A while back, if you brought up content marketing to online store owners, they'd probably dismiss you and say it isn't relevant to their operations – after all, what does content have to do with sales, right?
Thankfully, that perception is starting to diminish as more ecommerce website owners are understanding the link between conversions and content marketing.
Yet, since customization is the buzzword of today's marketing era, content marketing for ecommerce is quite different than that of any other industry, mainly because to thrive and survive, ecommerce businesses need conversions more than anything else. Traffic, for instance, just won't do it.
So, what's ecommerce content marketing all about, why is it important, and how is it done? Let's dive into these topics and chat about how you can make use of an ecommerce content marketing strategy to grow your business.
What Is Ecommerce Content?
Ecommerce content is any type of content generated to drive traffic by potential customers through an electronic network. The most common content formats of this type include product descriptions, product pages, category descriptions, and blog posts.
Basically, it's any content you use to attract traffic, leading to conversions and sales.
What Is Ecommerce Marketing Strategy?
When it comes to your ecommerce marketing strategy, marketers typically use a combination of digital marketing channels to drive not only awareness but also action toward the site where the products or services are being offered electronically.
Ecommerce content marketing examples include social media marketing, search engines, email campaigns, digital content, video content, paid advertising, and more, leveraging the potential of each to facilitate online purchases.
Yet, with the tremendous amount of competition between online businesses, ecommerce digital marketing strategies became more vigorous and expanded to include more outbound strategies and not just inbound marketing ones.
Today, one of the best and low-cost building blocks of a winning ecommerce strategy is search engine optimization.
By optimizing blog articles, incorporating the right keywords in your content, and optimizing existing individual project pages, you can reap benefits that go beyond your imagination by simply matching the keywords your target customers are using to search for their products and services.
Moreover, the value of blogging shouldn't go untapped – you could utilize your blog to fight with affiliate pages and make it a valuable go-to resource for your target audience and beyond. And a blog post shouldn't necessarily promote a product of yours; instead, make it relevant and applicable to people and the industry at large.
With time, as visitors and readers become engaged with your content, you'll be able to convert them into leads, and eventually, into customers, since after all, they're relevant to your market.
How Do You Write Ecommerce Long-Form Blog Content?
Long-form content includes high-quality articles and guest posts such as case studies, whitepapers, customer stories, tutorials, buying guides, and similar content, to provide your target audience with in-depth information about a given topic along with substantial value.
Since this content type contains more detailed information, and users will spend more time on your site because of it, Google favors it. Your chances of ranking are higher – enabling you to build authority in your niche and, accordingly, loyalty to your brand.
So, how do you write long-form blog content for ecommerce sites that appeals to people? By making use of data-driven content. In other words, analyze all the data you have on your target audience to create content that meets their needs – not just any content.
Actually, as an ecommerce business, you have more data on customers than anyone else. You have a set of data on consumers who have purchased a product or service from your store, so you'll better be able to create buyer personas, customer profiles and segment your customers based on their different motivations, challenges, needs, and preferences.
That's in addition to the support of analytics tools, like Google Analytics, which can also provide you with deeper insights and people patterns. And by analyzing that information, it becomes a piece of cake to tailor the content just for the audience in every blog post, product description, case study, guide, and any content marketing material for that matter.
Moreover, make sure to keep an eye on your competitors to understand the kind of long-form content they use, which content types have higher engagement and shares on social media and more. Learn from the best content strategy practices, but add your unique take on them!
And if you don't have an in-house content marketer, there's no harm in collaborating with subject-matter experts in your niche to develop comprehensive blogs and guides relevant to your topic to establish your credibility in the market, gain more authority, and build brand loyalty.
Ecommerce Content Ideas
An effective ecommerce content marketing plan can make all the difference for your business. But sometimes, you're entirely up to it, but you just don't know what to write; what's the suitable content for ecommerce business, and what are some ideas?
You don't have to spend your day brainstorming content marketing ideas; instead, some content marketing strategies and techniques will put you on track.
