Content marketing can be the difference between your content blowing up and watching it fizzle out. You might have the best writing team in the world, but without a proper marketing plan, nobody’s going to find it. Don’t just throw content out into the abyss. That’s a complete waste of time. Make sure it gets noticed. Even better, while you’re at it, earn yourself some conversions and boost your profits.
Why an e-commerce content strategy is important
If you want to run a successful e-commerce business, you need to have a long hard think about your content strategy. In the same way, a SaaS content strategy is important to any software business, a content strategy is important to any e-commerce business.
A content strategy makes it obvious in which direction your content is heading and how to get it there. It’s similar to how process mapping provides a roadmap for your organization. Create valuable content that engages. Use that engagement to convert your audience into paying customers. Simple.
Now is the time to strike! In response to COVID-19, 40% of shoppers feel more positive about shopping online. Win them over with your killer content. Pull off an effective content strategy and you’ll reap the rewards. Expect more traffic, more engagement, and more trust in your brand. It’s a win all around. Get it right and you’ve got yourself a gold dust-sprinkled content strategy.
Creating a content strategy is going to do your business wonders, but it’s not going to be easy. There’s a lot of research and decision-making involved to really hit that content nail on the head. To make things easier, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to craft an effective e-commerce content strategy.
Step 1: Understand your audience
Your content is for your audience. It’d be pretty silly to not factor them into your content strategy. There are a couple of ways you can get to know them. Let’s break it down.
Create a Target Audience Persona
It’s time to pull out the data and get to grips with marketing insights. Understand as much as you possibly can about your audience. Next, create content that accurately addresses their needs. This provides your demographic with value, placing them inside your sales funnel. Here’s what you should be considering:
- Demographic - location, age, and gender all influence receptiveness to certain messages. Knowing who you’re talking to and where they are can make all the difference. Perhaps try using colloquialisms, or addressing issues specifically affecting the demographic will support your business and show results.
- Personality - how your audience behaves can tell you a lot about their buying habits.
- Motivation - why has this person visited your website? Are they looking to purchase a product, or educate themselves about their options? If you know why your audience engages with you, you can tailor content specifically with them in mind.
- Pain Points - these are your target market’s frustrations. Offer solutions to make their lives easier.
- Content Channels - there’s no point trying to grab someone's attention on a platform they don’t visit. Make sure to post on the channels they do use. Take note that people spend differently across varying platforms. For example, 40% of consumers have bought a product on Facebook, compared to just 13% on Instagram.
Know which part of the sales journey they’re on
Uninformed customers search for different content than informed customers. Customers who are ready to buy shop differently from those who need a nudge in the right direction. The key is to understand where your customer is in their buying cycle and meet their needs head-on.
Uninformed shoppers are looking to see what’s out there. They’re ready to be educated so educate them! They’ll thank you for it with engagement. Educated shoppers often need convincing. Optimizing product recommendations can give customers that little push they need to make a purchase.
Some shoppers already know exactly what they want. Provide them with an amazing experience that wins them over. Most importantly, make sure all your important product information is clearly displayed. This removes a major pain point in the buyer's journey.
Step 2: Plan your content
It’s time to pull out the digital marketing tools and set to work crafting content. First, decide what it is you wish to achieve with your strategy. Are you looking to earn conversions, grow brand awareness, or build trust with the consumer? What you want to achieve will influence what you create. Design a strategy that fits your goals.
While you might have your heart set on organic reach, it’s unlikely to be effective in isolation. At the very least, you need to learn how to do keyword research if you hope to succeed. Keyword research will give you an idea of what queries your audience is searching for online. Create content that answers them as part of your strategy.
It’s not just your own SEO you want to keep an eye on. Conducting an SEO competitor analysis will show you what you’re up against. Take note of your competitions’ strengths and weaknesses and design a strategy to take on your rivals.
Don’t forget to factor in your audience's attention span. If your audience has a short attention span, long-form blog posts aren’t going to be effective. Short videos and infographics are much more likely to work. Audience members with longer attention spans, however, often enjoy reading articles. Make sure to know who your audience is to get it right.
Before you get to work crafting content, take stock of what you’ve already got out there. You don’t need any duplicate content SEO throwing a spanner in the works. This can wreak havoc on your ratings if Google deems it significantly similar to other content out there on the web.
There’s a lot of different types of content you can put out there and they each have their benefits. Here are some of the most effective types of content you can publish:
Buying guides are ideal for introducing consumers to products. They might know they have a purchasing need, but don’t know what’s on offer yet. It’s great to educate these audience members with a range of products and services your business has available. This can put them firmly inside your sales funnel.
Just like the one you’re reading right now. Blog posts and articles are a great way to answer customer questions while building their trust. Inviting industry experts to post on your blog helps further cement this trust while gaining exposure for your brand. Before jumping into writing your content, be precise with your strategy and goals.
User-generated content is extremely low maintenance. All you have to do is create a catchy hashtag and let your audience do the work. Get them to post content about their experience with your brand and repost it. This is an easy way to amplify your brand awareness.
Some audience members aren’t looking for a read. They want something they can watch. Using colorful images, infographics and engaging language is a great way to inform and entertain. People will start to see your brand as a trusted voice while actively engaging with your content serving as entertainment. For instance, you can use restaurant video templates online to create compelling video content that informs and builds trust with your audience.
Shooting video content can be time-consuming and confusing. Make sure to use a storyboard creator so your team knows exactly what to shoot. Collaborating with your team throughout the storyboard process places everyone on the same page.
Step 3: Decide how you’ll put it out there
Once you’ve crafted your content around your audience, you can’t just expect people to stumble across it. You need to market what you’ve made. There are a few different ways you can go about doing this:
Social media is king when it comes to engaging with your audience. If you already have a following, making a post is a good way to signpost to your content. Start small and get to grips with one channel before branching out to other platforms. Running social media can be a lot of work. Social media management tools lighten the load by automating the process.
Advertising is far from dead. In fact, it’s alive and kicking. The beauty of paid ads is that you can draw eyes to your site even if you don’t have a following. This does come at a price, however. Make sure your messaging is engaging to your target audience otherwise it will get ignored.
You know things are going well when you’re getting earned media. This is when people like, share and repost your content across the net. Provide quality content and watch your audience grow. Making shareable content is going to be an effective way to build trust and exposure with new audience members.
If someone’s on your email list, they’ve likely already engaged with your content. They know who you are so are more likely to engage with you than someone who has never heard of your brand before. When putting out new content, let them know and drop them an email.
There are plenty of free email marketing services out there you can try. They’re ideal for when you have to send out automated emails regularly, and they can help you make some money, too. What more could you want from a free service?
It’s content strategy time
Now you have the tools you need to craft an effective e-commerce content strategy. There’s no reason why your content shouldn’t be getting the traction it deserves. Boost your online presence while gaining conversions. With the right content, buyers will grow to trust your brand, making you their first choice to buy a product or service.