If you own an eCommerce store, one of the things you want to concentrate on to boost sales is content marketing. Content marketing for eCommerce stores is a popular marketing method that most online brands use as part of their overall marketing campaign. Content marketing is a tool that every eCommerce store owner should employ because it is essential to customer acquisition. Chances are your business’s competitors are already using eCommerce content marketing as part of their overall strategy, which is just one of the reasons why you should get on the bandwagon right away.
When you embark on a strategy for content marketing your eCommerce store, you should recognize that it will be a long-term endeavor. The work will be well worth it, however, because a solid content marketing strategy will help to improve brand image, boost organic traffic from major search engines, and help your conversion rates reach new heights.
This article will outline 13 of the most useful content marketing strategies you can use to get your creative juices flowing and give your eCommerce store the boost it needs. These ideas can be applied successfully, no matter what products you sell, and you can use them to craft your very own eCommerce content marketing plan and get started today.
What is eCommerce Content Marketing?
No eCommerce digital marketing campaign would be complete without content marketing. However, before we offer up some content marketing techniques that you can use for your eCommerce store, let’s break down how your company can benefit from a solid eCommerce content marketing campaign.
You will attract high-quality traffic to your eCommerce website when you offer effective content. How do we define high-quality traffic? Well, high-quality traffic is made up of people who are genuinely going to be interested in the products and services you have to offer and the related topics your content addresses.
Here’s why that is important:
- A customer’s journey typically begins with looking up a topic of interest using a major search engine like Google. The searcher will find your blog post, video, or another piece of relevant content and engage with it. If all goes as planned, that will, in turn, lead the individual to begin following you and rely on you for similar information, leading them back to you each time they need it. Eventually, they’ll discover the products that your eCommerce store has to offer, and, because of your hard work and well-planned content marketing strategy, they will have a positive attitude toward your brand.
- A content marketing strategy is just another tool in your digital marketing toolbox that you can use to promote an eCommerce store. Employing eCommerce marketing strategies is far cheaper than buying ads and more manageable than working with brand influencers. In the end, eCommerce marketing relies on organic search engine optimization and a strong presence on social media.
How to Build a Strategy for eCommerce Content Marketing
There are three steps to building a robust eCommerce content marketing strategy.
- Determine Value: You’ll have to figure out how you’ll offer value to potential customers. You need to figure out precisely what they are most interested in and what demographics you’ll be targeting. Determine what helpful information you can provide them with or what problem you can help them solve, relevant to your brand niche. That should be the focus of your content.
- Determine Your Channels: Before embarking on your eCommerce content marketing strategy, you’ll need to determine where you’ll present this content. It can be published to your blog, your YouTube channel, through podcast platforms, or even a separate website. The possibilities are endless, but the key is to bring the content to where your target audience is hanging out.
- Plan Your Execution: Determine how you will carry out your eCommerce content marketing strategy. Will you be doing it all yourself? Will you dedicate a team of employees to handle the job? Will you work with an outside agency? These are essential questions to consider and ultimately come down to time and money.
Choosing the Best Formats for your eCommerce Content Marketing Efforts
You can use many types of formats in your eCommerce content marketing strategy. Over time you’ll figure out which ones work best depending on your niche and the specific products that you offer. For example, if you’re selling tennis shoes, white papers may not be the best format for presenting your brand, but white papers are definitely the way to go if you’re selling medicinal cosmetics.
Some of the most popular formats for eCommerce content marketing include:
- Written Formats: These include product reviews, opinion pieces, press releases, white papers, research reports, interviews, lists, book reviews, how-to guides, ebooks, magazine articles, newsletters, and blog posts.
- Mixed Media Formats: These include demonstrations, webinars, memes, image galleries, infographics, graphs, podcasts, and videos.
One eCommerce content marketing strategy includes creating a dedicated blog. Here, you can publish content in varying formats. You can even repurpose existing content on new channels using new formats. You can share old blog articles, for example, in a newly published newsletter.
