If you’re in eCommerce, then you already know that attracting an audience and driving traffic to your site is only part of the picture when it comes to success.
You also need to know what to do with that audience once you’ve got their attention. That’s where a well-planned content marketing strategy comes into play.
The strength of your eCommerce content has a powerful effect on whether your potential leads trust you enough to take the next step.
It’s the key to converting those leads into paying customers, and it plays a massive role in whether or not you can expect them to come back, as well.
So here’s a closer look at some must-know eCommerce content marketing tactics for this year.
1. Use your customers’ needs as a guide
Fantastic content marketing strategies always seek to meet the target audience’s needs, and this is just as much the case when you’re in eCommerce.
So start by assessing your current clientele base. Yes, part of that is about understanding their interests and pain points, but you want to look at what they search for once they land on your site, as well.
Analyzing your on-site search queries will tell you how many of your visitors know exactly what they want and how many are still figuring it out.
Queries can also shed light on additional information and advice your customers are looking for.
When crafting an eCommerce content strategy, brainstorm content for customers at every potential stage in their buying journey, such as:
- Early-stage shoppers who are keeping their options open.
- Shoppers who know what they want but need help making a decision.
- Shoppers who know precisely what they’re looking for and are close to converting.
- Final-stage customers who are ready to buy and just need that last push.
2. Figure out what content types to focus on
Successful eCommerce content strategies do involve pursuits like making sure your category and product pages are fully optimized.
However, they also prioritize making the most of their blogs, social media profiles, video streams, and images.
Today’s consumer wants and expects to see content from their favorite brands on channels like these, so take note. Don’t stop at the basics, though.
Raise the bar for content usefulness by offering unique options that will meet your customers’ varied needs.
“How to” tutorials, online print-style catalogs, and buyer’s guides can take the confusion out of shopping for something specific.
Infographics can convey crucial information at a glance and make it shareable.
Contests, sweepstakes, and freemium content are great ways to build your contact list and drum up interest.
3. Leverage YouTube to share company values
Video is red hot when it comes to content marketing this year, and with good reason.
It’s visually engaging, dynamic, shareable, and it’s a great way to convey crucial information.
Plus, YouTube is second only to Google when it comes to the most frequently visited websites in the world, so you definitely want to establish a presence there for your eCommerce brand.
YouTube videos are a terrific place to share your brand’s core values and give your customers a better feeling for what you’re all about.
And don’t be afraid to get creative. YouTube is also a great place to share DIY guides and inspiring brand-related stories, and talk about pet causes your company supports.
4. Proactively address tough topics of interest
Great eCommerce brands use their content to address customer concerns and directly answer shoppers’ common questions.
Most of those questions and concerns will be no-brainers. For instance, it would be hard for a clothing brand to go wrong with content that helps someone find the right fit or explains the perks of buying one option over another.
However, people also sometimes have questions they’re afraid to ask but desperately want the answers to.
A brand that can intuitively deliver those answers without the customer bringing them up is already way ahead of the game.
For example, that same clothing brand may want to teach customers who feel out of the loop a few fashion basics, like how to wear certain items, how long a shirt should really be, and so forth.
5. Show your customers how to get more out of your product
Although it’s crucial to meet the needs of consumers who are still navigating the buyer’s journey, don’t forget about customers who’ve already bought the product.
You want to make sure they get the most out of what they’ve chosen and enjoy their purchase to the utmost, and content makes a great way to do this.
Try providing tips on product maintenance, or share valuable tips most people wouldn’t figure out on their own.
Build guides for beginners that explain the basics of how to use or even fix your products and services.
It’s a terrific way to stay on your customer’s mind post-purchase, keep them engaged, and show your audience that you care about and stand behind your product.
6. Think outside the box about content topics
Naturally, you want to cover all the basics regarding the topics your existing and potential customers might want to read about.
Just know that you don’t need to stop there. Brands that will take their eCommerce content marketing campaigns to impressive levels this year are fantastic at thinking outside the box.
Look for ways to connect your product to other interests your customers have and turn it into content your audience is sure to love.
For example, a company that sells reading glasses can dive into topics about books or writing, a small business that specializes in running shoes can tackle expert advice for marathon enthusiasts, and so forth.
Be creative, and consider how your content choices can make you a more significant part of your customer’s life.
7. Leverage the power of user-generated content
Anyone with an account on Instagram or Facebook knows people love using social media to share the details of their daily lives with others.
They take pictures of spiffy new clothes they know make them look good or particularly delicious meals they had at restaurants.
They share unboxing videos when they get the latest shipment from their favorite subscription services in the mail. And in the process, they help drum up more business for those brands.
That’s the magic of user-generated content (UGC) at work.
Consider integrating it into your eCommerce strategy by encouraging your own customers to create content of their own.
Create a unique hashtag that makes sharing easy. Add an incentive, such as a free entry into sweepstakes or a shot at winning a free product, if you wish.
Then, interact with and share as many of the posts as possible. You’ll love what it does for your bottom line and your relationships with your customers.
8. Set your brand apart with unique influencer content
Like UGC, influencer marketing is a trendy and efficient way to raise brand awareness and get the attention of new customers, so it’s a brilliant addition to any eCommerce content marketing plan.
However, consider helping your product truly stand out from the competition by adopting a unique approach that underscores the key values behind your brand.
For example, many brands look for ways to use influencers to make using their product look like a grand adventure.
They want their customers to associate what they buy with the promise of a better, fancier, more envy-worthy life.
But what if your company is actually about making people’s everyday lives better? It might be better to have influencers show why and how your products are made with real life in mind instead.
9. Get detailed about why your product rocks
If your company specializes in complex, luxury, or highly-specialized products, helpful content that breaks down the details of what your product can do is a must.
Think product examples like advanced skincare options, nutritional supplements, workout equipment, electronics, or task management software.
A new buyer will want to know everything there is to know about products like those before pulling the trigger on a purchase, so use your content to give them what they need.
Explain the specifics of how your product works and will make the customer’s life easier than another option might.
Go into detail about topics like key ingredients, exceptional care that goes into your manufacturing process, and so forth.
10. Create fun interactive content people can’t resist
This year, many of your potential customers are looking for more in their online content than just another great read or watch.
They also like experiences that turn them into active participants instead of passive consumers. Interactive content (like calculators or scenario simulators) is a great example.
Personality quizzes can be especially effective, as just about everyone enjoys talking about themselves and hearing something fun or enlightening about who they are in return.
People are also highly likely to share quiz results around, getting you even more valuable traffic. Plus, you can use people’s collective answers to learn more about the types of people interested in your products and use them to improve future offerings.
Competition is fierce in eCommerce, so standing out from all the rest of the noise is no easy feat.
But a creative, well-planned and dynamic eCommerce content marketing strategy is the key to getting you where you want to be and establishing a genuine connection with your customers.
Part of succeeding in that regard lies in streamlining your production methods to make the most of your time and resources.
Check out our handy guide to the best, most effective tools and resources for eCommerce content marketers this year!
From stellar software solutions to game-changing platforms, there’s something on the list for every marketer and goal.