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By joanne on November 11, 2016
Ecommerce is becoming more popular than ever before, and because the easy scalability of WordPress ecommerce frameworks makes it easy to expand, sites can soon host thousands of products.
Content marketing has long been known to have huge benefits for a single product or service-based websites, but those with a wide range of products often miss the opportunity to build their brand through content marketing.
Google, Bing, Yahoo! and more make content a core part of their search engine rankings, meaning it is the only way to build more organic traffic. Organic traffic is the key to a business with any longevity, and as such, it’s essential to master even for ecommerce sites.
Let’s take a look at how Amazon Echo nailed their ecommerce content marketing.
I understand it’s likely you’ll take some convincing. If your store offers a huge range of different items, it can be hard to understand how to focus your content strategy plan.
Right now, I’m going to try and convince you that it’s not only possible but a huge chance to build your customer base. It can even work better for you than for the sites who focus solely on content marketing.
So, here are seven great reasons why you should develop your ecommerce content marketing strategy.
Content marketing is all about understanding your customers. While ecommerce websites tend to hope the products will speak for themselves, they have to be speaking the right language to really appeal to the people who might be interested in buying them.
One of the biggest things content marketers will do when forming a strategy is create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is representative of the perfect audience for your product, and will help you understand who it is you’re trying to sell to, and give you insights about how to achieve that.
We’ve already published a great guide on creating a buyer persona, so I won’t dwell on the process here, but it comes with a host of great advantages for an ecommerce site.
Having a buyer persona will give you a direction, and allow you to focus not only your content but your product offers to more effectively target that audience. This doesn’t mean forcing yourself into a pre-existing niche – your hypothetical audience could be a bear-fighting lawyer who loves knitting, and you’ll know to sell boxing gloves, yarn, and notepads. That buyer doesn’t need a Blu-Ray player, so you don’t have to invest in a huge quantity of them that will sit unsold in your warehouse.
Content marketing will also allow you to build a relationship with your audience. Through that relationship, you can build your understanding of their needs because they’ll begin to tell you about them.
By listening to what people are saying in these platforms, you’ll find ideas and inspiration as to how you can better meet your customers’ needs.
This means you’re no longer competing on price. Now, you’re entering the world where you can compete on value. You can build loyalty by creating an awesome experience for people, which will keep them coming back. You can tell stories that engage and reward readers who buy the products.
People are buying products online to help solve a problem, overcome a challenge or achieve a goal. All sales is based on supply and demand – demand is something it’s far more difficult to create, so you have to find the demand and supply things that fulfill it.
If you run an ecommerce store, I’m telling you how to suck eggs right now. But if you haven’t realized that content itself is a form of supply, then your mind is about to get blown.
We then take the feedback into consideration and work on the process to keep our users happy.
Google and other major search engines are the most common place for people to go with questions. If you can answer them, you get potential audiences to your site for free. Most queries on search engines are questions.
There’s no product page you can title “How do you fight a bear?” but you can surely write a blog post entitled “How to fight a bear and live to tell the tale.” In that blog post, one of your answers can be “with these great boxing gloves that we sell on our store”.
See what I mean?
If there’s a demand for an answer, and the answer is a product, you just sold your products. If you’re an ecommerce store with thousands of products, of course, that’s a herculean feat, but you’ve also solved a difficult strategy problem that other more niche sites would really struggle to find – what to write about.
Simply find the questions that relate to the products you sell and answer them honestly and helpfully, and your audience will grow.
Internal linking is an incredibly effective and, honestly, pretty underrated part of on-page SEO.
How many times have you seen somebody link directly to a product page on an Ecommerce store in an article? Yeah, exactly. Almost never.
How many times have you seen a writer link to a useful and informative article as part of a discussion around a topic? Uhuh. All the time.
This is why if you’re an ecommerce store, you need to diversify into content. If a customer is searching a product page, they’ll be interested to know about similar products in the same category.
Content allows you to group pieces into collections that will help turn one sale into multiple sales. Internal links allow you to lead your potential customers on a journey of discovery through your site, increase retention, and build authority.
When you use internal linking, your content becomes a virtual sales attendant that helps customers find what they need by making informed recommendations based on your experience. It’s also active at any time of day or night, whenever a customer needs it.
We have some great advice on increasing your domain authority, and this will help you understand, and get the best from, this important facet of content marketing.
Let’s say by now I’ve convinced you that getting some content going for your online store is worthwhile. Well, the story isn’t over yet.
