Without the right strategy, content marketing is a waste of money. But the right strategy can be the best marketing investment a brand can make. Creating a content strategy for ecommerce is more complex than other websites, but opportunity accompanies the complexity.
In this article, we will show you how to develop a strategy so that you consistently create valuable content for your audience across all marketing channels. Are you ready to learn how to create an ecommerce content strategy for your online store? Let’s get started.
How Most Ecommerce Brands Create A Content Strategy
“Hey, that’s a great idea! We should write a blog post about that.”
Spur-of-the-moment content creation has its place, but unfortunately, companies across all industries let short-term ideas impede a long-term strategy. In this web-3 digital marketing era, a single message about a topic will not get the job done. Without a multi-touch strategy, potential customers will see and forget about your brand.
How You Should Create A Content Strategy
The opposite side of the reactive marketing coin is suffering from paralysis from analysis. That’s not what we’re talking about here. We are talking about taking proactive steps to ensure your ecommerce marketing strategy meets or exceeds your expectations.
You might even allocate 20% of your content to in-the-moment ideas; if you do, that’s fine. We only ask that you proactively support your overall content strategy.
Step 1: Identify The Medium With The Most Opportunity
The first step to creating a solid content strategy is to ask your team (and existing customers) how they consume content. This information tells you which platforms to prioritize and set as the foundation for your ecommerce content marketing initiative. Some ecommerce categories may find search engine optimization to be the foundation, whereas others may start with a social media platform such as TikTok.
Tip: Since omnichannel ecommerce is how consumers today shop, we suggest brands create an omnichannel marketing strategy. Thankfully, you can leverage your initial effort to make cross-channel promotion easier.
Step 2: Research and Create a Buyer Persona
The next step is identifying your detailed buyer persona. A buyer persona ensures content creation reaches potential customers who are the best fit for your business. Too many ecommerce brands end up with content creation that is a right fit for them rather than their ideal consumer.
Step 3: Create A Budget For Content Creation
You may have big dreams for your content marketing strategy, but hold up, cowboy. Before firing off content anywhere and everywhere, you must create a content marketing budget. Content marketing takes time, and if you run out of funds, you will have wasted your time, resources, and energy.
Step 4: Leverage Content Calendars
To avoid the spur-of-the-moment trap, most ecommerce companies fall into, create a content calendar you can easily manage. Not only do content calendars increase efficiency, but they also provide reporting that helps you better strategize in the future. Ecommerce websites can also use this data to help them better understand their customers and satisfy their needs.
How To Collect Data For Your Strategy
Collecting data ahead of time will prevent you from traveling down the wrong path. We suggest collecting as much data as possible before your start date. Here’s where you can find more information to support your content strategy.
Search Engine Data
Search engines collect the most exhaustive amount of data you can access without buying it from a company. Search engine optimization with keyword research tools gives you a look under the hood at what people are looking for on the internet. We can access this information at a nominal cost.
Even if you have no search optimization plans (we don’t advise this), review the data beforehand.
Ecommerce Website Data
You already know to look at the data sets within your website, right? If not, you should. But did you know you can access data from some of the largest ecommerce sites, such as Amazon? Understanding how consumers are searching and making purchases with these ecommerce giants will help you understand how to differentiate yourself and satisfy those who are already spending money on products you sell.
Even without spending a dime, you can find much important information through Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, & TikTok. However, investing a small amount into these platforms is better. We suggest this for a few reasons, but the primary reason is that it opens the door to their analytics pages, where you will learn significantly more about those interacting with your ecommerce business.
Understanding your detailed buyer persona doesn’t do any good if you are not publishing quality content in the format they prefer. Quality content is not only about the information but also the delivery. You can be the most authoritative person in the world about a product category, but if you do not articulate it well in writing, providing this information does no good.
So before you choose your format, you need the right person or team to deliver the content. Our agency handles everything, or we can work alongside your team to ensure people see your content and engage with it. Here’s a look at the main content types.
Writing isn’t only for blog articles but works across all mediums. Podcasts, iTunes, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, & TikTok, have sections where you can place written content, and the writing affects the success of the content.
Whether static or moving, graphic elements are part of almost every content. We can create graphics such as a logo for brand awareness, visual elements to support informational videos, or one-of-a-kind design infographics.
The most predominant use of audio is for podcasts, but you can use audio to support other types of content.
Not only should we use YouTube to promote our ecommerce site. We can use video content across all content platforms, including blog posts, social media stories, and email marketing.
Types of Ecommerce Content
One of the most important aspects of a content strategy is producing memorable content. So the first question you need to ask when thinking of what type of content to produce is what you want customers to understand about your brand. The kind of content you produce will determine the amount of brand loyalty you create.
Thought leadership is content where you share your ideas and thoughts about things. People will see this as an authority on the topic, which helps you earn trust. Your company already has people within the organization who carry this expertise, so use it to help prospective customers understand your product or industry more.
While not always the content most people search for, thought leadership is a great way to encourage social sharing and link-building for your ecommerce shop.
How To Guides
A how-to guide is a piece of content where you share information on how to do something. That sounds simple enough, right? It is, and this type of content increases your current customer’s user experience, making it a win-win all the way around.
