In line with our commitment to enable merchants to scale and grow their eCommerce businesses, we are delighted to share with you the latest in our ‘Mastering eCommerce’ series, where we look at how you can use content marketing to grow your eCommerce Store.
Throughout the ‘Mastering eCommerce’ series, we will focus on advanced strategies and tips to improve your customer experience, generate more ROI, and scale your eCommerce store to new heights. In today’s edition, we have consulted with Julia, from Hey Sippy, a unique business which connects companies and brands with some of the smartest and most creative minds to deliver exceptional content marketing, photography, videography, design and more.
Julia will take you through some of the key considerations and strategies when creating an effective and scalable content marketing strategy that will achieve your marketing eCommerce store goals.
Content is King… Or is it?
We’ve all heard of the phrase “content is king”, but if you ask us, this doesn’t paint a completely accurate picture. With 211 million pieces of content being created every minute globally, it’s no longer enough to create content for content’s sake. The end goal is to create content that stands out and strikes a chord with your customers – and in order to achieve this, you’ll need to get a lot more intentional with your content strategy. More specifically, here are our top tips when it comes to content marketing for eCommerce stores:
DO: Start with the end in mind
The first thing you need to know about content marketing for eCommerce stores – there’s nothing worse than leaping straight into it without first figuring out your objectives. Do you want to increase the number of visitors to your site? To increase the number of purchases from new customers? Or to increase engagement on your social media channels? Once you’ve got your objectives sorted, come up with the key metrics that you’ll need to measure – common ones include conversion rates, clickthrough rates, and revenue generated – and set specific targets for each of these metrics.
DON’T: Don’t restrict yourself to blogs
A blog is one of the most straightforward and widely used formats, but when it comes to content marketing for eCommerce stores, it really boils down to which format is the most suitable for your product. If you’re selling something that’s demonstrable, take a leaf out of hair extensions company Luxy Hair’s book and consider producing a how-to video that you can upload on Facebook, Instagram, and even Youtube. (On that note, it might also be worth considering investing in developing a Youtube channel. Luxy Hair, for example, has over 3 million subscribers and 410 million views on their Youtube channel – and this funnels an immense amount of organic traffic towards their website each month.)
Other than demonstrating products, videos are also great for showcasing a unique brand or company culture. Take for instance this iconic video by Dollar Shave Club, which smartly utilizes humor and a distinctively pithy (some would even say snarky) tone to win over consumers worldwide.
Not convinced? Another reason experiment with video is that we know Facebook’s algorithms prioritize video content. Also, according to a study by Cisco, video traffic will account for 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020.
Bonus Tip: It’s also well worth mentioning Facebook Live video, which is currently the best way to interact with your audience in real time. Whatever types of videos you choose to create, remember to make an effort to understand your audience first, then make video content with value and personal touches.
DO: Include a wide variety of photos in your marketing collaterals
When you’re padding out your blogs, product descriptions or product pages with product pictures, more is more. You’ll want to have pictures of your product from various angles, as well as pictures of all the different color (or other) variants. If it’s applicable, throw in some lifestyle shots where you style your product with various props as well. If you are in the Apparel and Accessories industry , photograph your product as worn on a model, instead of your standalone product. For inspiration, look to casual jewelry brand Arva.co – their beautiful, well-composed product images perfectly illustrate how certain products can be worn multiple ways.
DON’T: Don’t neglect User Generated Content (UGC)
If you’ve got plenty of customers posting, tweeting, or otherwise generating content about your products, don’t simply ignore them! Re-posting your customers’ photos or reviews on your own social channels is a quick and easy way of engaging with them; alternatively, repurposing these photos and reviews to use on your advertisements or website is also a smart move. (For the latter: according to data from Yotpo, displaying testimonials on your homepage can increase sales by up to 32%. Look at the example from GAP below to see how they did it.)
DON’T: Always talk about yourself
When it comes to content marketing for eCommerce stores, you can use your content to demonstrate you brand’s spirit and creativity. Refrain from constantly talking about your products directly. Your audience will eventually tire of reading material that focuses solely on championing your products.
Consider replicating what eCommerce platform Zalora does and broaden your repertoire to discuss other topics that your audience is similarly interested in. Don’t have that much time on your hands to be constantly producing content? Not a problem – you can always syndicate them from existing publications.
Another take on this approach is Chicago-based retail brand, Threadless have been offering their devoted community quirky products since the year 2000.
While some of their articles are humorous and informal, the majority of the blog’s content is linked to Threadless’ e-commerce store. The brand really knows how to create responsive posts that reflect the community they serve and inspire conversation. With over 800,000 likes on Facebook alone, Threadless are certainly doing something right with their content.
DO: Get to know your community of Influencers
Every retail niche has online influencers. These are people who blog about products, are highly valued for being in-the-know and have a huge social media following. They don’t have to be famous – just individuals who are well-connected and respected for their knowledge and opinions. As a retail brand looking to reach a wider audience and increase sales, you need to build relationships with the influencers in your online community.
Tracking them down is the easy part. Finding ways to connect with influencers can sometimes be challenging. That said, as long as you deliver a memorable experience with your brand, they will be more motivated to produce and share content about your products. Remember – just one brand mention from an influential blogger or journalist can boost your social reach and leads.
If you are looking to reach out to an influencer, consider paying it forward first by sharing their work first on your pages when you feel it may be of interest to your audience. Show your influencers that you respect them and their content to earn a little respect back in return.
You’ll then be in a much stronger position to reach out to them, and be sure to make your proposal/request stand out with touches of your brand personality and be honest with what it is you’d like from them. Whether it be a product review, guest blog post or if you’d like them to mention your retail brand in an article of their own, be upfront about what you’re looking to achieve.
Content marketing for eCommerce Stores can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re just getting started. If you’re a small to medium enterprise with limited resources to work with, a word of advice: don’t fall into the trap of dipping your toe into everything; instead, hone in on a few channels that align with your business goals, and focus your efforts in these areas. Also remember to measure your key metrics and refine your campaigns based on these. As long as you’re constantly A/B testing and fine-tuning your efforts, you’re on the right track.
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