Is Your Brand Ready for Marketplace Expansion?

Lara Jelowicki

November 10, 2021

For many brands, marketplace expansion can be an untapped gold mine. Selling in more places and putting your product on more marketplaces can broaden your brand’s reach, act as a defence strategy against unauthorised sellers, and ultimately drive revenue.

But growing your brand internationally is a lot easier said than done. Marketplace expansion can be massively expensive and time-consuming. If you don’t perform your due diligence and expand wisely, your untapped gold mine can quickly become a financial sinkhole.

While it would be impossible to adequately cover every aspect of navigating marketplace expansion in one blog post, below we’ll present a few introductory ideas to keep in mind as your brand considers growing internationally.

Is your brand ready for marketplace expansion?

While it may be easy to decide to sell on additional domestic marketplaces, deciding whether to sell on international marketplaces is more complicated. Here’s what to keep in mind to help make that decision.

Are you established in your home market?

It’s best to hold off on international expansion until you’ve reached peak sales in your domestic market. If you’re only selling $1 or $2 million in your home market, it’s unlikely that you’ve reached your peak. Instead of focusing on internationalisation, you should be focusing on your homegrown market and building your reputation.

Are you financially ready?

If you have reached peak in your domestic market, you can then consider if you have enough capital to fully invest in other global marketplaces. Expanding to additional global markets isn’t cheap, and brands need to be prepared to cover regulatory costs, marketing spend, and other hidden fees. If you’re not prepared to invest, your expansion won’t be successful.

What are your international goals?

It’s also wise to establish your goals for launching your brand internationally. Once you hit a new market, it’s like setting up a new company — you probably won’t be profitable for three to five years. From the start, your strategy should be focused on the long-term. Entering international marketplaces isn’t a casual commitment that you can dip into and out of.

Do you have the resources?

Finally, ask yourself if you have the right resources and team members to facilitate a smooth international launch. You need to have a plan in place for reading reviews in foreign languages, speaking to international partners, arranging logistics, and following international regulations.

How Pattern can help

We have plenty of experience helping brands to successfully launch internationally, increase sales, and exceed their goals. By partnering with Pattern, we can facilitate this process and help you mitigate many of the risks of entering international marketplaces.

We can help you to craft an effective long-term strategy while avoiding typical mistakes. We can work with your brand to help you prepare and know when to expand—or, if you’ve already started the process, we can assess your progress and help you do even better and perfect your marketplace management. We have the resources, staff, services, and infrastructure to ensure your international launch goes as smoothly as possible.

Interested in learning more? Download our Marketplace Internationalisation Checklist to determine your brand’s readiness for expansion, or contact us today to talk to us about how we can support your brand on marketplaces around the world. 

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Why Content Calendars Need to Be Part of Your SEO Strategy
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How to Use ChatGPT Effectively for Content Marketing

Over the past few weeks, it is no question that ChatGPT has taken the world by storm. This AI chatbot is increasingly permeating the conversations of digital marketers, content creators, translators and even developers, offering a wide range of capabilities, including natural language processing, text generation, and language translation. 

For digital marketers, content creation is one of the most time-intensive tasks. This tool presents the opportunity to reduce the time and effort that tasks such as SEO copywriting take. In order to accurately assess how to use ChatGPT effectively for SEO, we will cover the benefits of this tool and its limitations. With our expertise, we will also recommend how this tool can be used responsibly without resulting in penalties on your site from search engines like Google.

Before we dive into the various uses of this tool for SEO, it is important to first understand the fundamental nature of this platform.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a chatbot system developed by OpenAI, a research institute that is expanding the capabilities of artificial intelligence technology. This AI platform understands even complex human requests and provides relevant output instantly. 

While versions of ChatGPT have been around for a while, this widely talked about chatbot version was officially launched on November 30, 2022. It gained over one million users in its first week of public operation and has already made big waves in the digital space. 

How does ChatGPT work?

