Content marketing can benefit your eCommerce store in multiple ways. Research says that 72% of marketers have stated that content marketing boosts their engagement and the number of leads.
On the other hand, 63% of businesses don’t have a documented content marketing strategy.
To maximize the power of your online content, you need to understand your audience, set clear goals, and build a solid plan around them.
Here are 8 powerful content marketing tactics your eCommerce business should be using.
Table of Contents:
1. Research Your Audience and Your Find Buyer Personas
Before you start writing content, you should first know who your customers are. Your goal is to produce valuable, informative, and relevant content that will resonate with your target audiences and engage them.
Start by collecting your customers’ demographic data, such as their location, age, gender, family status, profession, etc. Then, focus on their psychographics.
To narrow your research and build more accurate buyer personas, you should know a lot about your audiences’ likes, dislikes, problems, fears, expectations, habits, and values.
2. Create an Editorial Calendar
Creating an editorial calendar is an immensely important step. It should help your content marketing team plan their daily, weekly, and monthly activities successfully.
Before you create it, there are many questions to answer, such as how frequently you will publish content, how many types of content you will create, what platforms you will use to manage content, where you will promote content, who will work on your content creation and promotion, etc.
An editorial calendar needs to highlight who is responsible for each piece of content and specify strict deadlines for each phase of content marketing. You could also have a column dedicated to the status of content – whether it’s in progress, edited, finished, in design, etc.
3. Create Powerful Lead Magnets
For any eCommerce business, building and expanding a solid email list is a crucial activity. The only problem is that the majority of your prospects won’t give you their email addresses unless they have a good reason to do so. And, that’s where lead magnets can help.
A lead magnet is an incentive digital marketers give to their target audience in exchange for their email addresses. These are usually downloadable forms of content.
A lead magnet needs to deliver value to your target audience. It should inform them, educate them, and help them solve specific problems. Based on their purpose, lead magnets can be classified into several categories:
- Useful that save your prospects’ time and energy. These could be checklists, cheat sheets, templates, swipe files, examples, toolkits, web apps, planners, calendars, resource lists, printable content, workbooks, recipes, calculators –any kind of content users can implement right away.
- Educative content that is packed with valuable industry data and tips. One of the most popular opt-in bribes is gated content – a piece of your article or guide that is hidden. To read it, users need to sign up for your email list. Educational lead magnets can also be tutorials, ebooks, ultimate guides, webinars, reports, infographics, informative videos, free books, email courses, transcripts, roundups, slide share, etc.
- Engaging that entertain your customers and build stronger relationships with them. These could be quizzes, surveys, giveaways, comic strips, games, quotes, and so forth.
- Community-building that build strong relationships with them and turn them into brand advocates. The idea is to build a strong community, where people will communicate, share insights, and help each other. These could be Slack groups, Facebook groups, challenges, etc.
- Bottom-of-funnel content. When designed and written properly, case studies, brochures, and catalogs will maximize people’s awareness of your products and drive greater sales.
4. Produce Interactive Content
Interactive content is an amazing way to engage your target audiences and personalize their user experiences.
For example, support your chatbot with engaging storytelling. You could create an interactive storyline, where your customers would make decisions and directly impact how the story will develop. One such example is the Spiderman bot that even gives you a unique nickname.
You can also take advantage of augmented reality technologies. Sephora has developed the Visual Artist app that lets users upload photos and virtually apply makeup to see whether it suits them.
Finally, you can also create quizzes that will ask your customers questions about their preferences, needs, and expectations and provide them with relevant products.
When coupled with a powerful call-to-action that will point your customers directly to the right product pages, you will grow your sales.
Some other super-interactive content types are:
- Live videos
- Virtual tours
5. Design Infographics
A famous proverb says that a picture is worth a thousand words. And, infographics prove it true. They enable you to pack lots of statistics and boring data in an easy-to-follow format.
