Producing regular evergreen content can help you build awareness with potential customers and delight existing ones. Mastering content marketing for ecommerce stores involves more than taking a publish-and-pray approach. Sorry!
We’ll cover the basics of content marketing to enable you to get started. You’ll learn how to create the structure that will allow you to be successful, what to measure, and discuss why you should capture email addresses.
Many ecommerce brands produce regular content for social media. Yet many don’t have a solid SEO plan that includes creating SEO-optimized product and category descriptions. Fewer still write blog posts that drive repeatable, long-term traffic from Google, Bing, and other search engines.
Improving your result is easy with the right framework, goals, and measurements. You’re in the right place to learn the basics of content marketing for ecommerce stores that work and enable you to sell more products.
What’s Content Marketing?
As the world’s foremost education and training organization for content marketers, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) knows a thing or two about the topic. They define content marketing as:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Many wrongly think that content marketing is writing blogs. It’s more than that. You can write some text, film a video, create a graphic, or record audio. So if writing isn’t your thing, but you feel comfortable on video, consider starting a YouTube channel or posting on TikTok.
While the CMI definition is clear, it’s worth explaining what content marketing for ecommerce stores isn’t in a more tactical way.
You can’t just produce random content and hope they work. Some ecommerce founders try TikTok for a month, then when that doesn’t show results move on to publishing a few blog posts, only to start a YouTube channel the next month.
Another common mistake is publish-and-pray. You can’t just create loads of content and hope for the best. Without a solid distribution plan, your content won’t reach as many potential customers as possible.
Regardless of the type of content you create (video, text, audio, etc.), you need to publish content that resonates with your target client. They don’t care about the office dog (unless it’s part of your story) or your latest team building event.
They care about learning to use the product they purchased from you better, why you stock certain brands and products, or being inspired.
How Can Content Marketing Help Generate More Sales?
With a better understanding of content marketing, let’s look at how content marketing helps you sell more products.
Improves your SEO visibility
By only focusing on building category and product pages, you miss out on a ton of website traffic from potential customers, lower down in the buying journey.
Yes, most of these visitors won’t instantly convert to customers but will give you their email address, allowing you to start a relationship that leads to a sale.
You can also use retargeting and remarketing to drive these visitors back to your Shopify, WooComerce, or Magento store and convert them into customers in the future.
It’s far easier to ask for links for a blog post about caring for an item or using it better than for a product page. Using internal links, you can use these backlinks to power up your product pages and rank higher.
Finally, creating an excellent blog or video content is hard work. I won’t lie. But there’s good news. Your competitors are unlikely to want to do the hard work, making it easier for you to improve your search engine visibly.
Boosts your credibility and position you as an authority
As a small ecommerce store, you won’t have a large marketing budget. So, it’s essential to promote your business differently and continually test tactics.
Content marketing allows you to position yourself as a small family business (or the underdog) that truly cares and has deep product knowledge. You’re not a big, faceless (boring) brand. Customers aren’t just a number to you, they’re part of why you do what you do!
Increases your marketing touchpoints with potential clients
Only 2% of people who visit your ecommerce store will buy. A whopping 98% of visitors won’t. The majority of these don’t trust you yet. It can take seeing your message up to 8 times for them to make a purchase.
By increasing the number of marketing touchpoints the average potential customer has, you’re likely to drive more sales. Hence the need to be consistent across the different marketing channels.
Your content marketing efforts work around the clock to promote your ecommerce business. It scales in a way that you can’t. Day and night people are searching for your business. Why not use content to delight them and grow your business?
Collect more email addresses
Email is one of the best ways to communicate with customers. So you need to collect as many email addresses as possible, allowing you to build ongoing relationships with potential and existing customers.
Content marketing enables you to build trust and collect email addresses. Once you have a list, be smart and produce a monthly summary email to send to your list. Don’t wait until you’re running a promotion to email your list!
Don’t Start Without A Plan And KPIs!
Before you produce a single piece of content, you need a plan, goals, and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), especially if you’re trying to master content marketing for ecommerce stores. Without these, you’re simply throwing money down the toilet.
Sorry to say this, but it’s true.
Start by defining what success looks like. Is it email sign-ups, an increase in visitors, or people spending longer on your website?
Next, go deeper and define your goal as a figure. Are you trying to grow your email list to 1,000? Aiming for 2,000 daily visitors? Gain more backlinks?
Focus on a single KPI
Congrats, you have a basic KPI. The next step is to judge every action you take as either moving towards this goal or not. Don’t simple product reams of content without understanding how it helps you reach your goal.
Content type and how often
You want to decide what type of content you’ll produce and build a maintainable schedule. Don’t pump out a load of stuff for one month and then do nothing for 6! Pace yourself and set a publishing schedule you can stick to over the next year.
If possible, create a range of blog post templates that act as the starting point. They’ll help you speed up the writing process and also allow you to easily outsource to a writer.
Following these three tips (KPI, content type, publishing schedule), enables you to create a robust plan. Yes, it’s basic, but a good starting point.
What Is The Best Type Of Content For Your Ecommerce Brand?
If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content marketing tactics you can gather by reading a few blog posts, try the following. Focus on a single channel with world-class execution. You could:
- Write blog posts
- Film video
- Record audio podcast.
Don’t give in to the urge and try and do them all, as you’ll do a poor job. Instead, pick one and master it.