When creating content, start with a few attainable goals for content creation so that you don’t get overwhelmed and, once you’ve gotten your feet wet, consider expanding over time.
eCommerce Content Market Strategies and Ideas
This next section will break down 13 valuable eCommerce content marketing strategies.
1. Create a Quiz
Here’s a fact: People like to talk about themselves. That’s why entertaining and well-executed quizzes can bring lots of traffic to your eCommerce site. The best part is that they can be easily shared. So, if done right, your quiz can get you tons of referrals as well as social shares.
The best part about a quiz is that once the user submits their answers, that data can be used to tailor offers and better engage the user based on their specific needs. If the quiz, for example, asks about the user’s skin type, you can use their answer to target them with suitable products or offer relevant advice.
You don’t even need to add the quiz to your website. You can add a link to the quiz in your email newsletter or publish it on social media, and it will give the same results.
2. Offer Value Through a YouTube Channel
One of the best ways to build brand recognition and loyalty is to offer valuable content to your target audience, free of charge, through a YouTube channel. All you have to do is create videos on relevant topics that are of interest to your customers.
For example, REI, an outdoor sporting equipment company, uses its YouTube Channel to answer subscriber questions related to outdoor adventure. They also feature a series of short films which have gotten more than a million views each. The films focus on stories related to outdoor lifestyle and environmental stewardship. They also feature videos about outdoor recreation, travel destinations, how-tos, camping recipes, and much more.
They represent the perfect example of bringing valuable, relevant content to their target customers via YouTube.
3. Focus on Local Communities
If you are a local brand or if your eCommerce store sells products from artisans or manufacturers that highlight their connection to their local community, you’ll want to take advantage of that fact and make it a focus of your content marketing strategy. The best way to do that is to create content about the communities where your products are made. You should also focus on how you and your partners are involved in that community.
One way you can do this is through your blog. You can use your blog to publish content that promotes local artisans whose products you carry and information about their communities. It is a great way to harness the power of locality in your content marketing strategy.
4. Events Make for Great eCommerce Content
Participating in offline exhibitions, fairs, festivals, concerts, and trade shows are great ways to come face-to-face with your customers. These are great opportunities for building your brand and promoting your eCommerce store. It’s also a great way to collect stories from your customers more efficiently.
If you have an upcoming offline event, be sure to promote it on your website, blog, and across your social media channels so that you can more easily connect with your customers in person. Sharing on-site images and videos before, during, and after these events are great ways to bring a human touch to your online store.
5. Help Potential Customers Connect Your Brand with Their Needs
No matter what product you sell, you’ll need to find a way to convince potential customers that they need that product. If you sell skincare products, create content for folks that need the products you sell. If you sell sunglasses, you won’t want to create content about stargazing, for example. Instead, you’d want to consider stories about outdoor activities that they can enjoy in the sunshine.
There are endless possibilities associated with creating need-based content to promote your eCommerce store. The bottom line is that any activity or topic related to the products you sell can create content material. Think about the activities your customers are most interested in and tailor your content to fit those interests.
6. Give Users a Little DIY Inspiration
A proper eCommerce content marketing strategy will ultimately create a demand for the products you sell. One way to increase that demand is to use content to show potential customers new ways to use your products so that they have even more of a reason to purchase them. That is how repurpose ideas, tutorials, and recipes work. Sometimes this type of content is even more alluring than highlighting more traditional uses.
When it comes to DIY inspiration, consider running campaigns based on user-generated content by asking your customers how THEY use your product and spotlighting that.
7. Dig Deep Into Your Audience’s LIfetsyle
Here’s one we bet you never thought about. Consider creating a Soundcloud account. That may seem crazy if you sell skincare products or women’s fashions. Still, the truth is that when your content marketing can blend with your target audience’s lifestyles and interests, you’ll be surprised by how these connections can benefit your brand. It’s a really hip way to connect with your audience.
