Content Marketing For Ecommerce: A Beginner’s Strategy Guide

09 November 2023

Posted in: Content Ecommerce Marketing SEO

So you’ve figured out that content marketing is a great fit to help promote your business. Maybe you’ve written a few blog posts here or there, had a crack at a bit of keyword research, and you’re starting to see promising results. But how can you take your content to the next level? How do you overtake all the ecommerce sites you’re competing with?

It’s all about planning—a content marketing strategy, if you will. So if you’re new to all this strategy biz, we’ve broken it down into five actionable steps to set up your content marketing efforts for success.

Do you need a content marketing strategy?

Writing content to promote your business, but not quite sure where it’s headed? We hear you.  

Many businesses in the early stages of content creation fall into this trap. It could mean penning random blog or social media marketing posts without direction, or jumping on the latest trending topics rather than showcasing the very expertise that makes your business valuable and unique. 

We all have to start somewhere, but if you have the niggling feeling that your content needs a higher purpose, it’s time to introduce a content marketing strategy. Because once you know what you’re content is trying to achieve, it’s much easier to reach your goal. 

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is the art of creating material (such as infographics, videos, or most commonly, blogs) designed to stimulate interest in a business without being overtly promotional. Instead of pitching your product or service to customers, you’re offering information to them. The idea is that the content you’re creating is so brilliant that it’ll attract more visitors who may then convert into paying customers.

Let’s say you’re running an ecommerce store within the gardening equipment niche. You might choose to publish a step-by-step guide to summer lawn maintenance. Given that anyone searching for such an article is likely to care about the condition of their garden, it makes sense to produce this content and attract them to your site. 

Content marketing also presents obvious search engine optimization (SEO) benefits. By targeting specific keywords, your blog (and by extension, your website as a whole) has a higher chance of ranking for them on Google.

Blogging is one of the most effective ways to gain backlinks, too; powerful signals that tell Google your domain is authoritative and — put plainly — worth visiting. You can enhance your chances of ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) by submitting guest posts to various blogs. These guest posts often permit you to contribute articles, and by including a link back to your own website, you can improve your search engine ranking.

Types of content marketing

Now that we have a grasp of what content marketing is and its advantages, let’s delve into the various types of content that businesses commonly use to engage and attract their target audiences

Blogging: This is the bread and butter of content marketing. These posts are an excellent way to establish authority in your field, drive organic traffic to your website, and foster a loyal readership.

Infographics: Visual representations of information, data, or statistics. They combine text and graphics to present complex ideas in a digestible and visually appealing format. Fancy creating your own? You can check out some of the coolest infographics here, or head over to Reddit’s superb r/dataisbeautiful community for a near-endless source of inspiration. 

Social Media Content: regular posts, images, stories, and even live video sessions all count as content marketing. Let’s just try to forget how cringe-inducing some brands can be in their attempts… 

Ebooks and Whitepapers: Ebooks and whitepapers are long-form content pieces that go more in-depth on specific topics. They are often used for lead generation, where businesses offer them in exchange for email sign-ups. While typically the domain of B2B and tech/SaaS companies, ecommerce websites within hyper-specific niches may find value in producing this type of content, too. 

Podcasts: Podcasts can be a more personal and conversational way to connect with your target demographic, but the results may be disastrous, should you say the wrong thing. Just remember to put your best foot forward; you’re representing the brand, after all!

Email Marketing: Another tried-and-true content marketing strategy. Sending newsletters, updates, and personalised content to your email list can nurture leads, keep your audience informed, and drive traffic back to your website. Simple, but oh-so effective.

Webinars: Webinars are live or recorded online seminars where experts present information, conduct workshops, and interact with attendees. They offer an interactive way to educate your audience, answer questions, and establish your brand as a knowledgeable resource.

User-Generated Content: Reviews, testimonials, and social media posts — provided they’re positive, these can all be powerful signals to other potential customers that your brand can be trusted to deliver on its promises.

The benefits of ecommerce content marketing 

Whether you’re content marketing for ecommerce, or any other form of business, the benefits are clear. Still not convinced? Below, we’ve outlined all of the most relevant advantages:

Attracting and Engaging Your Audience: Content marketing is about creating valuable content that attracts and engages your target audience without direct sales pitches. It establishes your brand as a helpful resource, and it’s also the perfect way to express your brand’s personality and develop its tone of voice. 