Frequent content is the key to growing your audience. If people know they can expect regular new updates from you, and that the content of those updates is going to be worth checking out, then you’ll find your audience will grow exponentially.
Of course, you have a lot of other responsibilities when you’re a running a store, so you’ll want some help creating your ecommerce marketing plan. Get a content calendar from CoSchedule to help you schedule your updates, plan content runs in batches, and make sure everything gets released when it should.
This content should of course help promotes the best-selling categories on your site and lead to your product pages, but it should also link to current affairs and key times of the year.
Right now you can talk about how boxing gloves, yarn, and notepads will make a great ‘bear-fighting lawyer who loves knitting’ outfit for Halloween. Then you can sell your notepads on the basis that they’re great for writing down Christmas lists as well as legal notes. There are a huge number of holidays and interest days you can tie into to get better exposure for your products.
That means four times the content creates nearly four times more traffic. All that extra traffic means more people to sell to, and all that extra content means more opportunities to sell the products.
Upping the frequency of your content marketing will make it more effective for any ecommerce business.
It’s true that content will help to get you more potential customers. But if you want to compete for major keywords, you need more than just content.
You need comprehensive evergreen content. With evergreen content, your blog post will still be able to generate traffic even if the topic is not currently trending. Not just that… When writing content, you should bear in mind to write longer content to increase the chances of getting higher ranking on search engines.
If you think about it, there really aren’t any disadvantages of doing content marketing for your ecommerce website. Instead, here are some of the benefits of publishing longer and comprehensive content that you should know:
“Content is King” was coined by the SEO community because of its value in hosting keywords that will increase website relevance and rankings on google. That means while you’re creating your content for all the right reasons, promoting your products and engaging your audience, you can also smash your SEO.
Highly relevant keywords for your products will help users find you easily. There is a huge range of third party apps, plugins, and widgets you can use to optimize your site quickly and easily. There are also solutions that will help you set up a new site to be optimized from launch in just a few steps.
SEOPressor Connect is something we created to help people identify and include strong keywords in all their content, gauge how well their content is optimized for readers and search engines, all while writing in WordPress.
Once the content itself is optimized, good site architecture and navigation are all that’s required to make the content work hard to generate sales. Make sure it’s easy for users to navigate to popular products, related products, top rated products, and recently viewed products and boom – money in your pockets.
The oldest truism in the book is that people buy from people. A personal recommendation or referral is the single most powerful tool any business has to make money, and social media has created a whole new way for businesses to generate that kind of recommendations and referrals.
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and more are the playgrounds of the emerging consumer generation, and getting your content onto these sites is a way for you to introduce your store to huge audiences, using your existing audience as ambassadors.
Not to forget, search engines are now including social posts in their algorithms, meaning more social shares means better rankings and more organic traffic outside of social media too. This means sharing is now doubly effective in growing your audience. Neat!
If you can encourage social sharing on your site, you can also encourage other forms of social activity. User Generated Content (UGC), such as comments, posts, reviews and tweets commenting on content, offer a great way to amplify the content and keep the momentum going.
If these comments, reviews, and tweets are positive, you redouble the endorsement of an initial share and people are even more likely to trust your store to make their purchases.
You can encourage this social sharing by asking for comments, retweets, and shares, and set up a review section on your Facebook page (quick note: if you haven’t already, quickly set up a Facebook page!), and then remind people of every piece of content to show it to their friends.
So there we have it. Seven great reasons you should be creating content for your ecommerce website. Think about this way: content marketing is a way to connect to prospects, convince them to make a purchase, and keep them coming back for more. If it were a bricks and mortar store, content marketing would be your servers.
When you understand it in these terms, content marketing is a perfect fit for ecommerce. That said, actually generating the content can come as a bit of a shock for someone who’s never done it before.
If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry. Start your content marketing here. We created a guide to help you find all the inspiration and content marketing ideas you need.
The only other thing you need to consider is to make sure the page speed of your site to handle all that extra content and traffic you’ll be generating. If not, there’s no point doing it.
Once you’re up to speed, however, you’re in a perfect position to develop a sustainable demand and lead generation strategy.
If you’re an ecommerce guru and you think we missed any other great ideas for content, let us know in the comments below! Equally, if you have any further questions about ecommerce content marketing you think our community can answer but aren’t in this post or the links, then tell us about it and we’ll see what we can do.
Updated: 9 April 2020