Content Gap Analysis
As we've mentioned earlier, start with a competitor or competitors. With a quick search, you'll be able to pick up on the keywords they're ranking for. Which of them don't you rank for, and why?
Alternatively, you could also conduct a content gap analysis to get that done (some online tools, like the HOTH, offer that for free). Simply, you'll enter your domain and the competitor's, and you'll get an overview of the keywords that are lacking on your ecommerce site.
Following that, it's always a good idea to run a SERP analysis using Surfer to pinpoint the content that ranks well with ecommerce brands to get information on your potential customers' search intent by observing the words and phrases they use to make their query on products, services, or general interests.
Also, keep an eye out for word count, content structure, feature snippets, and keyword density.
Looking for an even more automated process? Then Surfer's Content Planner is your best best. If you want to take the shortest route possible to building topical relevance in your niche that Google just can't miss, you can use the Content Planner to create the foundation for your content marketing strategy in a matter of minutes.
How so? By simply requiring you to enter the main keyword and specify your location. Let's say your ecommerce website sells coffee, and you're unsure how to create content that matches your target audience's intent. In this case, you could start simple by using a keyword like "coffee brewing methods".
What happens is that the Content Planner will generate a list of content ideas that you could easily use and link to your ecommerce brand. Not only do you get a list, but you're also presented with the primary and secondary keywords your piece of content needs to rank for, but you're also aware of the exact search intent of the audience searching with that keyword.
For instance, a set of keywords could have an informational intent, where you'd need to use long-form blog posts in your content strategy; others are for commercial investigation, where the customer is ultimately comparing different products and services relevant to the topic; and especially relevant to you is the shopping intent, where the cluster of keywords is led by an ecommerce category page or a product page.
By creating content based on Surfer's Content Planner, you'll boost the organic traffic of your ecommerce shop, and accordingly, the conversion rate will be heightened. Not to mention, you won't have to worry about establishing a new content calendar for months since you get not less than 50+ suggestions for clusters for a given query.
P.S: The Content Planner handles the issue of content gaps as part of the process – that ready-made list you get will leave no keywords for your competition to snatch away from you!
And before we move on, we just want to stress that Surfer's Content Planner can help you establish an optimized site structure for your site to provide a better user experience and take your rankings higher. Through the content strategy it creates, you get a better idea of category structure by analyzing which products are mostly clustered together and even which products complement yours.
Picking up on that coffee example, if you sell coffee beans, maybe a relevant product for consumers would be an Espresso machine. That can ideally give you, as a business owner, hints and ideas on what you could offer if you considered extending the range of your products or services.
The bottom line: by relying on Surfer's Content Planner, the journey of content creation becomes much less of a hassle than you thought it would be, and you'll be sure that your content marketing efforts will lead you to boost your rankings and ecommerce conversion rate.
Why Do Ecommerce Companies Need Content Marketing?
With all the technical talk, you may still not be getting why ecommerce companies use content marketing, so let's speak benefits. For starters, the leading way to win customers over today is through content – and not just any content; relevant, unique, and high-quality content.
When your customers feel that you're attempting to appeal to their interests and address their challenges and pain points in a given content marketing campaign, they're more likely to trust you and choose you over competitors. So, instead of hard-selling a product on your ecommerce site, you provide information that keeps the customer hooked and engaged.
You're probably thinking, "why should ecommerce companies care about audience engagement?" Well, engagement is the first step toward converting customers from just readers or website visitors into paying customers who make your website's revenue.
So, what you're essentially doing is you're taking the audience from the awareness stage and leading them down the sales funnel by proving yourself credible, reliable, and authoritative in the industry. So, when you properly execute a strategy for content marketing for ecommerce, you drive new traffic to your website, build brand awareness, and acquire clients into the early-stage sales funnel.
