How to leverage content marketing for e-commerce: 7 tips for success

We may be on the far side of the pandemic, but things are hardly business as usual. Sure, retail doors are opening again, but e-commerce has undoubtedly redefined the shopping experience for many. 

Over the course of the pandemic, consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience of packages arriving on their doorstep. With the click of a button, we can indulge the merest whim. In fact, experts predict that 53% of UK retail sales will be through e-commerce by 2028. The pandemic has certainly advanced the migration of shoppers online. 67% of consumers say they have made more online purchases since March 2020, with a further 27% reporting that their online shopping habits have increased considerably. 

What’s more, despite the highest inflation rate in 40 years, e-commerce sales are still holding up. Online sales increased by 7.1% between February and April 2022, suggesting that consumer confidence isn’t dwindling as initially thought. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the number of brands flocking to eCommerce has also drastically increased. It’s estimated that there are up to 14 million eCommerce stores across the globe.

Given the wealth of sites available to consumers, it can be easy for your brand to get lost in the shuffle (or the search engine). In order to stand out, you’ll need a fortified content marketing strategy. Content is the key ingredient behind the success of any eCommerce business. It can help you engage customers, establish your brand as an expert and drive customers to make purchases. 

Read on to learn more about the importance of e-commerce content marketing, and how your business can make the most out of content.

 

Why is content marketing for e-commerce important?

Let’s face it, content marketing is easily one of the most neglected parts of any digital marketing strategy. But it shouldn’t be! The purpose of content marketing for e-commerce is to create original, high-quality content that addresses consumer pain points and drives more users to your website – be it through blog posts, infographics or even videos.

In order to understand the importance of e-commerce content marketing, it’s a good idea to look at the potential outcomes from two perspectives.

 

Generating new leads 

Sure, you may already have a lot of organic traffic coming into your website and that’s great! But remember, numbers don’t always present the full picture. If these users are giving you clicks and impressions but aren’t converting, it may be time to develop an effective content marketing strategy.

When done right, content marketing can increase qualified traffic, the number of users that have a genuine interest in your products and services. Qualified users are much more likely to covert, so it’s easy to see why nearly 40% of marketers say content is an integral part of their overall marketing strategy.

Not to mention, e-commerce content marketing can help push users further along the sales funnel. Of course, the conversion funnel will look different for every e-commerce site. However, there are a few constants and common themes for most businesses. A typical customer journey would involve consumers searching for a particular product or topic, clicking on one of the first results that pop up, and then interacting with it. Whether users make a purchase will entirely depend on the quality of the content on your website. You should treat your e-commerce store as a living, breathing entity, with every piece of content that’s published serving a vital role in facilitating interactions with users and search engines.

You should treat your e-commerce store as a living, breathing entity

Above all, content marketing for e-commerce can help build trust and credibility. If you produce quality content, the more positive associations visitors will have with your brand. Though, consistency is key! Consistent branding can increase revenue by up to 23% and improve your bottom line.

 

Retaining existing customers

More than that, an effective content strategy could be the difference between encouraging users to purchase more of your products and driving customers to seek out other brands. At the end of the day, you don’t want the hard work (and money!) it takes to acquire existing customers to go down the drain. Yes, it’s important to focus on attracting new customers. But it’s equally important to not neglect your existing customer base. After all, these are users who are already interested in your products and services. 

But don’t just take our word for it. The numbers speak for themselves. Customers are 32% more likely to return to your website if you have an effective content marketing strategy in place. Plus, retaining customers through content creation can be an easy win for most businesses and provide a good return on investment. 

Ideally, your website should serve as the first port of call for both existing and new customers.

Although it may be difficult to attribute an exact cash value to each piece of content you publish, the truth is that a comprehensive content strategy can significantly increase your revenue.

A  simple 5% increase in customer retention can make a world of difference for your business, increasing revenue by up to 95%. 

With that in mind, it’s important to not lose sight of what’s already in front of you. Ideally, your website should serve as the first port of call for both existing and new customers. By providing valuable content, you can attract new users and encourage existing customers to come back to your website when they need similar information or want to make a purchase.

