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Content marketing can serve many types of online businesses, and e-commerce is no exception. Anyone selling products or services online from their website can gain more visitors, customers, and buzz from offering attractive content that appeals to an ideal buyer demographic. If you’re just starting an e-commerce content marketing campaign, or have taken the plunge and want better results, check out these tips and implement any you aren’t following.
Does the thought of building a detailed SEO campaign keep you up at night, coated in sweat? That’s perfectly understandable, because SEO can be a lot of work. However, you stand to gain a lot from using researched keywords in your content, and that single factor of SEO is simple and fundamental enough that it shouldn’t be ignored. Use keyword research tools to find the ideal audiences for your content, and implement that into your ideas, titles, and the general text of blog posts or other copy. Don’t stuff them in, but use them naturally when possible.
There are also opportunities to make your e-commerce site more Google-friendly by adding keywords to places that people don’t often look, but Google’s algorithms will. Place keywords in your alt tags and descriptions for images, and make sure the actual images you upload have a fitting keyword-based name, like dark_roast_coffee.png rather than 4234650.png. Take the same approach with individual page URLs as well. This side of SEO is not much work for a business making regular content, and it’s less taxing than creating a network of backlinks (which, admittedly, is also very valuable).
Your content should be something you put real thought and effort into, but that same effort should also go into the descriptions of what you sell. Your sales pages are also a form of content. In fact, they’re the most important of all, because they’re the last stage before someone chooses to buy from you.
There are several keys to writing a great product description, and you should ensure a professional writer, from within your team or outside it, handles the task. Don’t be fooled by the word “product,” either, as businesses that sell services online also need appealing descriptions. If you get sales from an online payment button, you’re in e-commerce, and everything leading up to that payment button will make a difference.
It’s tempting to come up with only ideas that are always relevant. Imagine an e-commerce business selling home improvement tools and materials, who have seen that most of their customer base is in the hurricane zone of the United States. They could post an article about generally making a home prepared against storm damage, or they could wait until hurricane season and post more detailed, specific content about the actual hurricane coming soon. The former idea has constant appeal, so why bother with anything else, right?
Actually, content based on a specific event or moment is often following trends, which causes a huge splash of visitors. Also, if past visitors see the helpful or appreciable content you provided in a specific time, it will only strengthen their respect for your brand. It may only generate visitors briefly, but it’s a permanent signpost that says “come to us often for something relevant.” Even if it’s as simple as a comedy novelist making funny stories for every major holiday, give people the content they’re looking for in the moment and they’ll stick with you in the long run.
Image via Flickr by Associated Fabrication
While a search function is a great tool to offer in your e-commerce store, search bars can be a pain to use on mobile, which is now the significant majority of online traffic. A simple, more effective way of guiding customers to what they want is through category pages. All you have to do is have every category your products or services can be divided into displayed with an easy-to-see image. If you design a starting store page in this manner, visitors can click on the category they want and further narrow it down into other categories (if relevant), finally reaching a small handful of options that likely contains the thing they want or need.
Category pages are also excellent for showing off similar items in your store to potential repeat customers. For example, if you sell home-made clothes online and rely only on searching, a customer might find a nice dress if that’s what they were looking for, but they won’t have spotted anything else of much interest along the way. Category pages would cause the customer to see the dresses most similar to the one they eventually chose, and perhaps inspire them to come back and take that same route to another sale.
One of the most frustrating things that can happen in e-commerce content marketing is a mismatch between your content viewers, meaning the people who read your articles, watch your videos, etc. and your actual customers. Naturally, if these aren’t the same sort of people, or if there isn’t at least an overlap of customers within your content audience, you may be in trouble.
To make content suited for your customers, use whatever data possible to flesh out buyer personas. Who is most likely to buy your product or service? Narrow it down as much as you can, but do not guess. You can have content that ends with a call to action, asking people to engage with comments, and from there the picture will get clearer. It might be like fumbling in the dark at first, but soon you’ll have enough of a clear image that you can use it to outline your future content, making things that attract those people the most.
Keep in mind, e-commerce content marketing, like all forms of content marketing, demands the best possible content. These tips are made to take a high-quality content marketing campaign to the next level, and not to compensate for mediocrity. Always set your business apart with the most appealing, helpful, original content possible. That’s the powder in the keg, and these tips are the match.