Improved SEO: Content marketing involves targeting specific keywords, which can boost your website’s chances of ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). This increases your visibility and organic traffic.

Building Authority and Backlinks: Through blogging and guest posting, you can gain backlinks from other authoritative websites. These backlinks signal to search engines that your website is trustworthy and worthy of a higher ranking.

Lead Generation: High-quality digital marketing content can capture leads through forms, subscriptions, or gated content. It’s a way to nurture prospects and convert them into paying customers over time.

Cost-Effective Marketing: Content marketing can be a cost-effective strategy compared to traditional advertising. It offers a long-term investment in creating evergreen content that continues to bring in organic traffic. 

Measurable Results: You can track the performance of your content marketing efforts with analytics tools. This data helps you refine your strategy and optimize your content for better results.

Enhanced Brand Awareness: Consistent content creation and distribution can increase your brand’s visibility and awareness among your target audience.

Content marketing — the Seeker way 

Here at Seeker Digital, we have many strings to our bow, but we’re particularly well-known for our SEO, content, and outreach expertise. So you’ll find this reflected in the subject matter of the content that we produce. Some examples of our recent blog posts:

This content has been carefully planned to align with two of our core business objectives: to provide valuable and actionable advice to clients (to retain business) and help generate leads (create awareness for prospects).

And that’s the point of a content marketing strategy—to help you create a long-term roadmap for your content that will help achieve your business goals. 

Google loves (great) content

It’s not just about attracting prospects — a sound content marketing strategy helps you to create the high-quality content that Google’s crawlers are looking for, too. When you produce engaging content that your audience connects with, you’ll soon find your website’s search rankings are on the up.

This is down to Google analysing user engagement metrics on your site—including time on page, bounce rate and returning users— to check that you are providing valuable E-A-T (expert, authoritative and trustworthy) content for readers. Many highly successful ecommerce websites incorporate the E-A-T doctrine into their strategies. They might share their expertise through in-depth articles, demonstrate authoritative knowledge through comprehensive product descriptions, or display customer feedback prominently on their site, confirming their trustworthiness

So, creating and following a content marketing strategy will help achieve your business goals, improve your SEO rankings, and (most important of all) it’ll give your audience something to enjoy, share and talk about. Great! 

Here’s the thing: your strategy will inevitably involve reviewing, monitoring and adapting along the way. You’ll find there are always new insights to uncover, and that’s how your strategy will evolve and grow. 

But that’s the beauty of having a plan. With any luck, your strategy will steer you in just the right direction. If not, it’s no biggie—you can plot a new course and see where it takes you next. 

Ready to create smarter, more focused content? Let’s go…

1: Define your audience

Before creating a content marketing strategy, you’ll need to know who it is you’re talking to, and what makes them tick. Some things you’ll want to find out about your audience include:

  • Demographics—such as age, gender, life stage and location
  • Social channels they use to communicate—are they visual Instagram users? Or do they prefer a debate on Facebook?
  • Their interests and the people they admire
  • What type of websites they frequently use
  • What they come to your site searching for.

Knowing who your audience is will help you define:

  • Your tone of voice—would your brand better suit the tone of a professional advisor, or cheeky mate?
  • Types of content to produce—is your audience interested in longform blog posts, or would they prefer funny videos on YouTube?
  • What sorts of questions are your audience asking? And, importantly, which can your business help answer?

You’ll find some of this data on Google Analytics with a little help from Google Demographics and Interests, and you can also interview or survey existing customers for more qualitative answers. Ideally, you’ll glean insights from a range of sources. This will help you to build a more detailed picture of who you’re talking to, and figure out where the opportunities to help your audience may lie. 

Once you’ve clearly defined your target audience (this template is a great starting point), it’s time to figure out your goals.

2: Set your goal and KPIs

Do you know what content success looks like to your business? Now’s the time to define it. You’ll want to begin quite broadly, before setting out the more specific KPIs (key performance indicators) that will help you to review the success of your content later down the line.

