In an era where the consumer’s impatience level keeps soaring at an alarming rate, and every business owner keeps shouting “Buy! Buy! Buy!” at the top of their voice, in a desperate attempt to catch that ever-fleeting attention of prospects, one thing that will make your business stand out – and of course, win the competition – remains content. A qualitative, useful content strategy that is.
In all its various forms (text, graphics, audio, video, etc), content’s throne as king seems established forever in marketing and business. E-commerce isn’t left out – if anything, content has (or should have) a bigger throne in ecommerce marketing. How I love the concept of “content and commerce!”
Bottom line: if you want to be successful at ecommerce, you’ll need an effective marketing strategy that combines content and commerce at its fore front while reaching out to potential and established customers. If you don’t believe me, simply watch the most successful ecommerce businesses out there and see what they do.
But how exactly do you create an effective content marketing strategy for your ecommerce business? What does the strategy entail? What type of content do you use at what stage of your business? These are questions I had when foraying into ecommerce – both as a marketer and a business owner. And these are the questions I seek to answer in this article.
As a digital marketer whose strength is content, I’ve always had the dream of owning an ecommerce store, believing I have all it takes to succeed in it. I knew fully understanding and wielding the power of content and commerce is the key to success in this game.
Luckily for me, under the tutorship of expert ecommerce marketing specialist, Ezra Firestone of Smart Marketer, and from my little ecommerce experience, I found the 4-step content strategy every ecommerce business needs to become wildly successful.
What are the 4 steps in this content strategy?
While consistency is key in executing this simple strategy (or you’d be wasting your time and not get the best results), here are the 4 steps of an ideal ecommerce content strategy:
No, I wouldn’t leave you with just this list; let’s discuss each step, one after the other – and what each should entail.
This is definitely not something you’ve never heard before. And this step contains nothing special than creating content – literally. It’s reasonable to say your ecommerce content strategy should start with creating the several pieces of content that will power it.
There are different types of content, however, and they don’t come equal. The differences can be found in type or format of content; the stage of your funnel at which each piece of content will be used; purpose of your content; etc.
Basically you want to create content in various formats to meet various preferred consumption styles, but if you’d stick to one format, then let it be video. You already know by now that video is great for connecting with your audience on a deeper, more personal level. And video is good for social love.
More so, you want to create various content assets to meet every type of audience that comes in contact with your business; cold (meeting you for the first time), warm (on your email list or social media) and hot (done business with you).
This is all about making your content consumable. Like I already said above, even if you choose video as your ideal content format, you want your audience to be able to consume your content in any format they desire.
You can easily break your video into several other formats: transcribed into PDF; published as audiobook or on a podcast, etc.
You also want to make sure each piece of content is optimized for the channel on which it would be consumed.
Optimizing content goes as far as pulling the tweetables and creating several image quotes from within your content, which can be used on social media. Let me not get ahead of myself…
You’ve created stellar content, you’ve made it consumable, now it’s time to proactively invite people to consume your content. If you’ve not guessed yet, this is basically content distribution across several channels.
It involves pushing your content out to your email lists, social media lists/pages, store blog, and every other place your fans, customers and prospects are hanging out.
The goal here is to get as much organic reach as possible. Posting same content a couple times will definitely increase your reach.
The final step in your content strategy is to increase your content’s reach – beyond how far each would otherwise have gone. You’ll basically be breaking your limits and reaching more people – more prospects and even more existing customers that would ordinarily have missed it – by using ads to get more eyeballs to your content
On whatever platform your prospects and customers are hanging out, you want to back your content up with some promotion.
If it’s content at the top of your funnel, you want to boost it and get as many new readers as possible. If it’s content used down the funnel, you want to use retargeting ads to reach already warm or hot audience.
Simple, huh? Told ya!
The strategy is nothing out of the ordinary, but its power is in consistently following it. You’ve probably heard it before that showing up is half the battle. That’s true in this case.
All you need to make your content work for growing your business is to consistently create content; optimize each piece of content for easy and enjoyable consumption; syndicate each to channels where your ideal audience hangs out, and; amplify or promote every piece of content you create in order to get more readers and expand your business at each stage of your funnel.
That, my friend, is how you build an unstoppable ecommerce business through the power of content.
What is your best tip on building a powerful content strategy? Share it with us below or Tweet us!