Reaching new audiences online can be difficult as an ecommerce brand, especially because it is a challenge to build links, attract search traffic, and encourage social shares to product pages. That’s where ecommerce content marketing comes in. Below, we offer some actionable tips that you can use to increase engagement and improve site traffic through quality content.
How to Create Ecommerce Content Marketing that Converts
Creating content is easier said than done, here are some tips that you can start using today to develop ecommerce content marketing that converts:
1. Start with a plan.
As with most successful projects, your ecommerce content marketing should start with a thorough and thoughtful plan. To create an effective, action-based plan, you will need to consider:
What are your content goals?
You need to start with a good idea of what you are aiming to accomplish with your content. Do you want to increase backlinks? Get more social shares? Increase your subscribers? Identify your short and long-term goals up front.
Who are your customers?
It’s important to also know a great deal about your ideal customers so that you can provide the types of content they want to see. Consider who your target customers are, what they are interested in, and what their buying behaviors are. You can use these details to create buyer personas, which will help drive your ecommerce content marketing.
What does your buyer’s journey look like?
The buyer’s journey typically has three stages – discovering a problem/need/want, looking for potential solutions, and making a purchase. You will want to get to know what actions your ideal customers take during this journey and consider what types of content and topics would be beneficial to help them at each stage.
Seal Skin Covers is manufacturers custom-fit covers for all makes and models of boats and cars. To reach more consumers and get them interested in the benefits of quality car covers, they released two ebooks that describe how to select the right cover for your boat or vehicle. This free, value-driven content helped the company gain hundreds of new leads and customers at a very low cost.
When and how often will you create content?
When it comes to content marketing, it’s important to be consistent. Developing an content calendar with topics, publish dates, and other important information will help keep you consistent and focusedas you start to create content.
Where will you distribute content?
You have a website and blog, which can be great for engaging your audience. But where else do you plan to distribute content? Look for opportunities to guest blog and repurpose your content for different channels so that you can appeal to new audiences.
Debonair Scent, a subscription cologne service for men, is featured on numerous men’s style blogs (such as AskMen.com) in order to establish a positive reputation and gain new customers.
Who is most influential in your specialty?
Since content marketing for ecommerce is quite difficult, it helps to have a list of influencers that can help you do some of the dirty work. Whether these are trusted individuals in your industry or just up-and-coming bloggers with a promising following, you should consider which influencers you would like to help you highlight your products.
Once you have answered these questions, you are ready to start developing your ecommerce marketing strategy. Remember, not every piece of content will have the same end goal, so it’s important to approach each new piece of content with an idea of what the specific goal is and who it is intended for.
2. Define your niche.
With so many other ecommerce websites in the game, it can be hard to set yourself apart from the rest, even if you are creating compelling content that provides value for your visitors. In fact, over two million blog posts are published each day, making it imperative that you identify what makes your content unique and valuable before you start creating it.
The best way to do this is to define your niche, or specific and unique topics that will appeal to your target audience. It’s important to find balance between providing content that is useful to your readers, but also differentiating this content from the millions of other blogs out there. You can do this by narrowing down your content topics and finding new angles to take on these topics. Before you start to create a content calendar, consider which of your topics have already been covered and what new things you might have to say about these topics.
For example, if you were going to write a post about cheerleading, you’d have an overbearing amount of competition:
But narrowing it down to a specific niche within cheerleading helps to level the playing field:
When defining your niche and identifying niche content topics that you can focus on, this is the perfect time to look for guest blogging opportunities. Find other blogs that are interested in the niches that you are focusing on. By posting your content on their pages, you can work to build quality links back to your site while also reaching a whole new audience that may be interested in what your brand has to offer.
3. Use contests to build excitement and build user-generated content.
Contests can be a fun way to engage your existing customers and new prospects, while also giving your ecommerce website the opportunity to generate content created by your customers and fans. Though contests do require some type of incentive, they are usually worthwhile when it comes to helping you gather compelling user-generated content that can be used long after the contest has finished to communicate your brand’s value and engage new audiences.
