If you have a client who recently launched (or is planning to launch) an online store, then you’re probably going to want to hit the ground running with a solid content marketing campaign, as well as ensure that your on-site content is on-point.
If you’re not really sure which forms of content marketing are suitable for new ecommerce websites, then we’ve got a few suggestions for you.
From old-fashioned blogging to high-quality infographics, there are loads of possible approaches—have a read and see which ones will work for you, and feel free to mix and match the ones that make sense for your business.
1. On-site blogging
This is the easiest and simplest approach to ecommerce content marketing, and something which pretty much anybody can do, no matter how small your budget! On-site blogging may seem like a simple idea, but it can be very effective from a relationship-building and brand perspective.
In fact, there are numerous benefits:
- Fresh content added to your site on a regular basis will be a clear indicator that it is current and active. This is good for SEO as it will encourage frequent indexing of your site
- Speaking of SEO, different blog posts will give you the opportunity to rank for a much wider number of keywords—including informational search queries (target these with tutorial-style content)
- Having good, high quality content on your site gives people a reason to keep coming back. Every time somebody visits your site, there’s a chance they’ll buy something!
- Blogging allows you to engage with your customers in a friendly way. Blog posts can help to cement you as an expert in your industry and show customers human side of your business.
Blogging is probably the best place to start when it comes to content marketing for new ecommerce brands. If you can come up with 15-20 ideas for high quality blog posts, you should get going now. If not, you can always hire a freelancer or try a blog title generator for some initial ideas.
2. Digital PR
The next step up from blogging on your own site is blogging on other people’s sites. This is worth doing because A) it can expose your business to people who had never heard of it before and B) it’s good for SEO, and will contribute to how well your site is ranking. Whether you write about your business journey, products, or services is up to you—but you can’t be unduly ‘advertorial’ and not expect to pay for the exposure.
- Find websites which will be appropriate for you to write for by searching for “write for us” (in quotation marks) followed by any other relevant niche keywords. This should provide you with a list of websites and their contact details. It’s also worth gathering up contact details for a few PR-friendly bloggers and vloggers in your niche (here’s what to expect from a collaboration)
- Prepare briefs for each of the websites, making sure to make them appealing for their specific target audience
- Send your briefs to these websites in an email where you introduce yourself. Explain that you thought your idea was a good match for their site, and don’t talk about how it’s going to be a personal benefit to your website
- Enjoy success (hopefully).
You shouldn’t get too overwhelmed with guest posting—start with a few high-quality websites and posts, and you will quickly notice a positive rankings difference. You should also try to work with sites through sponsored content and ads. This can be a quick and easy way to increase your referring domain count.
3. Social media marketing
Social media isn’t just about posting links and offers, it’s about creating unique content. Content marketing and social media marketing are very much intertwined, and many smaller ecommerce brands get most of their traffic from social media marketing and advertising.
Comedy and cuteness are probably the two most popular themes for good social media content. Why not post an internet meme to make your customers laugh? Or post a picture of a cute puppy to make your customers melt?
Not all social posts should contain a direct sales angle or link back to your site. You need content that will help you to raise brand awareness and find followers. Try out different hashtags (this service is good if you’re stuck for ideas), post at different times of the day, and test out different platforms. Once you get a feel for what’s working—stick to that and don’t try to do it all at once.
Think about social when choosing your sales platforms too. It’s best to go for an online store that’s built for social commerce, rather than one which will need lots of expensive customization. In fact, you may want to start your whole web build and business project with social media, rather than see it as a later ‘add-on’.
4. Video marketing
Content marketing isn’t just about writing! Have you considered creating video content? If a customer reads text and then watches a video, it is likely to be the video that has a bigger impact on them. Video production can be difficult and expensive, but if you have room for it in your budget, then you should definitely consider video—even if it is just ‘raw’ cameraphone footage.
Appropriate subject material can vary. Do you sell a product that you make yourself? If so, then your videos could be about sharing design tips with the audience (though not to the extent that they no longer require your products!) If you are selling products created by somebody else, you could use your videos to share product reviews or ‘hacks’.
Videos can also help lift the lid on your business—sharing shots from inside the office, warehouse, and on the road can be a fun way to share your startup journey.
5. On-site optimization
Do you have detailed enough descriptions of each of your products? Is your site content laid out in clear, easy to digest chunks? If you’ve got good, solid content on every page of your website, your site will rank better and fare better with picky customers and users. Quality copywriting is paramount to ecommerce success.
It might seem pointless to go out of your way to write things on pages that people probably ‘aren’t going to read anyway’, but the SEO benefits alone will be worth it. Also, you never know whether someone is actually going to spend ages reading your delivery terms and conditions! High-quality branded copy will help your store stand out.
Need an extra digital PR boost? What about an infographic?
Infographics and other forms of visual content are ideal for data-driven content, or content that’s aimed at raising awareness. Explore your industry, passions, and products in order to come up with some clever infographic topics.
However, it is important to consider that this is something which will take up a lot of time and will require a lot of research, plus a graphic designer (unless you go DIY with Piktochart). A bad infographic that’s ugly and poorly researched is not going to get you any links, PR, or positive brand uplift.
So if you’ve not started with a content marketing campaign yet, now would be the perfect time to do so. Even if you’re just a very small, single-person operation, there are still plenty of proactive steps that you can be taking towards getting your online business off the ground. What ideas do you have for content marketing?
This article originally appeared on the Victoria ecommerce blog; reprinted with permission.