A strong content strategy is crucial in the world of e-commerce for driving traffic, improving conversions, and building brand authority – that goes without saying. Today, with a drastic increase in online sales thanks to the pandemic and an increased reliance on remote resources, standing out from the competition is more important than ever. When it comes to standing out online amidst millions of other websites – content is king.
Fun, immersive content in all different forms ultimately helps define your brand and express its core values while engaging your audience and tempting them to enter the buying process. With content creation in the e-commerce realm, the overall goal is to give your customers what they want, how they want it, and at the right time. The content itself doesn’t have to be flashy – it just has to make sense.
No matter if you’re selling makeup, children’s clothing, or pet supplies, developing a winning e-commerce content strategy is most possible when you understand your customer. In this article, we’re going to discuss some actionable methods for creating the appealing, conversion-driving content needed to understand your audience, grow your brand, and surpass the competition.
Identify Your Target Buyer Persona
Understanding your brand’s target audience is one of the first and most crucial aspects of any successful content marketing strategy. From building brand loyalty to increasing sales and effectively leading persuasive campaigns – identifying your target buyer persona is imperative for driving sales with your content. With six simple steps, you can confidently begin to pin down your target buyer – these steps include:
- Analyze your competitors
- Utilize Analytics (popular platforms like Amazon and Walmart offer corresponding analytics to help keep you up to date)
- Determine who your audience is NOT
- Analyze your current customer base
- Conduct market research
- Identify industry trends
Address Your Audience
As you’re probably aware, a good product addresses a need or solves a problem. So, no matter what you’re selling, you want to be sure you’re giving your customers what they need in terms of how your company can solve their problems or provide for their needs. To be successful, you must first consider your buyer personas because some customers may be unaware of these problems prior to visiting your site. In turn, it is your responsibility to identify these problems on their behalf so that you can educate them. At this point, conversions should not be your primary focus but rather how your business can personally make a difference and solve these issues.
Taking this into consideration during the content planning process, you want to be sure to create content that educates customers on problems they’re unaware of, encouraging questions regarding possible solutions. This creates a habit of engagement. On the other side of the coin, you’ll also want to take the time to understand basic customer needs. Only then can you start to truly understand which sorts of content will cater to your audience. These needs include:
- Customer Service
Base Your Content on The Buyer Journey
When beginning or expanding your content strategy, you must first understand your customer’s search behavior and how it relates to your site at the time. In other words, you want your content to reflect where your customer is at in their buyer journey. If you’re unfamiliar, the buyer’s journey is the framework in which a buyer’s progression through the research and decision process ultimately resulting in a purchase is acknowledged. For instance, someone searching the phrase women’s running shoes will require different content than someone searching women’s running shoes vs women’s walking shoes. Why? Because they are at different phases of the buyer’s journey.
There are three stages in this journey including the awareness stage, consideration stage, and decision stage. Curating content for buyers at each stage is a surefire way to help them along the path while positioning yourself as an authority in your space. There are a few simple ways for a company to successfully create content for each phase of the buyer’s journey, beginning with the question of “how do we attract and engage people, so they convert and become customers?”
The answer is to attract, engage, and delight your audience with regular content. So, from blogging, SEM, and social media, to email, live chat, and loyalty programs, putting out the right content at the right time is key. Luckily, ITSRAPID provides access to tools that help e-commerce brands create content including product infographics, product videos, Instagram stories, product descriptions, and more.
Build a Content Calendar
If you find creating continuously engaging, relevant content for potential and current customers to be a struggle – don’t stress, because you’re not alone. In fact, this is a regular problem for marketing and communications professionals all over the world. Even when your company hires top-rated, highly skilled writers and social media experts, the problem can still linger. If you feel this describes your business, you should consider creating a diverse, structured content calendar. Then, despite the scarcity of things like time and human resources, coordinating content creation can make the most of what’s available, creating an easily manageable strategy that requires much less of your time.
Building Great Content
Historically, building great content was extremely time-consuming, especially when dealing with a large number of SKUs, image variations, or languages. Each asset had to be manually created and edited, and any iterations due to marketing or brand feedback required a rework of every graphic. Today’s E-Commerce sites provide a wide variety of image and video opportunities but taking advantage of those opportunities without the right toolset can be challenging. Moreover, custom image dimensions and specific file naming conventions are often required. But with the right tools, it’s possible to reduce content creation workflows that take months or weeks down to days or hours—even minutes.
Measure and Optimize
Like many other facets of your e-commerce strategy, there are many common metrics used to measure the success of your content strategy. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 80% of respondents use metrics to measure content performance. Why? Simply put, marketing teams must be able to justify the resources necessary to craft winning content that actually drives conversions. Some of the more valuable metrics to track include:
- Web traffic according to source/medium
- User behavior
- Impressions and CTR
- Content shares and backlinks
- Keyword rankings
- Lead generation
Once your team gets used to looking at such metrics, they need to be aware of what to measure these numbers against. For example, once you see how many organic visitors you attracted in a certain time period, you can set realistic expectations and modify your content strategy accordingly to attract a higher number in the future.
The Importance of Creating a Content Marketing Plan in E-Commerce
While advertising and collecting reviews are good and necessary forms of marketing and research, content marketing, in particular, is important because it helps a brand build trust with its customers in a way that other types of marketing just don’t. Through regular engagement, understanding, and relatability, e-commerce content marketing helps brands address every step of the buyer’s journey, and ultimately forms rich, authentic relationships with both current and potential customers.
Whether you’re looking to alter a content strategy already in place or you’re new to it altogether, the information above is enough to help you build a foundation for winning e-commerce content that effectively differentiates your brand from the competition.