Effective strategies for e-commerce content marketing

Now you know the ins and outs of e-commerce content marketing, it’s important to understand how to market your business and create a winning strategy.

We know, that figuring out where to start with content marketing for e-commerce can be tricky. But your website isn’t just a place to sell products and services. Your website should house a wealth of content and valuable information for consumers to enjoy, learn from and share. 

Building an effective content strategy is simply about understanding your industry and your audience. Not to mention, your business goals will also determine the type of content you create. There are several different ways you can create content to market your e-commerce business.

Here’s how to market your e-commerce business using content.

 

1 . Captivate audiences with blog posts

Blogs have been around as long as the internet itself and, at some point or another, you will have come across a blog or two whilst surfing the web. But let’s be clear, blogging isn’t just for ‘mummy bloggers’ and freelancers. There are over 600 million active blogs across the globe – from food and travel blogs to media and corporate blogs.

In 2018 alone, research shows that half of the top 200 leading Fortune 500 companies had a corporate blog. What’s more, blogging is a tried and tested strategy that can open up a wealth of opportunities for e-commerce businesses. If you take blogging seriously, you can expect to generate 67% more monthly leads than your competitors that don’t blog. Through blogging, you can build a community that is keen to hear more from your business and even get the word out about your products and services. So, it’s no surprise that 60% of content marketers say that strategies such as blogging have helped them generate leads or demand. 

Through blogging, you can build a community that is keen to hear more from your business and even get the word out about your products and services.

Blogging is the perfect way to boast about your achievements, values and culture. Think of it as a platform to share your views, comment on relevant industry topics, offer expert advice and give your brand a voice. That way, prospective customers can get a real feel for the DNA of your e-commerce site. 

Plus, the great thing about blog posts is they provide more space for you to cover topics your audience is interested in compared to say a tweet or Facebook post. You may be wondering how to go about starting a corporate blog. Well, it’s incredibly easy to generate organic traffic through blog posting. All you need to do is target long-tail keywords that visitors are more likely to search for.

2. Show off your products with original images

In today’s digital age, consumers value the convenience that online shopping provides. Having said that, it can be tricky for consumers to buy a product they can’t physically touch. This is where product images come in handy. After all, humans are visual by nature.

Sure, it’s no secret that product images are the key to success in content marketing for e-commerce. But if you want to sell a product online, you can’t just use any images. If your blog and product pages feature a myriad of low-quality images, the sale is pretty much dead from the moment users click onto your website – no matter how great your content is. A picture is worth a thousand words, so having high-quality images on your blog could be the difference between users sticking around to read your content and consuming your competitors’ content instead.

What’s more, images can help boost the SEO (search engine optimisation) value of your content. If you provide search indexers with more information to pull from, such as alt-text and file names, you can potentially further increase the organic search rankings of your content. So simple, yet so effective.

 

3. Convert viewers into customers with video content

Video content helps to create an immersive experience that increases engagement and builds trust – be it through product demos, promotional videos or even just someone talking about the product. Not only does video content help to demonstrate the quality and authenticity of your products and services, but it can also help you show that you know your stuff.

In fact, visitors are 73% more likely to make a purchase when they can watch videos on an eCommerce site.

We get it, producing high-quality video content for an e-commerce site can pinch your pocket, but the results are unbelievable. In fact, visitors are 73% more likely to make a purchase when they can watch videos on an eCommerce site. In that sense, the numbers are on your side and utilising video as part of your content marketing strategy could help boost revenue.

4. Utilise customer testimonials and reviews

You may have heard of the term ‘website window-shoppers’ or ‘online window shoppers’. It’s unlikely that these users just stumbled across your site by chance, but for some reason or another, they jump ship at the last minute and abandon their carts. Part of the reason users leave your website before they decide to purchase maybe because there aren’t enough trust signals.  When you shop online, you can’t inspect the quality of the items before you make a purchase. And for this reason alone, many consumers do not always feel comfortable shopping from e-commerce sites right off the bat. 

