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“Content is the King” you might have heard this again and again. Well, it is the fact. If you want to have good store then you need great content which outranks your competitors and peers. But how you get consistent good content ideas which can help you to create such content. This article is all about finding those content ideas which you can easily implement to drive conversions for your E-commerce Store.
Content marketing can increase your conversion rate by almost six times! The average conversion rate with content marketing is 2.9%, compared to only 0.5% for sites not using it.
Why does content marketing improve conversions?
Content allows you to connect with your customers. Customers crave connections. They want to feel engaged. If you do a good job connecting, it will increase engagement and brand loyalty, which will boost conversions and increase sales. Don’t worry if you’re not already using content marketing for your e-commerce store.
So you tell yourself for the thousandth time since you launched your business. Meanwhile, you’re spending way too much on advertising costs, your brand awareness is going nowhere, and your competitors are ranking on Google and gobbling up the market share. If only there was a guide that outlined everything you needed to do to build a content site from scratch, even without an expert on board.
Well, consider it done. Here are 21 ways to help you do just that!
1. Start by picking one form of content
Don’t waste time, money, and energy trying to tackle all forms of content across all platforms. The quickest way to get started is to start with one thing. One type of content. One platform. Which one is best will depend on your product, service, niche market, and customer type. However, if you’re at a loss, start with email content. 74% of the most successful B2C marketers are using email as their primary way of distributing content.
It is important to start. You can start with single image, carousel images, videos, blog posts, whitepapers, slides, guides etc. Choose which you can develop quickly and then resize and redistribute content to other platforms.
2. Offer information ‘pamphlets’ such as size charts and FAQ sheets
Size charts aren’t only useful for clothes and shoes. They can be useful for all kinds of products such as tools, furniture, and large or bulky equipment. Look at your product offering. Do you have anything that might cause a customer to ask one of the following questions?
Will it fit in my car? Will I have space for that in my…? (Could be in their house, on their deck, in their office, on their toolbelt, or in any other relevant location.)
Will I be able to comfortably fit in it or on it at my height or weight?
Is it going to be too large for me to carry by myself?
FAQ sheets are a great way to have a handy resource for commonly asked questions. Do customers often call or comment about the same questions? Create a resource for them to find the answers themselves.
If you’re offering a product, think about questions such as the following:
- Do you deliver to my location?
- How much will shipping cost?
- How long does shipping take?
- What is your return policy?
- What if it breaks?
Providing a service? Consider these:
- Can I get a refund if I’m unhappy with the service?
- Is there a free trial period?
- Do you have a loyalty program or a discount if I sign up for a longer period?
- What is included in your service package?
- What’s the difference between your basic and premium packages?
You can revisit and update your FAQ sheet as new questions come up that you realize others may be wondering about as well. Similar to a product or service guide, FAQ sheets help build trust with your customers.
3. Create product or service videos to show your offerings
People are visually oriented. So it shouldn’t surprise you that the next suggestion is to use video. There are lots of ways to use video marketing for your e-commerce site. You can do short ad campaigns, in-depth webinars, online courses, or anything in between. Statistics tell that good product videos can boost the cart sizes by 174%, and increase the likelihood of a purchase by 85%. As such, product videos have huge potentiality in driving sales for any ecommerce sites.
Make a viral ad campaign.
First, target a length that matches your medium. Then make sure your ad campaign has a hook. If you want it to go viral, it needs to be catchy and stand out from the rest. Dark humor and novel ideas help your campaign take off.
Offer an online course.
Webinars and online courses are a great way to engage your audience and grow your e-commerce sales. An interactive webinar is a great way to build engagement. You can use it to interact with real people and still record it to offer later. You can also use a platform such as YouTube to create a teaching series.
Other places you can offer a course include:
Note: Product description also matters.
Since there are so many products, ecommerce sites tend to slip back to using the manufacturer’s copy in the product description. This is not a good idea since several other ecommerce websites might be doing the same, and therefore you won’t be able to distinguish yourself in the niche.
So, taking the time and effort to write good product copy, while a small change, can make consumers really happy (especially if you talk about the product experience and not just blandly speak of the technical stuff like ‘this product constitutes this percentage of this material’).
