In 2020, everyone and their uncle is doing content marketing. From SEO gurus to yoga instructors, producing articles, videos, images, and podcasts has become the norm. But the reason behind this is simple: this type of marketing works.
If you’re looking to grow your ecommerce store with content marketing in 2020, then you’re definitely on the right path. However, unlike if you had started five (or more) years ago, you’ll have to put in a considerable amount of work to see results. And, you’re likely to need advice that goes beyond the standard “produce high-quality, original articles.”
What results can you expect from a good content marketing strategy?
In general, a content marketing strategy is going to help you get ahead in several ways.
First and foremost, it will boost organic traffic to your ecommerce website. By targeting the right keywords and optimizing your content to appear at the top of SERPs, you can make sure that the majority of clicks lead to you.
Secondly, content marketing aids consumer engagement. According to Demand Metric, content directly influences how users perceive a brand, with 82% of readers feeling more positive about a company and 70% of consumers feeling closer to a company as a result of this type of marketing.
Finally, it’s not a bad idea to consider the fact that the ROI on content marketing is far higher than with most traditional advertising strategies. Depending on how you go about producing it (DIY and outsourcing are both valid options), you may find that you can guarantee better results than PPC, with a far lower starting budget.
So, how exactly should you approach content marketing in 2020 to grow your ecommerce business? Read on to find the tips you can apply to your business model right away.
1. Study the consumer buying journey
One of the best ways to produce content that works for you is to have a strong understanding of the consumer buying journey in 2020. As things stand, it takes more than a single contact to get someone who’s researching a type of product to make a decision and purchase from you.
According to the 2009 McKinsey report, the way people shop starts with a consideration phase. During this time, potential buyers think of all the brands that could satisfy their needs, following up with further research and reconsideration. From this data alone, it becomes apparent that for a brand to become a viable option, it must reach its potential audience way before that audience is triggered into making a purchase.
The best way to achieve that through content marketing is to produce content for all levels of the buyer journey. Even more, knowing that audiences prefer to read about products through articles than advertisements, it becomes clear that you need to invest in genuinely helpful, educational text, visuals, and audio.
If your ecommerce store has a blog section, make sure to fill it with all types of articles that will be of help to your potential customers. Zoma is an excellent example of a brand whose content is equally relevant to top-funnel and mid-funnel consumers, seeing that it offers information on everything mattress-related – from size guides to maintenance tips. This way, the brand is appealing both to those people who are still in the research phases of the buying journey, as well as those who are closer to making a purchase.
2. Don’t be afraid of having some fun
In addition to your posts being original and well-produced, they also need to be attractive to your target audience. And besides education, there are a lot of laid-back ways to achieve that effect.
Fantastic content doesn’t necessarily have to be a sales pitch. Instead of treating everything you do as an ad, try to connect with your consumers through new, creative ways. Perhaps you can do so with visuals, as done by Tentsile on their Instagram page. Yes, each of the brand’s posts features a photo of their product. But there’s a certain kind of aesthetic to every single image, which is a great way to appeal to the type of consumer attracted to purchasing a tree tent.
You can take things even further, like Wendy’s does on Twitch. The fast-food brand streams Minecraft and Animal Crossing gameplays, finding fun ways to connect them to their products. The strategy is out there, but it works. With just five videos on the platform, they already have over 93k subscribers. And, thanks to Twitch being all about engagement, they’re actively participating in conversations with all their viewers.
3. Experiment with form
According to a 2017 article by OkDork, the type of content to get the most shares are lists and infographics. Additionally, blog posts with one or more images tend to get twice as many Twitter and almost three times as many Facebook shares. This research data is a clear indicator of what works. But, it should, in no way, become a limiting factor to your ecommerce business.
To find the best ways to grow your ecommerce store with content marketing, you don’t just have to produce something great, but you also have to find a channel that will allow you to cut through all the static. Nowadays, this can be difficult with blogs or social media. However, there are great alternatives.
Podcasts, for example, make for a trendy new genre. And they’re growing in popularity, both among creators and users. With thousands of categories, anyone can create a successful show that will consistently reach its target audience.
4. Be seen
One of the top reasons for investing in content is to drive traffic to your ecommerce store. Unfortunately, hitting publish won’t cut it. If you want your posts to grow your business, you need to do everything in your power to maximize their reach.
The primary way of doing this is going to be SEO optimization.
Whether you’re looking to create for YouTube, Google, or social, you’ll want to start your journey by researching keywords. Knowing what people are searching for in your niche is going to give you cues for topics, regardless of the format you choose.
Moreover, it’s essential to get your content to as many people as possible. You can do this by sharing on social media. In fact, according to Buffer, sharing more than once is an easy way to maximize reach.
Furthermore, you can create email campaigns, post the content on forums such as Reddit or Quora, and encourage your partners to share as well. Of course, don’t forget about guest blogging either, as it’s an excellent way to get your cornerstone content seen by as many people as possible.
5. Know your audience’s pain points (and solve them)
Another excellent way to make content marketing work in your favor is to go back to your business plan.
What did you identify as the things that set you apart from your competition? And how did you plan on solving your audience’s pain points? If you have the answers to these questions, your content marketing strategy should back them up.
Ecommerce growth, for example, relies heavily on user experience. And your posts could be key contributors to a positive consumer attitude towards your brand.
If you work in an industry that’s lacking in the trust department (such as the supplements industry), then going an extra step in building that trust is the right decision. In this manner, knowing that most people don’t believe in supplements, Transparent Labs hired an advisory board to review each piece of content on their website. With this type of solution, the brand is maintaining credibility and integrity, plus, it’s receiving expert confirmation that their users will benefit from the articles they’re producing.
6. Don’t forget to update
Finally, keep in mind that for ecommerce growth, your content always needs to be fresh and relevant. Articles describing the benefits of a product you no longer sell are dead-ends that contribute to high bounce rates, and potential buyers getting a negative impression of your brand.
So, make sure to refresh your website regularly. Depending on your niche, you may have to do this more often than others. A good rule of thumb is to review articles at least every three months.
If your ecommerce business relies on seasonal traffic, updating will be slightly easier to do, as long as you have a schedule that works with search trends. You can study these with tools such as Ahrefs or Google Trends. Thus, if you’re targeting consumers searching for Christmas presents, you will easily find out that people start searching as early as August, which is when you’ll want to begin going through your old articles.
Whether you already have a content marketing strategy in place and are looking for ways to boost its results, or if you’re just getting started, know that investing in this aspect of your ecommerce business is not going to be a waste of resources. Nonetheless, to stand out amongst your competition, you will have to make your text, audio, and video memorable.
For this reason, you must start with a good plan. Don’t just study what you should be posting. Pay attention to the how and when as well. This way, you’ll have greater control over the fruits of your labor. And, of course, you’ll be better able to guide your customers through their buying journey, hopefully to a choice that works in your favor.