Heyo. Cutting right to the chase, here. You look like a savvy marketer, let’s review some things you absolutely already know about content marketing, regardless of what you’re selling online. Basically, our “yeah, no shit” stuff before we give some tips targeting your eCommerce content marketing. We’ll talk strategy, execution, scaling, and more. Let’s just get through this intro together so we’re all on the same page, okay?
- Our daily ad exposure (roughly 10k/day) is exhausting as products repeatedly intrude into screens and surroundings. Consumers prefer helpful above promotional, every time.
- Consumer trust continues to plummet across industries and folks are holding brands to much higher standards. Authentic (such a loaded term) brands drive consumer loyalty, create brand ambassadors, and generate organic reach with valuable, shareable content.
- COVID-19 is shifting everything. Even while consumer spending is down overall versus last year, many businesses are exploding as shopping has been forced online.
With those truths behind us, it’s pretty clear that transparent, consistent content marketing not only drives customer connections but also conversions. Okay, so how do eCommerce marketers create a plan and execute? Let’s get into a few tips.
Despite the dip in overall consumer spending, during COVID, the ‘new essentials’ market is actually blowing up with nearly 40 percent of total online sales going to household items that make you feel more comfortable at home (e.g., office supplies, health/fitness, home improvement, toys/hobbies, etc.).
Get the Team Behind Content
Start by getting internal stakeholders aligned and determine how much you need to rely on external resources. It’s time to make a plan and begin solving low effort/high reward problems. What your current weaknesses? What questions are your sales team constantly answering? Do you have all the easy content marketing wins complete and up-to-date (list to the right)?
The ‘low hanging’ ecommerce content fruit
– Product descriptions
– Category descriptions
– Buying guides
– Email campaigns
– How-to guides
A little light on the items above? Sounds like you need to create content. Start by hunting down the information you already have first, see what’s missing, and begin scheduling content creation efforts. Salespeople, manufacturer reps, warehouse managers, product managers, customer service reps—for example—may have the nuggets you’re searching for. While they may not produce the marketing material, and only be used as SMEs, it’s important to alert these teams early in the process to avoid content delays down the road.
Long story short—Get departments on board with content marketing. Start the mantra around the office (or zoom meetings): “If we don’t invest in writing about our own products, why should customers trust us with their needs?”—or something to that effect, you get the idea.
Address SEO Challenges
There’s a number of issues that arise when creating and updating content for products online. Duplicate content (internal/external), improper canonicalization, messy redirects—the list of potential Google penalties is long. Ensure you’re following best practices so you don’t make Google guess too hard (e.g., alt text on images, simplified URL structure, targeted keywords, customer reviews, etc.). To save timely repeat work, you want to make sure this stuff is dialed in before creating/updating content site-wide.
Tons of SKUs?
If you’re dealing with thousands of product SKUs, writing thoughtful, keyword-stuffed content may be too much of a chore during the initial phases of content marketing. We suggest prioritizing keyword research for high-volume searches and producing a template for writers to follow that naturally produces long-tail keywords.
For example: [Brand] + [Model Name/Series] + [Descriptor] + [Generic Product Term].
Now you have a good foundation to begin ranking and competing with more established retailers as you further optimize pages that show potential.
Invest in Quality
We’ve talked mostly about producing targeted material at scale for each product or campaign, but don’t forget about the handful of polished materials that really set companies apart. For an email address or a social share, the most successful retailers supply infographics, guides, e-books, whitepapers, case studies, courses/webinars, etc. While these materials take more time and effort to create, the results often lead to increased leads in addition to increased traffic.
Don’t stick to your own website. Think about posting content on partner sites, social media, email, YouTube, Medium, Quora, Reddit—the list goes on. Dig into the platforms your customers lean towards and start thinking about how the content you’re currently creating can be adapted for that medium.