E-commerce content marketing is one of the critical traffic and sales-driving activity you can do. It can generate up to three times as much sales than display ads when done right.
But, most people get it wrong. It’s not just about churning out blog posts. Content is everything. Your branding, your sales copy, your product pages, your photos, your social media. It’s not just blogs.
If you want to dominate your market, your content marketing strategy will have to be tight. I’ll dive in into proven strategies that work.
1. Choose The Right E-commerce Platform
Someone might say this is not part of content marketing. But your platform can limit your content marketing efforts.
Content should generate traffic. However, some platforms like Wix don’t do well for SEO. If you’re going to be content focused, WordPress is the best platform to use. BigCommerce doesn’t do bad too.
Another reason why I mentioned platform is because it will affect your design. Your web design matters when it comes to placing your messages in the right place and your platform can affect that too.
Some might restrict what you can or cannot do in certain places. That, again, is why WP is excellent. Freehand to do whatever you want.
2. Optimize Your Content To Appeal To Your Audience
Your copy isn’t just about SEO and keywords. Sure, those are important, but what use is an SEO-optimized product copy if it doesn’t generate sales?
It’s easy to forget that you’re writing for a person rather than both a person and search engines. The best way to go about it is to understand who your target audience is and write benefit-focused content that appeals to that person.
First, you need to understand who your content is for.
- Identify Your Buyer Persona
The primary person you should be concerned about is your customer. Before you write any piece of content on your site, you need to understand how your buyer sees it and why it will appeal to them in the first place.
Understanding the needs, pains, and mental state of potential buyers will help you meet them. To do that, you need to define your buyer persona. Create a persona – name, demographics, interests, pain points, and what that person wants to achieve.
That is something you should do even before you pick your product or create your online store. This post gets deeper into that, and some other marketing tips that will help you.
- Write For Your Buyer Persona
Now that you understand who your potential buyer is, the tone of your content should follow that. The way you write for an avid traveler will be different from the way you create content for a corporate executive in a bank.
Also, turn features into benefits. To start, imagine having a conversation with that person face-to-face.
Obviously, saying “metal gas can with two handle and three pins” doesn’t do much.
Instead, connect the features with the benefit, and the problem avoided. This was something I came up with for Crocs.
|Flexible sole||Protection against hard floors||Avoid foot pain and blisters from long walks|
3. Choose Topics That Matter To Your Audience To Connect With Them
The average B2C e-commerce site has promotional content everywhere. While promoting your products is important, solving the needs of your audience is more.
If you want people to share your content, you need to write on the challenges they’re facing.
If Site A shares promotional content about their product only and Site B shares product guides, how-to, solutions to certain problems with certain products, DIYs, etc., 80% of the time and promotional content 20%, who do you think has more chances of success?
People don’t care about your product, they care about themselves. Give them good content, and you’ll gain their confidence in choosing you when they finally decide to buy.
- Use Product Reviews To Find Challenges
Customers might have one or two issues with your products, or products in your category. If you already have a site with some orders, you can use reviews on your site. If not, you can try Amazon and other marketplaces.
For example, pairing clothes, or getting rid of the chemical smell in faux leather materials.
- Ask Customers What Their Issues Are
What better way to reach customers than asking them?
Interview them or use a survey to get ideas for content. Send emails, use social media. The bottom line is finding a way to get their opinion.
- Find Keywords That Your Customers Are Searching For
You can get the top two points right, but if your content is not what lots of people are searching for, then you might not get the increase in traffic that you seek.
You can use Google Keyword Planner to get ideas on keywords e-commerce businesses are willing to invest money in and topic ideas. However, I won’t bank on it for SEO because the data is mostly based on what advertisers are willing to invest money on.
But, it helps with ideas.
You can also use Ahrefs. Get the keywords your competitors are using based on your products. I got this based on a search for soap products.
