“Hire people with technological capability and experience that can give you that extra boost in the types of ways you can market your business, and the kind of content you can produce,” O’Neill shared in an April INSTORE virtual how-to-crush-it-online conference. “When interviewing new talent, don’t forget to ask about the intangibles. Do they have experience with digital media, creative media, video that can lead to content that needs to be created in store?”