The chatbot is based on an AI text creator system known as GPT-3, which uses natural language processing (NPL) to understand and then respond to customer queries in a personalised and relevant manner to the user. This functionality is possible as the language analysis model is trained on a vast array of data that includes anything ranging from online content to texts, reports or even code. Additionally, much like a normal human-to-human conversation, the bot is able to remember the entire sequence of the conversation. It hence provides responses that flow well, consecutively producing helpful responses for the user.

The Benefits and Limitations of Using ChatGPT for SEO Content 

With ChatGPT's impressive language processing capability that continues to expand the boundaries of AI, it is important to understand how the platform can assist digital marketers and the factors to be aware of when using the platform to produce site content.

Benefits of Using ChatGPT for Content Marketing

1. Quick & Relevant Chatbot Responses

First and foremost, ChatGPT is great at understanding the user's request, even when it is not written in the most coherent way. It then provides a highly relevant response nearly instantly.

For instance, if the user's query was for the platform to write a blog in a specific language, ChatGPT can deliver relevant content to the query and in the requested language. The content this AI bot spits out reads fluently and is grammatically correct. 

2. Responsive to Human Feedback

The platform has the ability to successfully take into account instructions and directive feedback from humans and provide content within the requested parameters. This makes ChatGPT a powerful tool for content creation and hence SEO. This is likely the reason why ChatGPT has been so widely talked about, as it has notably pushed the needle when it comes to human-machine hybrid work.

3. Increases Efficiency & Productivity 

Another benefit of ChatGPt is that, similarly to other AI systems, it can analyse and process large amounts of data much faster than humans can. ChatGPT can do the tedious work that is usually the most time-intensive. Examples of this include researching, summarising or producing content. Therefore, this tool makes workers more productive and efficient in the completion of these lengthy yet crucial tasks, such as writing high-quality and optimised content.

Limitations of ChatGPT Uses for Content Marketing

Now that we have covered the key benefits of this tool, it is important to acknowledge some of the disadvantages when employing this type of AI to complete SEO work. 

1. Unaware of Current Events & Inaccuracy 

One of the most obvious disadvantages of ChatGPT is that it is not completely up-to-date with current events. The platform has limited knowledge of what has occurred after 2021, and it is unaware of content created after that period. As ChatGPT is not linked to the internet, it can occasionally provide wrong answers.

Numerous brands need to add new information to their blogs to keep their articles relevant, informative and engaging for their audience. For example, if you run a sports brand focusing on soccer, your blog strategy will likely include covering key moments in events like the FIFA 2022 cup. For this blog, you could not rely on ChatGPT to do the research for key information to be mentioned in the article.

2. Maintains Built-in Biases 

An important limitation to be aware of is that this chatbot is trained to be helpful, truthful, and "harmless". This means that the output the platform provides avoids writing negative information. Therefore, if your brand needs to communicate certain intricacies about a particular product in a blog, such as uses of the item to avoid, a human would be best suited to write this content.

3. Requires Highly Detailed Instructions for Originality

ChatGPT requires detailed instructions in order to output content that has a greater chance of being original or taking a specific point of view while not compromising on the quality of the content piece.

In order to put this limitation to the test, we ran an experiment, inputting the same prompt for ChatGPT on two different accounts to test to see how similar the output would be.

When running this text through another AI software that identifies similarities between different texts, the results indicated that the output was similar. 

Here’s another example of a ChatGPT output that two different users got from the same prompt, tested for similarity. The prompt was: "Produce a 250-word category description for a site's "Dresses" landing page. Talk about the various types of dresses the brand offers such as midi, mini and maxi dresses and popular colours such as black and white. Use a semi-formal tone".

4. AI-Written Content is Detectable

With the rapid growth of AI, researchers at Google and other organisations have been working for years on algorithms that successfully detect AI-generated content. 

This is likely one of the biggest limitations for marketers looking to use ChatGPT for blog content, as Google explicitly specifies that auto-generated content violates its guidelines.

In April 2022, Google's search advocate, John Mueller, said that AI-generated content violates Google's guidelines. Google states this clearly about "auto-generated" in their developer guideline pages that talk about spam, explaining:

"Spammy automatically generated (or "auto-generated") content is content that's been generated programmatically without producing anything original or adding sufficient value".

