Content marketing has been around through the year and as marketers debate over who it is best suited for, and who isn’t, we tide into 2017 with it trending as marketing tactic that is the most effective to stand out in a competitive market. Case in point of competitive markets being, eCommerce.
The eCommerce industry has practically grown exponentially this year and will continue to do so in the next year as well. In fact, according to Statista, the global eCommerce sales are projected for growth from $275 billion to $1.35 trillion by 2018!
While the fact that consumers are becoming more open to online shopping than offline gives businesses the opportunity to take their products/services to a mass market, it is also evident that it will become a lot tougher to stand out from the crowd. Even driving the attention to your online store will be more challenging than ever!
So how does an eCommerce business counter the increasing market competition?
By embracing content marketing.
Why? Because the average conversion rates of websites following a well strategised content marketing strategy, is exponentially more than those websites that are only focusing on paid promotions.
If that’s not all, Demand Metric also states content marketing as the most effective tactic to engage with consumers on the channels that they are most active on. It is the one way for businesses to gain the faith of their customers, before nudging them towards a conversion and turning them into loyal customers by being more informative.
A post by industry expert Sujan Patel, on Inc also says that traditional marketing no longer works for eCommerce businesses. When every business is focusing on advertising and the conventional methods to reach out to their target market, those who want to succeed will be focusing on creating content that their audience loves.
The primary reason quoted being, eCommerce consumers having a really short attention span. This only goes to say how important it is to remain at the top of the consumer’s mind in today’s date and the only way to make it through without sounding salesy, is content.
So a quick answer to the title question – yes, blogging works for marketing an eCommerce business!
Ways to use content for marketing your online store
1. Focus on the keywords and drive in organic traffic
The very first approach of an online shopper when looking for a product, is to search for it. To be able to rank better in his search results – apart from the advertisements, keyword optimized content can be made use of.
Focus on the keywords that your online store wants to target, the products that associate the best with it and create content that ranks for those keywords. Since these won’t be the usual advertisements, consumers are more likely to trust them and click through to make a purchase. Be it an article listing down your new range of products or one on how to use them effectively.
2. Create product style guides or look books
Every change of season, 80% of us are searching for what’s trending in the fashion industry. We make sure that we’re up to date with trends – be it the clothing, the books to be read or the gadgets one needs to own, we like to see what’s being followed by the world and then make a decision about we are looking for.
You can use this type of content that serves as product style guides or look books based on seasons on your eCommerce blog. It will not just show how your products can be used, but also show your authority in the niche over the other stores that are targeting the same audience. The more you offer assistance, the better the consumer is able to make purchase decisions. And the better those decisions are, the more likely he is to be happy and remain loyal to your store brands.
For instance, this gorgeous look book by Burst into Bloom that uses product images and their styling to drive more sales.
3. Use influencers or celebrity endorsements to drive sales
Who’s the one celebrity or social media influencer that has been the inspiration behind your season’s look? We’re pretty sure you have one and it’s totally normal! Most online consumer purchases are driven by influence – those of his friends, family and most importantly those who he follows closely.
Using influencer or celebrity endorsements for your products helps you instantly relate with your target customers. They like a celebrity, they see him endorsing your online store and they trust you infinitely more just because they trust the influencer’s decisions.
For instance, Nykaa shared a content piece on their blog that featured Soha Ali Khan. In the post she shares her beauty secrets with the online store. Those who follow her closely, would definitely get driven to the article and henceforth, to the store to explore the products it has to offer. This increases the chances of a sale from the store itself!
4. Create how-to product videos
If the content marketing predictions for 2017 are to be believed, videos are going to become an important part of business growth strategies. With more than half of the internet consumer traffic being videos, we think this is one prediction that is definitely coming true and eCommerce stores need to be prepared for it.
Based on what your store is selling, create how-to guides that will come handy to your target audience. Be it a quick guide on how to create the season’s make up look as seen in a movie or tips on doing something better – of course, using the products that are available on your store. Optimize each of these videos and remember to provide links to each of the products featured in the video. You don’t want the watchers to search for these products on other stores.
For instance, Nykaa has a separate section for videos on its blog. From beauty tips to just about everything their target customers could be looking for, they have it all!
5. Go massive with visuals
Continuing on our point above, visuals are what are going to drive sales for eCommerce stores, so make sure your content strategy focuses on using them in a manner that your customers would like to see.
Share product pictures or styled pictures of your products on social media as well as your blog to let your target audience know how they look. The closer they look to what they are in real, the better are the decisions made by your audience when purchasing it. So don’t forget to look into what type of products your audience is looking for.
For instance, ONLY uses social media influencers to feature their party collection. Let’s face it, these are people who are more real than the conventional models and have a following that trusts their fashion sense more than they trust even the biggest of magazines!
6. Use content to establish relationships
The goal of using content marketing isn’t just to get immediate sales, it is to build relationships with customers. These relationships result in those customers choosing your store over the others every time they are looking for something. So it is important, that your eCommerce blog posts include content that is tailor made to their interests of what they believe in.
According to various studies, consumers tend to choose a brand that associates with a cause they believe in or want to contribute towards. It is also the reason why they move from one brand to another – in order to add value to the social cause and do their part.
For instance, Jaypore shares stories of the local artisans that they help bring to the limelight. Anyone and everyone who has been wanting to do their part for these people, are automatically driven to their posts and eventually, their online store.
7. Make it easier to subscribe to your blog
While you’re creating awesome content for your eCommerce blog, also make sure that it is easier for the visitors to subscribe to it. Only then can you use tactics like email marketing to drive your sales. So make sure that the subscribe buttons to your posts is easily accessible and is optimized for both desktop as well as mobile visitors.
But let’s understand one thing, not each of your online store visitor is happy making a bigger commitment – subscribing to your blog by sharing their email addresses. Most of them fear being spammed by your business on a daily basis, but do want to keep up with the content you’re sharing.
For these visitors, implementing Wigzo browser push notifications is the trick your store needs to implement. Since it does not require them to share their contact information, they are more likely to opt-in instantly. You can then use these notifications to let them know of any new posts that your blog has published, a contest you’re planning to run or an ongoing sale – but remember not to go overboard with the notifications and keep them relevant at all times.
Before you get started, don’t forget to read our guide: The complete guide to using push notifications for eCommerce: Web and Mobile
Like every other marketing tactic, it is important that you measure your content marketing efforts as well. Understand what your audience is sharing more on social media from your blog posts, which of the topics are doing better and actually driving sales from your online store.
Based on the metrics, continue to optimize your blogging strategy. Write what your audience wants to read and is looking for, and you have a sale guaranteed!
Get more sales for your online store from your blog starting today.
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