Ecommerce has been a huge industry for years, and it’s only going to get bigger. And while the popularity of online shopping is great news for sellers, it also means more competition. That’s why having a great product isn’t enough—you need to have great marketing strategies, too.
Content marketing is one of the most powerful and effective ways you can promote your online store and attract shoppers to it. This encompasses a lot of forms of content—think social media, blog posts, video content, podcasts, and more. Organic marketing is a more affordable strategy than paid campaigns and is often more sustainable and effective.
1. Optimize Your Online Store
Our first ecommerce content marketing tip is to make sure that your store is as good as it can be.
For any of the other strategies on this list to work, you need to make sure that when visitors get to your store, it’s easy to navigate, user-friendly, and that it’s easy for them to actually make a purchase. All the content on your store needs to be optimized, relevant, on-brand, and engaging.
To start, you should build your store on a reputable platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Zyro. This is because these site builders help your new online store be optimized from the get-go by offering guidance for and assistance with images, product descriptions, Schema markup, and more. All of that goes a long way towards ranking higher in Google search results.
You should also do a sort of self-audit of your site. Go through these elements and ask yourself, if you were a customer, would you find these improve or detract from the user experience?
- Product descriptions
- Landing pages
- Checkout pages
- Payment processing
- Buttons and links
- Image quality
- Image loading speed
- Plugin speed and caches
Blogging is one of the best ways to get organic traffic to your site. So, you also should prioritize a platform that allows for both selling and blogging.
That makes WooCommerce a great choice because it adds ecommerce functionality to WordPress, one of the most trusted site platforms for blogging already. This will make it easier for you to create and share content and generate organic traffic.
Once you’re sure your ecommerce website is up-to-date, optimized, and engaging, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
2. Niche Down
Another foundational part of your content marketing strategy is getting clear on your brand niche and your target audience.
Good content marketing relies on you being able to create content that is interesting and relevant to your target audience and potential customers. The better you niche down, the easier it is to do market research and identify your audience’s pain points and interests. Identifying these will make it much easier to come up with good content ideas.
When defining your niche, think about things like:
- What is the age and location of your target audience?
- What is trending right now in your product category?
- What problem does your product solve?
- What makes your product different?
- What types of aesthetics appeal to your target audience?
- What leads to customer loyalty in your industry or category?
All of these questions will help you find topics and generate prompts for your marketing content.
Use your audience’s preferred aesthetic to influence the look and tone of your content, especially that which you use on social media. Use trending topics to create timely blog and social media posts. Videos that explain how your product works and show people exactly what problem it solves help eliminate the confusion that can prevent purchases.
If we look at Frank Body as an example, we can see that all of the content on their blog is targeted at a specific audience and niche relevant to beauty and cosmetics shoppers. They clearly identify four pillars for their blog topics and focus their content on those topics.
You’ll even notice the design and feel of the site support that. It has a clean design with soft colors, simple but effective graphic elements, and a minimalist feel that evokes a combination of sophistication and approachability.
3. Work on Your Website’s Blog
As important as it is to create short-form content for your store, like product descriptions and social media posts, longer content should also feature prominently in your strategy.
Specifically, we’re talking about blog posts like the one you’re reading right now. Good long-form content can delve deep into topics that matter to your customers and supply them with the information they need when making a purchasing decision.
Quality blog content brings in more traffic by boosting your search engine rankings and shares of your content while also helping customers convert by giving them real, valuable information.
Blogs posts don’t just have to be about your products. You can write posts that help your audience solve a problem they commonly encounter, weigh in on trends relevant to your product category or industry, and go into serious detail about how your products can make customers’ lives easier.
Looking for pain points that you can help your audience solve is actually one of the best ways to generate content ideas. Reading online forums, social media comments, or even complaints in the negative reviews of your competitors can help you create relevant blog posts that will grab your audience’s interest.
If we look at how one store, Beardbrand, is using its blog, we see a mix of product-based posts and informational content. Across all post types, Beardbrand keeps it feeling fun, on-brand, and interesting without being salesy.
Even though there are opportunities for marketing, product promotion, and links to their product pages in every post, you can see how the informational posts bring search engine traffic into the store or be something a reader would want to share on social media.
Use the answers and content topic pillars you generated in the previous step to guide your blog writing. This will make it easier for you to identify effective content ideas and plan out posts, as well making it easier for Google to categorize your site and content appropriately (thus helping your search rankings).
4. Improve Your SEO Tactics
Building upon your topic identification and blog creation require a renewed commitment to search engine optimization (SEO).
This includes more than writing your blog posts a certain way. There’s the SEO on your website to consider and SEO strategies for your social media and videos, too. A huge part of content marketing is about getting your content in front of the right people, and SEO audits and improvements are vital for this.
