Ladies and gentleman…we are BACK. By that, I mean, a conference in 3D. I couldn’t be more excited and happier to be back in Chicago after years of not attending the IRCE conference. I have to tell you, I wasn’t too sure of what to expect since I haven’t been in the last couple of years. It’s always been my favorite conference because I see a lot of value from the sessions and great expo hall. This is a must for those in e-commerce…for two days of session learnings, you’ll have more than enough to plan a years worth of work.
There’s two themes that are core themes of e-commerce for 2022 and beyond, and as the title suggests, those are the 2 core C’s: COMMUNITY & CONTENT.
The keynote opened up by something I did not expect the conference sessions to open up with: INSIDE THE METAVERSE MOVEMENT: HOW TO EMBRACE CONVERGENCE AND CREATE TRANSCENDENT BRAND EXPERIENCES. While you may think the metaverse either is not relevant to your business, not real, doesn’t matter…think again. At the very least, what I would strongly encourage you to do is to really just keep your eyes and ears opened to this space and watch it closely. It’s closer than you think. The session was led by Cathy Hackl, Chief Metaverse Officer at Future Intelligence Group, which did an incredible job simply explaining the opportunities and forward looking into the metaverse, web3, and where brands are positioned today and into the future to live in this digital era.
At the heart of all sessions were two themes that are really driving the successful businesses and brands of today, community and content. I can’t mention those two words enough. If your business is not focused on atleast one of them heavily, and you should have a current roadmap or plan for both, it’s time to start now.
If you think about it, what drove the success and phenomenon of NFTs were community-based / community-backed projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club project amongst many others that with no advertising, only strong grass roots community movements, became BRANDS.
With increasing customer acquisition costs post ios, building a community is what gives true brand equity which will lead to things such as lower acquisition costs through word of mouth, brand ambassadors, and more.
By building an engaged community, brands:
- Encourage more advocates to share their love for your brand
- Entice others to join your community
- Defend your brand by facilitating conversations
- Create evergreen relationships with consumers to encourage repeat purchase
- Inject authenticity into your brand that helps resonate with your audience
- Creates differentiation between competitors
“But we already knew content was important.” I know that’s what you’re thinking…but…CONTENT IS KING. The fact that it’s not anything new, doesn’t make it less important. The fact is most brands dont succeed online as a result as ONE of the factors being weak or not enough content. In todays world, your content has to stand out and try to out-do your competitors. Also, when you think of content, don’t just think, “ok, we’ll write more blog posts.” NO. That’s just one type of content you need to develop, and at that, you should have more than 1 strategy to drive traffic to your blog. Your content strategy should be an ecosystem of channels that will help visibility across many channels.
TYPES OF CONTENT:
- Written posts, blogs, articles, guides, and more.
- Electronic books (eBooks)
- Images. (infographics, before & afters, etc)
- Videos. (how tos, instructional, promotional, etc.)
- Video Stories. (customer testimonials, UGC)
- Live Videos. (live shopping)
- Enhanced Content (third party amazon-like content)
If you create a flywheel of content that can be created in different formats for different channels of distributions and create value for consumers in your space, you’ll go a long way. Consistency is key.
All in all, these are two areas all e-commerce businesses need to have a heavy focus that will drive your business and brand to success and set apart against the competition.