Did you know that businesses that utilize content marketing generate six times as many sales than those that don’t? If you’re looking to drive more traffic and sales to your online store, content marketing might be just the right solution for you.
Content marketing is a type of marketing that is focused on creating and distributing relevant and valuable content with the intention of attracting a target audience. It allows you to communicate with your customers without selling to them, establishing a deeper, more honest relationship.
There are so many benefits of content marketing that every business should be doing it. Here are just a few:
- Allows you to connect with your customers
- Helps increase engagement and brand loyalty
- Drives traffic
- Helps you become an authority in your industry
- Builds brand awareness
- Helps you maximize ROI
Before engaging in content marketing, you need to consider what topics you’ll be covering and what type of content you’ll be producing. I always suggest starting by analyzing what your competition is doing.
Find 5 to 10 of your competitors online and check out their website, blog, and social media pages. What kind of topics are they writing about and what type of content are they producing? Do they write blog posts, create videos, ebooks or something else?
While you should use your competitors’ content to give you some ideas, you shouldn’t try to copy them. You should try to create something better.
Write down a list of topics that you would like to cover with your content. Think about the best way to cover each topic. Some topics might be better suited for discussing in a blog post, while others would be perfect for a video.
When engaging in content marketing, it’s important to stay organized. Creating a content calendar can help to keep you and your team on track.
There is no right way to create a content calendar. You will need to decide what kind of information you need to include in your content calendar to make the content creation process easy and straightforward.
When creating your content calendar, you will probably want to include fields such as the content title, type of content, and the stage of the buyer’s journey the content is targeting. This last part is very important for your overall strategy, and it’s what we will be discussing next.
The buyer’s journey consists of three stages through which every customer goes through before making a purchase. These three stages are Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
When creating content, you need to consider the stage of the buyer’s journey that your visitors are currently at and use that information to develop appropriate content.
If a visitor arriving to a particular piece of content is in the awareness stage, it makes little sense to try to use that content piece to sell your product to the visitor. Instead, you should take that opportunity to educate the visitor about his or her problem.
Your goal should be to move your customers forward in their buyer’s journey and guide them towards making a decision to purchase. After the awareness stage, the customer moves to the consideration stage, examining the different solutions for his or her problem.
For customers at this stage, it’s important to use your content to showcase how your product can help them and how it differs from other products.
Finally, at the decision stage, the customer is ready to purchase, and you should make sure to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
After we’ve covered the basics, let’s go over some content marketing ideas.
Having interactive content on your website can be a great way to attract potential customers. In order to create interactive content, you need to identify a problem that your customers have and then think of a way to help them solve that problem using interactive content such as apps or quizzes.
I suggest placing your interactive content on a dedicated page and then promoting that page through your website, as well as through social media, email marketing, etc.
If you’re looking for inspiration for interactive content, a great example is Sephora’s Virtual Artist app, which lets users apply makeup to their own photos to get an idea how it would actually look like.
Product guides are another great example of content marketing. You can use product guides to explain:
- How to use your products
- Which products to choose depending on the customers’ needs
- Ways of combining products to achieve a desired effect
Product guides are a staple of Huckberry’s content marketing strategy. They sell men’s clothing and gear, and publish guides such as 9 Best Men’s Boots for Every Fall Adventure and 8 Men’s Shirt Jackets for the Fall’s Best – and Worst Weather.
40% of shoppers start doing research for holiday shopping in November, with 50% starting before October. The holidays are the perfect opportunity to use gift guides to help your customers find gifts for their loved ones.
When using gift guides to promote your products, you have two options: pitching your products to other people’s guides, and creating your own gift guides. For best results, try using both approaches.
Follow these steps to start pitching your products to gift guides:
- Find websites in your niche/industry – Use Google to find websites in your niche that have already published gift guides in the past.
- Reach out – Find their contact information and reach out to them, either via email or their social media pages.
- Personalize your outreach – They probably receive a bunch of these requests around the holiday so try to personalize your outreach to grab their attention.
You can invite guest bloggers to write content for your brand. Do some research on blogs in your niche and reach out to people who you consider might be a good fit. You can also create a guest post submission page to let interested bloggers come to you.
When discussing a collaboration, make sure to let them know what exactly are they getting in return: a valuable backlink, traffic, or exposure. You’ll also need to explain what kind of content you expect from them in terms of length, amount of research required, etc.
70% of the top Google search results are occupied by videos. It’s estimated that video will comprise 80% of all Internet traffic by 2021.
The best videos tell a story and show the product being used. Your videos should also make viewers relate to your brand and overall message.
As a general rule, product videos should be short – up to 30 seconds in length. There are three main types of product videos you can create:
- General overview videos – These videos are meant to present your brand and product line without going into too many details.
- Product demonstrations – Used to show your product’s features and demonstrate how it should be used.
- Behind-the-scenes videos – Videos designed to show customers how your products are made, prepared, or shipped.