A tool you can use to check AI-generated text is called Hugging Face. After generating text using ChatGPT, I put it through this AI text detection tool, and sure enough, it flagged that the auto-generated text was 99.98% fake.

Therefore, for marketers intending to use ChatGPT to produce blogs they wish to publish on their website, this is a key limitation. Instead of directly publishing the AI-generated text, it is important to edit the content to add a human touch and ensure the sequence of the words is not 100% identical to what the AI platform produced. 

5. Less Nuanced than Human-Written Text

While content written by ChatGPT and other AI tools might be readable, coherent and grammatically correct, it may not be as engaging or original as content that would be written by a human writer. As it's hard for AI to capture the nuances of human writing and the creativity a writer may infuse in their text, this is another reason why we don't recommend directly publishing something ChatGPT has produced without editing it first. 

Google emphasises the importance of E-E-A-T when writing content and will assess it based on the levels of Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Hence, it is important to add your own touch to a content piece to ensure that it showcases these qualities to Google's algorithm. In turn, Google will give more visibility to your blog in SERPs.

How Can Businesses Use ChatGPT for SEO Effectively

Taking into account all of the above benefits and limitations of ChatGPT, here are a few ways your business can responsibly and effectively use this too within your own marketing activity.

1. Conduct Initial Research for Content Marketing

While we don't recommend relying fully on ChatGPT to conduct research, you can definitely use this tool to gather some top-level information about topics that don't require information or news that occurred past 2021. For instance, if you are writing a travel blog, you can ask it to give you the top places to visit in Paris, France, and it will provide a useful list:

2. Generate a Top-Level Framework for Blogs

Another way businesses can use ChatGPT would be to get assistance with building a base-level content brief for a blog topic. However, as the responses provided may be quite generic, we recommend you still frame the article with ideas that fit your brand's tone of voice and relevant information to the brand as well.

3. Gather Inspiration for Article Writing

Similarly, ChatGPT can also be used for SEO content writing to generate new ideas for the blog. If you are stuck and don't know what to write about, this is a good tool to use to get some initial ideas that could be useful for your business to write about. Though, it is important to also conduct keyword research and look at keyword seasonality trends to ensure the content your brand is providing is timely and relevant to your audience at a particular period.

4. Produce a First Draft of an Article

Businesses can use ChatGPT to produce a first iteration of a content piece. As highlighted above, it is imperative to tweak the output's tone of voice to match that of the brand and to make the article overall more engaging and human-like.

Overall, ChatGPT is a powerful artificial intelligence tool that is rapidly transforming the digital landscape we know today. It is strongly paving the way for technological advancements in the future relating to human-machine hybrid work. This language-processing chatbot offers numerous benefits, with the primary one relevant to marketers being its ability to instantly generate coherent and relevant content based on a user's request. 

However, this tool also comes with a few limitations for copywriting. Two of the most significant are the generic and similar nature of the content it produces for different users and the detectability of its output by search engines, which can lead to site penalties. Therefore, based on our expertise, the most effective way to use ChatGPT is to create the framework for a particular content piece rather than to use it as the end-to-end tool that produces the final content output.

To know more about building a detailed SEO content strategy for your business, contact us now to speak with one of our consultants.

10 ways to improve your popup and increase conversions
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10 ways to improve your popup and increase conversions

A popup form is an effective CRM strategy that allows website visitors to join an email list by submitting their email or phone number. They are an essential way to generate leads and build a base of engaged subscribers. Popups in particular can be one of your best converting opt-in sources. A good popup should convert at least 1-3% of your visitors, but the best popups can convert up to 6.5% of your website visitors. In this article, we’re sharing 10 ways to build the most effective popup to get the best results for your ecommerce site.

1. Write a Short and Sweet Copy 

Engaging copy makes all the difference in a popup. Your customer will only engage or respond when they see the value in your product - and you only have a few seconds of their time to delight them before they close the window. Make sure your copy is short, clear, and benefit-driven - being sure to use your brand’s voice and personality.

Make sure to stay away from outdated words like ‘database’ and ‘newsletter’, and use copy to create a sense of community and exclusivity.

