The purpose of content in a classifieds space

On the surface; it can appear that the role of content as an extension of marketing is simply a mechanism to tick off SEO requirements. For many marketers, this is exactly how content is used: “Google likes fresh content, let’s provide fresh content.” This approach does help out in the SEO space, but by no means does it do any heavy lifting in building brand loyalty.

The problem with “content for content’s sake” is that, more often than not, it’s just words shoehorned into a loose fitting shape with vague relevance to the core offering of a brand.

With more and more brands competing for the attention of users, the digital landscape is saturated with the ‘white noise of marketing’.

At ROAM, in order to elevate our content, we strive to produce content that excels in 2 main areas :

  1. Providing value and
  2. Peripheral visibility

The first point seems obvious, but the amount of brands that ignore this simple rule and opt to push out thin content without any value to a user are everywhere.

In a classifieds landscape, there are ample opportunities to provide real tangible value to users. Consider the following:

  • Jobs portals that offer CV builders and give interview advice.
  • Car portals that allow you to compare vehicles specifications or give advice on how to calculate your maximum repayments.
  • Horizontals that give advice on spotting scam listings.

Users who are legitimately engaged and derive value from content are far more likely to stay within the brand communication ecosystem by signing up to newsletters and following on social platforms.

Peripheral visibility
The second way to elevate content is to capture people when they are performing actions that are related to, but not directly involving purchase behaviour.

Research shows that when a person is most likely to convert, they have already decided on what they are purchasing. eg. the person who comes to a car portal to buy a car, is more likely to have already decided on which vehicle they want to buy and are mainly trying to find the best deals on prices.

A lot of brands make the mistake of limiting their efforts to capturing users who are performing searches such as, “Buy Toyota Rav4” or “2 bedroom apartments in Nairobi”.

How did the above person decide on a Rav4 as a vehicle they want to buy?

Typically, users’ purchase decisions follow a predictable (if somewhat simplified for this example) process:

Awareness -> consideration -> conversion.

While many brands focus on the “conversion” step of the process, at ROAM we strive to provide value at each step in the purchase decision process.

By understanding the research behaviour of users in each vertical, we position valuable content in front of them and help steer their decisions to convert on our platform.

When someone is purchasing property, before they even start looking at houses or apartments, they need to establish where they are going to be looking. This decision is based on numerous factors including: price, distance to transportation, crime rates, access to schools and amenities.

None of the above mentioned factors will result in the usage of the word “property” and focusing content around the property will not be applicable to any of the above decisions.
By having content that is useful to users at key ‘micro’ decisions long before purchase decisions are made, we direct users down finely crafted journeys that not only provide value to users but result in conversions.

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