4. Build product or service guides for your customers
Choosing how to share your content is one decision. The other is deciding what to share. A quick and easy way to start is to build guides for your customers. Provide resources on how to use, assemble, or fix your products. Offer in-depth details about what services you offer. Creating content for your customers that can provide information and answer questions is a great way to build trust. It can also help move them through the purchasing funnel to the ready-to-buy phase. And it’s a good way to share information on product updates to keep customers.
Make sure you use these guides as a place to educate customers. Don’t use guides as a place to sell! Guides should be used to show your audience that you care about educating them and helping them make the best decisions. And make sure you always include visuals. Consumers want to see how things work and what they look like. They want to be able to visualize how to use and care for products. A great way to combine information and visuals into a guide is to create an infographic.
People love infographics. If you create a great one, people will share it. This will provide links back to you and help you increase your reach to new potential customers. Here’s what you do: when making infographics, always cite your sources. If those sources are one of your linkreators or niche influencers, all the better. Once you’ve got your infographics up, you can then reach out to those sources and tell them that you’ve created a cool infographic based on their info. Most of the time, they’ll be happy to share your content, especially if it’s visually pleasing and well-made. Lastly, you can reuse these infographics for other marketing initiatives.
5. Share customer stories
Social proof builds the trust about the brand and its offerings. Share the customer success stoies on your social media platforms to build the trust about your brand.
You’re showing potential customers that their peers love your product. You’re also getting your customers to do the content creation for you. It’s real, authentic, and cheap to produce. You can share customer success stories about using your products or services.
Do you already have some great product reviews? Reach out to those customers and ask them to provide more information. Try to find original or inspirational stories, and then request permission to share what you’ve learned.
You can also create competitions to encourage your customers to share stories, pictures, or videos that help promote your product. A competition between fans is a great way to boost interaction and get people talking about you.
6. Build a glossary of terms, jargon, and acronyms specific to your industry or niche
Every industry always seems to have its own special language. There will always be beginners in every field, trying to learn and grow. Customers at the very beginning of your sales funnel (in the awareness stage), might just be learning about not just your company, but your entire industry.
Imagine you are a customer looking to buy your very first snowboard. You check out one e-commerce site, and there’s a lot of talk about how well a board can butter, whether or not it has a stomp pad and if it’s a twin tip. It all sounds fancy, but you have no idea what it is or if you need it on a snowboard. Then you check out a competitor’s site. Every time they use a snowboard-specific term, it’s linked to a glossary they also have on their site.
7. Create Ultimate guides
As the name suggests, ultimate guides are monster articles that contain everything you need to know about a certain topic. They’re different from an expanded listicle since they don’t necessarily follow a “list” format. These guides are quite labor-intensive; they can reach an average of 3.5-5k words at a given time and can take about two weeks to make.
Still, they’re worth the effort because you end up ranking for many keywords aside from creating really valuable content. It gives you a lot of internal linking opportunities, too.
How To Create Ultimate Guides
Organizing the flow of information is key in creating an effective ultimate guide article. Here are some tips on how to make a killer Ultimate Guide:
– Make sure that the topics you discuss are relevant to the user’s inquiry. Take a step back and think about the intent behind the search. What search intent are you trying to satisfy? Are they seeking more info or are they ready to purchase? We’ll discuss more about user intent below.
– Consider your audience’s level of expertise. Is the content specifically for beginners who want to learn something new? Or are you writing for people who already know the basics and want to level up?
– Make it as reader-friendly as possible by putting a table of contents at the beginning.
– Include a wide variety of multimedia content like GIFs, photos, videos, and graphics to break the text and supplement the article.
– Instead of creating random links in the text, create banners that serve as a directory for related articles.
8. Share user tips, tricks, and hacks
Product hacks present interesting ways to use an item. Inventive customers can come up with crazy new ideas for ways to use any item, even something as simple as a binder clip. Giving your readers ideas for novel, original or interesting ways to use your product will help increase engagement. Even people who have no intention of using the hacks may be enticed to buy your product just based on the hype created.
It can be an amusing experiment to find out about the many uses of a product. You can combine this with a customer contest to get the best of both worlds. Host a contest asking customers to share their most innovative product hacks. Make sure they have to include pictures or videos and have them share their ‘contest entries’ on social media.
9. Provide case studies that demonstrate how your product or service helps people
“Does it really work?”