As an example, Go-to skincare uses their unique tone of voice to create playful, straight-to-the-point copy.

2. Use Clear and Compelling CTAs

The call to action on your popup is critical to conversions. Popups are a fleeting chance, so the customer needs to know instantly where to click, and feel compelled to do so. 

We would suggest designing with a contrasting color and using action-driven text in the first person.

Get clever with your CTA language as well. What would your audience prefer to click on? A standard ‘Submit’ button, or perhaps a more friendly ‘Count me in’ or ‘Yes please!’

As seen above, St. Ali makes clicking on the CTA a no-brainer.

3. Give Your Popup Value

Customers are getting more data savvy, and unless actively engaged with your brand, will not be willing to exchange their personal information for no return. 

Depending on your product or offering, here are some ideas for what to offer a lead to join your database.

  • % or $ off

  • Gift with purchase 

  • Free shipping / Free express shipping

  • Downloadable content (eg. a recipe book, style guide)

Here, VRG Girls gives the website visitor a deal they can’t turn down - a chance to win a $500 voucher and 10% off their first purchase. Double value = double the acquisition!

4. Request the Bare Minimum

More fields = more drop offs.

Think of a form field as a hurdle for a potential customer. How many hurdles do you want them to jump over? Consider what you REALLY need to get a new contact into your database, and only request absolutely critical data fields in the popup. 

  1. Is the first name field business critical for you? If not, consider dropping it from the popup. Remember, you can always collect zero-party data in the future through update your detail flows, or integrations with ERP or ecommerce platforms. 

  2. Do you need to know the gender of your lead? If you’re selling a product like coffee or electronics, the answer is probably no, and you don’t need to collect it in your popup.

However, if you’re selling both menswear and womenswear, it is likely critical that you find out what gender your potential customer is so that you can market to them appropriately. In this case, you can class ‘gender’ as critical, and include it in your popup. 

Here’s an example of how you can map out what data fields you may need, and decide what to include in your popup.

Ginger and Smart keeps it simple - asking for just your email address. This makes the barrier to entry very low and accessible.

5. If You Require Additional fields, Use a Multi-Step

If you need more than 1 or 2 fields, consider using a multi-step form instead. This breaks up the popup into two steps, so the form looks easy and digestible first. 

Put business critical fields on step one so they are captured and entered into your database, before showing step 2 with secondary fields. If visitors drop off at step two, at least you’ve already collected business critical information and inducted them into your database.

Graza uses a multistep form to collect email address first, and then phone number secondary. This approach means the popup looks easy to fill out from the customer’s point of view.

6. Optimise for Mobile

Chances are most of your website traffic comes from mobile, so it’s important that your popup looks great on mobile to capture this segment of visitors. Consider creating two bespoke popups, one for desktop and one for mobile, and adjust proportions, placement, and creative. Consider making the closing button for the popup slightly larger and more visible in the mobile version. This is to account for clumsy fingers and a smaller screen.

7. Use Targeting Behavior

Consider this scenario.

A customer who has purchased from your website twice before and has been subscribed for over a year to your database navigates to your home page, and is served a popup form. “Sign up now to receive 10% off your first order and an exclusive gift.”

This could be a totally different offer to what they signed up for 1 year ago, and they have not received this gift with purchase before. They could easily feel their loyalty to your brand is not rewarded compared to new customers, and this will leave a bad taste in their mouths about your brand. 

This is why it’s important to use targeting behavior rules for your popups. Only serve first purchase offer to visitors who have not purchased from you before, or are not part of your database. 

What about repeat purchase visitors, whose email you already have? Consider what data fields you need from this segment, and target with popups asking for different information - eg. date of birth or mobile number.

MANNING CARTELL specifically targets existing contacts who have submitted their email but not their phone number with this popup.

8. Allow Users To Close Your Popup Easily 

Signing up for your CRM database should be an option, not a requirement. If a visitor doesn't want to give you their email address, you need to respect that decision. Allow visitors to easily close the popup. They might need more time on your site before they trust you enough to exchange their data. 

