It’s harder than ever to promote your eCommerce business. With so many different brands fighting to get seen by an ever-increasing online audience, it’s difficult to stand out.

For many eCommerce businesses, the first reaction is to go straight for the sale. This leads to sleazy content that doesn’t offer the consumer any value; instead, it just wants to take their money from them. So how can you make people aware of your products and your brand without getting a sleazy name for yourself?

Easy. The answer is content marketing.

What is Content Marketing?

This type of marketing strategy involves creating and sharing online materials, like videos, blogs, and social media updates. It doesn’t directly promote a brand, but is used instead to generate interest, boost authority, and educate potential prospects. And it’s growing by the year.

More eCommerce brands than ever are tapping into the power of content marketing and upping their budgets year on year – and for good reason. This form of marketing generates a considerably higher ROI than any other. But as well as bringing in a healthy ROI, content marketing helps boost other areas of business. We’re talking things like:

  • Building awareness of your brand
  • Driving traffic to your site and shop
  • Moving prospects down the sales funnel to that all-important “buy” button
  • Building trust and loyalty amongst customers
  • Positioning your business as an authority in your niche

So yes, it’s safe to say content marketing is a  must for your eCommerce business – especially because it’s a cost-effective strategy (win-win!). In fact, it costs 62% less than traditional advertising to execute, but brings in three times more leads.

It’s a no-brainer. So how can you leverage it to boost your business and learn how to sell online?

1. Plan Out Your Strategy

Like every marketing tactic, content marketing needs a strategy to work well. It’s no good diving in head first with no idea where you want to end up or what your main goal is. So, before you even start thinking about cornerstone blog content or a series for YouTube, start at the very beginning.

At this stage, you want to solidify things like:

  • Your long-term and short-term goals (what kind of sales do you want to see now and in the future?)
  • Your buyer persona (who do you want to buy your products? When you know this, it’s easier to create content especially for them)
  • Your main keywords and key phrases, so you can position yourself in your industry and generate more traffic to your site
  • An editorial calendar (when will you publish content? Are there any specific holidays that you can use to your advantage in your industry?)
  • A promotion schedule (where will you promote your content and how will you use those channels to reach your target audience?)

Creating a plan is the hardest part of the process, but once you’ve got it nailed down, you can start creating content that will be successful with your audience.

2.Repurpose Your Content

It’s easy to think that once you’ve covered a topic in a blog post you can’t cover it again on your site because your audience will know. But think about the many different ways people consume content. Some might prefer watching YouTube videos on their lunch break, while others would rather scan a blog post for the juiciest information.

When you start creating content, don’t limit yourself to just one format. You can turn detailed blog posts into YouTube series and create numerous different social media updates from one email. By repurposing your content, you’re broadening the amount of consumers you reach with your brand and, therefore, expanding your chances of making more sales.

Think about it this way: someone might have missed your blog post when you published it on Twitter, but they might just stumble across a video you created about the same topic on YouTube.

3. Implement Video and Show Your Products in Action

People love video. In fact, they love it so much that 43% of consumers want to see more video content. And, on top of that, video is successful. More than 50% of marketing professionals identified video as the content format that brought them the highest ROI.

If you’re not already using video, it’s a good time to get started. Create videos that show people using your products, or create how-to videos that show prospects how they can use your products to change their businesses and lives.

Unroll.Me, an email decluttering service, for example, created a video that shows people why “email doesn’t have to suck”, showcasing the capabilities of its software and how that will benefit users. To date, the video has racked up more than 150,000 views.

4. Create Different Content for Different People

Let’s talk about the customer journey for a moment. This is the process every consumer goes through when they’re deciding whether to make a purchase or not.

Source: Cultivate Marketing

It goes something like this:

  1. Customer becomes aware of a need they have or a problem they need solving
  2. They research brands that can help them solve that problem
  3. They decide which brand best suits their needs and buy from them
  4. The customer is consistently engaged by the brand after they buy
  5. The customer becomes an advocate of the brand and promotes it to all their friends and family

When it comes to creating content, different people want different things depending on where they are at in the buying journey. For example, a customer who has already bought from you won’t be interested in a blog post that shares why customers should buy from you because, well, they’ve been there, done that, and got the t-shirt.

Here, you want to think about the different things you can offer at each step. So, during the awareness stage, you might create a video showing why someone might need your product in their life, but during the purchase stage, you might gather together customer reviews and testimonials to tip potential buyers over the edge.

5. User Generated Content

We’re going to hit you with a stat.

93% of consumers find UGC helpful when making a purchasing decision. That’s almost every single consumer.

But what exactly is UGC?

Well, it’s content created by previous customers; things like reviews, social media updates about a purchased product, or an Instagram image showing the customer with their purchase.

Listening in to what people are saying about your brand is a valuable way to learn what they want and what they might be lacking from you, plus gathering content that’s created by people who know and love you (and sharing it) will lead to more sales.

This is because word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the most successful forms of marketing, even in the digital age. Consumers are more likely to listen to what a previous buyer has to say about a product than what the brand itself has to say (because they’re getting savvier to polished marketing campaigns).

Buffer, a social media scheduling software, showcases the photographs and personalities of its users all around the world with its UGC hashtag #BufferCommunity.

Once you tap into the people who know and love you best and the content they’re sharing, you can integrate it throughout the customer buying journey to make more sales. For example, you might add testimonials to your landing pages to give your product social proof, or share images on your Facebook page to generate more engagement, shares, and click throughs to your store.

6. Content Marketing Makes More Sales. Fact.

Content marketing can seem like a hefty minefield, but if you know what you want to achieve and implement it in the right way, it can drastically boost your product sales.

As long as you have a strategy in place, and know what your customers expect from you at each stage of the buying process, you can easily create a solid content marketing system that sells your digital products on autopilot.

Need more tips and advice? Check our ultimate eBook collection that will help you run and grow your website! And your business will thank you for it.

Maik Bodden, Marketing Manager @ G2A PAY

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