This is probably one of the most common questions people ask before buying something. To make it easier to convince potential customers, you can include case studies on your e-commerce website. Make sure your case studies highlight how your products or services helped meet your customers’ needs. When other people with the same needs read these studies, there’s a greater chance that they will also want to buy from you.
10. Provide research studies or white papers as resources for customers who want to know more
Unlike case studies, research studies and white papers provide information about wider topics. For example, a case study might cover how your specific product has helped customers. A research study shows how that type of product helps customers. If someone details how email marketing program has grown customers’ sales, that’s a case study. If someone provide lots of details on how email marketing increases company sales, that’s a research study. Of course, it needs to include lots of solid research across multiple companies to qualify.
Research studies are not company-specific. However, offering them can still help customers choose you over the competition. It builds trust. They will be more likely to see you as an expert in the field. Plus, customers will like not having to switch from one website to another to get the information they need. There’s plenty of publicly available data you can use to create research studies and white papers.
The great thing about high-quality, well-researched sources is that they tend to be re-shared, referenced, and linked to. If you can build a reputation as a resource center for your niche, you will gain tons of backlinks from other sites referencing your content.
Bloggers, marketers, and journalists need to be able to find research constantly. They’ll eagerly link to a reputable website that has taken the time to gather solid information. Especially if it’s presented in an easy-to-read or visual format. Building a link-worthy content resource center takes time. You’ll be curating the “best of the best” when it comes to content in your area of focus.
How do you start building a resource center?
- Subscribe to industry-leading blogs in your niche.
- Search for trends from top research organizations like ComScore and Pew Research.
Combine charts, infographics, survey findings and statistics that you find.
11. Create evergreen content
Start by creating content based on keywords your target customers generally look for – such as “best bluetooth speakers” or “makeup tutorials.”
Do keyword research using Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Trends to identify topics that your target market constantly wants to learn about. Avoid presenting viewers with big blocks of pure text. Enrich your content with visualizations, such as infographics, visually appealing product images, and in-use photographs to generate more interest and keep readers scrolling to the end.
Present content in other formats (e.g. slide presentations and videos). People love these because they won’t have to read as much to get the information they need.
Know what your competitors are creating. Offer a better user experience and make your content a better reference for the same information (10x content). Add bonus tips, resourceful links, and other relevant information that will appeal to your audience.
Make sure your content is unique and comprehensive. Be as extensive and in-depth as necessary when providing product or industry knowledge. Make it your professional goal to have the best evergreen content about that topic to genuinely become an authority in your space. Update your content if necessary, especially if you’re building lists and compiling tips.
12: Instill a Sense of Urgency
Have you ever made an impulse buy? I’d be willing to bet that this decision was fueled by a sense of urgency.
When you instill urgency into your marketing messaging, your audience feels the pressure and is more likely to give in and make the purchase now. This is why running short-term discounts and deals while being fully transparent on when they end is going to help drive more retail sales.
Take this example from an email I recently received from the online retailer Myntra. Not just one, but TWO pairs of leggings at dirt cheap price! The problem is the deal ends on Monday, so tempted shoppers know they need to get a move on or else they will be stuck paying full price when they need new workout gear.
13. Build detailed checklists for your customers
If you’re offering a service, such as wedding planning, checklists are easy. Create a checklist of everything they need to plan for, all the items they need to order, or all the suppliers they need to contract.
Selling a product? You can also create checklists!
Do you sell camping and outdoor equipment? Create checklists of what to pack for a hike or a camping trip.
Selling kitchen equipment? Provide cooking or shopping checklists.
Auto equipment provider? Make a list of what car owners should be checking for on a regular basis, or what they should have in their car’s emergency kit.
14. Gather and share curated content
People love roundup posts. Just like with resource centers, you’re providing all the information they want in one convenient location. Think about ways you can curate content to pull together ideas and add value to your customers. Perhaps you could curate a list of top people in your industry. Or you can build a list of the key statistics that you find on the web related to your niche. This sort of content takes less time to create because you’re simply pulling together content that already exists. All you need to do is attribute it to the original owners.
A popular form of content curation is sharing stories or emotional content tied to your industry, your mission, or a cause you support. Content in 2021 will be heavily-focused on storytelling. Try to choose one category of stories you can collect and share through your content, such as motivational stories. You can try to find a cause, nonprofit, or movement you can align with that suits your business. Then create content that promotes your commitment to the cause and spreads the word about their actions, progress, and mission.
