Generating more sales from your ecommerce store is possible with content marketing. In this guide to content marketing for ecommerce stores, we’ll cover getting started, what to measure and why you should capture email addresses.
You might compete with other ecommerce businesses that produce regular content for social media yet don’t have SEO-optimized products and blog posts that drive repeatable, long-term traffic from Google, Bing, and other search engines.
If you’re new to content marketing and want to improve your results and sell more products, having a plan can help you achieve your goals. Here are the basics of content marketing for ecommerce stores that work regardless of your niche.
What is content marketing?
Just so we’re on the same page, we’ll start with the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) definition as they are the world’s foremost education and training organization for content marketers.
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.
I wrote an article on the topic of what is content marketing. So, if you haven’t read it, start there as it explains how powerful it can be for your ecommerce business.
Why use content marketing to generate more ecommerce sales?
As you now better understand the concept of content marketing, you might wonder how it can help you sell more products. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to use content marketing to grow your business. Let’s look at a few options.
Improves your SEO, helping you get found easier in Google search
By producing content about your business and products, you become easier to find on Google and other search engines. It doesn’t matter if you’re producing blog articles or videos as Google shows both.
Simply, you need to put in the work creating great content. The good news is that your competitors are unlikely to want to do the hard work, making it easier for you to be displayed at the top of the search results.
Boosts your credibility and position you as an authority
As a small ecommerce store, you don’t have the marketing budget of the big chains. So you need to promote your business in different ways.
Using content marketing, you can prove to potential customers that you’re a small family business that cares and has a deep product knowledge. Customers aren’t just a number to you, they’re part of your why.
Increases your touchpoints with potential clients
Few people will buy from you on the first meeting, let alone trust you. It can take seeing your message up to 8 times for them to contact you and agree to do business with you. So, if you increase the number of touchpoints, you’re likely to close more business.
The best thing about content marketing is it works for you around the clock. 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.
Helps you collect email addresses
One of the best ways to communicate with your customers is by email. However, unless you find a way to collect everyone’s email address, you can begin to build an ongoing relationship with them.
Thankfully, using content marketing, you can build trust and easily collect email addresses to start building relationships. Don’t be like many ecommerce businesses that never send email their list! Plan to produce a monthly summary email to send to your list.
Set goals and tracker before starting
Sadly, most ecommerce business focus on adding new products to their store and not tracking the basic figures. Without goals and a plan to track how key elements perform, you’re simply throwing money down the toilet.
Sorry to say this, but it’s true.
Thankfully, putting goals and a tracking system is super easy. I recommend tracking three things each week:
- Average time on website
- Amount of keywords in top 3
- Revenue per visitor
Average time on website
The longer someone spends on your website, the more likely they are to buy from you. As trust is built over time, you want to ensure your website engages prospects for at least 5 mins. You can easily track this using Google Analytics.
Amount of keywords in top 3
You need a solid keyword plan for your website and each week, you need to check where your target keywords rank. The majority of users click on the top 3 results. So aim to get at least 50% of your keywords in the top 3 results.
Revenue per visitor
If you know how much revenue each visitor brings in, you can adjust your model to ensure you’re highly profitable and stop using marketing channels that cost more than they bring in.
Also, by understanding this figure, you know what products to upsell based on the average spend rather than offering random products.
You now have 3 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure how well your website is performing. These are:
- Avg time on website of 5 mins
- 50% plus of target keywords in top 3
- Revenue per visitor of $10
Content marketing ideas for ecommerce businesses
Rather than giving you 101 different tactics, stick to these and focus on world-class execution:
- Social media
- Email newsletters
By limiting your scope, you minimize procrastination and ensure you stick to your content calendar. 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
- Customer reviews
If a piece of content works in one medium, you might be able to repurpose it for another. For example, a video could, with a few tweaks, become a blog post. A few blog posts could form the basis for an eBook you use to capture emails.
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 publishing schedule that’s sustainable.
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. Two new pieces of content, and each year, you need 104 fresh ideas.
It’s far better to aim for a low number and hit it consistently than aim high and only reach it half the time.
How to create great content that helps sell your products
Before you publish any content, you need to understand who the target reader is, 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.
What content are they looking for?
There are two parts to this question. Firstly, the medium. Are they looking for blog posts; or do they prefer videos? I’d argue that they are looking for a mix of both.
The second part is more tactical. They are probably looking for area guides, school recommendations, basic local knowledge, and market trends. Of course, this content is on top of your listings.
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 or 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.
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