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01 September 2021 • Guides

A 10-step guide to developing an effective ecommerce content marketing strategy

A 10-step guide to developing an effective ecommerce content marketing strategy

Regardless of the size of your business, as an ecommerce entrepreneur, you shouldn’t ignore the abundance of benefits that content marketing offers.

These perks can assist you in achieving even greater levels of success than you may have thought possible when you first dreamed of launching an online store. 

Though some online retailers may deem content marketing as a laborious process that requires too much time and effort, it’s actually fairly simple once you develop a fine-tuned strategy.

Whether you’re completely new to content marketing or are looking to improve your current strategy, this guide offers a wealth of information to help you along the way! 

What is content marketing?

When we talk about content marketing, we mean a strategic type of marketing that involves producing online material in a variety of formats. Ecommerce businesses then share this content with a clearly defined audience to drive website traffic, strengthen their brand, and increase sales. 

This content is meant to be consistent, high-quality, and relevant to your target customers to help you build the customer-brand relationship. 

Content marketing works by you sharing valuable information that helps solve potential customers’ problems and improves their lives rather than droning on about your products’ advantages.

Why do you need a content marketing strategy?

Content marketing is made up of a wide range of elements. Designing a comprehensive plan that considers each of these items will provide your ecommerce site with a number of advantages. 

Here are a few of the benefits that a content marketing strategy tailored to your unique needs can provide!

Keeps your campaigns cohesive

When it comes to content marketing, you’re going to have a lot of freedom regarding what you choose to post on various channels. Distributing various types of content on multiple platforms allows you to reach a larger group of consumers, hopefully leading to a greater amount of site traffic and sales.

However, as your marketing budget and campaigns start to grow, it’s going to become more challenging to manage everything. 

A solid content marketing strategy can help keep you organized and lessen the stress of rolling out a new campaign. Furthermore, it can assist you in ensuring that your campaigns maintain a certain level of consistency in their messaging.

Without a solid, written plan in place, you might find yourself trying to cover too many topics in your content. A lack of cohesiveness in your posts might be confusing to potential customers, which could then cause them to quickly lose interest. 

Strengthens your brand identity

Unless you’re selling an ultra-niche product that can’t be found anywhere else, you’ll likely have at least a few competitors. 

The simple fact is that with so many ecommerce websites out there these days, you must find a way to make yours stand out from the crowd. Fortunately, you can easily showcase your personality and your strengths through content marketing.

Do your offerings consist of fun, zany items meant to bring a bit of extra joy to customers’ lives? Perhaps your products are on the more practical side or are known for being especially eco-friendly. 

Highlight what makes your products and your brand unique through the style and tone of the content that you post.

You can also strengthen your brand identity via the content mediums that you choose to utilize. For example, if your ecommerce store has a laid-back vibe or if you’re looking to appeal to a younger crowd, you might post a video featuring a recent popular challenge or dance. 

By coming up with a content marketing strategy, you can determine how to best present your amazing brand and when and where to do it!

Boosts your productivity

If you don’t have a content marketing strategy in place, it’s going to be much easier to let things slip when it comes to getting the word out about your venture. 

You might think you can wait a few weeks to launch a particular campaign. However, it’s very possible that your competitors may have already launched a similar one by then, leaving you lagging behind.

A content marketing strategy can help you with planning and accomplishing your company’s goals, no matter what product you sell. Whether you aim to write blog articles, make videos, design infographics, or share other types of content, a solid game plan can make these goals seem more achievable.

It’ll also hopefully prevent you from feeling overwhelmed once your ecommerce business starts to grow and you find yourself managing many different tasks or multiple campaigns. 

With a fantastic content marketing strategy, you’ll already know how often and where you’re going to post. This means that you can plan in advance during those especially busy periods.

Allows you to investigate patterns

One of the most interesting (and challenging) parts about content marketing for ecommerce businesses is that it’s constantly changing. With ever-evolving trends and customer needs, you’ll soon find that some of your campaigns are wildly successful while others don’t go so well…

That’s okay, though! 

This is just how marketing works. By documenting your efforts in content marketing, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your progress and see what actions and campaigns have been most beneficial for you. 

You can also determine what campaigns aren’t working, which leaves you free to concentrate your resources elsewhere! 

In addition, after a while, you’ll be able to see which metrics are most important for you. Examining patterns in your marketing efforts can soon permit you to gather enough data to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of every campaign.

Increases your return on investment

One of the reasons that content marketing is so appealing to ecommerce businesses is that it’s a powerful method for generating sales leads yet costs much less than traditional marketing. 

