In today’s ecommerce landscape, content marketing is more prevalent than ever. In fact, ad spend for video content alone—one of the most effective forms of content marketing—is expected to hit $120 billion this year.
There’s a reason for this: Content is effective. And it’s not restricted to video. Brands with blogs bring in 67% more leads than competitors without them.
Ecommerce content marketing represents the next step in the evolution of online selling. By infusing valuable content into every aspect of the customer journey, your ecommerce brand can curate a frictionless experience for consumers. This strategy can lead to better engagement, stronger loyalty and more revenue.
Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? Here’s how you can approach content marketing for ecommerce.
Table of Contents
- Understanding content marketing for ecommerce
- Setting goals and KPIs
- Defining your audience with personas
- Planning your content
- Creating quality content for ecommerce
- Tailoring content for difference distribution channels
Step 1: Understand Ecommerce Content Marketing
In a nutshell, content marketing is advertising that doesn’t feel like advertising. The videos, blogs, social posts and other media used in content marketing campaigns are geared toward entertaining and informing; selling is often a secondary goal.
Ecommerce content marketing is an offshoot of this strategy that deals specifically with—you probably guessed it—ecommerce. While traditional content marketing focuses on targeting consumers near the top of the sales funnel, ecommerce content marketing accompanies customers throughout their entire journey.
More Importantly, Understand Why You Need It
The idea behind content marketing for ecommerce is this: When helpful, visually pleasing information is available at every step, the buying process simplifies. And when it’s easier to purchase, shoppers are less likely to abandon their carts.
What’s more, informed consumers make for better customers. For example:
- A how-to-use-this-product video can help shoppers identify the right product initially and reduce the return rate
- An article on proper maintenance can lead to fewer warranty claims
- A useful infographic can eliminate unnecessary customer support calls
Put simply, as you create more content around the customer's pain points, the less work your business needs to do to support them—saving you time and securing customer loyalty.
Step 2: Set Goals and KPIs for Your Ecommerce Content Strategy
If you’re going to employ content marketing for ecommerce, you’ll want to do it correctly. That’s why you need to lay out some realistic, measurable goals from the get-go.
Setting goals early in the process gives you a “North Star” to move toward and allows you to create content with intention.
Depending on your business, you might set goals like “Increase average order value by 10%” or “Reduce abandoned cart rate by 20%.”
How to Hit Those Targets
The only way to know if you’re on track to meet your goals is to measure your progress using key performance indicators (KPIs). The best KPIs to track will vary based on your objectives, but some of the metrics we recommend focusing on include:
- Click-through rate (CTR) – This tracks how often users interact with your content. More eyes on your content is always a worthy goal, so CTR is a big one.
- Dwell time – This tracks how much time users spend interacting with your content. A longer average session length means that your content is engaging (and that’s good!).
- Conversion rate by channel – This tracks how many visitors become customers and which channel they’re coming from, and informs you where you need to focus your efforts.
- Repeat purchase rate – This tracks customer loyalty. Repeat customers are far more valuable than new ones, so this is one of the gold-standard KPIs.
Download our free resource: The Ultimate Guide to Ecommerce KPIs
Step 3: Develop Ecommerce Content Marketing Personas
Having looked inward, it’s time to set your sights on your customers. To produce content that resonates with your target audience, you need to define who that is.
That’s where buyer personas come in.
Buyer personas—imaginary representations of your target audience—are the key to making relevant, hyper-personalized marketing materials. And the more in-depth they are, the easier it will be to create content that appeals to them.
Crafting Your Personas
We’ve touched on buyer personas before, so here’s a brief how-to reminder:
- Conduct customer research and interviews to understand your existing audience
- Gather additional data with general market research
- Segment your audience based on demographics and behaviors
- Fill in the details to create personas, then give them names and faces
- Check that your persona matches your actual audience
Whether you end up with two personas or ten, you can now produce engaging, sure-to-land content with confidence.
Step 4: Start Ideating and Planning Your Content
At this point, you’re almost ready to put ecommerce content marketing to the test. To minimize your chances of falling behind and failing, it’s worth building a content pipeline that looks a few months into the future.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Coming up with concepts for content can be as challenging as the creation process itself.
Whatever strategy you prefer, use an editorial calendar to keep track of your plans. A calendar ensures the entire team is on the same page regarding your production and posting schedule.
One final tip: As you create your calendar, remember to balance evergreen content (materials that will remain relevant forever) with seasonal and promotional content.
Step 5: Create High-Quality Content for Ecommerce
Finally, it’s time to produce and publish your captivating content. But what should you create?
Your overall strategy and direction will depend on your goals and your brand. With that said, some of the mediums that perform best for ecommerce businesses include:
- Videos – Video remains the king of content: Two-thirds of shoppers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. Examples in the ecommerce content marketing arena include tips for using the product or an explainer on how to repair or return it.
- Blog posts – Blogs (and other written content like whitepapers and ebooks) are the ideal place to expand on a topic and present yourself as an authority. FAQs also fit nicely into articles—and everyone loves having their questions answered.
- Product descriptions – You may not think of product descriptions as content. However, they are the perfect place to inject personality and information. Treat descriptions and other web copy as content, and you might just see visitors dwell for longer.
Whatever You Make, Don’t Forget the SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a pivotal part of any content marketing, including the ecommerce variety. An effective SEO strategy will help you put your content in front of interested consumers.
So, when you post blogs, remember to add relevant keywords, heading tags and a meta description. When you publish videos, think through your title and consider including captions and a transcript if possible. In other words, do everything you can to ensure your ecommerce content marketing ranks near the top of every search.
Reminder: When attempting SEO, keep in mind that there’s a fine line between effective keyword usage and keyword stuffing. Everything you post should, first and foremost, feel natural and engaging. Only then should you optimize your content.
Tailoring Content for Different Ecommerce Distribution Channels
Once you have high-quality content ready, the other half of the work begins: distribution.
Your content is only potent if it can reach potential customers. There are several different ways to deliver your how-to articles and behind-the-scenes videos, each requiring a nuanced strategy.
Below are the most important channels and some tips on how best to take advantage of them:
- Social media – TikTok, Instagram and Facebook are some of the biggest drivers of ecommerce. These platforms are your best friend since you can rely on user-generated content to ease your creative burden. Consider making feed posts that feature customer submissions or pay influencers to develop your how-to videos.
- Email – Email is probably the most direct line of communication you have with your customers, so it’s worth going all-in on personalization. Try using audience segmentation tools to identify behaviors and interests, then deliver some curated ecommerce content right to their inboxes.
- Your website – This is the one place where you have total control over the user experience. On your site, you can mix and match different content formats to create a well-thought-out customer journey.
With these channels and others, taking the proper approach is crucial. When you ignore the best practices, you risk sending your painstakingly-made content into the void—where no one will see it.
And your content deserves better.
Need Help Optimizing Your Ecommerce Content Marketing?
Brands often struggle to create stellar content and distribute it strategically. And it’s understandable—there’s always so much to do, and content is but one major component.
If you’re taking the time to set goals, build out a schedule, and film or write excellent content, you need to put the same effort into sharing it with the world. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t stress—we’re sure.
At Human, we’re experts in all things content marketing, and we love using our know-how to help ecommerce brands succeed.
Whether you want support with making ecommerce content or spreading it far and wide, we have the services you’re looking for. Learn more about our ecommerce marketing services today.