Content marketing is one of the best ways to connect with prospects and grow your eCommerce business. Your website, social media accounts, and email all need high-quality content if you hope to captivate readers and turn them into customers.
A strong content strategy will make building rapport with new visitors easy, keep existing customers engaged, and enhance brand awareness. All of these benefits mean more people will have their eyes on your brand, which means more conversions.
Because content marketing is such a complex strategy, many new eCommerce business owners and marketers aren’t sure where to start or if they are doing things the right way.
Today, we will clear some of the confusion by sharing seven essential content marketing tips you need to succeed. These tips will help you keep your target audience engaged and boost sales.
Let’s get started!
1. Get to Know Your Target Audience
Before creating a single piece of new content, getting to know your target audience is crucial. Creating interesting, relevant blog posts or videos for your customers is difficult if you don’t understand their goals, needs, and pain points.
It’s vital to nail this aspect of your content marketing strategy because everything you do will rely on what you know about your target audience. If your content doesn’t resonate with readers, they will leave your site without a second thought.
You’ll be happy to know that there are many ways to get to know the people visiting your website and engaging with your brand on social media.
There are two main ways to get to know your target audience.
The first method involves reviewing on-site analytics. I recommend looking at existing pages and posts so you can see where visitors spend their time. For instance, the team at a lead generation SaaS may notice that a majority of people read posts on email marketing. This data helps marketers plan future content and updates around this need.
Conducting surveys through your website, email, and social media is also a good idea. Ask users targeted questions so you can better understand why they’re engaging with your website. An online pet store may ask new users to share what pets each person owns. The team can then use this data to suggest relevant content in the future. Use a good survey or form tool that offers detailed analytics capabilities to understand your customers better.
Once you have enough data, you can start building buyer personas. Buyer personas, also called customer personas, are profiles featuring fictional customers. They are, essentially, a culmination of all the data obtained from your research. Business leaders use buyer personas to determine what content they should create.
Here’s an example of a buyer persona so you can see for yourself:
- Review your site analytics and list down 10 – 15 best-performing pages
- Conduct a survey to understand your site visitors and social media followers
- Use this data to create 2 – 3 different buyer persona
2. Publish Plenty of Video Content
Video content has soared in popularity over the last decade. If you only publish traditional blog posts, you’re missing out on a crucial content marketing opportunity.
Believe it or not, 87% of marketers who implemented video into their content marketing strategy say it helped improve their website traffic. Similarly, 86% said it improved their lead generation efforts.
The amazing thing about video is you can use it anywhere. Social media, email, and your website can all benefit from well-placed videos. Here are a few ways you can make this happen:
- Send email subscribers a video course
- Go live on social media (ask me anything, product demonstration)
- Build YouTube and Instagram accounts for your brand
- Embed video versions of your blog posts for visitors who prefer visual content
E-commerce business owners can create a wide range of video content depending on their audiences’ needs and industry.
- Create relevant, interesting video content
- Strategically share your videos on your website, social media pages, and email campaigns
- Listen to audience feedback and use what you learn to improve the quality of your video content
3. Show Trust Signals
Whether you realize it or not, you look for trust signals before you buy something from an eCommerce website. The same can be said for your audience, especially first-time visitors.
There are countless online stores on the internet. Some are trustworthy and offer high-value products; others leave much to be desired.
If you hope to win over visitors and turn them into customers, think about ways to show social proof. Social proof is evidence that a company is trusted and respected by existing customers and other businesses.
User reviews are the most common form of social proof. People often turn to product reviews when deciding whether to pull out their debit cards. A bunch of glowing reviews inspires confidence and can prompt someone on the fence to complete an order.
I suggest allowing users to leave reviews on your product pages. You should also find positive feedback and place it strategically on other parts of your website, such as your homepage. First impressions matter; reputable, detailed reviews will help you win over prospects.
Sharing positive mentions and reviews on social media is also a good idea. This type of content is known as UGC or user-generated content. UGC can have a tremendous impact on your conversion rate. For context, 84% of millennials say user-generated content directly impacts their shopping habits.
If you’re looking for a subtle way to build trust on your website, live sales notifications are an excellent option. Simply put, live sales notifications are small text boxes that pop up on your site when someone places an order or subscribes to your email list. When people see others actively engaging with your brand, they are more likely to follow in their footsteps.
- Invite users to review your product or service
- Highlight the best feedback on key parts of your eCommerce site and social media
- Add live sales alerts to your website
4. Optimize for Search
If your content isn’t optimized for search, you’ll have a tough time building your audience. Research shows that 68% of all online experiences start with a search engine. If your company doesn’t show up in the results, you’re missing a major method of reaching your customers.
