Although the phrase “content is king” has worn out, it’s still as true as ever. In the early days of the Internet, content was the only thing that was really driving traffic. There were no social networks, YouTube, PPC ads, nor SEO to rely on to get people to your website.
But even though we have all that stuff in 2019, content is arguably even more important, because people are tired of seeing ads and being pitched to. They’re looking for free value, which means your e-commerce startup needs to up its content game.
5 Content Marketing Tips for Your E-Commerce Business
Speaking of advertising, your average customer sees about 5,000 ads each day, most of which they will ignore. What potential customers DO want more of is high-quality, useful content. This is the type of content that will not only help them with a particular pain point, but also help them make more informed purchasing decisions. According to research, 82% of customers view brands that provide great content in a positive light. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best content marketing tactics you can use to boost your e-commerce startup.
1. Start a Blog
If your e-commerce startup is brand new and you don’t have a huge marketing budget, starting a business blog is probably your best bet. Combined with SEO tactics such as keyword research and building backlinks, blogging can not only boost your search ranking (which makes your brand more visible and sends traffic your way), but it can also help establish you as an authority in the field. A good idea would be to focus on providing useful tips, tricks, and guides.
A glowing example of this is Buffer, which now has four different blogs covering all things regarding social media. You’re going to want to check out Buffer’s Marketing Library, which is crammed full of high-quality articles. These articles offer actionable tips on topics like the best posting times for Facebook and Instagram, how to create your own social media campaign, how to avoid the most common social media mistakes, and so on.
2. Create Different Types of Content
Regardless of how good your inbound e-commerce content is, you can’t always expect your customers to come to you as soon as you publish something.
More often than not, you’ll first have to find where they hang out. This means reaching out to them on different platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, just to name a few.
One of the e-commerce companies that has been killing it with their content marketing is Dollar Shave Club, especially their hilarious viral video titled “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”:
Dollar Shave Club offers a great product at an extremely affordable price (pretty hard to beat $1 blades). They also manage to poke fun at Gillette and their $20 blades, “19 of which go to Roger Federer,” as remarked jokingly by the company’s founder Michael Dubin, who stars in the video.
On top of that, their email marketing campaigns are excellent, their blog is full of useful lifestyle tips, and they cultivate an active social media presence. All of these efforts resulted in Unilever buying the company for a whopping $1 billion.
3. Tell a Story
While it’s true that how-to blog posts work like a charm, they’re not going to work for some e-commerce businesses or companies. If you’re selling goods like apparel, footwear, or handmade items, there are only so many how-to articles you can write. But you could tell a story that focuses more on the lifestyle a potential customer will enjoy if they make your service/product a part of their life.
You could also follow GoPro’s example, which has extended this approach further. GoPro uses regular content challenges to encourage their customers to tell their own stories, essentially advertising the product for them. Not only will they feature your content if you win, but you’ll also get a cash prize.
4. Go Interactive
Interactive content is a lot more engaging and memorable than its static counterpart, especially if done right. Plus, it’s pretty much perfect for e-commerce.
For instance, you can gather valuable consumer feedback through polls and quizzes. You can also showcase your products using digital lookbooks, virtual tools, and 360-degree videos. Sephora has taken it one step further with its Virtual Artist interactive app, which you can access both on desktop and mobile, and which uses augmented reality:
You can apply each product to see how it might look on an actual person, examine prices, and purchase products directly from the app. It’s a superior way to showcase your products when you don’t have a physical store.
5. Provide Size Charts, FAQ, and Pamphlets
One of the downsides of online stores is that shoppers can’t check out the actual product in person until it's delivered to them. However, apart from video and interactive content, one of the most important types of content for e-commerce are size charts, which enable everyone to choose a clothing item that fits them perfectly.
You may want to check out the Palmetto Shirt Co. as an example of an e-commerce size chart. They provide detailed size charts for their t-shirts, baseball tees, hoodies, and crewnecks:
Size charts can also work for other products, such as home appliances, furniture, or other bulky items.
In that case, you may want to back them up with FAQ sheets that offer important bits of info. We’re not just talking about info on delivery, shipping, and your return policy, but also stuff like whether your customers will be able to fit the product inside the trunk of their car or carry it themselves.
The Wrap Up
Coming up with an effective content marketing approach for your e-commerce business can be tricky. We hope that these tips and tactics will help you boost sales, expand your customer base, and ultimately grow your business. Good luck!
Natasha Lane has a rich history of working in the digital marketing field. She is always happy to collaborate with awesome blogs and share her knowledge about growth hacking and the latest online marketing trends. To see what she’s up to, check out her Twitter dashboard.