15. Create promotions and advertisements
The quickest way to kill your content marketing is to do nothing after you create it. Creating content is only part of content marketing. The other half is promoting your content. Content promotion is just as important as content creation. There are three main channels you can use for advertising:
Social media – You can set up paid ads on social media sites such as Facebook.
Today life of many people revolves around social media, and that’s why e-merchants launch social media accounts to get closer to their potential customers even out of the store.
Having social media accounts is now an absolute must for online retailers promoting their products online. Not only they provide a perfect opportunity for customers to communicate with a brand and each other. Today they have become a perfect platform for promoting and even selling products online. One of the industry leaders, Instagram, supports businesses providing them with the opportunity to sell directly on the platform via posts and stories.
You may intensify your Facebook marketing efforts by putting a Facebook Shop Section to use, thus turning this social media giant one more sales channel. With its help, you’ll give visitors who come to your business page an opportunity to buy products without directly accessing your website. And the Facebook Custom Audiences tool will help you promote your products among the target audience.
Pinterest is another social networking site worth mentioning: more than 90% of its active Pinners use this platform to plan or even make their purchases.
Search engines – Google Adwords and Bing both offer PPC (pay per click) ads.
Businesses have recognized the importance of being savvy about online ads. Google arms merchants with an extensive set of tools to promote their products. With the help of the Ads, you can literally place your ad on any page in the search results and partner sites, thus boosting your reach by times.
In short, your ad will appear each time when a consumer searches for terms related to your product. This marketing option is quite expensive, but there are many success stories proving a point. Check out Google’s guide to Ads for more details.
Native ads – Pay sites to link to your content inside of their content (it usually doesn’t look like a typical ad).
Exploit the enormous potential of content marketing to propel your brand into fame by giving site visitors free access to valuable content. The more unique content you write, the higher search engine rankings you get.
It means that occasional visitors and regular customers will not be only readers of the blog. Attracted by your content, others will start flocking into the store, too. That is the reason why 53% of marketers see blogging as the top priority for their content marketing.
What content should you produce? It depends on your products. But queries that visitors use on your website may become a starting point for you. You may also describe useful product-related tips in a blog post, write guides and tutorials, conduct interviews with experts and influencers, work with guest bloggers
You don’t need to use paid advertising to be successful. However, it can be a fast way to get your content out there and working as soon as possible. If you’re going to advertise, make sure that you pick the promotional channel that matches your target audience. You also need to make sure the content type lines up with the channel.
16. Offer valuable personal data
Sharing personal data can help build trust with your customers and make them feel closer to you. For example, share the story of how you built your company, or what you’ve overcome to make it successful. Provide sneak peeks into your life or your business processes. A picture of how you build your product can make customers more interested. They will appreciate your transparency and trust your quality.
Personal stories provide something unique for you to offer. It’s just like customer stories, except it’s yours or your businesses’, not the end users’ stories. This can also be a faster, cheaper way to create content. You don’t have to compile research or findings as you would for case studies, research studies or curated content. Personal stories help you build your brand and stand out from the competition. Personal branding can have a huge impact on your sales.
17. Create Topic Maps
Now, there are some instances where you feel like you already have great topics in mind, but just can’t put a finger to what they actually are. Maybe you’ve run some prospective topics on a keyword research tool but they’re not giving very satisfactory results. Or perhaps you’re really excited to start writing but have too many ideas floating around your head. You need to pin those ideas down before they start floating away. To do this, we create topic maps.
A topic map is a brainstorming method we use to generate a web of interconnected ideas. To create a topic map:
– Write down one broad topic and create branches of subtopics around it.
– Then you create more subtopics under the subtopics until you get a network of ideas.
But don’t stop there. After you’ve organized your ideas, run these topics on a research tool and find the right keywords for your content.
18. Pay others to create content for you
There are a couple of different ways to do this. You can connect with influencers and get them to promote your e-commerce site through content they produce within their channels. Or you can pay writers to produce content for you on your site or within your channels.
Influencers are people who already have social standing with your target audience. They have followers that you want as customers. Think about who you know and who you want to know. Make a list of people you could leverage to reach new audiences and grow your business. Once you have that list completed, create a second list of dream partners that you’d love to work with at some point. These people could be celebrities, industry influencers, and others that you admire.