Is that it? Absolutely not. The more you use content promotion and content marketing resources for your brand, the more you build expertise and topical relevance for the domain and appear in SERPs that are primarily dominated by affiliate content. So, you're helping your SEO in the process while cementing the authority of your brand. Before you dive into executing it, find out what questions you should ask yourself before creating content marketing strategy.
How Do Ecommerce Sites Benefit From Content Marketing?
In basic terms, when ecommerce websites use content marketing, they promote their products and services and increase their reach to a wider customer base and engage more potential clients on remarketing lists in an effective manner, which leads to growth. But that's not the only benefit!
Better Search Engine Optimization Rankings
The most significant benefit for the website is the better SEO rankings. By using tools like Surfer's Content Planner to implement an ecommerce strategy and consistently create content that customers need, Google is satisfied, the customer is satisfied, and so are you!
Moreover, the higher the blog post count, the more topic clusters your website forms, leading to higher quality internal links between topics, subtopics, and pillar pages, all of which significantly contribute to your rankings as well.
Turn Readers Into Buyers: The Power of a Blog Post
The best part about an ecommerce content strategy is that you can easily target different people based on what stage they're at in the sales funnel. For example, video content, infographics, blog posts, and social media posts are usually ideal for people at the top of the funnel. A blog post on the basics of how to use your product, for instance, facilitates customer awareness.
In contrast, people in the middle of the funnel seeking an evaluation of options would better respond to email marketing, discounts and offers, valuable blog posts, resources, and similar ideas.
Last but not least, to facilitate conversion for people at the bottom of the funnel, blog posts on customer stories, comparison blog posts, webinars, and demos or tutorials would inspire people to make the purchase. As you see, blogging paves the way for the actual conversion, and it simultaneously makes all the difference in SEO, building a stable trend in organic traffic over time.
How to Start a Successful Ecommerce Business
So, at the end of the day, how does one start a successful online shop? If it were up to us, we'd say that just by having a solid content marketing plan in place, you're halfway there! But, let's take a step back.
1.Pick a Niche
The first step is to spot an untapped market, preferably a niche, and tap into it to make it the next big idea! Through keyword research, you can identify the most frequent searches that aren't exactly met or served, and even if they are, you can perform a competitors' analysis to find out what they're not doing so well on.
2.Create Unique, Optimized Content for Ecommerce and Potential Customers
As we've discussed throughout this article, content can do it all – from encouraging customers to visit your site all the way to making a purchase. Not to mention, it's the most capable aspect of boosting your search engine rankings since Google puts valuable, unique, and relevant content above anything else.
Support your store with the right content for every webpage, including category pages, product descriptions, and customer stories. Moreover, to win over organic traffic that converts, establish a quality blog with relevant data-driven content marketing with the support of tools like Surfer's Content Planner.
Plus, it won't harm to establish your social media presence – choose the social media platform (s) where your target market can be found, and start promoting your offerings.
If you don't keep track of your key performance indicators, you won't know whether your shop is performing well or not. Keep your KPIs diverse and comprehensive to be accurately indicative of your store's performance.
For instance, some of the best metrics to employ include website traffic, conversation rate, time spent on site, cart abandonment rate, average order value, referral sources, return rate, organic leads, bounce rate, and of course, rankings.
Summing Up Ecommerce Content Marketing Strategies
Content marketing is a tried and tested way of driving traffic to your ecommerce store, building brand awareness, boosting rankings, encouraging customer loyalty, and undoubtedly, bringing in more sales and conversions.
To maximize your shop's ROI, leverage the power of content marketing to tailor a unique site experience for your customers and position your brand as a field-expert and industry leader. Content marketing is worth going the extra mile for, and it pays off in less time than you think!
Yet, always keep in mind that content marketing isn't a one-size-fits-all thing – don't copy-paste the strategy of a different brand and assume it'll work for you. The key here is personalization for the audience and using data-driven approaches to find the content marketing techniques that resonate with your target market. Only then will you start witnessing results.
Ready to sell? Get started with your content marketing efforts now!