— January 4, 2019
E-commerce is unique when it comes to the marketing realm in that you generally have hundreds or thousands of different pages, and are trying to promote some or all of them, as opposed to other sites whose digital marketing funnels may be concentrated on only one or two pages for their final conversions. However, one thing that still holds true is that content marketing is key for making your e-commerce pages more prominent and appealing. We’ve curated a list of information from professionals across the e-commerce world, that you can use to start improving your content right away.
Collaborating With Your Content Marketing
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that they are an island, especially in e-commerce. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that any other company out there is either competition or not relevant to you. However, this isn’t the case, and for companies just starting out, making a connection early on can be a key way to expand their audience.
Kristen Youngs, co-founder of Coaching No Code Apps says that “One of the best things you can do when it comes to content marketing is creating high-value pieces for other e-commerce businesses. Your reach can only go so far without other marketing efforts added in. When you write content for other companies, though, you can reach their audiences, too.” The key to making this happen is finding other businesses that are in your niche but aren’t direct competitors. This way, when you pitch an effective content piece, you have a new lead magnet to expand your offerings and if you do this frequently enough, you can potentially reach thousands or even millions of people you’d never otherwise have the chance to.
Using Customer Support
Statistically speaking, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they do recommendations from their friends or inner circle. As a result, you want to make sure that you are able to include customer impressions and reviews into your content to keep them moving through the sales funnel.
Tamara Wilson, Digital Marketing Manager at DPMnyc, says that using social proof is a key way to improve your efforts. “This is imperative because no matter how much you spend on influencer marketing, your customers will always be your best ambassadors,” she adds. Every business is different, but you want to make sure early on that you have a plan to try and encourage people to leave positive reviews either on your site directly or via different platforms.
Writing Around Your Difficulties
David Alexander, designer, developer, and digital marketer at Mazepress, explains that in e-commerce, marketing can be difficult due to the commercial nature of all the product descriptions. “The best approach to alleviate this is to work on finding ways to add unique value to these product pages on the website and this involves re-writing product descriptions, expanding them and adding unique sections that competitors haven’t thought of,” he adds.
How exactly do you tackle this issue of creating content that is effective, but not overly promotional? As a start, you can create content marketing via a blog by using articles like buyer guides, FAQs, and other guides. These allow you to write in a long-form format. Long-form content will help your pages rank in Google better.
Optimizing Your Snippets
Every piece of content that you write is a dual purpose. You want it to read well so customers are more likely to complete and even share it, but you want to make sure that you have optimized it properly for SEO purposes so that it is more likely to appear in Google searches. When crafting the material “behind the scenes” of your e-commerce content marketing, you need to work towards both these goals.
James Boston, co-founder of Paperlust, says that most SEO professionals know about the value of rich snippets, but not necessarily how they connect into content marketing. “They need to be a clear, concise description of a product or services, not a keyword laden signal to the search engines,” he says. The focus here is to make sure that your keywords are naturally incorporated into things as opposed to trying to stuff as many of them in as possible. Google’s algorithm was adjusted to try and deprioritize these a while ago.
Many people may follow an influencer on social media for their own personal interests, but aren’t aware of exactly how much they stand to benefit from an influencer partnership. In essence, by working with an influencer to promote your product or service, you add their audience to your own. Even the smallest-scale influencers can bring in between $ 30,000 and $ 60,000 a year.
Rex Kimball of Mirex Marketing says that regarding influencer marketing, that “there are some FTC
regulations on this; specifically the influencer should be clear to their audience that they have received compensation for promoting the product or that their posts and reviews are sponsored.” However, he adds that it can still be effective if you choose someone who is an ideal match for your target audience.