This means that even new brands just starting out with smaller marketing budgets have a decent chance of achieving success when they have an excellent content marketing strategy.

By designing a plan for your content marketing in advance, you’ll waste less time and be more productive with your efforts, allowing for a better return on investment (ROI).

How do you create a content marketing strategy?

By this point, you’re probably more than ready to get to work on designing a top-notch strategy involving content marketing to drive sales for your online store. Perfect!

Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to construct a detailed, structured plan for your content marketing efforts, especially if you’re just getting started in the exciting world of ecommerce. 

Remember that the approach that you use now will likely change at some point, as the needs of both your business and your customers can evolve rapidly. 

1. Establish your goals

While not entirely impossible, it’s generally more difficult to achieve success in any area, ecommerce or otherwise, without first deciding what you want to accomplish. 

Before you spend time and resources on all kinds of marketing campaigns, it’s essential that you determine what’s important for you and your ecommerce business.

Common goals for content marketing include creating brand awareness, boosting credibility, generating leads, building a subscribed audience, and more. 

Of course, all of these aims ultimately lead to the major objective of increasing sales. Once you select what general goals you hope to reach, you’re ready to get specific!

For instance, it’s great to say that you want more subscribers, but what exactly does this mean? 

If you get three new subscribers to your email newsletter in 18 months, will you be satisfied? Or are you hoping for different results?

Selecting precise targets to meet can help you to see how well your ecommerce business is doing over time. If you’re reaching those initial goals more quickly than expected, you can adjust your content market strategy accordingly to achieve even better results. 

In a similar manner, if an unexpected event occurs (e.g., a global pandemic), you might need to change your expectations for what you can feasibly accomplish during that period.  

2. Define your buyer persona

In addition to naming your goals, you’re going to need to determine the specific group you’re hoping to reach through content marketing. This carefully considered, distinct target market is also known as a “buyer persona.”

If you have a new ecommerce business or don’t have a ton of experience in marketing, this step is especially important. However, even if you’ve delved into marketing in the past, it’s possible that your needs have changed and you have a new group of consumers you wish to reach.

As you construct your buyer persona, you’ll be taking a look at a variety of aspects that make up your ecommerce business’s target market. These can include your ideal buyer’s typical background, interests, needs, dislikes, and more. 

You may find that you’ll need to create multiple buyer personas, but if you’re just beginning, it’s generally best to start small. There’s always the possibility to make new ones in the future if necessary!

Defining your buyer persona will allow you to better understand your current and potential customers. This means that you’ll be able to create content across your various channels that’s targeted specifically to your ideal buyer. 

To define your buyer persona, be sure to do some thorough market research and check in with your current customers via surveys, polls, interviews, etc.

3. Choose what type of content you want to create

As you develop a content marketing strategy for your online store, note that there’s a wide range of material that you can craft. Not every type of content is going to work for your brand, though, so there’s likely going to be some trial and error involved. 

Furthermore, if you’re just starting out, you may want to limit the number of forms of content you use so as not to overwhelm you or your potential customers. 

Some of the most popular types of content marketing for ecommerce include blog articles, social media, infographics, videos, podcasts, and ebooks. 

4. Pick a content management system

A high-quality content management system (CMS) can make all the difference in not only making your content marketing strategy successful but also less stressful. Your CMS is the software that you use to create, publish, modify, and analyze your digital content. 

With WiziShop’s ecommerce CMS, you may avail of more than 400 outstanding tools to optimize your online store and its content. 

These tools are designed to make creating and managing your site super simple. What’s more, they can help provide a better customer experience and make every stage of your sales funnel more effective.

In addition, we understand that search engine optimization (SEO) is very important to increasing traffic to your site. However, SEO covers a variety of areas and managing all of it can be a time-consuming process.

For this reason, we’ll make things much easier for you by taking care of all the technical aspects of your site’s SEO for you. You won’t need to lift a finger in this regard!

Finally, you’ll also have access to our team of Business Coaches, a dedicated group of ecommerce experts, to help you with any questions you may have regarding your site. They can also offer personalized advice to guide you in your venture to give you an advantage over the competition. 

The best part is that all of the above (and much more) come at no extra charge to you. They’re included directly in the cost of your monthly subscription plan.

It’ll be possible to create an account with WiziShop and build your online store on our platform soon, so be sure to watch for future updates!

5. Determine what to write about

As mentioned previously, great content marketing isn’t about pushing the merits of your outstanding product. 