8. Collaborate with Influencers
It’s one thing to get influencers to review your products and talk about them on their YouTube channels. It’s quite another to create an influencer collaboration that can help you and your products stand out.
Take, for example, beauty brand, Glossier’s #GetReadyWithMe collaboration, which showcases every day looks for the ordinary person, lining up with the company’s motto, “beauty products for real life.” While many brands will promote a much fancier look than the typical working woman’s experience, Glossier keeps its YouTube content hyper-focused on its target market.
Another benefit to this campaign approach is that Glossier retains ownership of its videos and accumulates them on its official channel. It is a far better approach for any brand because when you send a product to a vlogger or influencer, you end up having your product featured on videos that aren’t on-brand, and viewers may be forced to hop between channels.
It might take some time before you can pull off a campaign like Glossier’s, but if you can, do it. You’ll be glad you did.
9. Give Users a Glossary
You live and breathe this stuff, but don’t assume that your users do. With eCommerce marketing, you can create spaces outside of your product pages where you can educate potential customers and explain terms they may not be familiar with. When you publish a glossary of terms, you’ll help users understand your product categories better, allowing them to shop with more confidence. It will also help guide them to the products they need, making it more likely that they will be satisfied with their purchase.
Glossaries are excellent for your overall SEO as well. They can help more people discover your store through keyword searches and ultimately boost your search engine rank. A good glossary can even help you to garner organic backlinks.
10. Product Details are a Must
Whether you sell exercise gear, cosmetics, handmade jewelry, or skincare products, the more detail you can provide in your content, the better off you will be. For one, it helps your potential customers to decide exactly which of your products they want to buy, but it also helps to strengthen the content needed to pull more people in.
The Ordinary offers users a guide that features key product ingredients and comparisons. That gives the company’s products additional exposure well beyond their product pages. More importantly, customers have a better chance of finding the product that is right for them.
11. Give Customers the Answers to the Questions They’re Most Afraid to Ask
Depending on what you sell, you may have targeted customers that have unusual or intimate questions about your products. The best way to address this is by being proactive and providing them with answers. You’ll quickly gain their trust, and they’ll come back again and again.
For example, when it comes to fashion, many men feel apprehaensive about seeking style advice and often do so discreetly. If you sell men’s clothing, consider adding blog content that addresses style tips such as properly wearing a shirt with a sweater, offering advice like how long you want the shirt to hang over your pants, etc. It may not seem like a big deal, but getting answers to these “silly” questions is what the Internet is all about, and if you’re the one providing those answers, chances are, you’re the one they will trust when buying related products.
12. Recycle Press Coverage
If your store or product has been featured in a newspaper or magazine article, on the television news, or in any other media format, be sure to showcase that press coverage in your blog.
If you haven’t hit the big time yet and haven’t gotten any press coverage to speak of, write some guest posts on partner sites and then share them to your brand’s social media channels. That will help you to build more authority in your brand’s niche market.
13. Frequently Asked Questions are Great Content Fodder
Content marketing can occur anywhere on your website, including your FAQ pages. FAQ pages are an essential resource for customers that helps them decide if your products are right for them. A FAQ page will also put customers more at ease to choose your product over a competitor.
What Makes These eCommerce Marketing Strategies Work?
One of the common themes of each of the 13 strategies we’ve outlined in this article is that they refrain from hard-pushing products onto the user, viewer, or reader. The key to quality content is that it is valuable and enjoyable, separate from the product or brand that you are promoting. With content marketing for your eCommerce store, you want to appeal to visitors long before they have any interest in buying your product.
The primary goal of any eCommerce content marketing plan should be to build trust and nurture relationships. That’s how you open the door to the type of engagement needed to sell your product. When you set your sights on providing visitors with helpful information that will entertain, educate, inspire, and feed their curiosity, the rest will surely follow.