Sep 12, 2013
Content Creation Strategies for eCommerce Success
Outdoor retailer REI knows how to be creative when it comes to visuals. The retailer’s Zombie Survival Gear Infographic offers up the 13 essentials to prepare you for the next zombie outbreak.
From the Moleskin/First Aid (one blister is more dangerous to you than 10 zombies) to a Signal Mirror (be ready to flash one when the rescue chopper flies overhead), there’s a complete kit. The campaign became such a hit in 2012, REI started offering Zombie Apocalypse classes to teach the basics of surviving in the wild.
It’s okay to be a little disruptive according to Paolo Mottola, Jr. (REI’s Digital Engagement Program Manager), speaking on “Content Creation Strategies for eCommerce Success” at Content Marketing World. Offering up unique and inspiring classes is just one way REI serves the needs of outdoor adventurers.
Search drives commerce for REI in a big way and they are open to spontaneity. In April, REI announced that it would be selling Adventure Kitten Gear including “Rugged Kitten Boots” and a “Wild Cat” backpack to hold 100 cubic inches of kibble and catnip.
“We got 25,000 shares on Facebook with no paid media in 24 hours,” Mottola said. And REI was included in top tech April Fools’ Day roundup stories – an unexpected perk.
REI’s content streams include lots of video and Mottola says they see a significant lift when putting video on product pages.
“Member stories are not just customer stories ,” said Mottola. “We hired a freelancer to go across the country — we wanted our stories to be told in a bigger way.”
Stories like A Cool Mother’s Day Story: Climbin’ Mamas Remind Us Why We Love Our Moms or this Junior Ranger story which will melt your heart.
Content married to category equals success for REI. The company’s collaboration with Merrill shoes led to videos on how-to outdoor exercises — an idea they actually borrowed from the Marines.
“We invest in these stories to tell,” says Mottola. “We’re authentic to our brand.” In October, Mottola revealed they plan to feature videos in a major REI-member event.
Some questions from Mottola to ponder though when developing your content creation strategy:
- Does your content marketing objective align with customer expectations?
- Do you have resources to develop, moderate the content and scale?
- What are legal considerations?
Mottola admits they haven’t been afraid to kill campaigns early on when they saw fast results that customers did not like what they were doing.