What does Content Marketing have to do with eCommerce? A lot, actually. When most people think about eCommerce, they immediately think of Black Friday, next-day shipping, and heavy promotions, and while they are not wrong, it’s easy to forget about what makes up a brand, especially one that lives solely online. Consumers often overlook what brought them to buy from business as we’re typically more focused on the end result of when our package will arrive. In order to obtain website traffic and ultimately customers, businesses need to build their brand in an omnichannel environment, and it all starts with content marketing. Content marketing is more than just a blog, it’s an all-encompassing effort to identify an audience and find the right marketing mix on how to reach them.
Content marketing should be at the core of any eCommerce business. You will find it woven into a majority of a business's online efforts, from email marketing to advertising copy, and all the way through to social media posts. All of these touchpoints should follow a consistent theme and work with one another to tell a story and create interest. In order to create content that works, you first need to identify the audience you are trying to reach and ensure that the customer is at the center of your strategy. When it comes to focusing on your customers, Search Engine Watch states that “Not only does this give you benefits in the moment by offering the information they want/needs, it also gives you long-term benefits by establishing the authority of your brand.” Your audience may live and shop in a variety of places online. Identifying key demographics will help refine who you’re after.
While a blog can serve several functions as the hub for your online directory of content, content marketing goes way beyond the blog for your site. Content should be informative, engaging, relevant, and sometimes entertaining. A large part of online content is intended for search engines as you feed them as much information as possible so they’re able to fully understand what your site is all about. Search engines will remain a crutch of online shopping, but it’s important to think about all the places in your customer's shop. More and more, users are leveraging non-traditional resources to research products they’re interested in, and as a way to discover products that fit a need. Customers are turning to online reviews as much as they are their friends for recommendations. In fact, according to recent research, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Online reviews fall under user-generated content, which is obviously not something that is created by a business, but a tactic that needs to be implemented as part of an overall content strategy. Other methods of content include infographics, online videos, newsletters, eBooks, product descriptions, social media posts, and slideshows. All of this content plays a critical role in creating a presence for an online brand.
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