Using Low Volume Keywords to Your Benefit
Content marketing and SEO tend to go hand-in-hand a lot of the time, so professionals in one area are often thinking about the other. In general, content tends to go better if you target a more specific niche—especially in e-commerce. What you may not realize is the same thing applies to keywords. Geoffrey Scott, payments consultant at Motile, reminds us that “plenty of businesses make a living off of niche keywords and content. You’re going to struggle to ever rank your website for women’s shoes, but
young women’s fashionable rain boots might be just the ticket to success.”
Ideally, you’re going to find that ideal balance of a keyword that still has some demonstrated search volume, but isn’t completely dominated by some of the larger competitors in your e-commerce space. You want to use keyword research tools like Ahrefs to try and find the ideal option.
Using Customer Stories for Information
We mentioned how using social proof like customer reviews and impressions is a great thing to use to improve your content, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Ryne Higgins, E-Commerce Manager at Peacock Alley, suggests doing things like encouraging them to “post their picture on Instagram, create a video in which they tell their story, or invite them to contribute a guest post to your blog. Curating customer-created content amplifies customer loyalty and can increase your reach to new leads.”
However, the catch of this method is that you need to take the initiative on cultivating these stories, and this tends to be a bit more involved than asking for a review or testimonial after a customer has a positive experience. Places to start include inviting customers to connect over social media, monitoring social media mentions for customers with unique or detailed viewpoints, or even integrating a platform for them to share input right into your site.
While we’re talking about all these lofty initiatives, it’s important that you’re trying to also communicate the right brand values through your content as well. Two of the biggest things you should be looking at are transparency and authenticity. This applies especially for e-commerce, where there are natural barriers to interaction you may not see in a brick-and-mortar retail setting.
Cooper Hollmaier, technical SEO manager at Visiture, explains that to make an authentic connection through your content, “customers want to know all about your brand story, what differentiates you from the competition, and that you’re being transparent with the experience a previous customer has had.” This applies across many different mediums, just make sure that this comes off as supplementary to your content’s main topic, rather than promotional.
Don’t Be Afraid to Recycle
Many small businesses struggle a lot when it comes to budgeting for their content. This can take a number of different forms, from not having the time to write a weekly blog article to not having the money to pay professionals to handle your content creation. One way to cut down on this pressure is to make sure that you are getting the most out of all the content you create by finding ways to recraft and repurpose it.
Janil Jean, Head of Overseas Operations at Logo Design Guru, explains how “this
does not mean copying the same content but rather make little changes to present in another form. A long-form article can be converted into infographics, later on into a slide deck and so on.” One very successful idea is creating video content that is a shorter version of your written content. This is because customers are naturally more likely to watch a video to its end than read a full article, even if the time involved is similar.
Umar Brimah, Co-founder & CMO of Cedar + Black, closes the discussion by explaining that it’s best for you to keep the principle of AIDA in mind when it comes to your content marketing efforts. AIDA stands for Awareness, Interest/Desire, and action. When it comes to awareness, he recommends optimizing content for video views and engagement with the two ads using the same post ID. Regarding interest and desire “This step can be combined or split into two steps depending on your goals. Use captivating copy, influencers, and FOMO to create something desirable. Then retarget 25% -75% of your most engaged users with this ad,” Brimah shares.
For action, the key thing you want to do is make sure that you give your audience something tangible to work with, like potentially redeeming a code. Another good action to encourage is submitting content of them using your products. This is because user-created content helps boost engagement metrics while creating free promotions.
One major way to put AIDA into action effectively is to make sure that you have a formal social media calendar. This will allow you to prep for occasions like holidays or product announcements well ahead of time, as well as avoid making mistakes like potentially reusing an idea for a social media post that one team member may have done, but another may have not been aware of.
Overall, content marketing has expanded so much that there are a variety of different options you have in order to improve your efforts. The best thing you can do is a combination of two things.
- Sticking to the fundamentals of creating effective content.
- Using as much customer data as you can get to determine what topics to cover and what adjustments to make.
Put those goals in combination with what we’ve been talking about, and you can start using these lessons to raise your e-commerce conversions.