E-commerce and content marketing are two things people don’t automatically put together.
For e-commerce, many marketers zoom in to the bottom of the funnel. Their marketing is targeted to those already close to the purchase; their SEO specialists disciplined on “last-click attributions” (the web analytics model giving credit of sale to the last site visited before purchase).
Content marketing, on the other hand, targets the top of the funnel. It builds awareness, advertising to those starting out on their buyer’s journey. Many e-commerce marketers only bother to publish blog posts once in a while, posting content just for the sake of it.
What marketers need to see, especially in the coming years, is that e-commerce and content marketing are two ends of a long journey worth investing in. It’s the start and finish lines that need to be both cohesive and complementary.
In a nutshell, quality e-commerce content marketing is building awareness and site traffic through content – content good enough for consumers to share it within their circles and, ideally, also lead to their own conversion.
In the long run, using effective content marketing for e-commerce will be beneficial to marketers. According to Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing while at the same time generating 3x as many leads.
So what must a brand do to make the most of their content marketing for e-commerce? Here are some tips.
An all-encompassing guideline that e-commerce marketers have to adapt to asap is putting mobile front-and-center.
By 2020, it is estimated that 45% of all commerce decisions will be made on mobile.
Given this—and how content marketing and e-commerce should work hand and hand—it follows that e-commerce content marketing should be crafted with mobile in mind.
What does this mean? For starters, your website should already be responsive in design. What use is mobile-friendly content if your website itself isn’t?
Next, think in terms of quick and easy-to-consume content. This means writing in concise 2-3 sentence paragraphs, using bullet points in articles, doing listicles, and making your storytelling visual with pictures and videos.
Social media platforms have been banking heavily on video content for the past few years.
Instagram, for one, is predicted to outgrow Facebook in the coming years—especially for the younger under-35 market. Just think of how Instagram stories are replacing Facebook posts more and more these days.
Furthermore, do a quick scan of Youtube and Facebook Watch. Have you ever noticed how many of the videos online are now product reviews, unboxings, and reaction videos? Studies show that as much as 60% percent of shoppers would rather watch product videos rather than read product descriptions.
However, this doesn’t mean that just because your content is in video form, it will automatically lead to sales. There are a lot of considerations when making video content.
Video content is great if it can inform, inspire, and above all, feel authentic. This is what convinces potential customers and leads to conversion. (Read this to learn more about crafting effective lifestyle videos.)
Interactive content is more memorable than static content because it delivers an experience to consumers. It makes them part of the story, thus making your marketing more personal.
Some websites develop apps that allow users to imagine themselves using products their brand is offering. (e.g., Sephora allows users to virtually “try on” their make-up brands.)
Interactive content, however, doesn’t just mean creating complex and costly apps. It may be as simple as creating fun personality quizzes that match your audience’s personality to a product variant or service of your brand.
If your brand is financial in nature, you can also experiment with calculators.
These types of content can lead to conversion right away if you also provide a call-to-action button alongside the results.
In some ways, interactive content can create a shortcut from the awareness stage of your brand to its purchase stage.
Audiences appreciate it when you make your marketing collaborative. It makes them feel that your brand considers them, by listening to their concerns and feedback.
For crowdsourcing, consider user-generated content (UGC). Ask people to share their stories about using your product or service, and feature their stories in your online gallery.
Your brand may want to incentivize this by giving winning entries discount coupons. You can amplify the reach even more by making these coupons they can refer to friends.
Furthermore, aside from collaborating with your audience, you can also humanize your brand by collaborating with influencers and content creators.
Have them do content guest blogs, product reviews, unboxing videos, and livestreams. You may also want to consult them, as many influencers are masters of tapping their respective audiences.
An active audience leads to more conversions.
There is no one trick to winning e-commerce content marketing. Essentially, effective content marketing for e-commerce boils down to using personalization and experience.
Exert effort to get to know your audience. Let them play with quizzes, hear their stories, and listen to their opinions. Use what you learn to craft content marketing campaigns that provide memorable experiences that are entertaining, interactive, and suit their needs.