A few common examples of broad content goals include:

  • Improve search ranking—e.g. reach page 1 for a competitive search term within your niche.
  • Brand awareness—sharing what your business has to offer and encouraging your audience to invest in your brand and delve deeper.
  • Lead generation—turning a more passive audience into an enquiring one.
  • Increase sales—the final hurdle: getting your customers to put their money where their mouth is. 

Always remember that you can only do one thing well. Much better to focus on one goal that your team can all rally behind than attempt many and fall behind. 

Once you’ve chosen your goal, this can be broken down into clear KPIs. The more specific you can be, the better. This could include no. of downloads of a whitepaper, page ranking for a search term, time spent on page or number of comments—it all depends on your content goal. 

Make sure to include deadlines so that goals don’t get forgotten in the inevitable sea of day-to-day tasks. Following the SMART format to create your KPIs (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-based) is a great way to stay on track.

3: Map your customer journey

Once your KPIs are in place, you can use the marketing funnel to map your customer journey, and decide which types of content align with both your audience’s needs and your business goals. 

Depending on where a customer sits within your customer journey, different types of content will provide more value, and increase the likelihood of conversion:

Awareness—whitepapers, ebooks, blog posts and social posts that avoid self promotion will build your presence.

Evaluation—case studies, product webinars and demo videos will all help to instil trust in your brand.

Purchase—free trial promotions, discount codes and live consultations can all help turn potential customers into paying customers. 

Ideally, your content will be split equally across the funnel. The idea is to help guide your customers through each stage of the funnel by providing the information they need in a timely and useful manner.

Looking at the content types above, are there any gaps in your offering? Now’s the time to work this out.

4: Use SEO to your advantage

If you don’t know what your audience is searching for, it’s impossible to provide the answer. With this in mind, you’ll want to find the popular search terms that your audience are typing into search engines to help inform your content strategy. 

Luckily, there are many tools (and agencies) out there to help hone your keyword research and get found by the right people. You could check out Moz and Buzzsumo to get started—these SEO tools will simplify your research, factoring in data like keyword volume and difficulty to help narrow down which search terms to target.

Using your results, you’ll want to create a list of primary keyword terms. These should be popular search terms for your audience that are relevant to your business, and there should be potential for your website to rank highly for these terms, with relative ease.

Why? Because when 75% of your audience can come from organic search, you’ll want to make sure that you’re ranking high enough in the search results to be on your audience’s radar. 

Now you’ve got your list of keywords, remember to weave these into your content—but only where appropriate. Remember, spammy content is penalised by search engines. The key is to create content that meets your audience’s needs and keeps them coming back for more. 

So now you’ve put in all the groundwork, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for *drum roll*…

5: Create a content calendar

Now that you’ve formulated a content marketing strategy plan, it’s time to put all the theory into practice with a content calendar. 

Ideally, you’ll be able to create your calendar two-three months in advance, with the occasional ad-hoc, topical addition. This ensures that content can be produced to the best possible standards, and all the tasks that go into creating each piece of content can be carefully considered before posting. 

There are many great content calendar templates out there. We recommend doing a bit of internet digging to see what best suits your business and the channels that you intend to use, but here’s one for starters

Don’t forget to bring together everything learned in the previous steps to inform your content calendar! Here’s a quick recap:

  • Define your audience
  • Set your content goals
  • Map your customer journey
  • Write-up your SEO hitlist
  • Create a content calendar

Remember, as your audience grows and evolves (and it will) so should your content. So it’s worth putting regular reviews in place to measure your results and ensure your content is still helping you to reach those all-important business goals. 

Spoiler alert: it takes much more than a lone writer to pull together and distribute top-quality content! You’ll need to involve many different areas of the business, from project management to design and development. So once your content matures, be ready to start looking at a more formalised content process. 

We hope this beginner’s guide to content marketing strategy will remove any initial blockers and help get you started. Fancy letting someone else do the heavy lifting on your behalf? Our SEO content agency is chock full of specialists all perfectly suited to the task. Ecommerce content marketing strategy is kind of our thing. If your ecommerce business could do with a boost, get in touch with our team today — we’d love to hear from you.

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