To appeal to your ideal customer, you’ll need to provide thoughtful content that can help with solving some of the most challenging issues that they’re dealing with today. 

When you create your content marketing strategy, there are a number of ways you can go about finding ideas for compelling topics that visitors will enjoy reading about.

Check out your competition

Although it’s understandable to want to write about subjects that are completely new and exciting, sometimes it’s good to see what’s already working for your competitors. 

Finding out what the competition is discussing and viewing how responsive their following is can help you determine what’s important to your potential customers. 

If you notice somebody in your same industry talking about a particular issue, you may want to jump on the bandwagon so that you don’t miss out on being part of the conversation!

Besides discovering what topics are popular with your competitors, you’ll want to see what formats they’re using to showcase their content. 

Are they tackling an issue with a series of well-timed Instagram posts? Perhaps they’re instead holding live video Q&A sessions to connect even more directly with their customer base. 

Your goal should then be to come up with content that’s even more engaging and helpful for your audience.

Make it personal

Many shoppers enjoy feeling a personal connection to the brands they frequent. They like knowing that there’s a human behind the ecommerce website who cares and thinks of them as more than a simple sales transaction. 

Drawing upon your personal experiences can provide excellent material for all kinds of content marketing for your online store.

Furthermore, enthusiasm is contagious. Your readers are going to appreciate your content even more when they can sense that you’re passionate about whatever topic you’re writing about.

Ask your current customers

If you’re stuck for content inspiration, it’s sometimes easiest just to turn to your audience and see what actually interests them. 

Whether it’s through social media, personalized emails, or other channels, ask your target market what some of their biggest concerns are. This can help you to decide what kinds of content you should prioritize in the future.

Getting your current customers’ thoughts and opinions will assist you not only with your content marketing but also with product development. 

If you learn that people are having trouble with a certain product feature, for example, you’ll know that you need to work on improving it to provide a better customer experience.

6. Organize your content 

Your strategy may initially consist of just one or two forms of content that you’re hoping to publish. Nevertheless, it’s good to decide early on how you’re going to keep your content organized. 

Stay on track by constructing an editorial calendar showing what content you’re planning to publish and when.This can also help you to plan in advance for publishing content around holidays and other dates that might be especially important for your niche. 

For example, if you sell hand-knit sweaters for pets, you won’t want to miss out on sharing a post on International Dog Day! 

7. Use social media effectively to share your content

With the widespread use of social media today, your ecommerce business will likely be left behind if you’re not making use of at least one of the many platforms available. Here are some of the most popular social media channels for ecommerce and what types of content they work best for.

Facebook

Regardless of the product that you sell, you’re probably going to want to include Facebook in your content marketing strategy. 

According to Statista, this platform has the most users of any social media network, with over 2.7 billion active users as of the end of 2020. Here, you can share photos, videos, links to blog articles, and more.

Instagram

Heavily focused on visual material, Instagram is an outstanding platform for sharing high-quality photos of your product. You can also post “behind-the-scenes” type images that allow people to get a glimpse of what goes into making your product. 

Feel free to also mix it up with instructional videos, quotes, and user-generated content to meet a variety of needs for your potential customers. 

Pinterest

Also perfect for sharing visually compelling content, Pinterest is not as popular as other channels on this list. Nevertheless, it can still be a very beneficial platform for content marketing, depending on your product and the group of shoppers you’re targeting. 

Build your Pinterest boards with Pins featuring product photos and other images to inspire your potential customers.

Twitter

If you tend to post blog articles frequently, Twitter can be great for letting your followers know when there’s a new article available for them to read on your website. 

In addition, you can use this network to announce new product releases or updates in your industry without necessarily having to send out an email each time.

YouTube

As videos are an extremely popular form of online content, this platform can help you to quickly grow your audience. If you’re skilled in video production (or have somebody who can help you with this), why not give YouTube a go? 

Share product demonstrations, interviews, and more to engage current and potential customers alike!

LinkedIn

This network’s a bit trickier, as it may not be applicable to every brand. Use LinkedIn if you’re hoping to reach a more professional crowd and your content has a business-minded tone. 

The platform is perfect for sharing links to your own blog posts or other articles, videos, or websites that might be helpful for your potential customers.

8. Obtain backlinks for your content by guest blogging

Building credible backlinks to your ecommerce website is important. Backlinks occur when one website includes a link to a different website. They basically tell search engines that the content on your site is legit and useful to visitors.

