Your ecommerce store could really use some content marketing.
I know, I know. You’re already putting in a lot of work.
You’re setting up your store, haggling with wholesalers, figuring out Google Shopping.
But, and I’m going to repeat this a little louder for the folks in the back: your ecommerce store could really use some content marketing.
Want to know the what, why, and how? Well, then, you’ve come to the right place.
Ecommerce Content Marketing!?!? What’s That?
Content Marketing is essentially the act of creating and distributing something that informs and/or entertains your audience. Your audience, having built a relationship with your company via this content, is thus more likely to buy from you.
There aren’t any rules to this sort of thing; your content can be whatever’s easiest and/or more interesting for you to make.
Since that sort of freedom can be scary, let’s talk about some of the most common forms of content marketing for ecommerce businesses.
1. Product Videos
Model names make for valuable keywords.
After all, if you’re an ecommerce owner selling a vape battery — let’s use the Kanger SUBVOD 1300mAh Battery as an example — the most convertible customer you can get is the one searching for the term, “Kanger SUBVOD 1300mAh Battery.”
This sort of customer is highly informed, which suggests a degree of interest in the product. And the fact that they’re searching for a specific model in that moment suggests a high possibility that they’re looking to buy that model.
Model name keywords are an intense, potent form of long-tail keywords.
So, how do you rank well for the model name of the product you’re selling?
The easiest way is to create video reviews for the products.
If you’re not dropshipping, that means putting yourself in front of the camera and talking about it. If it’s the sort of product that’s easy to use, use it. Show the tactility, frame it from interesting angles.
You become the salesman for your store. Channel your inner QVC host and tell viewers everything they would ever want to know about a product. It might even be worth hiring a director to make sure you get everything just right.
These videos help you stand out from the competition, many of whom will be sticking to the bland text descriptions their wholesalers provided. (If you’re manufacturing the product yourself, that’s even better! The video lets you show off your unique wares.)
This content marketing strategy is a little more difficult for dropshippers, but it’s far from unworkable. All you have to do is create a Powerpoint, review the positive and negatives of the product, and use whatever images of the product that you have.
This sort of video won’t be as engaging as a more tactile video, but it’ll still put you leagues ahead of your competitors.
Blogging is great.
It’s a very personal form of marketing, which means it’s a good way of connecting to customers.
It’s also a form of marketing that requires constant attention. Whether you’re posting daily, weekly, or monthly, a blogging strategy will force you to sit down and add new pages to your website. Since Google loves sites that continually add fresh content, this is a plus.
Blogging is, in my opinion, the best form of content marketing if you’re looking to rank well in search engines. Because every post you write can (and should) be optimized for specific keywords, blogging is a way of continually increasing odds of people finding you.
If you’re selling t-shirts, this means you’ll want to optimize for words like, “best summer t-shirts,” “good t-shirt fit,” and so on. Writing posts around these keywords will help you rank in search engines. Then, by writing good content that allows readers to form a relationship with you, you’ll encourage people to make purchases.
Don’t worry about keywords focusing on specific product names. Those keywords should be targeted only by product videos and product pages.
3. White Papers
If you’re selling to other businesses, you’ll often have to get the approval of multiple decision makers, who are making rational decisions that can be justified if anything goes wrong.
This means your content marketing needs to have an air of authority. White papers are your best bet for doing that.
The term can scare some people, but don’t worry; white papers are basically just in-depth reports. Reach out to people, put together some data. Find the answer to a question many companies in the industry keep asking.
If you let a business know how they can get better at what they do, they’re more likely to trust you. That trust is the very thing that can push them to become a buyer.
This strategy is becoming overused, which makes me hesitant to suggest it.
At the same time, people love learning things and they love looking at pictures. So if you’re a whiz at chart-making, this one could be for you.
The first step is to find data your customers will be interested in learning about. If you’re selling surfboards, you might find data about wave size: how big do surfers want the waves to be, how big can they get before they become dangerous, etc.
Then you find a way to visualize this information. In some cases a bar chart or a pie chart will work fine; in others you’ll want to get creative. Make sure the visual catches the eye.
Like all other forms of content marketing, this one is all about building trust with your potential customers.
The main advantage specific to infographics is that visuals draw people’s attention more quickly. They don’t have spend time reading or watching anything. They get the benefits quickly, which means they’re more likely to take the time to look at your work.
How Can Content Marketing Help My Ecommerce Business?
Now that we’ve covered the most common types of content marketing for ecommerce businesses, let’s talk about distribution.
Distribution is the way you expose potential buyers to your content.
1. Social Media
Social media is the easiest form of content distribution, which means it’s also the most frequently used.
There’s a lot to be said for social media distribution, though most of it is pretty obvious: you want to put your content in front of the eyes of as many people as possible, posting a viral piece of content can lead to a lot of sales, etc.
Advertising your content via social media is a good idea. However, given the amount of content viewers see there and the limited lifespan of lost social shares (Facebook posts get the majority of their engagement within the first five hours; Tweets only get 18 minutes), it can’t be your only form of distribution.
Newsletters are another great way of keeping your shoppers engaged. Many people like receiving deals, so sending deal-filled emails to your shoppers is a good way to incentivize store visits.
At the same time, people’s inboxes are getting more and more cluttered every day.
There are a lot of ecommerce companies out there, and the truth is, the lot of them have no trouble offering deals to potential shoppers.
The one thing it’s a bit harder to put together — something which you can uniquely suit to your brand — is content.
If your newsletter contains both deals and content, chances are you’ll reap the rewards: after all, people will have two different reasons to open your emails, thus increasing their open rate.
3. Exit Intent Overlay
If you’ve had your store set up for awhile, you’re probably already familiar with exit intent overlays.
In case you aren’t, here’s a quick recap.
When someone’s about to leave your store without buying something, exit intent overlays provide them with an offer that they can take or leave. In many ecommerce stores, this offer will be in the form of a discount.
If you’ve put together an impressive piece of content marketing, something that you think can lead to good conversions, it’s worth offering a piece of your content instead of a deal.
When the person agrees to give you their email, you’ll then have the option to offer as many deals to them as you want. Of course, this is a responsibility you have to keep in mind, as the more emails you send them, the more likely they are to unsubscribe from your list.
4. Search Engine
I’m an SEO guy. So, as you might have guessed, I’m pretty biased towards the advantages of making sure your content ranks well in search engines.
This can be a very hard thing to pull off — there’s a lot of competition for all sorts of keywords, which means you have to put in the time to create great content and get some high-quality links pointing at that content — but once you do, you’ll get a huge return on your investment.
Because the truth is, social media is ephemeral. Newsletters come and go, the Exit Intent Overlay is only useful until the website viewer clicks away.
But search engines? They’re here to stay.
If you create a piece of content that continuously attracts links, it could bring prospects to your sites for years.
Search optimizing your content is an investment. The more you invest, the more sales you can make down the line.