As a modern ecommerce entrepreneur, you simply can’t afford to not include content marketing in your efforts for growing your business.
Content marketers often put a lot of time into developing their strategies, as they know that the benefits of content marketing for online stores are indeed plentiful.
It can build authority, improve search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, generate sales leads, and much more.
However, one of the best advantages that a well-planned content marketing strategy can bring to an ecommerce business is a boost in product sales.
After all, while launching an online store provides you with more freedom and an outlet for your creativity, a major goal of any business is to earn a profit, right?
How does content marketing drive sales?
Whether you have a team of content marketers at your disposal or you’re going at it alone, developing an effective content marketing strategy is essential for the success of your online store.
To provide you with a better understanding of how content marketing works and why it’s worth your time and effort, here are several things that it does to help you achieve your goal of more sales.
1. Gets prospective customers to your website
One of the most significant aims of content marketing is to get more traffic to your site. After all, you can’t expect your products to sell if people aren’t visiting your store!
You have a wide range of tools in your arsenal to attract new prospects, including blog articles, infographics, videos, eBooks, case studies, social media, and more.
As you develop your strategy, the types of content marketing that you opt to use are contingent on the specific needs of your target audience.
Aim to create content that’s relevant to your ideal customers and incorporates keywords that they’re likely to be searching for. This way, your site has a better chance of obtaining a higher ranking with search engines like Google.
Ranking higher on the list of search engine results is advantageous for increasing site traffic, as most people don’t move past the first page of results when searching for something online.
If your ecommerce site doesn’t show up until the fifth page or even the second page of Google results, the likelihood of prospects reaching your store is significantly reduced.
2. Nurtures sales leads
Increasing traffic to your website is a huge success, but sometimes potential customers need a bit more encouragement before they’ll buy from your store.
In fact, Marketo reports that of the people who visit an ecommerce site, around 96% of them aren’t quite ready to make a purchase. However, even though shoppers might not buy something the first time they visit your store, they could require your product later on.
You don’t need to sit around and wait for them to become paying customers, though! Effective content marketing can help ensure that your store is the first one they think of when they’re finally prepared to buy.
Consider asking visitors to sign up for your email newsletter or provide their email address for access to a helpful eBook or guide that you’ve created.
Providing leads with fresh, consistent content aids in building trust in your brand and keeping your business at the forefront of their minds.
3. Increases brand awareness
Brand awareness demonstrates how familiar people are with your product, your business, and message.
If you’re just getting started in ecommerce, it’s especially important that you make an effort to get the word out about your online store to increase awareness of your brand. This is because most consumers are more comfortable purchasing from a company or brand that they know and trust.
Note that brand awareness needs to go beyond people recognizing your business logo. You want your target market to understand what makes your business special and how it differs from your competitors.
To be successful in increasing brand awareness with your content marketing, you should have a decent grasp of your audience’s needs.
What specific kinds of content do they prefer? On which social media networks are they most active?
If you’re stuck for ideas, you can always check out to see how your competitors are connecting with their audiences. Though you won’t want to copy exactly what they’re doing, of course, you can see what’s already working for them and use that for inspiration for your own content.
4. Builds authority
With the many options for online shopping that consumers have at their fingertips, you need to show your audience why your store should be their #1 pick.
Sharing your expertise through your content marketing is an excellent way to increase your brand’s authority in a crowded online market.
Determine what challenges your target audience is currently facing and offer them solutions that can help make their lives easier. To find out what your audience’s most pressing questions are, you can perform some keyword research and discover what keywords and topics are trending for your niche.
Once you know what subjects are important to your audience, you can see what content is already available online for those topics. Then, get your creativity ready and see how you can present this information in a better way or with a different perspective!
Boost your brand’s authority even further by sharing your own studies or reports. This type of content can provide consumers with fresh, new insights that they may find extremely valuable.
Furthermore, if your research is especially newsworthy, you can reach out to media outlets to increase your exposure.
5. Improves audience engagement
No matter how great your ecommerce site or the product that you offer, it can be difficult to predict your store’s sales, especially if you’re new to ecommerce. Sometimes it can take a bit of time for potential customers to be convinced that your product is the right one for them.
By utilizing an effective content marketing strategy, though, you can keep your audience engaged and interested until they’re ready to make a purchase.
Each time you post a new blog article or share a new video, you have the opportunity to educate and entertain potential customers and keep them coming back for more. The more engaging your content is, the more curious and interested your audience is going to be.
They’ll comment more frequently on your posts, ask more questions, and look forward to your future content. Consider sharing polls and offering contests to engage consumers further.
6. Personalizes the buying experience
Today’s shoppers prefer buying from brands whose messages speak to them and with whom they feel a connection. In a 2017 study involving adults in the US, Statista found that 90% of the respondents thought personalized content was very appealing or at least somewhat appealing.
In fact, many modern consumers even expect a personalized experience when it comes to shopping online. While a company’s generic messaging can bore or annoy an audience, offering content that’s personalized to suit their needs can assist in building loyalty to the brand.
To ensure you’re creating content tailored to your target market, take the time to do some careful research on your potential customers beforehand. Remember that sharing engaging content to craft a personalized buying experience isn’t just helpful for attracting new customers.
