If you thought that running an e-commerce store is just about having a good product or offering exceptional services – you were wrong. Your T-shirt isn’t going to sell itself. That rules out the option of ‘just winging it.’ You need some serious strategic planning if you want to own a successful, widely-recognised e-commerce business.
What you need is a plan on how to reach out to a broad audience and how to subtly inform a great number of people about your brand. You need to find a way of reaching out to your customers, grabbing their attention and keeping it for as long as possible. You need a content marketing strategy. We’ll break it down for you- everything you need to know about it.
Together, we’ll answer the question: How do we create a content marketing strategy for e-commerce?
E-commerce vs. Retail
A part of the answer to our above-mentioned question lies here: What is e-commerce? Its name is pretty much self-explanatory. As defined by the Cambridge Dictionary, e-commerce is, ‘the business of buying and selling goods and services on the internet.’
Let’s stop here for a second. We’re going to compare the retail business with e-commerce to see what happens. If you open a retail store or shop, that people can walk into, here’s what you need to have in mind:
- A Location in the City
- A Merchandise Display
- A Pleasant Salesman
- A Decoration
- An Attractive Shop Window
You need to have all these little pieces working together in order to attract more people to walk in, see what you offer, buy something and tell their friends.
But, what about e-commerce? You don’t have a shop window, you can’t decorate a website and you certainly don’t have a pleasant salesman saying ‘Good morning!’ to your customers. You have content marketing! It’s everything you need for running a quality, recognised e-commerce store. Your content marketing is your location, decoration, display and everything you need it to be.
Note: You may also be interested in an infographic we published not too long ago which compares e-commerce and regular retail.
What is Content Marketing?
Dictionary.com gives the following definition, ‘marketing that tries to attract customers by distributing informational content potentially useful to the target audience, rather than by advertising products and services in the traditional way.’
In other words, content marketing is a marketing approach which implies strategic planning and the creation of valuable and consistent content in order to attract a certain group of potential customers. Apart from attracting them, you want to make them buy what you’re selling and come back for more.
To simplify it even further: you’re not directly advertising your brand. You’re not allowed to say: Look at this! I’m selling it! Buy it, please!
Instead, you’re offering relevant, informative and valuable content to your customers. The content, but it also engages your audience and helps them solve issues or answer any unresolved questions.
What to Expect from a Content Marketing Strategy for E-commerce
Now, we’ve come to the big question. Why do you need a content marketing strategy for e-commerce? What good does it do to you? Here are the major benefits of a good content marketing strategy:
- Wider Audience
- More Customers
- Increased Sales
It’s as simple as that. Having an e-commerce store, but not having a content marketing strategy is the same as having a retail store and painting your shop window black. No one will ever notice it- and even if they do, they won’t be able to take a peek inside.
Content Marketing Ingredients
What are the key ingredients to a successful content marketing strategy? Take a look.
1- THE VISION
Having a vision implies having an answer to the question. What do I want to achieve? You have to set specifically defined goals and establish a path towards them. Without knowing exactly what you want, you can’t expect to make it happen.
What kind of audience do you want? How much traffic do you need? How much do you expect to increase your sales? Think about it, define it and make the next step.
2 – QUALITY CONTENT CREATION
Your content is your weapon of choice. Choose it wisely and use it even wiser.Since quality content is your number one concern, we’ll go a little bit more into detail here. Here’s a couple of ‘musts’ you need to meet:
- Relevant, Up-to-date and Valuable
Keep up with the trending topics but give a fresh approach. Add valuable information and give your audience a reason to remember you.
- Accurately Written
No mistakes, no inaccuracies. Keep it professional and make sure every word’s in its place.
There’s no room for sloppiness. Do your homework before posting.
Adjust your content for skimming and scanning. That’s the way most people read online content. Use short sentences and bulleted lists. Add some visuals as well: images, videos, and tables.
Not sure you can handle it all by yourself? You can try using online writing tools such as Trust My Paper to help you write, edit or proofread your content. It is far better to hire a professional writer if your budget allows it. Whatever you do, your content needs to be top-notch!
Where are you going to post your content? Who is going to read it?
- Blog Posts
Your core blog is the epicentre of your campaign. It’s where it all starts and where all the action takes place. Don’t rush into anything; be smart, cautious and thorough.
- Guest Posts
You need to make an appearance on at least a couple of external websites. That will assure maximum visibility for your brand.
- Social Media Posts
You’re aware of the power of social media, so make sure to post and share. Don’t forget- it’s free!
Note: Here’s another infographic! This one is on how you can use social media to expand an e-commerce business.
You need to stay loyal to your mission. That includes ongoing effort and building your brand one step at a time. Your traffic won’t come overnight, neither will your new customers. You cannot stop with your content marketing or pause it for a while.
You need to have an on-going online campaign, which stays consistent all the way. Consistency is the key to having a strong brand identity and creating permanent bonds with your customers.
Use all the promotion channels you can. Don’t leave anything to chance. You can use:
- Email marketing
- Paid social media promotion
- Influencer marketing
- Comment marketing
This will maximise your chances of being “out there” and building a strong network of loyal customers.
It’s obvious- you need a content marketing strategy if you’re hoping to develop or maintain a successful e-commerce store. You won’t last a day without it. It’s crucial for your development, improvement, and profit.
You can’t achieve all that we’ve covered in a day. It takes time, so allow yourself to take some. Still, you’ve got to start somewhere so start planning. Make small steps every day and you’ll build a content marketing strategy which will open a lot of new doors for you. After that, your e-commerce store will keep getting better and better.
Print on Demand
Here at Printsome, we’ve always supported creative endeavours which is why we’re proud to announce our brand new ‘print on demand’ service.
Thanks to our five years of experience in the apparel-printing industry, we were able to design a platform catered towards the needs of artists and designers who want to start their own T-shirt line. Printsome’s ‘Print on demand’ service has no minimum orders and can print any design with no colour limitations.
From the moment you connect your online shop (like Shopify) with our platform, anyone can buy one of your designs. We deliver all over the UK and Europe. Drop shipping has never been this easy.
Why worry about inventory or logistics when we can take care of that? We deal with the boring stuff so you have more time to do what you love. To find out more, simply visit our brand new website.