Competing with every other eCommerce business for online attention is a huge challenge. The fight to gain search traffic, get social media recognition and attract customers is getting increasingly harder. Especially when all you have are pages of your products. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “ content marketing ” but perhaps haven’t invested or are unsure where to start. By changing your approach to marketing to one that goes passed solely promoting your products, you’ll provide content that your audience will actually want to read and then share.
“But I already have a blog!” A blog is great and quite possibly a must-have for content marketing but the need for more varied content for your retail business is important. Here are 8 ways to transform your blog and drive your business forward into content marketing mastery.
There are millions of blog posts being written daily, on a massive range of different contexts, making yours shine over the others is important.
Specify your content. Creating it for a niche audience and about a niche subject will firstly be easier to write about and it’ll be original. This will rank higher in search engines and get you noticed by the audience you’re targeting. Just have a Google and find out how many people are writing about your topic of choice. Be careful not to go too overboard with a specified blog and write about something that has a three-man fan base. Google will be your friend in finding something that has a large but definite audience.
Solve problems with your content
Today more than ever, blogs actually need to provide a genuine benefit to the customer. Constant reviews of your products or talking about last week’s staff night-out builds up a company culture but probably isn’t going to do much in terms of shares and having people buy your products.
When you write a product description you will probably have listed the benefits of using your product, not just what it has. We often talk about the importance of listing benefits rather than just features and there’s a reason why: recording the benefits helps potential buyers understand exactly how your product will solve their problem.
By using this approach in your content marketing you can vary your writing so as not to focus solely on your products and instead look at your customers’ problems and how you can help solve them. How-to-guides are a great way to write about your products – think about what problems you can help your audience solve. For example, if you’re a clothes retailer during the summer, you could do a guide to different holiday destination climates and cultures, perhaps helping them decide on their holiday and their holiday outfit, before buying their holiday clothes from your site.
This approach doesn’t mean you can’t actively promote or talk about your products – if you sell beachwear and you’re talking about beaches by all means suggest an outfit. Or, do a follow-up blog on outfits to wear to that destination. Just don’t make it the primary focus of your original blog post.
Create video tutorials
Now for something a bit different: video tutorials. Videos provide an excellent opportunity for e-commerce businesses. Not only do they let you convey information in a more engaging way, they can also attract significant search traffic.
According to Hubspot, using a video on your landing page can increase conversion rates by 80% and 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others – that’s a massive increase for your audience reach. As mentioned above, it is great to offer some help to people reading your blog, and videos are no different.
On YouTube, for example, many popular videos are often tutorials. Think of what problems/needs your customers may have had. Or ones you have had personally, then solve them on the video. If you use any of your products in the video, you should make it simple and clear where they can be purchased!
The Explainer video
There is never any harm in providing direct promotional videos, scattered in nicely between all the helpful videos and articles, to explain your products to your audience. Having an “explainer video” which is short and to-the-point can drive customers to the point of purchase.
Explainer videos can be used in any number of ways: to describe a process, to tell your company’s growth story, to share your company’s vision, or to demonstrate how to use a product.
Create review/comparison articles
Reviews are also a great way to bring in traffic to your site. By providing honest and unbiased reviews for products you stock, you can boost your SEO and hopefully capture potential customers who are researching those products online. If they arrive on your blog and find a helpful review – they become a potential customer. A clear call-to-action, within the post, encourages a purchase. Not only can your post potentially rank for a number of product-related keywords; it can provide valuable information and guidance to inform your visitors’ buying decisions, boosting your brand reputation and customer service.
Create buyer’s guides
A really helpful piece of content you can provide your audience with is a buyer’s guide. Not only can it have the potential to improve your search ranking. It can also give your readers a subtle push towards making a purchase.
Reviews and outside research can be really good at showing your audience that you aren’t just pushing your products, but that you also aim to provide objective and informed advice.
The goal behind all of this is to help your customers. Once you gain a customer’s trust, they’ll stick with you.
Meet customers where they are in their buying journey
Not everyone that visits your site will be there to buy something. Some will be browsing; perhaps with an idea to browse but with no specific product in mind. Some may not realise how much they need your product… yet.
Therefore, your e-commerce site needs to be ready and prepared for all areas of the customer journey. This will require an understanding of how each relevant traffic source impacts the route to purchase and what type of content needs to be delivered at each step.
Content marketing can be a massive challenge for retailers. However, if you can master the ability to create content you will help your customers move towards making a purchase, you’ll start to reap the rewards. Offering your customers help and advice will create trust and form a long term relationship with your brand.