After a shopper purchases from you, you’ll want to keep that personalization up by directing them toward blog articles, how-to guides, a podcast, or product recommendations that are likely to be of interest to them.
7. Encourages higher conversion rates
Most of the time when you hear the term “conversions” for ecommerce, it involves the number of site visitors who convert to paying customers.
While high-quality content can definitely assist in winning the business of more customers, it can also bring about a number of other “conversions” along the way. Improved numbers in these areas will all assist you in achieving increased sales.
Creating content that your audience finds engaging and useful can lead to an increased number of subscribers to your email newsletter and blog updates.
This may also help boost your number of eBook downloads or followers on social media. Each of these additional “conversions” can aid in building brand awareness and loyalty to your business.
Tips on using content marketing to drive sales
Without a doubt, content marketing can be great for increasing sales for your online store. However, as with anything else in life, you can improve your likelihood of success by first coming up with a plan.
Here are a few tips to include in your content marketing strategy to help you see more sales of your amazing products!
Actively engage with your audience
Everybody likes to feel seen and heard. No matter how busy you are with your online store, be sure to answer questions from your audience as soon as possible.
Regardless if the question comes from a long-time customer or a potential purchaser, providing timely responses demonstrates that you care about their business.
Your reactivity to questions on your blog posts, social media, etc. reassure not just the person asking the question but other members of your audience as well.
Remember that a single bad experience can put a customer off from making future purchases, so you’ll also want to respond to negative comments or reviews quickly.
Every business gets an unhappy customer occasionally, but the way in which you respond to critiques speaks volumes about your brand.
If a customer had a bad experience, there’s a chance that you might lose their business. However, your audience will appreciate it if you respond to negative feedback with timeliness and respect.
Create how-to videos or guides for using your product
Depending on how straightforward your product is, this suggestion may or not be as applicable to your ecommerce business.
Nevertheless, if your online store sells a product that’s relatively new to the market or that’s highly interactive, providing videos or other guides on how to use it can be extremely helpful to your audience.
This type of how-to content can give shoppers who are on the fence about purchasing your product that extra push to visit your site and click “Buy now!” It allows you to present information that might otherwise be a bit on the boring side in a fun, entertaining way.
Furthermore, you’ll also have the opportunity to really let your personality or the voice of your brand shine, especially if you’re educating customers using a video format.
In fact, if you create content that’s particularly unique and informative, you might even find that it goes viral!
Content marketing isn’t meant to be a direct advertisement for your product but rather a method for sharing useful information that solves issues that affect your audience.
However, adding a call-to-action (CTA) to applicable content can be very effective in encouraging more sales.
For example, say that your online store offers a variety of beautiful silk scarves and you’ve just written a blog post on different ways to wear them. You can include a CTA at the end of the article and tell readers to check out your newest item for sale.
If you decide to create a how-to video on your YouTube channel on this topic instead, you could add a link to your site that pops up at the end of the video.
However you choose to utilize a CTA in your content, ensure that it doesn’t distract from the content itself and that you don’t add too many of them to a single post.
Don’t be afraid to do a bit of experimenting to see where the best CTA placement is in your content to determine what gets you the most conversions.
Share content on different channels
Just wrote a fantastic new piece for your ecommerce website’s blog? Excellent. Now it’s time to make sure that as many people as possible see it!
Social media is an essential part of a good content marketing strategy. It’s a form of content itself and also provides you with various platforms to distribute other content and expand your marketing reach.
Which social media networks you use to share your content will depend on the individual needs of your business and your audience.
In addition, keep in mind that how you share your content will differ on the various channels available to you. For example, with Facebook you can easily create a post announcing your newest blog article with a link that brings people directly to the article on your site.
When you share content on Instagram, though, you’ll want to add the link to your page’s bio section. You can then post an image related to the article, ensuring that you’ve included a caption that directs your followers to check out the link in your bio.
Don’t forget to add appropriate hashtags in a separate comment to get even more views!
Hold a contest
It’s no secret that people love to win stuff. If you’ve just created your online store, you’ll likely be looking for ways to boost brand awareness with your audience.
Launching a contest on your site or via social media is perfect for generating interest in your product and your business.
Prizes for contest winners might include products or gift cards to your store. You could select a winner from followers who post images of themselves using your product or come up with the best caption for an image you’ve shared.
Another option is to simply select a winner from followers who “like” your post announcing the contest. The possibilities are endless. Adding a hashtag related to your contest can aid in attracting more attention while allowing you to check out submissions more easily.
Though you’ll be giving away a product or gift card for free, this strategy can help you to build audience engagement and increase viewership.
Followers who don’t win a prize might become interested in visiting your website anyway, later deciding that your product is just too good to pass up!
No matter what specific types of content you use in your content marketing, you can rest assured that they can assist in driving sales for your ecommerce business.
This is because content marketing allows you to help shoppers through every stage of the sales funnel, providing a more personalized and enjoyable user experience.
To get the most out of your strategy, however, you’ll want to do some careful market research beforehand and determine what methods make the most sense for your brand.
Note that as the history of content marketing has indicated, nothing in ecommerce stays the same. This means that you’ll probably need to adjust your strategy from time to time as shoppers’ preferences change.
Despite this, the benefits that well-done content marketing provides, especially regarding its ability to boost product sales, are well worth it!