Running an e-commerce store is a nerve racking experience. Nothing goes right until you pour in hours of hard work.
It is even harder to bring customers (read: traffic) to your store. With Google changing its search algorithm at the drop of a hat, it is difficult to reach the top search engine result rankings.
That said, content marketing is nothing but a do or die proposition for e-commerce companies. Content marketing strikes gold where other forms of marketing take a backstep.
It is free, reaches target audience accurately and yields multiple ROI.
What is e-commerce content marketing?
E-commerce content marketing is the use of created and curated digital content to lure and draw in online traffic. It has a number of benefits, like:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Aiding search engine ranking
- Creating social presence
- Sell more using CTAs
The evolution of e-commerce content marketing between 2010 to 2016
Content marketing has been around for a very long time, perhaps since the dawn of e-commerce. With time, it has changed in shape and form to become what it is today. The content and its layout as we see it today took almost a decade of transformation.
For instance, in the early days, content marketing focused on just showcasing products. Today, it has a deeper purpose, like creating brand connect, improving brand awareness, increasing click-through-rates and, ultimately, conversion rates.
An example of an e-commerce landing page in 2010:
An example of an e-commerce landing page in 2016:
These changes haven’t happened because websites look a lot better alone. They are part of the large schema of e-commerce content marketing.
Key ingredients to an e-commerce content marketing strategy
Owned blogs are content resources owned, created and curated by the brand itself. They contain knowledgeable articles on the product or service that the brand is offering. Regular sponsored blogging has chances of increasing user engagement and brand awareness than private sharing.
Listicles have a huge fan following on the Internet. They are concise, easy to read and help users to make quick decisions without having to do extensive research. Brands can create lists from multiple angles and include their products for maximum awareness and user attraction.
Whitepapers help establish the knowledge authority of a brand amidst target audience. Whitepapers display the industry prowess and command that the business has on its own ground of operations.
Guest contributions are a voluntary way of maximizing brand presence. Submitting original and branded content to popular blog submission websites with the help of influencers can help a business increases its user engagement.
They look nice, are informative and have the power of social sharing. Infographics can be used to repurpose original content that has already been created and published as blogs or list submissions.
Here is a list of top 100 infographics of 2016 as a resource to review.
Presentations & Videos
Slideshare, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. are not just for uploading private videos. They are also massive video libraries where brands can add their own video creations about products and services for more brand awareness.
Whom should you target? Visitors or buyers?
Would you like to have 1,000s of regular visitors or 100s of sure buyers?
By all means, the latter is the most favorable business proposition, right? Hence, your e-commerce content marketing should also be targeting the buyers rather visitors. While traffic is good, the ultimate aim should be to increase buying.
E-commerce content marketing
All said, let’s find out the various tactics how an e-commerce store can put its content strategy into place. Below you'll find some of the best practices for driving e-commerce sales.
Keywords are the phrases that your target audience will be using to search for products and services you have in offer. There are several types of keywords, including long-tailed keywords which are more precise and contextual to search queries. Doing a thorough keyword analysis using tools like SEMrush will help keywords that your target audience might be using.
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTIVE TEXT
Google hates plagiarism. It loves original and meaningful content. Original, precise and contextual contents get higher search engine ranking in Google. And so with most of the other search engines too. Thus, using original descriptive text for product descriptions, AdWords, blogs and everywhere else is the best foot forward for SEO success in e-commerce content marketing.
DITCH THE JARGON
While original content is great, too much of technical jargon can bring down the readability of the content. Users spend more time reading content that is simple to understand and written in a lucid manner. Higher the time spend on the website, higher the search engine ranking.
SELL, BUT DON’T OVERSELL
While the primary objective of e-commerce content marketing is to sell, most brands fall into the pitfall of exploiting it for maximum selling. Over-selling is a crime in content marketing. Google will pull down your content as spam, degrade page ranking and customers will shun your content. Be subtle, make a point and let customers convert themselves.
In 2014 I/O Conference, Google made it clear that security will be counted as a vital search rank signal. Websites with high-end encryption like EV SSL Certificate will be given top priority in search results.
This is a move from Google to create a safe and secure online ecosystem where users and web browsers can interact without the fear of phishing and similar cyber attacks. Studies also confirm that higher the security of a website, better will be its page ranking and conversion rates. In the end, customers want to feel safe with those with whom they entrust private information like credit card numbers.
For an e-commerce store experimenting Content Marketing for the first time, it will seem to be a giant maze to unravel. These SEO tactics will hopefully give such online stores a rough plan to approach and capitalize on the benefits of content marketing.