Did you know that 71 percent of consumers use search engines to find products, and an even higher percentage uses search to make informed purchasing decisions by researching and comparing products?
The importance of content marketing in ecommerce is something that can not be ignored.
To be successful with content marketing, however, you must stand out from the crowd. Today, we will be looking at five types of ecommerce content marketing that will win customers and help you stay ahead of your competitors.
Most customers don’t purchase from you the first time around. It’s important to map out the buyer journey process, from when they first see your ad or land on your website to when they finally make a purchase - and beyond.
Remember that the buyer journey doesn’t end with a purchase; instead, it continues as the customer comes back to make a second purchase or renew their subscription.
You should be creating content that targets every step in the buyer journey. To do that, you first have to map out that journey.
Here’s a simplified example of different steps you can be targeting:
If you only target the research phase, for example, you may be losing out on sales. Customers who are in the purchasing decision phase are easier to convert, as they are already further along in the journey.
Hubspot has many templates and customer journey examples you can use to map out your own customer journey.
Another type of blog post that can bring in sales are those that go over specific product information. For example, you can write reviews of your products so that consumers can find out its details, what it does, and how it can help them.
Make sure to include all the details in an easy-to-read manner. One way is to include visual charts or graphs, such as size charts if you are selling clothing.
You can create guides and how-to posts that show users how to solve common problems. Make sure to include the use of one of your products as one of the steps in the guide and include a link to the product page.
Video guides and product reviews, both on your website and YouTube, are also very effective.
Salesforce does this on their YouTube channel - here is an example of a short, engaging video that explains how one of their features can help small businesses.
Live content helps you build a personal relationship with consumers. It’s easy to start - you can use Facebook Live or Youtube to stream live videos with Q&A sessions, upcoming product launch announcements, industry news, inside-the-company sneak peeks, and more.
Your audience can ask questions and comment, and you can reply to them in real time.
You can hold webinars for more in-depth discussions or for bigger launches. WordStream holds regular webinars and then posts the recordings to an online library so customers can access a wide selection of recordings on different topics.
Many consumers won’t have time to watch webinars or tune into live streams. Some may not even have the time to read blog posts.
This is why podcasts are so important. Your audience can listen to podcasts on-the-go, during their daily run, or while commuting to work.
Podcasts give you an opportunity to interview influential figures in your industry, which adds to your authority and credibility. It also exposes you to those influencers’ fans.
Another reason podcasts are so important is because they drive more repeat visits. If you release an interesting, fun, and informative podcast on a regular basis, people will keep coming back to hear more.
The more traffic you have visiting your site, and the more repeat visitors you have in particular, the more sales you can expect. Remember what we said about the buyer’s journey - people don’t usually make a purchase the first time around.
Neil Patel releases podcasts in his online “Marketing School.” These are daily, 5-10 minute podcasts, but you can also release longer-form podcasts once a week, for example.
User generated content can be effective as it gives you social proof. It’s not just you talking about your product and how great it is - it’s others doing it as well.
Did you know that 84 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from family and friends? This is why social proof is so important.
Reviews and testimonials are one form of user generated content. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your products by sending followup emails after their purchase. It’s always a good idea to keep customers engaged. Upselling becomes easier as a result.
Manage your online reputation by posting guest posts on other blogs so that those posts appear when someone does a Google search about you.
Post testimonials, including video testimonials, on your site and YouTube channel. Video testimonials from real customers add a more personal touch - stories are important in appealing to consumers’ emotions and influencing their opinions.
However, user generated content goes beyond that. You can create a page on your website or a series on your YouTube channel that is dedicated to answering real questions from real users.
On your social media channels, you can ask users to submit content such as pictures of creative ways they are using your product or how they are using your product in their daily lives. Offer discounts or sweepstakes to encourage submissions.
Twitter and Instagram are great places to do that. Instagram is very visual in nature, making it easy for people to post selfies, and both platforms let people contribute to your campaigns using hashtags.
Starbucks shows the perfect example of how to do this. Every year, they hold a Red Cup Contest, where users submit pictures of themselves drinking Starbucks coffee for a chance to win a gift card.
This particular contest also directly drives up sales by encouraging consumers to buy more coffee so they can post more pictures.
BMW takes advantage of user generated content as well by encouraging users to post pictures of their beloved BMWs with the hashtag BMWRepost, which has generated more than 1.5 million posts.
Content marketing, when done correctly, has the power to explode your sales.
Start creating the five types of content mentioned in this article to see new visitors flow in and your profits go up.