If you purposely make it difficult for a customer to close a popup, they will not only see it as bad CX but also as sneaky behavior from your brand. This will hurt your conversion rate and you might have a visitor bounce or even worse, close the web browser page altogether!

Here, Maison Balzac does not try to hide the close button on their popup - allowing the customer to feel like it is totally their choice if they sign up or not.

9. A/B Test

Unsure of anything? AB test it! Here are some suggestions of what you can AB test to help find your ultimate popup form for your specific audience.

  • Creative

  • CTAs 

  • Timing of when the popup is displayed

  • Copy

  • Offer

10. Create a Success Page 

Imagine if you were giving your email address and name to a concierge at a hotel. Once you finish spelling it out - they disappear. Weird right? That’s how it feels when a customer clicks submit in your form and it simply closes. Did it work? What happened to their data? What do they do now? Make sure to complete the customer experience by displaying a success page after submission, with a ‘thank you’ and instructions on what to do next. E.g, Check your email for the discount code.

A great example of a popup that ticks all the boxes is Who Gives a Crap! Offers value, keeps it simple, and has a success page after submission.

The use of successful popups is one of many strategies to employ in your own CRM strategy. To find out more about how Pattern Australia can support the growth and success of your CRM channel, contact us now to speak with our dedicated team.

Why Content Calendars Need to Be Part of Your SEO Strategy
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Why Content Calendars Need to Be Part of Your SEO Strategy

Having a strong SEO strategy for your brand or business is an important aspect of doing well on Google. There’s no doubt that SEO is a long-term game, which usually means it can take a back seat to more direct channels, like Paid Search, when trying to lift a brand’s overall presence and increase traffic. However, with recent changes in the Google algorithm that have a higher focus on quality, user-first content, it’s now more important than ever to ensure your team is equipped with a dynamic SEO content strategy that will assist in building traffic, conversions, and awareness for your brand in the long run.

In this article, we’re sharing the importance of having content calendars as part of your SEO strategy, and how to use one to structure content and blend it with your brand’s overall marketing strategy.

What is a Content Calendar?

When we talk about content calendars and the importance of having one, there can be confusion about what a content calendar is and where it sits within the marketing funnel. Basically, a content calendar is a document utilised by an agency or brand that helps to strategically track and monitor the ideation of content ideas, whether that’s social media posts, blog articles, landing pages, or customer care pages. A content calendar is not, and should not be used as an endless stream of ideas or concepts – like a communal One Note document. This is fine in the beginning stages. However, a strategic content calendar needs to be actively and meticulously maintained to ensure that all SEO elements are met and best practice methods continue to be implemented across the site.

What’s the Difference between a Content Calendar and a Marketing Calendar?

You might be asking, “Our team has a marketing calendar, why do we need an SEO content calendar?”

Comparing a content calendar with a marketing calendar is like comparing apples and oranges – similar in their form but different in their purpose. A marketing calendar is usually used to inform overall brand strategy and positioning, no matter the channel. For instance, your brand might have marketing activity assigned to each month of the year, however, this will include promotions, sale periods, new launches, seasonal activity, etc. It can be overwhelming for SEOs or even marketing coordinators to extract the finer details they need from a marketing calendar when it looks at the big picture.

On the other hand, a content calendar is better suited to extracting the information of a marketing calendar and expanding on the information in a much more granular way, calling out the relevant details and assisting with bridging the gap between the broad marketing strategy and SEO-led content ideation.

How Are Content Calendars Used?

While understanding what a content calendar is is important, knowing what they do and what it can be used to achieve is the real gold. As we mentioned above, a content calendar is a great tool to help extract the broad information in a marketing calendar and translate it in a way that’s easy to digest and write about. But that’s not all it can be used for:

1. Brief in Writers

For many brands, writing content on the regular is a time-consuming task that often gets pushed down the line of priorities. Unfortunately, this can have detrimental effects on not only your keyword rankings but overall organic performance, traffic and brand awareness. Many brands will outsource their content to freelancers and agencies like Pattern or may even fall to someone within the team. 

