Are you one of the many eCommerce merchants who hears the term ‘content marketing strategy’ and automatically zones out? Maybe you think that content marketing is for B2B marketers, agencies trying to pull in new clients, or shady info-product creators selling snake oil to naive people with credit cards?
In some aspects, you would be right! But the truth is, a strategic content marketing strategy can have so many profitable benefits, that it’s something smart eCommerce merchants can’t and won’t ignore.
In this article, you’ll learn nine actionable steps and sometime time saving tools, you can use to get your content marketing strategy up and running.
But before we dive into those steps, let’s take a look at a few of the benefits that come with devising and executing a well thought-out content marketing strategy:
So, now we’ve got you considering what an effective content marketing strategy could do for your eCommerce business, let’s look at the practical steps and mindset shifts you’ll need to embrace to make this a valuable marketing activity for your business.
1. Get clear on your customer avatar
Customer profile, customer persona, customer avatar – these are all just fancy ways for saying: know thy customer. One of the biggest pitfalls for eCommerce entrepreneurs when it comes to devising a marketing strategy that helps increase sales, is – they don’t know who they are selling to!
If you’re serious about attracting your ideal customer, you need to have a crystal clear picture of who they are, and where they hang out online, so you can create content assets that attract them.
2. Understand your customer buyer cycle
Your customer buyer cycle is often dependent on the complexity and price point of your product. It stands to reason that if you sell a product that amounts to a significant financial investment, your customer is likely to have more questions and considerations to think through before they make a buying decision. By default, this also means, they are likely to do a little more ‘shopping around’ before they bite the bullet and make a purchase.
Take some time to get clear on the buyer cycle for your product. Once this is clear in your mind, you’ll be better equipped to come up with content ideas and customer interaction points that help transition your customers through essential stages.
3. Think assets not articles
Carefully and cleverly created content will serve your business for years to come. The thing is, many eCommerce merchants create a handful of hastily put together articles, fail to get as many social shares or comments as they would like, and stop creating content.
When you sit down to create your content marketing strategy, take the view point that you are creating assets not articles. This will help you become clearer about determining which types of content to invest time, and yes, money, in.
4. Create a killer FAQ
I’m willing to bet you spend an awful lot of time answering the same customer questions day in and day out? Not only does this get real old real quick, but it also wastes valuable time you could be investing in developing other areas of your business.
Go through your inbox, identify the most frequently asked questions, then do the following two things:
5. Entertain, inform and educate
Maybe you’ve been led to believe that the only type of well received content (content that get shares and comments), is content that teaches something? Well that quite simply is not true. An effective content marketing strategy includes content that covers all the following points:
6. Plan ahead – create an editorial calendar
Don’t let your content marketing strategy die a sudden death because of poor planning. Decide ahead of time what major content assets you are going to create for your business, and create a content marketing calendar that has planned publication dates.This will allow you and your team to schedule in time for research, writing and editing, and ensure that you’re publishing content on a regular basis, and to a consistent standard.
If you don’t already have an editorial calendar, this free, easy to customize editorial calendar will save you some time.
7. Use different mediums
A compelling piece of content is not limited to a hefty, 2,000 word article. In fact, smaller pieces of visual content can be just as effective in increasing visibility for your brand, and driving traffic back to your site. Mix it up with video content, audio content and images that help reinforce your brand message and value.
A major frustration for potential customers when stumbling across an item they like and have an interest in purchasing is, the next click often just takes them to dead end! #fail
When creating content that promote your products, where possible make these images ‘shoppable’, i.e. a further click takes prospects to your landing page where they can purchase this product. This capability makes it easier for potential customers to indulge in impulse purchases – which for you means more sales! No brainer really.
If you’re on the Shopify platform, check out this free app that does just that.
8. Don’t forget about mobile users
When planning your content, it’s easy to forget the amount of customers viewing your site and content via their Smartphones and tablets. Consider what user experience you are providing for viewers on handheld devices? The best way to make sure you are providing the best mobile experience, is to make sure your website is responsive — meaning it scales well to fit different browser sizes.
9. Promote your content – then promote it again
Creating your content is the first step. But if no one sees it, it won’t become the asset for your business that you need it to be. However, many eCommerce entrepreneurs think content promotion stops at sharing their latest post to all their social media networks, and *this* is why your great content never receives the attention or eyeballs it deserves.
If you’re creating content that’s helpful to your audience and is, like we said, an asset, make sure you extend the lifespan of that content with effective promotion.
Have a clear set of easily repeatable standard operating procedures for promoting your content, as this will make it quick and easy to ensure that your content is well promoted each and every time.
Now you have nine actionable steps for creating and executing a content marketing strategy that gets results, we’d love which one you plan to get started with in the comments.
Still don’t have a customer avatar? This free six minute training and handy workbook will have you up and running in no time.
Tagged content marketing