As they’re highly engaging and user-friendly, infographics will soon earn lots of organic shares and high-quality backlinks. The example of Rydewear, an online sportswear store, backs me up on that.
Namely, they wanted to create an infographic that would teach users to set up a healthy diet. They hired the Infostarters creative agency that converted their tips and data into powerful, convincing, and visually-appealing illustrations.
As a result, they attracted 2.697 site visits, 324 infographic shares, and 35 high-quality backlinks.
6. Take Original Photos on your Product Pages
Online shoppers cannot see and feel your products. So, to gain their trust, you need to optimize your product pages and make them highly informative.
First, describe your product thoroughly. Include information about its capacity, color, material, as well as its price and availability. About 90% of your customers believe this information is critical for making purchasing decisions.
More importantly, give your product pages a boost with original photography. Online consumers rely heavily on product photos. Take shots of products from multiple angles to show them as realistically as possible.
You could even make a 360-degree overview of your products to boost customer engagement.
Apart from including these photos on your product pages, you can also repurpose them on other channels. For example, you can add them to your blog posts (with a link to your product page), add them to your emails, promote them on social, or even turn them into shoppable posts on Instagram.
7. Tell Customer Stories
Telling customers’ stories is important for several reasons. It tells your existing customers that you value their opinions and feedback, and above all, it builds trust with your prospective customers. The majority of your customers trust online reviews more than branded content.
There are different types of content formats you can use to spread the word about your customers. First, encourage customer reviews on your website, social networks, business listing platforms, etc.
Second, ask your customers to write testimonials and publish them on your website. You could add them to your homepage or even your product pages to encourage faster conversions.
Third, encourage customers to share user-generated content. Finally, you can even do internal research and write case studies to show how you helped different clients achieve their goals.
8. Make Video Content
Video content has been gaining momentum over the past few years. And, many brands are reaping the power of video, including Snowboard Addiction.
They focus on their Facebook and YouTube content strategy and share amazing video content. The videos showcase how powerful their products are and how customers can make the most out of them. That’s how they boosted their industry authority and gained customers’ trust, which helped them skyrocket their online sales to a million.
There are different kinds of video content to use in your content strategy, including:
- Vlogs are a perfect way to increase your industry credibility.
- Company culture videos, such as interviews with your employees, behind-the-scenes videos, office parties – the kind of content that humanizes your brand.
- Interviews with industry experts that will increase your authority and reach. Namely, your interviewee will share the post with their audience, boosting your authority.
- Tutorials – DIY projects are incredibly popular among online users. Such videos will both provide customers with valuable tips and promote your products.
- Testimonials – we discussed the importance of testimonials above. Video-based testimonials will show who your customers are, humanizing your brand presence.
- Product reviews –by showing your customers how your products look, how they’re used, and what their main benefits are, you will increase their trust and make them closer to making a purchase.
Live streaming gains 10X more engagement than regular videos. It’s more natural, personal and above all, it’s limited. As such, it will evoke users’ FOMO and inspire them to follow you.
Over to You:
Ecommerce content marketing is all about increasing user experiences. This is why you should first know who your customers are and understand their demographic profiles, as well as needs, problems, and preferences.
Second, use this data to build your content strategy and create a detailed editorial calendar. Next, start producing content. Diversify your content strategy to appeal to wider audience groups.
Once you approach content marketing this way, everything else will be easier. Of course, content creation is just half the job done. Once you produce your content, you will also need to promote it extensively.
Finally, measure the performance of your content strategy and adapt it accordingly. Set clear KPIs right from the start and use them to see what tactics (don’t) work for you.
How do you create a content marketing strategy for your online retail store? Is there anything you would like to add? We’d like to hear from you!
This was a guest post from Elaine Bennett. She is is a digital marketing specialist focused on helping startups and small businesses grow. Besides that, she’s a regular contributor for Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing, as it allows her to reach even more entrepreneurs and help them on their business journey.
If you’re interested in publishing a guest article here, take a look at the requirements for guest posting here and follow the instructions provided.