Content marketing is a great marketing tactic for e-commerce brands of all sizes to implement. When done well, content marketing can result in great marketing returns from a relatively small upfront investment.
In this article, we are going to explain why content marketing is important for e-commerce brands, what types of content marketing strategies work well, and finish by giving you 10 example strategies you can use.
If you’re not familiar with the term content marketing, it means to use content such as blog posts, website copy, e-books, and videos to help explain and promote your products, services, and overall brand.
Here are some of the top benefits of using content marketing as part of your e-commerce marketing plan:
Content marketing has become an important marketing tactic for many businesses. Even more so since the cost of paid advertising continues to rise. Great content marketing is all about building trust with your target customers. To help you achieve this goal, it’s really important that you focus on quality over quantity and use strategies that suit your brand.
All of the major content types like blogs, articles, e-books, videos, photography, and email newsletters can be great strategies to implement. The specific type of content depends on the product you sell. For example, if you have a visually compelling product like clothes or shoes, photography and video may work well to showcase them. On the other hand, if you sell a more technical product like spa pools, articles and e-books might work better.
Below we are going to discuss 10 great content marketing strategies that you should consider using.
Customers love video. They watch billions of hours of it each week. Thankfully, with the constant improvement and lowering of costs of video equipment (including mobile phone cameras), it’s now easier than ever to produce video content. This makes creating videos possible for even small e-commerce brands.
In the example above, shoe brand Allbirds publishes a series of product videos using customers and celebrity endorsers to explain the benefits of their products, and to show how the products look.
Another popular type of video is to make tutorial videos that help to explain your products and how they work so that customers can understand much more clearly than reading a product description. Tutorial or explainer videos are really good if you sell a complex product that needs to be explained.
Once your videos have been produced you can distribute them through multiple channels such as YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and more. This allows you to increase your video’s reach to ensure your target audience watches it.
If you have published content in the past like videos, blog posts, and articles there is an opportunity to update this content to make it more relevant and better optimized to appear higher in search results.
For example, if you have published blog posts in the past you should review them and possibly re-write them in parts, or even completely to bring them up to a higher standard. You can also review the keywords used, the images, and other elements of the posts to ensure they meet the latest SEO standards.
Another important form of content to check is your product descriptions. Sometimes in a rush to list products, e-commerce stores use very simple product descriptions which are not optimized to appear high in search results. You could even consider working with a specialist SEO writer to help you with this.
Email marketing has been used by e-commerce brands of all sizes for a long time. Tools like Mailchimp (pictured above) have made it very easy to set up an email system to first capture email addresses and then send out email messages to your list.
Email marketing is a great strategy because once you capture the customer or prospective customers’ email addresses, you’re able to send them information about your brand and promotions very cost-effectively. This is in total contrast to using social media platforms like Facebook which often charge you advertising fees even to communicate with people who have liked your page.
One of the best ways to enhance your email marketing efforts is to start sending your email subscribers exclusive content and deals that are not available to non-subscribers. This makes your customers feel valued and gives them a good reason to stay subscribed.
Another content marketing strategy for e-commerce brands to embrace is creating a content hub. A content hub is a section of your website where you publish all of your content and group it into different categories. The point of the content hub is to give your audience an easy way to access and engage with your content.
In the example above, e-commerce brand Casper has created a blog section on their website as a content hub and uses it to post product guides, product advice articles, and many other forms of content.
When done well, a content hub will help boost your organic search traffic, increase social shares, and boost customer engagement which over time should result in higher sales.
If you want to increase the quantity of your content – but without reducing quality – you should consider embracing user-generated content (UGC). UGC is when you use content like reviews, photos, and videos created by your customers that relate to your products and then promote or repurpose it to boost engagement.
Here are some great examples of UGC:
Publishing gift guides around important days like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, and Thanksgiving is a great way to create content that is informative and engaging. It helps your customers make purchasing decisions as you can showcase all of the most popular options. This saves the customer time and reinforces they are making a good purchase decision.
Gift guides also make great content that is easily sharable through your social channels, email newsletter, and blog. Some e-commerce brands even ask bloggers if they will publish guest posts – sometimes for free, sometimes as a paid placement.
We’ve already mentioned above the effectiveness of reviews for providing social proof of your products. To increase the number of reviews it’s a good idea to optimize your profiles on review websites. For example, outdoor goods retailer Patagonia has over 710 reviews on the review website Influenster which includes lots of high-quality product images.
Another way to provide social proof for your customers is to create comparison pages or articles. This is when you directly compare your products to your competitors with the goal to show your products are the best in the market. For example, if you sell phone chargers, you should compare your chargers to others in the market and even include prices to show which e-commerce store has the best.
One of the most cost-effective strategies that you can implement that is often overlooked by e-commerce brands is to distribute your content through multiple channels. While most of the time this simply means sharing a blog post through all your channels like social and email newsletter, you can also take your content and repurpose it for different channels. For example, if you write a blog post about “10 ways to make your jeans last longer”, you can turn this content into 10 separate Facebook posts or make an explainer video.
If you’re spending time and money producing content, it’s important to make sure people are actually seeing and engaging with it. Using a multi-channel marketing approach is a great way to achieve this.
FAQ and help sections help your e-commerce brand in two major ways. First, they provide your customers with a simple way to get answers to questions that they have, and second, they reduce the level of emails and phone calls you’ll receive from customers asking questions.
FAQ pages simply list questions followed by answers to them. Help sections can provide much more detailed information which can be made searchable – like the example from MightyApe below.
One of the main benefits of using help sections or FAQ pages for content marketing is that each answer can be optimized for SEO purposes so that they rank high in search results when people are looking for answers about your specific products.
Brand collaboration is when you work with another e-commerce store or brand to cross-promote your products. It is essentially a form of influencer marketing and when done well can result in very good marketing results.
Here are some examples of brand collaborations:
Overall, e-commerce companies have many great marketing strategies that they can implement to remain competitive. The best way to find strategies that work for you is to do lots of experiments to see which ones work and which ones don’t achieve any measurable returns. Once you find strategies that work, double down on implementing them.
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