If you need help brainstorming ideas about what to include in your videos, here are some questions to get you started:
- What are your product’s key features? What problems does it solve? Explain how your product can make your customers’ lives better.
- What are the most frequently asked questions about your product? Use your product videos to answer these and make it easier for viewers to decide to purchase your product.
- Does your product or brand have an interesting story behind it? If it does, let your customers know about it.
Apart from posting your product videos on your website, you can also share them on your Facebook page, Instagram account, and Youtube channel for additional exposure.
User-generated content consists of reviews, photos, videos and other types of content created by your customers. This type of content has been shown to build trust and increase conversions, with 84% of millennials stating that user-generated content influences their purchasing decisions.
Since users create the content themselves, user-generated content is a very cost-effective content marketing solution for ecommerce businesses.
User-generated content helps create social proof by showing other people using your products and being satisfied with them. It’s also a way of differentiating yourself from other brands.
There are a lot of ways to invite users to share how they feel about your products. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Email your subscribers – Send an email to your email list subscribers and ask them to share their experience. Consider making an email like this a part of your welcome email sequence.
Invite your followers to share – Invite your social media followers to share photos or videos of them using your products. Create a branded hashtag and suggest your followers use it when posting content related to your products.
Create a competition – Give your customers an incentive to create content by offering a prize such as a discount or a free product for the best photo or video created by a customer. The watch brand Shore Projects rewards customers who post the best Instagram photos and videos featuring their products with a free Shore Projects watch every month.
Build a dedicated page for user-generated content – Create a dedicated page on your website where you will feature user-generated content. If you’re also hosting a competition related to your user-generated content campaign, this page is a great place to let people know about it.
GlassesUSA features their customers’ photos on their Social Shop page, which consists of a shoppable feed of photos showing satisfied customers wearing eyeglasses from GlassesUSA.
You should also be sharing the content your customers create (with their permission) any chance you get. Here are some places where you can display user-generated content:
- Homepage – Feature the best photos or videos your customers created on your homepage.
- Product pages – Place user-generated content on your product pages to increase conversions by displaying social proof and showing your products being used.
- Social media – Repost your customers’ content on your social media pages to give them more exposure.
Curate content from websites related to your industry and share them with your customers through your blog, email, and social media. Make sure to add some additional value for your customers by adding relevant insight or presenting the content in an entertaining way.
Repurposing content is a great way to create more content in less time as well as to make sure that you are fully taking advantage of all your content. Here are some ways to repurpose your content:
- Blog posts – You can use the content of your blog posts to create infographics, videos, ebooks, email courses, and podcast episodes.
- Videos – You can transcribe your videos into blog posts or use the audio to create a podcast.
If time is the only thing stopping you from engaging in content marketing, you should consider outsourcing your content creation needs. Plenty of freelancers and agencies specialize in content creation and content marketing and would be happy to help you. Upwork, in particular, is a good place to find freelancers that can help with content creation.
Content marketing doesn’t end with creating the content. You’ll need to actively promote your content as well. Here are some ways you can promote your content and increase its overall reach:
You should start by optimizing your content for search engines. This means optimizing meta title and description tags where possible, as well as using any relevant keywords that you’d like your content to rank for in search engines.
To help your content rank even better, you should also try to build some links. The easiest way to do this is to contact other websites in your industry and offer to write guest posts for them and then link to your content within those posts.
After optimizing your content for search engines, the next step is to promote it on social media. Post your content on all your social media channels.
When looking to promote blog posts on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, make sure to create some compelling images to go along with it. This will help to capture your followers’ attention more easily.
You should definitely utilize your email list when trying to promote your content. The people who signed up to your email list are most likely interested in your content and would love to check it out.
Send your email subscribers a weekly or bi-weekly email showcasing your new blog post, video, or guide.
Paid advertising is the quickest way to reach more people with your content. The most popular paid advertising options include:
- Google Adsense – suitable for promoting blog posts. Depending on your niche and the keywords you use, this can be a costly option. If you have a small advertising budget, you might want to consider using social media ads instead.
- Youtube Ads – a great way to promote your video content and give it an initial boost.
- Social media ads – Social media ads on networks such as Facebook and Instagram are a great, low-cost solution for getting your content in front of more people.
Promoting your content with the help of influencers is a great way to get your content seen by a large number of people. If you’re already engaging in influencer marketing, ask the influencers you’re currently collaborating with if they would be willing to share your new content with their followers.
Otherwise, look for influencers in your niche and message them about a potential collaboration. You will probably need to provide some sort of incentive for them to be interested in working with you.
Content marketing is a long-term strategy that will generate traffic and sales for years to come. Remember, When it comes to content marketing, consistency is key. Make sure to stick to your content calendar and keep producing content on a regular basis.
It’s better to focus on quality rather than quantity. Instead of pumping out as much content as you can in the shortest amount of time, try to create the best resource possible on every subject you tackle.