Content Marketing for eCommerce
Content marketing can describe many things, from small blogs posted on a company’s website, to great articles, and even eBooks. It can range from a video posted on YouTube, to a photo shared on Instagram, or a nicely designed infographic. As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Like the tactics to apply within this field, content marketing can provide thousands of tips and ways of working, but from here, we will outline some of the most important tips in regards to content marketing for eCommerce.
Content Marketing for eCommerce Sites
Content marketing for eCommerce sites doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, sometimes it can be easier than creating content for other types of websites. There are many different types of content marketing that you could try, but what works for some, doesn’t work for all. Your niche and your audience will greatly influence what the best type of content for eCommerce websites would be required, and sometimes you’re just going to have to try and test until you find what works. Let’s take a look below at these eCommerce content marketing examples.
Use Original Product Descriptions
Product descriptions, one of your main sales tools, is one of the pillars of content marketing for eCommerce.
We must bear in mind that these descriptions not only talk about the product that is available for sale, but that they have to try to create an emotional connection with the buyer until the sale takes place.
From here, we consider 2 types of product descriptions in general:
The first, from the point of view of a large retailer:
“Stainless steel handles (4 units) for drawers with 7 centimeters distance. Resistant material. Easy installation. Screws for fixing are included.”
The second, more original and elaborated, could be something like:
“These modern and minimalist stainless steel handles stand out for their style and material with which they are made, not for unnecessary functions or useless ornaments. Designed to detail, its assembly is very simple. The order includes four handles, designed for drawers with a distance of 7 centimeters between their holes. We provide screws for assembly.”
As we can see, the 2 descriptions refer to the product. The first is limited to naming its characteristics, but the second establishes a connection with the buyer, with phrases such as: “the assembly is very simple” (anyone can assemble it); “We provide screws for assembly” (facilities), “designed to detail” (denotes that although it is not very ornate, design has been important in its development), etc.
This second description, besides talking about the product, establishes the necessary connection with the buyer and can speak to them more directly.
Let’s take a look at a real example:
This is a Natural Honey Facial Cleansing Bar by B.Witching Bath Co.
Their product description is relatively short, but conveys enough information without sounding generic.
The description immediately mentions that this product was selected by a magazine for the best product in its category. It then states that it’s award-winning and enriched with natural skin nourishing extracts.
It then goes on to further state what the product can do, and also mention that it’s good to use if you have sensitive skin, followed by the directions for use and the size at the end.
This is an example of a good product description.
It is a little short, and won’t carry much benefit in terms of search engine optimization, but it does effectively convey some good points of information for the reader to digest and decide if they want to purchase the product.
User Generated Content
This is some of the best content that you could possibly get.
Not only could it be free, but you may never have to make your own content again.
We cover this subject in this article What is Content Marketing?
There, we detail how the watch company Daniel Wellington got people to post pictures of themselves wearing the companies watches on Instagram.
DW now gets free social media content as a result and runs the occasional promotion as an incentive, which you can check out on the #dwpickoftheday hashtag on Instagram.
If you can nail down an effective strategy to get user-generated content, then you too could reap the rewards like DW is.
They focus exclusively on influencer marketing when they do spend money, and they do it very well.
Other than this, it’s all user-generated.
This form of content marketing for eCommerce can be incredibly effective and not only save you a lot in regards to generating content, but also make you a lot in regards to the exposure you can receive.
General Electric – #GEInstaWalk
On the topic of user-generated content, GE did this but combined it with another strategy.
GE is a massive multinational conglomerate that is well known for selling consumer products such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners. They decided to try out the modern day technique of Influencer Marketing but actually focused their efforts on other branches of their business such as renewable energy, aviation, and transportation.
What GE did was they invited six Instagram influencers and some fans to come and tour through their manufacturing facilities. These people would then take photos and videos to share on their Instagram accounts and use the hashtag #GEInstaWalk for everyone to see.
These influencers got to create unique content for their followers while GE got to showcase their company and its various branches through a different medium.
GE’s Instagram page received 8 million views and around 3000 followers as a result.
Remember, the number of followers you have or gain on Instagram is not everything.
The number of eyeballs that saw this campaign drew a lot of exposure for GE and they took advantage of having a branded hashtag on social media.
Drive Newsletter Subscriptions
If you’re not collecting email addresses on your eCommerce website, then you could be wasting a lot of opportunities.
Every email subscriber has the potential to be a customer or to share your content on social media.