The world of search engine optimization (SEO) has changed dramatically over the years. There are plenty of new additions that make it easier for eCommerce business owners to get their sites to rank for relevant keywords.
High-quality content across the board is essential to your success. Google punishes websites that promote incorrect, misleading, or typo-filled content. The easiest way to avoid this is to base your content on the needs of your audience and always check your work before publishing a post.
But creating great content isn’t enough. You also need to choose keywords that align with the intent of your readers. Google’s Keyword Research Tools can help you discover popular words and phrases in your industry. The key is to find words with a medium to high search volume and low to medium competition. These “sweet spot” keywords have a lot of potential.
It’s also worth mentioning that conversational keywords matter more than a string of relevant words. Conversational content is important because it makes your site more likely to appear in voice search results. Voice search is used more now than ever before, so this is one strategy you shouldn’t skip.
You should also consider adding schema markup to your product pages. Schema markup is behind-the-scenes code that lets Google know more about the products on the page. When used correctly, you can let users know about what you’re selling before they click through.
Here's an example:
- Create high-quality, conversational content
- Use keyword research tools to discover relevant words and phrases in your industry (Look for high/medium search volume and low/medium competition)
- Use an SEO tool to easily add schema markup to your site
5. Improve Your Email Marketing Strategy
Most people see email marketing and content marketing as two different strategies. While this is technically true, it’s also true that your email strategy will suffer if your content is lackluster.
If you want to improve your email content, make a good first impression. One way to accomplish this is to offer website visitors a valuable lead magnet. Lead magnets typically consist of content geared toward your audience. To access your infographic, online course, or ultimate guide, users need to sign up for your email list.
Once a visitor subscribes, use email automation to deliver their lead magnet and corresponding emails quickly. This step will save you time and allow you to easily create multiple sales funnels depending on your audiences’ needs.
Personalization is one of the best benefits of email marketing. You can tailor each customer’s experience based on their interests and how they engage with your brand. Making your emails personable is also possible by using subscribers’ names and order history throughout the campaign.
We found that 4 out of 5 shoppers say they wish brands used personalization more often. If you can create stellar content and share it through email, you have a better chance of turning new subscribers into happy customers.
- Offer visitors a relevant lead magnet in exchange for their subscription
- Encourage new subscribers to share their preferences so you can personalize content/offers
- Use automation, survey feedback, and buyer personas to create engaging campaigns for your audience
6. Share Your Content on Social Media
It’s impossible to talk about content marketing without mentioning social media. Nearly 60% of the world has at least one social media account. It’s estimated that this number will increase over the next several years.
YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook are all terrific platforms for connecting with prospects. Other sites like Reddit can present plenty of marketing opportunities depending on your industry.
You can create a wide range of content designed to capture the attention of prospects and lead them back to your website. Videos and other visual content, like infographics, are extremely effective.
However, you can also find success by sharing your latest blog posts or engaging with users in relevant groups. If you’re willing to pay for ads, you can connect with your ideal audience and showcase some of your best content in the process.
The thing to remember about social media marketing and content is you need to be mindful of your audience and their needs. People’s priorities change, new pain points arise, and there’s always a need for a better product and more engaging content.
Keeping in touch with customers and prospects on social media will allow you to evolve your content strategy based on their behavior and requests.
- Share interesting, diverse content (blog posts, videos, infographics)
- Use social media as a secondary customer support channel so you can gather feedback + adjust personas
- Engage with your followers on your posts and in the community
7. Track Your Results
Finally, let’s talk about a general rule that every eCommerce business owner should follow when optimizing existing content or creating something new; data tracking. There are countless analytics tools out there that can help you learn how users engage with your business.
I recommend using these tools to identify popular content and gain a better understanding of your audience.
At this point, you should have detailed customer personas. Use what you learn from data tracking to tweak your personas over time. As we touched on in the last section, user needs can change over time.
If you’re not tracking on-site, email, and social email analytics it will be difficult for you to figure out how to keep your users engaged on a long-term basis.
- Download an analytics tool for your website
- Use built-in social media and email analytics tools to better understand your audience
- Review data consistently so you can stay informed of your audiences’ goals, needs, and pain points
Content marketing is a complex process that often overwhelms new business owners. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of feeling overwhelmed the next time you sit down to work on your content strategy, keep these tips in mind.
Work through the steps one at a time and you’ll begin to develop an actionable plan that you can use to grow your eCommerce business for years to come.