Once you have your lists, start reaching out to people and making connections. Make sure you have a good idea of how you’d like to partner with each person you reach out to. You need to offer them something in exchange for promoting your product. One way to do this is by offering sponsorship.
Do you know an influencer in your niche with a huge YouTube following?
Ask them if you can sponsor their next string of videos in exchange for them mentioning your business, or featuring a brief ad of your product. The partnership needs to be beneficial to both of you, and needs not to be too ‘sales-like.’ For example, them taking a picture of themselves using your product in real life will likely work better than them being paid to provide a review.
The other option is to hire a writer or blogger. One of the biggest mistakes with hiring a writer is choosing the cheapest you can find. Why pay $300 for a post when someone will do it for $10, right? Well, because a $10 article will be very low quality. Usually, the writers won’t even know your industry well enough to be competent.
So, how can you find a good writer?
You have three options.
Post an ad for a freelance writer on a job board (such as Craigslist or ProBlogger).
Use a content provider such as UpWork.
Contract an agency to take care of your content marketing.
19 Try Podcast Advertising
What is your audience listening to? The podcast trend has continued to grow at a steady rate year after year. In fact, 67 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly, which is a 14 percent year-over-year increase.
The great thing about podcasts is that there are so many in niche industries, so based on what you’re selling, and more importantly who you’re selling to, you can select the right podcast to pursue. Once you have discovered your audience’s choice of podcasts, invest in running some advertisements to sponsor the commercial breaks. This works incredibly well since listeners are typically driving or commuting to work and skipping these ads isn’t really an option.
20. Seek out guest bloggers to create content for you
Worried you don’t have the time or skillset to create your own content right away? You can seek out others to do it for you!
One way is to offer opportunities for guests to blog on your site. If you open up to guest bloggers, chances are you will have to reject 90% of the ones who pitch to you. This will still leave you with 10% that are good posts by quality writers.
How do you find guest bloggers?
One way is to create a guest post page on your site. It will start showing up in search engines as writers seek new opportunities to guest post. The other option is to proactively reach out to people you know are strong writers who may be open to guest posting. You can do this by finding competitor websites that offer guest posts and seeing who has been blogging there.
If you’re asking for free guest posts, you need to tell them what’s in it for them.
How much traffic does your site generate? Will you give them a byline and link to their website?
Make sure you’re very clear on what your expectations are whenever outsourcing your content efforts. If you publish content in a certain way (a typical length, style, etc.), let potential writers know that up front. Also, let them know what you’re looking for in a pitch.
21: Understand Your Seasonal Peaks and Plan Accordingly
Retail marketers are hopefully already aware of their business’s seasonal peaks. Whether it’s summer sales, or holiday peaks, retailers need to plan their campaigns FAR in advance of these seasonal peaks.
This includes things like adjusting ad spend, working with design for new creative, and executing seasonally relevant campaigns that will boost sales during these peak times. Planning is absolutely key for these peak times because competition is typically steeper, so upping spend and using ad scheduling tools to save time and not let thing slip through the cracks is critical.
There you have it. 21 ways to get started with creating content right away. The first thing is just to start. Pick a medium you’re comfortable with. Then select a content type you feel is a great match for your business, skill set, ability, and audience. If you’re not comfortable beginning your content marketing on your own, you can seek out guest bloggers, influencers or paid writers to help you out. Alternatively, you can try Digial Triangle’s Managed Services.
Finally, you can use promotions and paid advertisements to boost your content marketing efforts and reach more people faster. Once you’re in progress, there is a ton of information out there to help you expand your content marketing efforts and to help you improve.
Banking on a solid content marketing strategy is one of the cheapest and most sustainable ways to grow your business. You might not get results overnight, but when done right, great content can bring in leads —and customers— over a long period of time. It’s one of the best ways to future-proof your business.
The best part is that you don’t need to have an expert on board to create good content. With impeccable research, a thorough understanding of your audience’s needs, and the strategies we discussed above, you can create valuable content that both Google and your customers will love. Accept that it might not be perfect right away. Accept that you don’t know everything yet. Start building. You will improve over time.
You can reach out to Digital Triangle team for free consultation.