A content calendar is a fantastic way to brief writers on articles in a concise and detailed way that highlights the different topics and sub-topics, keyword focuses and relevant information to talk about. It also allows writers who are not part of the everyday brand activity (like a freelancer) to come in and write without needing to be completely integrated with the brand.

2. Schedule Content in Advance

We all know how the world of ecommerce retail can get, even at the quietest of times. An up-to-date content calendar will help you keep on top of what needs to be written and when. Instead of a long list of content ideas that get updated every once and a while, keeping your content in monthly chunks helps you to get content uploaded on time, especially when dealing with timely posts like seasonal gift guides.

3. Aligns Channels

While a content calendar should be positioned as an SEO strategy tool, it is also useful to align with the brand’s other digital channels. For instance, writing seasonally relevant content for a site’s blog is a strategic SEO method for increasing keyword rankings and speaking to your wider audience, however, this seasonally relevant content should also be shared across Social, CRM, Paid Search, and affiliate networks. A shared content calendar between channels will help bridge any silo’s between teams, helping to align content amplification and provide ideas and inspiration for future content and posts. 

How to Build an SEO Content Calendar?

When looking to create your own content calendars, there are a few aspects to include that will make it much easier to write and present content ideas, especially when sharing across other channels or with internal stakeholders.

1. Provide In-Depth Keyword Research

We all know why blog content is recommended for SEO but when forming the idea for a new article, it’s important to structure your idea on the basis of strong keyword research. In your content calendar, it’s best to provide a space where all keywords that should be targeted when writing the article can be clearly seen and understood. Depending upon your team and objectives, you may want to also provide monthly search volume.

From keywords, you can look to expand to include competition and difficulty, keyword intent and if they rank for rich snippets. Having these elements stored within the calendar will not only inform the current planned content but allow for much easier future planning as you build a bank of SEO-friendly keywords from past calendars.

2. Detailed Explanation

Like with any task, the more information provided, the easier it will be for your writers to understand the brief. Outline the core objectives of the article, what topics they should talk about, questions that should be answered and particular aspects to go into more depth on. Giving as much detail as possible, and even providing an example article to reference, will help you get your vision for the piece across and means that anyone else from another team can jump into the document and understand what you're talking about.

3. Seasonal and Evergreen

Throughout the year, your published content will differ between evergreen topics (articles that are relevant all year round) and season topics (articles that are only relevant for a particular time or occasion eg, Christmas). While it’s crucial to have a healthy mix of both evergreen and seasonal content, your content calendars should provide a distinction between the two. 

You can do this by creating a spreadsheet that has two distinct rows for evergreen and seasonal topics or by having them completely separate. This will also make it easier to prioritise content when it becomes busy and people have less time to write – through the distinction between both, you can evaluate which ideas will be the most time effective for the team vs, which will be the most timely and relevant.

4. Month Chunks

It’s easier to look at content from the perspective of month chunks when scheduling content in advance. Depending upon your marketing calendar and how frequently that is updated by the marketing team, try and include around three months in advance. This will also help you look to the year ahead and understand what other seasonally relevant events are coming up that you can create content for. 

For example, content directed at gifting periods, like Mother’s Day or key celebratory moments, like International Women’s Day, will need to be published in advance prior to the event due to the sheer search volume of seasonally relevant keywords. So, having these laid out in scheduled, monthly chunks will allow your team to see what’s coming up and plan content hours accordingly.

5. Track Uploads

Content calendars should also be used to monitor when the planned content is being written and uploaded. When building your content calendar, it’s important to include a section where article ideas are collated and specified if they have been uploaded, by who, the date of publication and a URL link. This will help to keep you, your writers and the marketing team accountable for written content and its publication status and whether it has been uploaded and why or why not. It helps everyone see the bigger picture of productivity, and whether there needs to be further action to solidify the importance of SEO content.

Understanding the role of content calendars within your SEO strategy is crucial to creating good content that hits relevant keywords and answers users' questions. Content calendars help to streamline your brand's marketing and digital channels, purposefully anchoring SEO content as a must-have rather than a nice-to-do, improving keyword rankings and overall brand awareness for clients and customers.

To understand how Pattern’s own SEO team can support your brand’s content strategy, contact us now to find out more.