A solid eCommerce content strategy is core to your marketing success. Whatever marketing activities you plan to do, you would need content.
Content to attract your buyer’s interest, convince her to buy and keep buying from you.
A typical eCommerce sale involves following stages –
- Buyer realizes a problem
- Seeks solutions online
- Picks a solution best suited to him
- Explores vendors
- Buy the solution
The solution can be a product or service. Many times, a buyer knows the solution and thus is looking for the right vendor.
Content Strategy can help you connect with the audience early. And accompany her across the buying cycle. Ultimately helping you influence her decision and buy from you.
How content helps your ecommerce marketing?
- Earns buyers trust to buy from your store
- Gives visibility to your store on search engines to drive traffic
- Keeps your social media campaigns engaging
- Boosts email marketing by helping you to offer something valuable than promotional messages.
- Nurture relationships with your customers
Let’s take an example of an online apparel store specializing in office wear. The buyer is fresh from college and preparing to join his first job. Here’s how a solid content strategy can help the store attract and influence him to buy from the store.
|How to dress for work?||A guide titled ‘ How to dress sharp for work’ explaining various dressing choices as per the job type|
|Buyer reads and picks his choice of business suit. Searches for store online||Good content helps the store rank high on search engines. The store also runs active social media campaigns where it promotes various content.|
|Buyers explore various business suits||Content in the form of product descriptions or videos or images help him explore his choices. And make an informed decision.|
Website messaging, ‘About Us’ pages assures him that the store is reliable.
|Nurturing Relationships||The store captures the email id and contact numbers of the buyer during the purchase. It sends emails informing them about new offerings and discount deals.|
How to build a solid eCommerce content marketing strategy?
Building an effective eCommerce content marketing is a process. It takes time. Needs serious thinking. And efforts.
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. Neither copying other business works. Each business is unique. Your business is unique. And the best person to know all about it is ‘YOU’.
So take out some time to build a strategy. Invest time, money and resources to it. It’s an investment that will fetch you results. For a long time.
1. What’s your business:
If yours is an established business then you can skip this step. New entrants must find answers to below questions:
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- What’s your specialty?
- What’s the perception you want to create in your customers mind?
- What’s your big vision for the store?
Think answers to above questions. Find how to align your content marketing strategy with your business vision.
2. Who are your customers?
Your content needs to align with your customer’s problems and needs. To create content that solves problems. And help people meet their needs, you need to know your audience.
You don’t need to know all of them. But one person who completely represents all their traits. Create a buyer persona out of it.
A buyer persona looks like this:
If you are an established business then you can dig into analytics and get most of the information.
Account profiles of your customers can also throw in a lot of information.
You can also interview some of your existing customers to know more about them.
But, if you have recently started then you need to bank on your competitor’s data. Use services like the similar web and Google Analytics Demographics data. Find out the type of visitors who are buying from your competitor’s store.
If you are operating in a new space, you can look at businesses whose customer profile matches with yours.
Give your buyer persona a name and a face to make him look real.
Recommended Read: How to create a buyer persona for your online store?
3. What are your goals?
You are doing content marketing to achieve your business goals. Isn’t it?
Then you need to tie your content marketing strategy with your goals?
And for this, you need to know your goals.
And goals doesn’t only mean sales, revenue, and profits. Start with desired sales figures and then break it down to –
- No of visitors you would need to reach the magic number.
- How many visitors do you wish to drive from search engines?
- How many of online advertisements?
- How many from social media?
- How many of existing customers?
You need following data from analytics to arrive at the number of visits –
- Conversion rate- The number of people out of every 100 visitors who convert. You can get it from google analytics.
- Average order size – Say let’s assume you want to take your store sales to $100,000 per year. And your conversion rate is 2%. Your average purchase size is $100.
So, number of visits required= (Desired Sales/Average purchase size) /2% = ($100,000/$100)/2%= 50,000
Now break this traffic goal of 50,000 visitors by channels like search engines, online ads, social media channels etc.
Say for example-
Search Engines- 20,000
Online Ads- 10,000
Repeat Visitors- 5,000
Social Media- 10,000
Now find out the type of content, frequency and volumes you would need to reach your goal.
Dig deep into analytics to know past content performance –
- Total blog visits and number of conversions
- Total buyer’s guide downloads and conversions
- Email subscriber list, email frequency, and conversions
And based on these data, find out the number of content pieces you would need to reach your desired goal.
New entrants into the market will have to start with whatever content possible. Test out various content types. And track their performance before reaching the right goals.
4. What kind of content to write?
|Channel Type||Content Type|
|Search Engines||How-To Content, Videos, Product Pages, Authoritative Blogs, Buyers Guide|
|Social Media||Short Graphics, Images, Contests, Stats, Polls. You can also promote other content types here.|
|Ads||Ad copies, Banners, Videos|
|Email Marketing||Email Copies, Content Offers videos, guides, blogs etc.|
5. What are your sales funnel like?
Sales funnel for most of the B2C businesses including eCommerce is like:
Each content piece should help your visitor move to next stage by fulfilling his needs.
|Funnel Stage||Buyer’s Intent||Content Type|
|Top||Research||Buyer’s Guide, Blogs, Ad copies, Banners, Social Media posts|
|Middle||Information||Email, videos, podcasts|
|Bottom||Purchase||Product Guides, Product Comparison content, Return Policy, FAQ|
* Buyers while buying low-priced products or things of normal day use skip the second stage.
6. What is your online store brand voice?
I have seen a lot of content marketing strategy documents. In most cases, the missing element is the brand voice.
Brand voice means voice, tone, and style of your communication. This needs to be consistent across all content.
You would need consistency in your communication to connect with the audience.
Define what your brand stands for, its core values and tone of voice, and then communicate consistently in those terms.
Tips to find the brand voice for your business
- Check the voice of your competitors’ communication. Don’t copy. Sound different to distinct your business.
- Go back to the buyer persona created in the previous steps. Now learn how your ideal customer communicates. Speak in his language.
- Passionate, bold, unconventional, funny, genuine. Describe your brand voice in one word. And explain it in a sentence. Example: Passionate, active, expressive and strong.
- Set do’s and don’ts for your voice like word usage, expression etc. Test your brand voice by creating some content using the voice. Check audience reaction.
With this, you have your eCommerce content marketing strategy process in place.
Now, What To Do Next?
Drawing a content marketing strategy may take a few weeks. Here’s what you need to do immediately –
- Think about your business. What does it mean to you? What you want it to be?
- Read content pieces from your top 5 competitors. Subscribe to get their emails. Analyze those emails.
- Start a small survey in your blogs section consisting of 2-3 questions. Ask questions-
- Do you find our content useful?
- On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being high, how do you rate the content in solving your problem/meeting your information needs?
- Will you share our content with your friends?
- Talk to some of your customers. Ask questions. Listen to them.
- Dig deep into Google analytics. And analytics of social media channels to know content which has performed well in the past.
Also, I have picked a few resources which might be useful in your strategy process.
By the end of week 1, you will have enough information to kickstart your strategy process.
Have questions? Want our help in creating a profitable content marketing strategy? Drop a line in our comments section.
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