It’s not only about getting the keyword but those that you can rank with. So, high-volume, low-competition keywords.
Your content creation should be around those keywords. One way around it is finding out what bloggers are writing that people share. You can use Ahrefs for that as well, or good ole Google.
- Use Comments On Posts
This part is for those who already have a few comments on their blog sections already. One sweet mine you can dig is your comment section. A lot of topics can come out of there.
From that comment, I could decide to write on paid/unpaid e-commerce advertising for stores on a budget.
4. Streamline Content Channels To Boost Visibility To Potential Customers
One of the proven marketing strategies is organizing your content channels to work together. You might already be posting the relevant content to Instagram, Facebook, and your blog, but you can boost that.
Create on brand content on a shareable topic and boost it on Facebook, then show product ads to people who have visited the page from Facebook.
With that, you’ll remain on their minds and up your chances of getting sales.
5. Promote The Right Pages And Your Products
Traditionally, it’s hard to promote your brand/commercial content, so employ the right link building strategy on a few shareable topics and promote those pages over a long period.
From those pages, visitors can navigate to other pages in your site.
But, don’t let blog promotion be a substitute for promoting your brand and products. Many online retailers make this mistake. You guest post to get backlinks to blogs, you share on social media and all, but forget the main thing – your products.
Promote your eCommerce business to bloggers and influencers. Create soft selling branded content for this purpose. Create product landing pages, giveaways. Ask bloggers to review your products. It’s a two-pronged approach – you have to work hard to promote that commercial content.
Promoting content can improve your brand visibility on social and search. Lots of people mess this up because they don’t do enough research to develop their brand – so the message doesn’t resonate.
So, do your research. Develop your brand message. Let it fit your audience, let it appeal to the bloggers, and the right influencers.
6. Optimize Your Website To Show Expertise, Authority, And Trustworthiness
Google places emphasis on what they call the E-A-T score when ranking sites. That’s Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, especially on product and checkout pages (YMYL).
You need to show Google that you’ve enough skill or proven knowledge in your niche and products.
The thing about E-A-T for Google is that some industries matter more than others. If you sell apparel, you’ll only need “everyday-expertise” as against if you’re selling a beauty or medical product. That doesn’t mean fashion sites are left out in improving their ranking.
If you use a reputable manufacturer, like Rolex, for example, you can place their badge with a link to their site. If your supplier is not so trustworthy, linking to them will hurt you.
Another way to improve your chance is by reaching out to recognized-industry influencers to give you recommendations.
Also, have enough company and product information. That is, how your product is made, about your brand, contact information, accreditations, and where you’re mentioned.
Then finally, be trustworthy by having:
- An SSL certificate
- A clearly-spelled out the return policy
- Verified product reviews
- Product copy and FAQs that answer potential questions
- Anything else that builds trust
7. Get Lots Of Interactive Content To Improve Customer Experience
AI and VR are taking over. Ikea is allowing us to see how our furniture will look like before we buy; the whole in-shop experience when we are not in a physical shop. Sephora’s app is allowing you to see what your makeup will look like before you purchase, and generally improving customer experience.
If you can afford something like this, go with it. Let customers try out clothes and other products virtually before they buy. You’ll stand out over brands not doing so.
However, not every brand can pay for something like that. So, try other types of interactive content. Place interactive videos in your product pages. Use interactive infographics. Add quizzes with the results suggesting a product.
E-commerce content marketing might take time to kick in. As a startup, building SEO may take 4-9 months before you start seeing results. Don’t relent, keep pushing.
You might just be lucking to go viral with one video or any of the viral marketing tips from this post. Also, grind hard. Use user-generated content, produce stellar content, build product guides with not just text, but also images and video, build checklist around your customers’ lifestyle, and create videos on exciting “out of the ordinary” ways to use your products.
There’s a lot you can do. Just don’t stop pushing. Don’t stop promoting your content, and ensure you have a lead magnet to drive people to your email list.