Another key to SEO for your ecommerce site is to use keyword research. This is a continuation of Step 2 in some ways, using the information you know about your brand and customer base to identify keywords that are crucial to your content marketing.
There are lots of great tools that can identify keywords, monitor their efficacy for you and your competitors, and audit your website for SEO improvements. We think highly of Semrush in particular, but there are several SEO tools to consider that can work well for different needs.
It’s worth noting that if you’re a seller on Amazon, there are keyword research tools available to you directly in your dashboard. But, even if you’re not, you can just start typing in a keyword into the Amazon search bar to see related keywords that shoppers are also searching for. This is a free, easy way to do some quick and dirty keyword research.
Once you have a list of keywords relevant to your niche, start using them to guide your content. Use them in your blog posts, product descriptions, social media posts, and site headings. Just make sure to not use too heavy of a touch—smart usage works better than stuffing keywords everywhere. The better your use of keywords, the more visible you become in organic searches, thus bringing more people to your online store.
5. Leverage Social Media
If you want to get serious about ecommerce content marketing, you need to get serious about social media.
Some potential customers will find you through your search or ads, but many modern shoppers will find you through social media channels or visit your social media pages to learn more about your brand.
That means that you need to put a big focus on your social media presence, supported by shareable, engaging content. Unlike blogging or podcasts, people prefer short-form content on social media that is attention-grabbing but easy to digest.
What’s great about this is it gives you a chance to repurpose content you’re using already by breaking that content up into multiple posts. For instance, you could break up your blog posts into carousel posts on Instagram or chop up a Youtube video into a series of TikTok videos.
Build your social media profiles’ visibility by employing what you’ve learned through keyword research in your bio, links, and posts. Make sure to pin stories to your profiles to showcase top content, like product demos or testimonials. And don’t miss opportunities to engage with your audience through post comments and the wider conversations being had on social media.
Reading the comments can give you great insight into what content resonates best with your audience and why, plus give you inspiration about what content you should create next.
The content pillars you’ve developed for blogging are also relevant to your social media posting habits. But you don’t need to just replicate the same pillars for both—paying attention to how followers and customers interact with your social content will guide you into what pillars apply across the board and what tweaks need to be made for the shorter content on social media (as opposed to your longer blog content).
If you look at Frank Body’s Instagram, you can see that they don’t just show off their products. They also show lifestyle photos, product demos, and fun, on-brand images or quotes.
It’s a great example of a brand using social media content to market products without alienating their audience.
6. Encourage User-Generated Content
An often-overlooked way to use content marketing to your advantage as an ecommerce store is to get other people to create and share content about you. This is a great way to build engagement, create new fans of your brand, and scale your content marketing efforts faster than you could on your own.
There are two main ways to generate user-created content for your brand.
Have you ever seen challenges where brands invite their customers to share pictures of them using a product or wearing an item of clothing and tag the brand?
These are great content strategies where you get other people to create highly visual content around your product and then link it back to your brand. You often see this with fashion and beauty stores on Instagram, but it can work for just about any product line with tangible products.
In these challenges, you’ll want to give buyers a hashtag to include so you can find user-generated entries easily and reshare them or display them on your store website.
The other route is through social media influencers. Although influencer marketing is its own form of marketing, it still revolves heavily around content creation.
If you can get influencers to create content about your brand and share it with their audience, you get a huge signal boost. Not only do you get tons of fresh eyes on your brand, but you can reuse the influencer’s content on your own social profiles (with their permission, of course).
Influencer marketing extends beyond social media, too. For example, in the B2B space, products aren’t as easy to capture or show in action on social media as they are in the consumer packaged goods space. B2B influencers largely do their influencing through blogs and their own website.
Here, the tactic is having them generate content around your brand, leading to more high-quality backlinks to your own content and store, which will benefit your SEO and your overall organic traffic.
Using famous faces also gives people more incentive to share your content, especially on social media posts.
7. Create Product Videos
Creating written content is great for SEO and brand building. But creating videos, specifically ones that showcase your products and how to use them, are highly shareable and effective.
73% of adults are more likely to buy a product after watching a video and, in a study run by Biteable on social media posts, video posts receive 46% more engagement than static posts.
You should add product videos to your product pages while also using them as social content and supplemental elements within your blog posts.
Product videos work particularly well because they blend into a lot of content already on people’s social media feeds, and most shoppers like to see a product in use before making a purchase. Take the example of UOMA’s Instagram Page:
You can see that the kind of content they post has a big ratio of videos of products being used, including tutorials on how the products work and inspiration for how people can use the products.
Product videos are also very shareable, especially if they show someone from your target audience using the product. And, like other forms of content, you can repurpose your videos, connecting them to your overall content marketing strategy to improve your SEO.