With this in mind, it’s important to not only rely on photos, videos and written content. It’s also sensible to utilise trust signals – be it in the form of reviews, case studies or testimonials. If visitors can see that other customers have had positive experiences purchasing from your website, this will reduce their uncertainty and help to establish your business as a reputable seller.

Remember, the competition is stiff. Today, there are millions of e-commerce sites that are easily accessible to users. Consumers are constantly shopping around and have the option to simply abandon a website they are unsure about in favour of one they feel is more reliable. 

In order to turn visitors into buyers, transparency is no longer optional. 87% of visitors read reviews and a further 79% trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation. What’s more, research suggests that consumers are 270% more likely to make purchases if you display at least five quality reviews on your website. Hence, it’s worth creating case studies and displaying views on your website, where appropriate.

 

5. Build product pages

Ideally, it should be easy for users to navigate from your homepage or landing pages to a product page. Effective product pages can really help to influence consumer decision making. When writing content for these pages, you should use language that reflects the consumer’s vocabulary. Avoid using terms and phrases that are will go over consumers’ heads. This will potentially alienate customers, as opposed to encouraging them to make a purchase. 

When writing content for these pages, you should use language that reflects the consumer’s vocabulary.

It’s equally important to be concise when writing product descriptions. You should try to provide as much detail as possible, such as the size, material, function, and even handling and shipping information for each product. But be mindful of providing unnecessary detail.

It’s wise to separate your product pages into categories. That way, users have a clear idea of what they will find when they click on that particular category listing. Ideally, it should take users no more than two clicks to get to the desired product category. Say you own an e-commerce site that sells outdoor furniture. It’s a good idea to list products by type. For example, you could use terms such as festoon lights, outdoor bean bags and parasols. You should then create a unique landing page for each product type with a listing that features all the products that fall under the category.

6. Answer questions with FAQ pages

An FAQ page does exactly what it says on the tin: it publicly answers common questions your customers have. This in turn can take some of the pressure off your customer support team and streamline the buyer’s journey. Did you know that 69% of online shoppers search for answers to their problems independently before reaching out directly to the business with their questions? If you’re not making the most out of an FAQ page, you could, in fact, be creating rather than eliminating obstacles on the path to purchase.

Yes, FAQ pages answer important questions people have about your products and services. But when done right, FAQ pages can serve several different functions. Chief among these is putting consumers at ease and alleviating purchase anxiety when shopping online. It would be nearly impossible for product descriptions to address every pain point your customers may have. And it would be tricky to try to answer every question in a product description without overwhelming visitors.

7. Provide product buying guides

Product guides can help you stand out from the crowd and further establish your business as a thought leader in the industry. In layman’s terms, a buying guide is simply an article that addresses the considerations consumers make when purchasing a specific product or service. Such guides can be especially useful for ‘high-ticket’ items like appliances and furniture that the average consumer may not know that much about.

These guides can include information and advice on everything from differences in price and brand to functionality, style and even size. If you sell washing machines on your site, you may want to create a buying guide on choosing the best washing machine to meet your family’s needs. Similarly, if you sell mobile phones, you may want to create a guide that compares the features of each phone and the various styles available. It will all boil down to what you sell and understanding the tough decisions consumers have to make at this point in the buyer’s journey.

Remember, buying guides need to be informative, factual and, most importantly, point consumers in the right direction. At the end of the day, the content you publish should help visitors make optimal decisions that work for them and their wallets. If your guide is accurate and leads to successful purchases, this will help build trust and loyalty with customers.

Buying guides need to be informative, factual and, most importantly, point consumers in the right direction.

Hopefully, you now feel inspired to develop an effective content marketing strategy that will help propel your e-commerce site to the next level. But we understand, that not every business has the expertise to make content marketing for e-commerce a success. But don’t worry!

At Assisted Digital, our team of experts can help you create content that engages customers, elevates brand awareness and performs well on search engines. Get in touch today and see why we are specialists when it comes to content marketing for e-commerce.