How to Create An Effective Content Marketing Strategy For Your Ecommerce Business
You may think that having an e-commerce website and producing your products are all you need to jumpstart your e-commerce business.
This is far from reality.
Not surprisingly, customers won’t stumble into your online store if you’re not consistently producing great content. After all, we discover products through blogs, social media posts and other types of marketing material. These days is critical to have an effective content marketing strategy so your business will get discovered.
Unfortunately, only 39% of content marketers have a documented content marketing strategy in 2018. So, an astounding 64% of marketers want to learn more about it.
Having said that, how do you create a content marketing strategy for your ecommerce business? Here’s what you need to know:
How to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy: Step by Step
1. Determine the objectives of your content marketing strategy
First, determine the goals of your content strategy.
List down the different types of content that you plan to publish on a calendar and determine your goals.
Here’s a goal-setting template example from Coschedule:
Here’s how you can use this template to boost your content strategy:
By August 2019, the ReferralCandy marketing team’s blog posts will get 5000 social shares per month.
When setting your goals, pay attention to content marketing metrics. Some of the popular goals for content marketers include improving the following metrics:
- Social shares – the number of shares in social media platforms.
- Traffic – the number of users who visited the website.
- Click-through rate (CTR) -refers to the number of readers who clicked on a specific link to the total number of users who view a page.
- Time on page – the average time users spend on your website or blog post.
- Bounce rate – the percentage of site visitors who leave the site after viewing only one page.
2. Conduct keyword research
Merchants need to target search terms that their potential customers will use to get discovered on Google, Bing or Yahoo.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and identify the search terms that they’ll use to discover your products or services. If you were a company selling toys & gadgets — your topics could include “gadget gifts, tech toys and computer toys”.
You can use Moz’s Keyword Explorer to determine the keywords you should target.
Simply create or upload a list of brand-related keywords.
Once you’ve uploaded your list, Moz will generate a list of keywords that you could target.
Here are the meanings of their keyword metrics:
Monthly volume – how often a term is searched on google for a month
Keyword difficulty – how difficult it is to rank higher than current competitors on the first page of search results
Search score – how important the keyword is to your business.
Organic SERP – helps identify keywords with click-hogging SERP features like ads, news, knowledge graphs, and so on. When other SERP features compete for attention, the score is lower.
Priority – aggregates the score for all metrics. Higher priority means higher volume and organic CTR with lower difficulty.
It’s ideal to target keywords with high search volume and the low difficulty such as “cool gadgets” “spy gadgets” and “cool gifts” — but make sure these keywords are relevant to your business and content marketing strategy.
You can use the keywords to formulate content topics such as “5 Cool Gifts You Can Give Your Friends This Christmas” or “5 Cool Spy Gadgets To Track Anyone You Want”.
You can check out Moz’s in-depth guide to keyword research to help your ecommerce business get discovered by your target market.
3. Create a content calendar
Once you have determined your blog topics through keyword research and content research, the next step is to start a content calendar and follow-through.
If you’re working with a team, you can schedule weekly team meetings to get regular updates. Naturally, the content creation process won’t start smoothly and some creators may need more time to generate quality content. In this case, you’ll need to constantly edit your calendars or set deadlines for new projects.
Popular magazines like Unbounce have a simple content calendar that provides a simple overview and general direction of the publication.
You can download a content calendar template from Hubspot.
4. Send link requests
Many content marketers will tell you that getting links from authoritative sites lead to a boost in SEO and publicity.
In fact, many e-commerce sites connect with brands and publications that have a huge following for a backlink or a guest post.
Unfortunately, most requests are often left ignored.
Those who want to stand out from most link requests should get on a blog or brand’s good side by engaging with their editors or content creators. Here’s a list of how you can engage with bloggers from Groove:
You can send a link request email like the one below from Moz to successfully reach out to your target publications or influencers.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Send follow-up emails to prospects regarding link requests like the one below:
Another trick is to invite experts and brands to contribute to your blog through a guest post. You can then collaborate with them and ask to publish a guest post on their site.
For example, Bryan Harris – founder of Videofruit – helps ecommerce websites grow their email list and get more customers. He published his first guest post titled “how to get your first 100 email subscribers” on Okdork – a blog that targets entrepreneurs.
As a result, his website received 1,086 visitors, 215 new subscribers and a 12% conversion rate.
5. Optimize blog posts for SEO
Marketers often tell you that you must optimize your posts for SEO, but how do you begin?