Because websites with more backlinks usually have a higher ranking with search engines, you can see how backlinks provide a serious benefit! 

An excellent method for boosting traffic to your website is by writing guest blog articles for other websites. You’ll of course want to guest blog for sites that are related to your particular niche. 

After you find websites that complement your own, reach out to them to see if they allow guest posts. If they do, beef up your content marketing strategy by writing a few fabulous articles that link back to your site to reach even more potential customers! 

9. Use pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to advertise your content

If you have a more flexible marketing budget and want to attract people to your ecommerce website immediately, you might want to avail of PPC advertising. 

Instead of getting traffic to your online store organically via SEO and other methods, PPC campaigns essentially involve you paying for site visits. You’ll be paying a small amount whenever someone clicks on your ad. 

For example, say you want to get started with Google Ads. This platform uses an auction system where you’ll need to “bid” to have your ad appear on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) when people search for keywords pertinent to your ad. 

Optimizing your Quality Score, which is the search engine’s rating that considers your keywords and PPC ads’ relevance and quality, along with your bidding price are required to win the auction.

Besides appearing on the SERP, your ad can show up on many of the other websites that make up the Google Display Network. This network also includes apps and the mobile versions of sites, allowing your ad to reach an even wider range of people.

10. Share your expertise to attract more visitors to your website

Passionate or particularly knowledgeable about your product and/or niche? 

If so, you can help bring more visitors to your shop to check out your content by sharing your expertise with others. Increase your credibility by assisting readers without trying to sell them something.

Several methods to accomplish this include answering questions on forums, commenting on other sites’ blogs, participating in podcasts, creating a video teaching series, and more. Again, you’ll want to be sure that whichever channels you select relate to the products that you sell. 

In addition, you can create infographics and studies related to your market, such as polls and surveys, to provide other websites and blogs with additional value for their audience members. 

By offering them your expertise and real-time user feedback, you’re adding to their content and can get a backlink for your own website!

What do you do once you’ve gained site traffic?

After you’ve begun sharing top-notch content with your audience, you’ll start to see the incredible results of your efforts in the form of increased traffic to your website. Congrats!

So, what do you do with all of this extra traffic? 

Hopefully this boost in the number of visitors has also led to growing product sales. After all, earning more revenue is a fundamental goal of any ecommerce business.

However, while you should enjoy reveling in your content marketing, you’ll also want to consider your efforts for the future. There are a number of ways that you can multiply this new traffic to get an even larger number of visitors to check out your online store.

Keep your content easily shareable

Your social media content is probably already set up to be straightforward for followers to share. However, it’s good to ensure that it’s just as easy to do so with your other forms of content.

Does your ecommerce website have a blog that you update regularly with valuable, helpful content for your audience to enjoy? 

Make it easy for your loyal readers to share their favorite articles of yours by adding social sharing buttons to your blog. If you make the sharing process simple, your visitors are more likely to share an article of yours with their own followers on social media. 

This can then give even more people a chance to check out the content on your site along with your great products!

Conduct a webinar

Depending on your niche and your level of comfort with teaching and interacting with people, offering an interactive webinar may also be beneficial for growing your audience. 

Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for your webinar in advance, ensuring that you’re knowledgeable about the subject matter in case of challenging questions from your attendees.

You can also record your webinar to add to your website for people to use at a later date. Announce your webinar via your email newsletter, on your website, and across your various social media platforms to generate audience interest. 

Finally, consider offering a product discount or another incentive if people signing up for the webinar share it on their own social media accounts to further increase the number of viewers.

Design a software tool or feature related to your ecommerce business

The idea of creating a software tool might seem intimidating if you’re not particularly gifted with technology. However, it’s something that can bring a ton of extra value to the market you’re targeting and can encourage visitors to return to your site.

Although you’ll have access to over 400 pre-integrated tools when you build your online store on the WiziShop platform, we give you the freedom to take your ecommerce business even further. 

Our API allows you to easily add external features, such as a new tool designed specifically for your product or niche, to your website.

Providing customers with a new, exciting feature can improve the user experience and make their lives easier. This not only increases your chances of having them come back for future purchases but also of having them tell others about you!

Conclusion

Content marketing can do wonders for attracting more traffic to your ecommerce website, but there’s more to growing your business than getting new visitors. 

By establishing a carefully designed content marketing strategy, you won’t just start to entice your target audience to check out what your shop has to offer. 

You’ll also strengthen these potential customers’ trust in your brand by providing them with high-quality content that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise, keeping them engaged for the long term.

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