How to create an Ecommerce content marketing strategy
Writing blog posts, filming videos, sending e-newsletters – do these tasks keep getting pushed to the bottom of your to-do list? Creating regular content for your ecommerce website can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Take control of your content with an ecommerce content marketing strategy. Here’s how to create one in three simple steps.
1.Brainstorm ways to provide value for your customers
Great content doesn’t focus on what you have to sell – it focuses on what your audience wants and needs. Above everything, great content provides value to its readers. It entertains, informs or inspires – or ideally, all of the above.
In order to create valuable content, you first need to understand your audience better than anyone else. Spend some time researching their wants, needs and dreams. What do they want? What challenges do they need help with? How can your product enrich their life?
Pay particular attention to your audience’s fears and frustrations, as you may be able to create content that provides solutions to their problems. Another excellent source of content inspiration is your customer FAQs – if you get asked the same question over and over again, write a blog post on the topic to clear up any confusion.
It’s all about creating content that speaks straight to the heart of your customers. Whenever you come up with a new topic idea, make sure it meets the following checklist.
- Does it inform, educate or inspire (or all three?)
- Is it relevant to my customers wants and needs?
- Will it spark emotion and encourage engagement?
- Is it trustworthy and high quality (not overly promotional?)
- Does it align with my brand’s values (is it ‘on brand’?)
If your content idea doesn’t meet everything on this checklist, you may need to go back to the drawing board. There’s no point in publishing content for the sake of content – unless it resonates with your audience, it’s not worth the investment.
2.Create a 12-week plan
Once you have brainstormed ways to create valuable content for your customers, the next step is to arrange all of your ideas into a 12-week content plan (otherwise known as a content calendar). This will help to ensure you don’t miss anything, and that posts are published in a logical order.
Plan topics in advance
Come up with 12 weeks’ worth of content ideas in advance. That way, when it comes to writing each post, you won’t have to worry about coming up with a genius idea on the spot – everything will be laid out for you. The hardest part about creating good content is coming up with fresh ideas on a regular basis. With a 12-week content plan, you only have to do this four times a year!
Don’t use up all your ideas at once
Another benefit of creating a 12-week content plan, is you will quickly see whether you have enough ideas to last three months. Many businesses run into trouble when they use up all of their ideas too quickly, only to be scratching their heads a few weeks down the track. Where possible, stretch your ideas across multiple blog posts – create a mini content series, and explore one aspect of your idea in each post, instead of covering everything in one.
Why 12 weeks?
12 weeks is three months, or one business quarter – many business goals are reviewed at the beginning and end of each quarter, so it makes sense to add content to this list. It will give you the satisfaction of planning ahead and feeling organised, without forcing you to think too far in the future. However, this is merely a suggestion – there are no rules. If you would prefer a longer or shorter plan, go for gold. The key thing to remember is be consistent: review your content strategy at regular periods, so that you get into the habit of always planning ahead.
You’ve brainstormed some amazing content ideas and put them into a content calendar – now you can hit publish and never think about it again, right? Almost! As business owners know all too well, things very rarely go perfectly to plan, so no matter how well you’ve prepared, it’s important to remain flexible.
Take it one post at a time
Start out with the best intentions to follow your plan, but be prepared to shuffle things around on a regular basis if things come up. Content marketing moves fast, and what’s trending one week might be unfashionable the next. Paradoxically, content marketing is also a slow game – businesses rarely see results overnight. It may take you a few weeks or months to build trust with your audience and grow your readership. Be patient, remain flexible and take it one post at a time.
Outsource – but don’t take your hands off the wheel
Producing content is incredibly time-consuming. Consider outsourcing your blog posts to a professional content writer, or video production to a creative agency, but make sure you stay involved every step of the way. A content writer may string a sentence together better than you, but you know your customer best. Until you’re confident that your writer fully understands your business, don’t take a step back from the content creation process.
Measure its success
We all know the real reason for creating great content – to drive sales. Measure the performance of each piece of content you publish, identify which posts do well, which posts fall flat, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Although content marketing is a creative process, it’s important to keep your eyes on the numbers. With a sound strategy, you should see your conversion rates start to climb slowly but surely. Good luck!