Content marketing is not so universally used in the eCommerce industry as a method of driving traffic and sales, but it can be insanely effective. The type of eCommerce sites that can typically benefit from good content marketing are ones serving niche markets where your customers share a common interest, like a hobby or a profession. The common interest is what makes content marketing work well in these situations. You can write content that attracts interest & engagement from potential customers while building a sense of authority and confidence in them regarding your brand.
If you have a website that literally sells anything and everything, like Amazon, then what would you write a blog article about that would help your overall sales? Not that it isn’t possible to use content marketing to promote your best selling items, but by having one constant niche interest and a varied catalog of stuff to sell to that niche market, you can continue to pile on the content and keep the same people coming back for more, both content & products.
Whatever category your store falls into, or even if it is beyond categorizing, if you are going to run a content marketing campaign then let’s look at some things you could be doing to improve your efforts.
People’s interest levels in something can be determined online simply by looking at the engagement it receives. Every website knows this. That is why YouTubers beg for the likes, subscribes and bell action activity. It is why provocative posts from your patriotic uncle dare people to share, suggesting they are too cowardly to do so. Social media sites see engagement as interest, interest means more time on platform, more time on platform means more ad impressions, more ad impression means more money. So their algorithms prioritize highly engaged posts.
How can we use this in our strategy? Well, Buzzsumo.com actually allows us to type keywords in and see what articles with titles containing those keywords got social engagement on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, how much they got, and then ranks them by total.
If SEO is a decent part of your content marketing strategy then you can also Google your keywords to see what comes up. How high an article ranks is generally a fairly accurate idea of not only its popularity with the search engine for that search term, but also amongst the niche audience that are searching for it too.
Your mission, pick the best ones and write better versions!
Try adding some new takes and angles on the subject. You can also include some fresh media to help make your point. Pictures, graphs, charts and infographics may engage readers more and give them a fresh view on the topic.
In marketing, people think they have to always be a bit sly. I guess it comes with the reputation marketing has. But this not true, quite the opposite. You want to come across as honest and knowledgeable so people trust you. With this in mind, why not just ask your target audience what they want to read about? There are two main ways to do this…
No matter your niche or market, it is incredibly likely that there is a community based around it somewhere online, whether it be a Facebook group, a subreddit or even an old school style forum. Get in amongst them, find out what their popular talking points are, engage in the activity and while you’re there sleuthing around, why not just ask people what you think a good article to write for your blog would be? Hell, it gives you an excuse to promote your blog when they inevitably ask to see it out of curiosity.
There are a few ways to do this. You could ask the readers to leave suggestions in the comments, you could have a contact form that takes suggestions, or my favourite, you have a popup box that asks the visitor what topics they would most like to read about next, give them a selection of topics you think would do well and log what they click. You can use this feedback to dictate your next article and update the optional topics as time goes on.
If you have a bit of a mailing list already then you can ask them via email. Sending out the occasional email to ask for suggestions is fine. Just make sure you have the right ‘reply-to’ email set and ask them to simply reply with suggestions.
Just like the previous method, if you have some ideas already then you can make the email interactive with unique links for the options. Clicking on the link records their answer so you can see which one got the most votes.
Obviously the goal is to write content so good that people can’t resist the urge to share it on every platform they use, and then sign up for some new ones just to share your article some more. But before you do that, you need to get that content in front of that person's face in the first place.
There are obviously many ways to go about doing this and a nice little way I like to do this is to find people who shared a similar article, preferably one with a following of potential purchasers, and share your article with them. Hopefully they will share on.
The easier it is for someone to share an article, the more likely it is that they will. That’s just common sense. It is why Facebook introduced the ‘share now’ button to streamline getting a post out there with minimal clicks. Make sure you have these on your blog articles pages, clearly visible, so people can share with minimal friction. Having them share off your site keeps them on side too, which is always a bonus.
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