How many times have you wondered about the most suitable content types for your e-commerce business blog?
I guess there is no need to convince you that every website needs a blog.
In case you still have some doubts, here is some statistics:
- Companies that blog receive 97% more links to their websites.
- Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages.
- Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
Blog content has an immense impact on a website’s success.
The issue here is that 43% of people skim blog posts.
It either means that users can’t digest the continuously growing amount of information available or that companies don’t create content people actually need.
In the age of Netocracy, people are overloaded with data and there is simply no time (and reason) to process the low-value information.
As a result, marketers need to work harder on content creation from year to year.
While it’s relatively easy for general blogs and informational websites to create a decent content strategy, the majority of e-commerce websites seem to struggle with that.
Their “diversity” includes simple blog posts and seldom infographics and that’s just a drop in the ocean.
So what e-commerce websites can actually do to reinvent their content types strategy?
Blog content types that work
► Video Content
Years ago video was considered “the future of content marketing.”
Today, it undoubtedly IS a driving force of content marketing.
In fact, 55% of people consume video content thoroughly and 43% want to see more video content produced by marketers in the future.
I can’t come up with better incentives to include video into your content marketing strategy.
So what video content can an average e-commerce business produce to keep the customers happy?
The number of "How-to” searches on YouTube grow by 70% each year and this leaves a spot for nearly every business to create editorial video content for the sake of sharing knowledge (and acquiring potential customers of course).
Besides, “How-to” videos help to establish yourself as an authority and show the world that you know your thing. No one wants to buy from an amateur.
In case you don’t know how to find the right topics for editorial videos, don’t miss the “How-To Guides” section below.
“It's better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.”
According to Google’s study, nearly 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store.
So if you optimize product videos from an SEO perspective, you can generate additional website traffic and sales.
Moreover, products with video demos have higher conversion rates.
If you have an opportunity, you can go further and create VR video demonstrations for products you sell. More than 170 million people will actively use VR in 2018 and this number will keep growing.
Obviously, product videos should be published at Product Detail Pages.
But if you go an extra mile with video production, each video may be worth a separate blog post (at least you can share bloopers like in the Jackie Chan movies).
The key points to follow while creating a product video are to show the product in action and make it useful (and add some humor if it’s appropriate).
To find examples of great videos, check product videos from ThinkGeek (yes, I’m their fan).
While it’s difficult to utilize webinars in small young companies, they can be an efficient addition to the content strategy of established businesses.
Webinars are often used as a presale stage.
Find the problem your product solves -> Describe the problem and possible solutions -> Offer your product as a solution.
While this tactic works great to generate extra sales, usually it’s obvious when the speaker tries to promote and sell the product rather than educate viewers.
No doubt that the way you use this tool depends on your business but in case your goal is to establish a brand as an authority, then holding free educational webinars is what you need.
Besides, the webinar recording can be easily turned into an editorial video and a new blog post.
►Text Content types still rule
It’s not a surprise that text content is the most widely used content type among the majority of businesses (including eCommerce).
The problem is that not everyone knows how to leverage it.
Personally, I believe that the main trick is to make the content useful to your readers (forget about counting how many times the keyword was used!).
Not only it will improve a dwell time and lower bounce rate but also increase engagement as 94% of people who share posts do so because they think it might be helpful to others.
So what text content types you can use in 2017?
As with videos, “How-to” guides are extremely efficient because people love to learn new stuff and look for someone who can help to solve their issue.
The main trick here is to find topics/issues worth covering.
This process has many approaches but I’ll describe only three I actually use.
1) Use SEMrush Keyword Analytics
To find “How to” keywords using SEMrush, start by typing “How to + keyword” into the search field.
Use broad niche relevant keyword.
In my example, I used the keyword “fishing.”
Then navigate to the Phrase Match section (you can go to a phrase match tap first and then search for a keyword).
Now you’ll see a wide range of fishing-related keywords.
The problem is that they don’t seem that much relevant.
In order not to go through the whole list manually you can just filter the results to make them more relevant.
In my case, I just specified that the keyword must include the word “fishing.”
Now the list looks way more relevant, doesn’t it?
Also, I recommend using advanced filters to filter the results by search volume and keyword difficulty.
2) Search through Reddit
Most likely you already know that Reddit is a great place to study your targeted audience.
To find ideas for editorial and how-to guides, search for relevant subreddits and then navigate to questions people actually ask.
3) Use AnswerThePublic
This tool is absolutely fantastic and can help you find a wide range of untapped keywords and topics in your niche.
So you go to answerthepublic.com and type the keyword you want.
As the result, you’ll get a cloud (well, a circle) of questions people ask.
You can switch to a list view, which is more convenient.
As we are interested in “How to” keywords, I’ve searched for “How to fishing” and received a ton of content ideas.
After you select topics you’d like to cover, I’d recommend checking the search volume of keywords you plan to optimize the articles for.
It may appear that users don’t care much about the topics you believe would “rock.”
If you sell any tangible or virtual products (and even if you don't) it’s easy to come up with several ideas for buying guides.
The key here is to make a comprehensive guide and answer all possible questions a visitor may have.
So this piece may be 5,000, 10,000 or even 20,000 words long.
Yes, you’ve read it right, 20,000.
I’m sure you’ve heard that internet users are too busy to read and you already know that 43% of people just scroll blog posts.
While it’s true for the majority of cases, it doesn’t mean that the content should be short!
Just check articles at TheWireCutter. Some of them are 14,000+ words long and have hundreds of comments.
Long comprehensive content acquires more links and ranks better in Google.
Even considering that users scroll through the article, they pay attention to key points and headings.
So even if your article is super long but is well structured, the chances that the user will read at least a part of it are high.
You don’t even want anyone to read articles word-by-word but to answer particular question and help to solve a specific problem.
Buying guides are great because, if done right, they can have an enormous effect on your website and business in general, from generating additional traffic and sales, to growing brand awareness and authority.
Interview an Expert
Well, an interview is not necessarily a “text” content, but let’s be honest, the majority of interviews on the web are presented in a form of text because it’s less time-consuming and easier.
Sure, if you have a possibility to create a video or audio interview — go for it and reuse this content by creating a transcript.
Interviewing an industry expert you create a win-win situation.
Interviewee receives bonus exposure and builds self-brand while interviewer produces unique valuable content not available anywhere else.
Regular interviews can bring you a ton of exposure and links/mentions as 96% of B2B buyers want to read content with more input from industry experts.
Lists are extremely popular among internet users because they are perceived as the “ultimate extract” of useful information on specific topic.
Moreover, titles that include numbers have higher CTRs in SERP.
This content type has been popular for a while and lists keep growing from year to year.
In the past, you’d see lists including 3-10 units but today an article named “124 Ways to Become a SEO Guru” wouldn’t cause any surprise.
Skyscraper Technique seems to work great for this type of content.
Frankly, it works great for any content type I can think of.
I’d advise to avoid listing the “pretty” number of items (“Top 5”, “Top 10”, etc.) and they seem artificial.
If you make a list thoroughly, the chances you end up with 10 items on the list are pretty low.
Also, check the SERPs before creating a list.
If everyone is using the same number, say 5, be unique and use the different quantity so when you get to the first page, your CTR will be higher that the competitors’.
Each business is unique and each content strategy highly depends on business goals and peculiarities.
There are many additional content types you can use: lookbooks, podcasts, quizzes, infographics and so on. You can also work on producing user-generated content. The sky's the limit.