I prefer to write, so blogging works out well for me. Some of our clients are better on camera, so they continually film videos. It doesn’t matter what you choose, just that you stick to one.
From there, you repurpose the initial piece of content into different formats. For example, a blog post could become a series of social media posts or an email sequence. You could cut a long video into short tips for Instagram and TikTok.
Where is the best place to publish?
Many people wonder where to publish their content. And while it might sound like a pretty basic question, it’s anything but.
If you want to blog, it’s best to write for your own website. With a Shopify store, you can use their built-in blogging engine. BigCommerce also has a built-in blogging element.
WooCommerce uses WordPress, one of the world’s most popular blogging platforms. If you’re running Magento, you can link WordPress with it and use that as your blogging platform.
Blogging on your own website means you own the farm and can’t be shut down. From there, you want to distribute across different platforms.
YouTube is ideal for storing videos of any length. You can then reuse the videos for TikTok, Instagram (stories/posts/reels), and Facebook. Ensure you upload a version to your cloud storage so you always have it.
With an audio podcast, you could host it on Spotify, and use Buzzspout to distribute it to other platforms. Again, save a copy to your cloud storage or hosting.
Regardless of the content type, pick one place to always publish on first. From there, you can repurpose or distribute it to multiple platforms.
What Content Ideas Are Worth Trying?
Focusing on a single type of content will help you minimize procrastination and ensure you stick to your content calendar. Yes, you’re working to a deadline.
There are plenty of content ideas you can try, including:
- How-to posts or video tutorials
- Inspiring photo posts on social media
- The story behind the brands you stock
- List posts (example: 10 best… /15 quick…)
- Tips and tricks
- Tackling common problems.
You might have the first 10 or 20 ideas, but how can you ensure you don’t run out of ideas? Don’t worry! Here are a few simple tips to try!
Practice being creative
Spend time daily to note down a few new ideas. To be creative, you have to practice being creative. While this sounds counter-intuitive, it is how creativity works.
Reward yourself with something small like a chocolate bar after you have 5 new ideas written down. Treat it like it’s a game, and you’ll want to do it daily and flex your creativity.
Look for inspiration
The usual advice is to see what your competition is doing and create something similar. It’s terrible advice that leads to you being a poor imitation. Instead, draw inspiration from brands you admire and find your own angle.
There are plenty of small brands out there doing something innovative with content, you just have to find some that resonate with you and study their approach.
Save everything that inspires you!
It won’t surprise you that my phone and Google Drive are full of screenshots and photos of good, bad, and ugly marketing. I try to save ideas to inspire me later or make me think about how I’d do it better. Time and again, this swipe file has saved me from creating rubbish!
Work To A Manageable Schedule
The reason most ecommerce stores fail at content marketing isn’t that they lack ideas. They lack consistency. Often, this is a result of not having a sustainable publishing schedule.
Aim to release one or two new pieces of content per week. You could publish a new blog on a Tuesday and a new video on a Friday. On top, each month, you could send out an email newsletter.
Publishing once per week means you need 52 ideas per year. If you want to release two new pieces of content per week, you’ll need 104 fresh ideas each year.
It’s far better to aim for a low number and hit it consistently than aim high and only reach it half the time. So build a plan that’s manageable for the next 2 or 3 years and stick to it.
Creating Great Content That Helps Sell Products
Before you publish any content or hit record, you need to understand who you’re targeting, what they want, and their problems. By keeping your ideal customers central in your mind, you can create content they’ll love and want to keep coming back for more.
Why should your potential customers engage with your content?
Take a few minutes to write a list of why should people engage with your content and look at this every time you create. Doing so ensures you talk directly to your ideal customer in your own voice.
Where are they looking to consume?
Consider where your target hangs out and consumes content. You can have the best designed blog in the world but if your target customers want video, only a few people will read it.
The same is true about podcasts, only publishing them on your website will limit the impact you can have. So consider where people want to consume your content and meet them there.
What content are they looking for?
Think about what they want to consume. Are they wanting product reviews? how-to guide? Care tips? Again, your target customer will want a mix of topics, so feel free to switch things up.
How can you get them to return?
If your content is badly structured, you’ll see people disengage quickly. So, think about how to make your content easy to consume, fun, and educational.
If you keep your reader/viewers engaged and entertained, they’ll return. But continue to monitor where they lose interest, what they best engage with, and refine your content creation processes.
What is the most enticing Call-To-Action (CTA) you can use?
A common problem with many blogs is they either have no CTA or too many! If you don’t ask your visitor to take the next step, they won’t. Make it easy for them to build a relationship with you.
It’s worth testing a few CTAs to find what works the best and try several different placements on the page. You could try: “Fancy taking our relationship to the next level? Sign up for our weekly emails?” or “Get exclusive offers and new products in your inbox each week. Interested?“
Test placing your CTA at the top of each piece of content or at the end. It’s also worth testing both. Don’t try to get the visitor to click a CTA after each section, they’ll soon leave!
How to get started with content marketing for ecommerce stores
You should have some ideas of how you can use content marketing to grow your online store. It’s worth remembering we’ve only covered the basics of content marketing for ecommerce businesses. But there’s enough here to get started with.
Be different from your competitors by setting KPIs, building a content calendar with a keyword plan, and commit to publishing new content every week.
My best piece of advice is to get started now. Before long, you’ll be on the way to mastering content marketing for ecommerce stores.
Last month Izabela saw her search traffic from Google increase by 400% using 3 SEO tips we taught her.
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