Zappos, the largest online shoe retailer, is often thought of as the king of customer service. The reputation it built with its customers plays a significant role in the company’s rapid growth. Its website states, “We’ve aligned the entire organization around one mission: to provide the best customer service possible.” Always focused on the customer, it’s no surprise that Zappos doesn’t just excel at customer service—the company has an exemplary content marketing strategy.
How does Zappos do it? While its prospective and current customers are in the market for shoes, handbags, and clothing, Zappos understands it must create a real connection by providing relevant information beyond their buying decisions. The retailer isn’t just trying to sell to consumers; it’s creating an experience for real people.
Zappos’s YouTube Channel
According to ReelSEO, online video is seeing a 50% increase in viewership year over year. This indicates that integrating video into a content marketing strategy is an opportunity that marketers shouldn’t overlook.
Zappos’s YouTube channel isn’t a thinly veiled advertisement for the company—it’s a place where consumers can watch entertaining and educational videos. “On the Spot” is a fun series that features Zappos employees who talk about their fashion choices. The channel also features several how-to segments that teach viewers makeup and hair styling tips.
Pinterest, with over 18 million visitors, is the prime location to post images that will draw in an audience. Zappos does it right with a variety of tightly themed eye-popping boards comprised of user-generated content and its own that users can repin, which in turn creates a cascade of shares.
Considering the virtual pin board’s predominantly female audience in the U.S. and the impact it’s having on wedding planning, it’s likely no coincidence that Zappos created the board “Wedding Day.” Other highlights include seasonal boards and ones created by individual users (e.g., “Hope’s Board“), the latter of which adds a human touch to the page.
Perhaps Zappos’s most innovative content marketing effort is its digital magazine, Zappos Now, a.k.a. ZN, available on iPad. The publication “explores the exciting and ever-evolving world of style.” By downloading the app for ZN, readers can review seasonal fashion tips, try out interactive ensembles, and learn from how-to “work it” spreads. Unlike with other magazines, ZN readers can make purchases through the app (or create wish lists to save for later). A bonus is that users can get free next-day shipping without a minimum spend.
What are the main points that marketers should take away from Zappos’s content marketing strategy?
- Know your audience. Who are they and what are they looking for online? Dig deep—their lifestyles are as important as their purchases.
- Be a go-to resource for your customers. Content such as tips, how-tos, and educational information will position you as an expert in your field.
- When it makes sense, curate content. But don’t let that be the only part of your plan—it’s important to provide fresh, new content for your audience as well.
- Provide a unique offering. Thinking outside of the box will give you an edge over the competition.
Are you ready to be a content king like Zappos? Contact Skyword to learn how you can start creating content for the search and social web.
Liz Goodwin is a music lover, a social media enthusiast, and a Marketing Manager at Skyword. Follow @elizgoodwin on Twitter.