Sometimes how-to guides cover topics customers expect, whereas other times, they are novel how-to guides about topics customers have yet to consider. Think of “How to use a blender to make ice cream.” This how-to guide might save someone from running out and buying an ice cream maker.
PSA: If you are an ice cream machine retailer, we apologize for this recommendation :)
FAQs are questions that people commonly ask. You can use this information for a single post and create splinters of content. Content splintering is how you make an SEO topic cluster and is essential to overall search rankings.
Statistics are information that can help you understand how people behave when it comes to your products. You can use statistics to show customers the best ways to use your products or why they are essential. An ice cream machine retailer (redeeming ourselves here) can use the information to discuss the different methods of making ice cream and, on average, how long each process takes.
Of course, the ice cream maker will be the fastest of the methods, thus encouraging people to try the product.
Rarely utilized, but highly effective is using news as part of your content marketing strategy. Media outlets no longer “own” the term breaking news; now, anyone can give people information about what is happening worldwide. The problem is that most people need to have authority on a subject and need to provide context to the news.
As a credible source, you can give people news about what is happening with your business, industry, or customer interests that align with your business.
Like a how-to guide, tutorials are content where you share information on “how” to do something. Tutorials are comprehensive pieces of content for people wanting to “deep dive” into a subject. You can create a how-to guide on making ice cream with a blender or a tutorial about the best way to make ice cream with a blender.
Subtle differences, but it speaks to a different audience.
Recipes are a big deal in ecommerce content marketing. People and brands became “famous” with their ability (both in writing and videos) to connect with people while sharing how to prepare a meal. Even if you are not in the food and beverage business, you can create recipes for your business.
HuckBerry.com is one example. They sell fantastic items for men and create content based on their interests. Their content includes manly mixed drink recipes, meals for camping, and pit master secrets.
Comparison content is just as it sounds. It compares information on how two or more things are similar or different. You can create comparisons based on the products you sell, you and your competitor sell, or compare stuff within your audience’s interests.
An authentic example for Huckberry might be to create a comparison article about the best places to camp in Yosemite. In this article, they might slide in a few camping product recommendations with a “free Yosemite patch” with every purchase.
Creating a list of the top, best, fastest, and so forth can be helpful to customers who want to avoid going everywhere when looking for information. The industry term for these lists is “listicles,” and you can implement them into your content strategy. Like a FAQ, listicles can guide people to additional resources about a specific mention on the list.
Buyer guides are a must for ecommerce businesses. You can and should create a buyer’s guide for almost every occasion. Beyond holidays, think of transitional periods. A few ideas include returning to school, preparing for summer vacations, and hosting special events.
Customer experience is a powerful means of communicating with potential customers. Whether it’s from a company team member or customer, explaining your personal experience humanizes the product. You can even incorporate product experience into other content types, such as how-to guides.
How do you get the benefits of ecommerce influencer marketing without paying top dollar as part of your content marketing strategy to create exciting and memorable content? Social proof helps people learn about your products and what you stand for with others doing the work for you.
In social media, search out the name of your company and products. Then share any interesting posts on your timeline and stories.
Using humor in your content can be fun to get people’s attention. You can use different types of comedy, such as laughter, satire, and jokes. Humor can make your brand less rigid, encouraging people to do business with your brand.
When creating content for your brand, being authentic is paramount. At times, you need to talk about your struggles, challenges, and even failures. Authenticity should exist throughout your content marketing strategy, but direct forms of this communication will bring trust to the rest of your content.
User-generated content is when other people create content about your brand. UG content includes customers or people with “opinions” about your industry. Fair warning, unless you initiate the conversation, user-generated content can do more harm than good. The right way to include user-generated content into an ecommerce content marketing strategy is to collect the information yourself directly with the individual through social media polls and online surveys.
Ecommerce Content Strategy Tips
You have a lot of information to chew on, but let’s give you a few more ways to improve your content strategy. While there is no one recipe for success, a few insider tips can help you create a successful content plan. In this section, we will give 4-tips you must know.
Repurpose Your Content
The hard work is in creating the initial piece of content that you hope to market. Make sure you are repurposing your existing content across any medium where your target customer is. We can integrate social media posts into email marketing.
Email marketing can turn into blog articles. Blog articles can turn into advertorials. Advertorials can turn into social media posts.
You get the point.
Spread Out Cross Channel Publishing
Most brands engaging in content marketing take a one-and-done approach. Scheduling tools let you cross-publish at the same time making social media marketing manageable. We advise you to publish content on different channels at different times. Each platform has its peak days and times. Additionally, your messaging should slightly change to fit the content that performs best on these channels.
Republish Your Content
Unfortunately, even if people read your content, they will soon forget about it. It’s a mistake for an ecommerce brand to only talk about a subject once. Once you create a piece of content, decide how frequently you want to distribute it. Perhaps it’s once a month. You can then make slight visual and textual changes that only take a few minutes rather than a few hours.
Focus On Your Talents
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. If you have a specific talent or expertise, focus on that. You will only be able to cover a portion of the topics concerning your ecommerce store, so choose topics where you can add the most value.
We Love Creating Content Strategies For Our Clients
Let us help you create content ideas and then turn those ideas into revenue-generating assets. No matter the industry, our team will help your ecommerce site become a top contender in search, social media, and other forms of digital marketing. Reach out and discuss how we can help take your business to the next level.