For instance, let’s say that you sell unique briefcases marketed to young professionals. You might develop a contest that asks users to post pictures of where they take their briefcase on your social media accounts using unique branded hashtags. You could choose the submission with the most likes as the winner of the contest, and offer him or her a free or discounted briefcase.
In this example, those who submit contest photos will most likely advertise the contest on their own pages, asking others to like their photo. This gets a new group of people to visit your social media profiles and website to see what your brand is about.
What’s more is that the contest also provides you with appealing and compelling user-generated content that you can use to show the value of your brand. After you get the submissions, you can share these images across your social media pages and website to show visitors how your customers use your products day-to-day. This user-generated content often tells a better story about your brand than you could ever come up with on your own.
Establishing and implementing a contest isn’t difficult. There are a number of contest software applications out there that make it easy to collect submissions and choose a winner. All you need to do is determine your goals, design the campaign, establish rules and regulations, and decide on your incentive. To get the most out of the contest’s user-generated content, make sure that you have a plan in mind for sharing and repurposing this content afterward. (You should also make sure that you the contest rules allow your brand to use the contest content after the promotion is over.
A good example of this comes from Magnolia Farms, a home goods store run by the couple that stars in Fixer Upper on HGTV. If you win the contest, you win a free $ 1000 gift card. But to enter the contest, you have to post a photo on your own Instagram account and use the hashtag #MagnoliaMakeover. They even encourage you to do this multiple times to improve your chances of winning. So, everyone who does this (perhaps more than once) is advertising the home goods shop for free.
4. Don’t forget video!
When we talk about ecommerce content marketing, it can be easy to get caught up in the written content, but the truth is that visual content can be just as valuable in capturing the attention of your audience and driving traffic to your product pages. Not only does video give you a platform to educate your customers in an engaging way, but this type of content can also help boost your search engine traffic. In fact, according to a forecast by Cisco, video is predicted to grow in the coming years to make up 80 percent of all internet traffic by 2019.
Not only does it help improve traffic to your website and product pages, but video can also play a significant role in influencing conversions. One study shows that site visitors are anywhere from 64 to 85% more likely to buy a product after they have watched a video about it. This may be because videos are an engaging storytelling platform that allows you to break down ideas that are a bit more complex while highlighting the ways that your products can address your customers’ biggest challenges.
To get started, consider which products provide the best opportunity for telling a story through engaging video content. Though you can produce the video content in-house, you want to also want to consider hiring outside help for video production. If your video is not professional or interesting then you are not using your resources as wisely as you could be.
Dollar Shave Club is a prime example of a company that makes good use of video marketing. Their short and simple videos often go viral—in fact, in the first 48 hours after their first video ad debuted on YouTube in 2012, they received 12,000 orders. Their founder says it’s all about creating content that gets consumers to remember your brand.
5. Create detailed and useful buyer’s guides.
Buyer’s guides are one of the most useful assets that you can create as part of your ecommerce content marketing. The buyer’s guide presents a wealth of helpful information that visitors can use to decide which products are right for them. Not only does it help influence conversions, but it can also help you rank for certain keywords and phrases in the search engine results page.
As you begin to develop buyer’s guides, keep in mind the questions that your customers often ask about your products. By addressing your most frequently asked questions in the buyer’s guides, you can work to anticipate the questions and concerns that might keep a consumer from buying your product. Once you’ve identified what your customers’ biggest challenges and questions might be, it’s time to conduct further research to incorporate into your guide. Though this guide can be used as a way to promote your products, it should still be first and foremost, a relevant and useful piece of content for buyers who are doing their research.
Buyer’s guides also offer an opportunity to collect lead information. Though you may break pieces of the buyer’s guide up or offer abbreviated versions on your blog, you can also create a more comprehensive guide that you offer to visitors after they provide their email. This gives you a point of contact for new leads who have already started to show interest in your products.
As online content and media consumption becomes increasingly more popular, ecommerce content marketing is only going to become that much more important for brands who want to bring new traffic to their product pages and engage their visitors. Not only is content marketing a great way to bring more qualified traffic to your ecommerce website, but it will also help you stand out among your competition. So what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to start creating quality content for your ecommerce site.
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