Go Back eCommerce SEO Guide

Content Marketing for eCommerce Brands

Many eCommerce brands overlook a vital part of SEO: content marketing.

Nik Sharma
CEO

Sharma Brands takes on the workload to launch and scale brands for startups and Fortune 100 companies.

Content is what creates brand and product awareness, bringing people to your store. If done right, you can turn that initial interest into a sale.

According to research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), brands achieved the following business goals over a 12-month period with content marketing:

  • Creating brand awareness (84%)
  • Educating audiences (75%)
  • Building credibility/trust (65%)

What is content marketing?

CMI defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Many brands assume that content marketing means writing and publishing blog posts on your site. While that can certainly be part of an overall content marketing strategy, content comes in many forms. Podcasts are content. Social media posts are content. Product reviews are content. Content marketing can happen both on your owned channels and off.

What brands get wrong about content marketing

What many brands don’t realize is that content marketing isn’t about promoting your products — it’s about providing value to users, and positioning your brand as a trusted expert in your space. It’s only after you’ve established that connection with a shopper that you start marketing products to them. Otherwise, your content will read like an ad and it will just become noise in your customer’s journey.

Content marketing and the sales funnel

eCommerce brands can use content at each stage of the marketing funnel to drive awareness, consideration, and ultimately, conversion. Let’s dive into the different stages and explore the best types of content for each.

Content for the awareness stage

The awareness stage is the top of the funnel — it’s where you are basically saying, “Hey! I exist! Come check me out!” to a large target audience. Because these shoppers don’t yet know you, that content needs to exist out in the digital world where they can come across it.

Here are some effective types of content for the awareness stage:

  • Blog posts/articles: informative and entertaining content that readers will want to share to their social channels
  • Social media content: posts and video content that is easily discoverable through hashtags or topics
  • Podcasts: seek out podcasts in your niche to be a guest on, or create your own around a topic related to your business
  • Influencer content: partner with influencers in your space to get the word out about your brands and products
  • Interviews/guest posts: Offer to write guest posts for popular websites related to your business, or get interviewed by reporters for articles related to your industry. (HARO is a great way to connect to journalists looking for experts.)

      This type of content is particularly important for SEO, as it provides you with all-important backlinks.

      Tip: Not every channel will be effective for every eCommerce brand. First, you need to do some research into where your audience is spending time online. You don’t want to pour all of your resources into Instagram videos if your target audience is mostly on TikTok.

      Content for the consideration stage

      Once you’ve got your target audience to your website, you want to convince them to stick around for a bit. That’s the consideration stage, or the middle of the funnel. Interactive, visual, and educational content are all important at this stage.

      Here are some types to consider:

      • Quizzes/interactive tools: These should funnel the shopper into related products. For example, many beauty brands offer interactive tools to find the right makeup shades, and then recommend products in those shades.
      • Guides: In-depth resources related to your products. For example, a clothing brand could offer a guide to building a capsule wardrobe for work with selected pieces. Guides are also great for SEO, as long as they are comprehensive, informative, and provide value.
      • Email/SMS marketing: Offer a discount code to get shoppers to sign up for email and SMS and then use content to keep them engaged via those channels.

      Tip:  Make sure that you’re focusing on the value you’re providing at this stage. Products should be visible, but secondary.

      Content for the conversion stage

      Once you’ve gotten your shoppers interested and engaged, it’s time to move in for the conversion. This is the step that will make or break your sale.

      Here are the best types of content for this stage:

      • Reviews/testimonials: Happy customers are your best marketing tool.
      • Visual UGC: Create galleries of customers using your products in real life.
      • Product demos: Create videos demonstrating how to use the product.

       

      Tip: Don’t be afraid to pack a lot of information onto your product pages. The more content, the better for SEO. Just make sure the Buy button is near the top.

      How to choose topics for content marketing

      Hopefully, you have a good idea of which channels and content types will work for your business at this point, but how do you find the right topics? That’s where research comes in. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

      • What are my customers’ common questions or pain points? Chances are, you’ve gotten some feedback or customer service questions that could inform some useful content. For example, if you’re a bra company and get more returns than the industry average due to fit issues, you might want to consider creating content around how to find the right fit.
      • What topics are my competitors covering? It’s no use writing a 1,500-word blog post on a topic when your competitor has a 2,000 word one at the top of Google search results. Look for gaps in topics, or, if a competitor has low-quality content on a topic, create something better. Also, check out their social media content and what’s getting high engagement, and work from there.
      • What topics can I build around my keywords? Even though this content is for the consumer, it still needs to tie into your business and SEO goals. Build on the keywords you’re trying to rank for.

      Content marketing requires some up-front investment, but it can pay off for a long time in the future, especially if you’re creating evergreen content. And once you have a few pieces of content that are successful, you can use them as a jumping-off point to other topics and content types.

       

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