A Content Driven Approach to Making Sales

Posted on December 25, 2016 by Kevin Ward | 2 comments

As we head into the new year and have a full year under our belt at Drop Shipping by Global Crafts we realized that the vast majority of our drop ship clients take a similar approach. Almost universally they run a web site with our full line of products and the more successful ones tend to push the products to marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon.  Today I want to suggest an alternative approach that revolves around niche markets and content. 


Why? The marketplace is crowded, advertising is expensive and marketplaces charge fees and drive down prices through competition all of which impacts your bottom line. The perennial question is how do you drive high quality traffic to your own store through natural search and social media ? Let me suggest that it is easier to find, target and communicate with a niche audience than a wider audience.  For example if I took all the Children's products we carry and built a brand focusing on millennials with young children my social media and content can be much more focused on my target audience. The same is true of taking Yoga inspired products, a handmade fashion brand, a rustic home brand... the list goes on. 

Creating content around the brand and the communities of potential customers becomes immeasurably easier if you know exactly who you are looking for.  Taking our toy example content such as product reviews, cute social media images of kids playing with toys, some giveaways focused on "mom groups", even reaching out to influencers in the young mom arena with free product for reviews on their sites. All this and more becomes possible. 

Our site is a good example, yes we sell the entire line but our strategy is to connect with a niche group, people who want to start a drop shipping business with unique products, preferably using Shopify.  The content in this and other blogs is clearly focused (shamelessly) on this target audience and the site is designed to sell a concept, starting your own drop ship business rather than the individual products. Even our Free Website draw is designed to build our list of potential customers for ongoing marketing. This is all done through a content driven approach that is focused on a small community. 

Our drop shipping platform is un-apologetically built on the Shopify ecommerce platform, we choose Shopify because its very simple, accessible and has the tools we needed to sync inventory to a large number of stores.  One aspect of the Shopify platform that is vastly under used is the Blog and the "Buy Now" button which enables you to embed fully function eCommerce into any blog such as a WordPress blog. 

A friend and business acquaintance told me that he would be looking for another platform for his next site because Shopify was not good at content and was all about product. Respectfully I disagree.  This site is a good example of a site focused on content before product. The selection of a good theme is critical to the look and feel of a content first site. This site uses the "Out of The Sand Box - Responsive Theme", but many others have strong content and blog features and if you really do want to go the WordPress route the Shopify Buy Now button can embed a whole collection or a single product in any post along with a fully functional checkout system. 

My hope for next year is that our drop ship clients will evolve and grow their customer loyalty and brand. Content is critical to achieving this evolution and understanding the power of focusing in on a specific customer rather than trying to sell to everyone.

I and the entire Global Crafts team wish you all a very successful 2017.  

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2 Responses

Brian Zanders
Brian Zanders

January 08, 2017

Does your company absolutely require that sellers use shopify or are other platforms acceptable? By the way, I absolutely love your products! Best I’ve found so far. Thank you!

Michele Adams
Michele Adams

December 25, 2016

I agree with you Kevin 100%. This year, I did reach out to some bloggers (mommy and me, millennials, social good bloggers, and distributed free products for mentions/reviews). However, more can certainly be done. It all takes time. I for one, am a one man band, and must prioritize my time. Creating content around the brand is immeasurable and I take your niche mark suggestions seriously.

I think as well the term ‘inbound marketing’ needs a plug though. My customers do not care what I think about a product, but they sure do care about what others customers are saying about a product. To that extent, I am on a deep learning curve and am exploring inbound marketing, strategies, technique and implementation. In a nutshell – and copy/paste/borrowed from another site on inbound marketing: (which actually defines exactly what you are suggesting/advising) -

Since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.

I would say that ‘inbound marketing’ pretty much is a summation of exactly what you advise/suggest going forward.

This year, as well as I am sure your other drop-shippers, I got suckered punch with outrageous fees and literally thought I must change my methods or I will sink. I sold a lot. I did not make a lot. At all. But it was not all a loss, because while selling Fair Trade Products, I did learn a lot about my customers and was surrounded by folks who believe in a movement that inspires change. Obviously too, I was able for the first time to create a fair trade customer base. My customer base – priceless. These are some seriously good folks. They eagerly share the platform and encourage fair trade values with their friends.

While speaking with another marketer on the phone, he agreed that I must learn and adapt to a new ‘buyer’, one who is more technically advanced, more knowledge-able about supply chain, and more aware of the connection of all humans, and life energy. Again, content brand marketing as you write, is an absolute must. As a matter of fact, there is no other way to pull away from the corporate world of the bottom feeders of amazon and ebay. We must niche content market. I don’t even think it is an option. I think it is a must if we are to survive the online world at a retail level. (I am sure a brick and mortar would be helpful too)

So yes, I take heed, and carry on. Thank you Kevin, and your team, it has been exciting ride and a heck of a journey!

PS – I love the shopify buy it now buttons, they are awesome. I once did a whole collection on my shopify blog, and it added 2 or three pages! lol. I had to delete it, but I can see it would be a fantastic asset for word press etc…!!!!

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