When your customers buy your products, it’s theoretically a sale that could happen anywhere – in a competitor’s online store, for example. But when your customers purchase your brand’s experience, lifestyle or community, they’re buying something unique they can only get from you. And that keeps them coming back.
Lifestyle content – written, visual, audio – is what can elevate your eCommerce website from transactional to meaningful, increasing conversions and customer lifetime value (LTV) by integrating your products into the lives of your customers. The most successful brands weave lifestyle content throughout their ecommerce sites, from product page descriptions to gift guides to blog posts.
But we already create a lot of marketing content!
This is where spending some time to develop a content strategy can help you be smarter about content creation. A content strategy helps you understand the content you currently have (e.g., how is it helping me reach my business goals, and is it working?), understand what gaps you may have in your content plan (e.g., yikes, I don’t communicate with customers post-purchase!), and help you plan for additional content to grow brand loyalty (e.g., lifestyle content).
You may discover that while you are creating a lot of content to help your customers feel more comfortable converting to purchase (e.g., “Will it fit me?”) – such as photos or video of people modeling your products, interactive product experiences, customer testimonials, etc. – your customers aren’t really “feeling” your brand. Lifestyle content is content that taps into your customers’ emotions, dreams and goals and lures them in to want to “belong” and connect on a deeper level with your brand.
What we mean by “lifestyle content”
A key characteristic of lifestyle content is, does it make you feel good and make you want to aspire to something? Some effective and popular types of lifestyle content you may want to consider include:
- Recommendations: Serve up tips and ideas, such as about wellness, fashion, beauty or design.
- Personal stories: Feature customers, employees, craftspeople, or even historical figures or personal heroes to bring the brand to life.
- Inspiration: Get visual and show customers what is possible, such as inspiring and beautiful ways to travel, dine or play.
- Social responsibility: If your brand has a social purpose or is environmentally friendly, create content that expresses your concerns and commitment.
- User-generated: Share the photos, videos and posts your customers create showing how your products fit into their lives.
- Before & afters: Everyone loves a big reveal; show how someone/something is transformed after using your product(s) or living the brand lifestyle.
- Interactive: Offer virtual reality tools, product-finding quizzes, and preferences surveys to engage your customers, encourage them to share, and build community.
- An inside look: Show customers what happens behind the scenes to deliver the products they love, such as sourcing trips around the globe to bring them the best.
How brands use lifestyle content
We work with a number of brands that very successfully integrate lifestyle content into their overall content strategies. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
Dr. Axe: Aspire to Maximum Health
We worked with natural health brand Dr. Axe to boost customer retention for their subscription business by making the front-end customer account experience seamless across backend platforms – on any device. A big part of Dr. Axe’s brand story happens on their blog, which showcases how their products fit into a healthy lifestyle, with recommendations, seasonal recipes and wellness tips.
Free Fly Apparel: The Life You Always Wanted
We worked with Free Fly Apparel to launch a gift guide for dads that focused on lifestyle first… and then the clothing that helps dad live the dream. This brand does a great job projecting the lifestyle that the brand embodies through visual content, including an inspirational video that makes you want to immediately drop everything to leap into the great outdoors.
Laurel Mercantile: A Cherished Community
We worked with Laurel Mercantile to ensure their eCommerce site brand was distinct from the founders’ “Home Town” HGTV show, while at the same time enabling the team to quickly create featured collections to drive traffic towards the products used in each episode. Not only does this brand do a great job describing the craft and special attention that goes into the creation and selection of the products they sell, purchasing products from the artists and craftspeople they work with makes you feel like you’re part of their community.
Use lifestyle content to build your brand
To create lifestyle content that resonates, it’s important to know your customers’ psychographics intimately – what they aspire to, need or what’s important to them. Making these emotions relevant to your brand and nurturing customers’ experiences, lifestyle aspirations or feelings of community through inspiring lifestyle content will help to keep customers purchasing from you over the long term.