To get a good SEO score on WordPress, you need to place the target or focus keywords on the following places of the blog post:
- SEO Headline
- Meta Description
- Focus Keyword
Of course, the title and meta description should contain relevant keywords and describe the post or landing page. These short texts will determine whether users will click your website or choose to ignore it.
Let’s take a look at the title and meta description for beauty brand Into the Gloss’ posts about lipstick.
The blog post titled “12 Women On Their Best Natural Lipstick Color” targets the keyword “natural lipstick color” so it’s placed in the title, meta description, and permalink.
Similarly, their blog post about nude lipsticks has the keyword “nude lipsticks” in the title, meta description, and permalink. The description also gives a short but concise summary of what readers will find.
By optimizing your blog post for SEO, you can boost your page’s search ranking on Google.
You don’t need to have a creatively written title or meta description to get ahead, because it’s more important to choose your keywords strategically.
6. Campaign Measurement
In any content marketing campaign, you’ll need to measure your results.
Here’s a list of common goals and associated metrics from the Content Marketing Institute:
Take note of the metrics that are relevant to your e-commerce business’ objectives.
Of course, there are different tools that you can use to track your campaign based on your objectives. We highly recommend that you check out this post on Top Tools For Measuring Content Marketing Results by Hubstaff – to choose which tools are necessary for your overall content marketing strategy.
You can also conduct social media campaign analysis and competitor research.
Social media campaign analysis
Social media has become very popular for businesses because it’s one of the best ways you can reach younger audiences.
Here are the main metrics you need to keep track of your social media campaigns:
- Impression – number of times users saw your post on screen. Note, if a social media user scrolls down and sees your post and scrolls back up again, that counts as 1 impression. If the post is seen by the same user four separate times per day, this count as 4 impressions.
- CTR – indicates the percentage of users that saw your post (i.e blog post) on social media and clicked. This is based on the overall number of clicks divided by the number of impressions.
- Bounce rate – the percentage of users who navigated away from your site after immediately after clicking your post from social media.
- Cost per click – the average cost for each click. This is based on the total amount spent on social media (i.e. content marketing cost and other expenses) divided by the number of clicks gained.
- Conversion rate – the percentage of users that visited your website that completed a desired action such as buying from your online store.
- Customer Acquisition Cost – Cost of convincing a potential customer to buy a product or service. This is calculated by dividing all the marketing expenses (i.e. content marketing expenses) by the number of new customers acquired during the social media content marketing campaign.
Of course, you have a general idea of the businesses and stores that you compete with, but how do you determine their marketing results?
For example, if you sold retro sunglasses on your e-commerce store, then here are the websites you are competing with based on the organic search results from your Ahrefs account.
Here’s the meaning of each metric according to Ahrefs:
- Return Rate (RR) – user’s frequency of searching for a keyword in one month.
- Clicks – the average number of clicks gained after searching for a given keyword.
- Cost Per Click (CPC) – the average amount paid for each click in PPC campaigns.
- Keyword Difficulty (KD) – the number of backlinks required to rank in the top 10 for your chosen keyword.
- Traffic Value – shows the value of a website’s organic traffic, should that traffic have been bought via Google AdWords.
- Organic Keywords – keywords your competitors are ranking for
- Organic Traffic – how much organic search traffic the website receives per month.
- Keyword Search Volume – the average time per month that people in a location searched for the keyword.
7. Craft Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are general representations or archetypes of your customer base.
Most buyer personas are based on market research, surveys, interviews and so on. These determine the demographics, goals, challenges, personal background and shopping preferences of your customers.
Here’s a customer persona template that you can follow from Hubspot:
Use this to determine the type of content you’ll create based on the customer type you’re targeting.
Content Is King
Content marketing is a crucial part of promoting your business. The most successful e-commerce stores have gained fame because they were discovered through popular media such as top publications, influencer-generated social media posts, guest posts, blogs, and video—but they didn’t get to the top by just randomly churning out content.
Generally, you need to research on your niche and identify strategic keywords to determine the content that you’ll create. You need to think about content distribution so reach out to influencers and publications – but don’t forget to optimize your posts for SEO.
Content creation goes hand-in-hand with an effective strategy. It’s meticulously planned and executed based on the goals and objectives that you have established. Have fun creating your first content strategy!
About the author
Monique Danao is a writer for CandyBar and ReferralCandy.
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