Your ecommerce brand knows that it should be creating content and engaging with your online audiences. It’s the thing to do these days, when 86 percent of B2C brands use content marketing. But have you ever asked yourself why you’re producing content in the first place? Or, more importantly, what that content is doing for your company? How can you make sure that the content your brand produces reaches the right customers at the right time? It all comes down to your ecommerce content strategy.
Creating an ecommerce content strategy and sticking with it will not only help you figure out why you’re producing content. Doing so can also help you figure out what to create, and how to maximize the content you produce.
What Is an Ecommerce Content Strategy?
First things first: What is an ecommerce content strategy? Is it the same thing as your brand’s content marketing strategy?
It’s not uncommon to see the terms content strategy and content marketing strategy used interchangeably, or for people to use “content strategy” when referring to “content marketing strategy,” as Moz does.
The two are different, though. Your brand’s content marketing strategy focuses on the goals and the “why” of content marketing. Meanwhile, your ecommerce content strategy should focus on the creation, publication, and overall organization of your brand’s content, as the Content Marketing Institute explains.
Your Ecommerce content strategy should focus on:
- The types of content your brand will create
- The types of content you’ve already created/published (if any)
- Where that content gets published
- The audiences you’ll reach, and where they are in the buying funnel
- The keywords and other SEO tactics you’ll use
- Why your brand creates certain types of content
- How your brand can stand apart from the competition with its content
Why Should Your Brand Use an Ecommerce Content Strategy?
How will an ecommerce content strategy benefit your brand, and why is it important to have one?
For starters, developing a content strategy gives you an idea of where you’re going, as well as an understanding of where you’ve been and what’s worked (or not) in the past.
For example, let’s say your brand has been publishing blog posts every week. The topics of those posts are chosen at random, without any rhyme or reason. Sometimes, the posts take off and get shared all over social media. And you can see from the click-through rate that some posts are better at converting customers than others.
A content strategy requires you to analyze your existing posts and gain a better understanding of which ones do work, and which ones landed with a thud. You can then focus your strategy on developing more posts like the ones that have paid off, and learn to avoid creating posts that don’t prove to be particularly engaging or popular.
With an ecommerce content strategy, your brand also has a better idea of who you’re trying to connect with, and the types of content that will appeal to specific customers at specific points on the buyer’s journey.
Another benefit of a content strategy is that actionable, useful information will always be more effective in winning people over than any sales pitch. When your company has a plan for producing content that really meets a customer’s specific needs at a specific point in time, you’re much more likely to win them over than if you were to push your products on them without trying to help.
How to Create an Ecommerce Content Strategy
Ready to get to work on creating an ecommerce content strategy? Here’s what to do:
Assess existing content.
Take a look at the content your brand already has. Don’t just look at blog posts — consider the landing pages you use, other website pages, videos, graphics, and so on. What is the content about, what type of voice or tone does it have, how does it connect to your brand or what you’re selling, and what’s the overall quality of the content? At this stage, you also want to check for any outdated content, or content that could benefit from being updated or refreshed.
Choose the type of content you’ll create going forward.
After looking at your existing content (if any), make a plan for new content creation. Are there gaps in your existing content, or are there pieces that you can convert into a new format (such as a blog post into a video) to reach a different segment of an audience?
Choose a style.
Pick a voice for your brand and stick to it. You might have already established the voice with older pieces of content, or you might have noticed that your existing content has a mish-mash of styles or voices. Ideally, the voice and tone you pick will appeal to your audience and the overall style of your ecommerce brand. For example, if you run a site that sells professional workwear, you probably don’t want to adopt a super-relaxed, slang-filled tone.
Scope out your competition.
Take a look at the type of content your competitors produce. Is it high-quality? Is it boring? Are they churning out pieces just to have something on their website? Whatever they are doing, commit to doing it better.
Make a plan for the content.
A lot goes into this step. You want to do more than simply put together an editorial calendar with a schedule of content, including types and topics. You also want to find people to produce the content (if you’re not working in house), and you’ll need to have a plan to optimize the content for search engines. Also, create a plan for promoting your content through social media, paid promotion, and other means.
One last step when you’re creating an ecommerce content strategy: Make sure you write everything down.
You can go back and adjust your strategy as needed, but having it documented somewhere will mean that you always have a guide to go back and refer to if you feel that your content is starting to go off-track.