According to Slideshare, over 27 million pieces of content are shared online each day, so it’s no wonder 9 out of 10 businesses use it as an integral part of their marketing strategy.
Content marketing is a proven way for eCommerce businesses to reach new audiences. It allows companies to connect with potential customers more effectively than with traditional marketing techniques. In fact, Slideshare’s studies show content marketing as three times more effective than traditional marketing, and it costs 62% less on average.
Content marketing can mean a world of difference for your company if you implement the right strategy. We’re looking at 8 ways you can step up your content marketing to stand apart from the crowd and make your eCommerce store grow faster than ever.
#1: Understand Your Target Audience
In order to write effective content, you need to know what appeals to your audience.
Who is reading your content? What kind of content do they want to read? What do they want to gain from reading your content?
Before you create any content, create customer personas which represent your ideal customer. List their demographics (age, location, etc.), interests, goals, motivations, and behavior patterns based on actual data and educated guesses.
Buyer personas help you understand your audience more personally. Use the personas to plan and write your content according to what your ideal customer wants to read.
#2: Create a Plan
You can’t expect to attract readers and grow your business with hodgepodge content. Write down a content plan before you begin publishing to make sure you’re posting content people want to read on a regular and consistent basis.
As you create your plan, ask yourself the following:
– How will you create or obtain the content?
– Where will you publish it?
– How will your content reach your target audience?
– How will your content help your eCommerce store grow?
The answers to these questions will serve as a roadmap for the rest of your content marketing strategy. By defining your objectives and your audience, you give yourself a solid goal to aim for as you develop your content.
#3: Build a Relationship With Your Audience
Content marketing plays an integral role in inbound marketing, and if you approach it like traditional advertising, you’ll be sorely disappointed by the results.
Instead of directly advertising your product, write your content in an informative and friendly manner. Provide your readers with value, otherwise they’ll feel they’re wasting their time reading your work.
Too many content marketers strive only to advertise their product. By providing your readers with value, you can establish a thriving relationship with them and grow your business faster than those who focus on advertising.
#4: Tell a Story
Great stories engage audiences. This has been the case for thousands of years, and it still holds true during the digital age.
Find your brand’s voice, then use it to tell engaging stories. Start by telling your own story, and the story of your brand.
When you tell your story, define what makes you unique. Tell your readers about your goals and why you started your company.
The most important part of content marketing is engaging your audience. Telling a great story is the most effective way to engage your reader, so practice your storytelling and make it an integral part of each piece of content you produce.
#5: Properly Format Your Content
Have you ever gone to an article and left without reading it because of its format? Maybe the post was too long, or it the author didn’t use headlines to break up the wall of text.
Pay attention to your content’s formatting. Readers will leave if it isn’t easy on the eyes.
Make your articles the right length – usually between 1,000 – 1,600 words, depending on how many images you use.
Make headlines short and interesting. Try to keep them around 6 words in length.
Structure your content well. Use short sentences and short paragraphs, separated with subheadings and bullet points.
#6: Make Your Content Easy To Share
Social media sharing is the most effective way for your content to reach new audiences. Stores with strong social media presences grow more quickly from content marketing than those who don’t.
– How can you make your content easier to share?
– Edit the metadata descriptions of your content to make its social media blurbs informative.
– Make social sharing buttons easy to find and use.
– Show how many times your content has been shared on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
Make your content shareable. Read your work and ask yourself, will my audience want to share this with their friends?
#7: Measure Your Content’s Success
If you don’t measure how well your content performs, you won’t know which areas to improve.
Look at the following metrics to understand how well your content performs in key areas:
– How much has your organic traffic from search engines increased?
– Is your content attracting inbound links?
– What are your readers saying about your content on social media?
– How much engagement is your content getting on social media (likes, retweets, etc.)?
– What are your readers doing on your website after they view a post? Are they subscribing, browsing your store, or immediately leaving?
After measuring these key areas, look at your results to determine where you can improve. For example, if you content isn’t achieving much engagement on social media, look at ways you can change your formula to increase comments, shares, and retweets.
#8: Recycle Evergreen Content
Last Christmas, you wrote an article about how other eCommerce store owners can prepare themselves for the holiday rush. Why create a new article on the topic this holiday season when you’ve got a relevant post?
You can recycle almost any piece of content in some way. Think about using some of these recycling methods to make the most of your archived posts:
– Format it differently by adding infographics, videos, or other media.
– Add new information.
– Follow-up with a new article covering the same topic (for example, you could write a follow-up article to your piece about the iPhone 7’s launch after you’ve spent time using the phone).
– Link to archived content in new posts.
– Post older content on social media to attract new readers.
What are your tips to grow faster using content marketing? How has content marketing helped your business grow? Let us know in the comments below!
Weave the source links that are on the footer of this document into my curated version of this document.