If you’re not capturing emails from the day your website goes live, then each day that goes by you could be missing out on something.
Email subscribers are the lifeblood of a lot of eCommerce websites, and many will agree that without subscribers, they would not be still in business.
You have absolutely nothing to lose by capturing your visitor’s emails, and everything to lose by not doing it. Even small lists of email subscribers can still be very powerful and this should not be underestimated at all.
This is an email subscription pop up from Jackpot Candles
These types of pop ups are known as “Spin The Wheel” and are becoming very popular now and it’s because they are incredibly effective at getting email subscribers.
What it does is it adds gamification to your eCommerce website. It’s like a mini competition that people can enter and immediately know the results and possible prize.
These pop ups can be configured to activate after the user spends X amount of time on your website, as soon as they enter the website, or even when they move their mouse to leave your website.
This example in particular has been done pretty well.
It lets me know that a “special bonus” has been unlocked and creates scarcity by informing me that 70% of offers available have already been claimed.
It then tells me that I can win a nice big fat discount, which I obviously want, before stating the rules and making me act fast because I can only claim this coupon within 10 minutes.
The only things I would change on this particular email subscription form is to increase the 10-minute time limit slightly and also create an additional field on the form for the user to enter their first name. Getting the first name enables me to use their name for future email marketing communications, which makes the email a lot more personal and increases my chances of getting more conversions as a result.
Creating videos about your products could be better for your potential customers. These, on occasion, can work better than a written description, and you could create a video showing a product demonstration so people can see exactly how it works. There is even evidence that they can increase sales and conversions.
Video marketing should not be ignored, and people love watching videos more than ever because the content is easier to consume and resonates better due to the visual and sound aspect.
A good video makes the content more powerful, enough to attract, engage and retain customers. But what, if not only videos appear on your website? There are several platforms (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook) that allow you to include promotional videos.
This can be a good opportunity to let you know (or strengthen your business) through more channels in addition to your website. The more you use content marketing for eCommerce, the easier it can be to reach a greater number of people.
Aside from a product demo, you could create full-fledged video content in regards to your products such as its history, evolution, common uses, tips, tricks, and anything else related. You can post the videos on your YouTube channel and then embed the videos onto your website so you can take advantage of both sources of traffic.
This is a Sperry Gold A/O 2-Eye Boat Shoe from Zappos
Notice how in the bottom left corner under their product images how there’s a video?
It’s a 52-second video that they uploaded to YouTube and embedded onto their website.
It’s a quick outline of the type of product and it does a great job in providing the user with another form of content and see the product in action.
Use Captivating Photos
Content marketers need not look beyond Instagram or Pinterest to see that a good photo can “catch” customers and have them share these images on their social networks. One could say that the images, in some way, are “contagious”; with which a user shares it, many more will see it and interact with it.
The content sharing platform Buffer said back in 2014 that visual content, such as captivating images, is 40 times more shared on social networks than just text-based content, and the visual content, in addition, earns about twice as many visits on social networks than posts based on text. That was quite a few years ago, so imagine the power that visual content has now.
Therefore, as a content tool, photographs can be used in product descriptions, style books, social networks or blog articles to name a few.
A high-quality image like this statistically has better potential to drive more exposure and traffic to your brand than standard text-based content. There is, of course, an art to driving traffic, but there are many different eCommerce promotion methods that you can try out to do this. Not only this, but good, high-quality photos can also drive more sales. Image what you would think if you saw a website selling shoes and the product photos were just the shoes on the grass in the owner’s backyard, taken on their iPhone? Now imagine those same shoes but properly placed in a themed setting, with attention to detail, and taken with proper photography equipment.
Selling your products can be easier if you show people how to use them.
This is where product guides come in.
Let’s say that you sell makeup products for example.
You can create guides on how to use individual products that you sell.
How to Apply Lipstick Without Lip Liner
How to Apply Mascara Without Clumping
How to Shape Eyebrows With Tweezers
These guides can be individually made to sell lipstick, mascara, and eyebrow tweezers respectively while showing the user how to do it with those exact products that you sell. This can make the user far more inclined to purchase that exact product from you since they’ve just seen it been used effectively to get the outcome they desire.
This is a product guide on How to Apply Primer by Makeup.com
This is a very good example on how a product guide should look, and there’s some key points about it that you should use.
It starts with the obligatory intro paragraph, talking about a few relatable points and then goes on to detail different types of primers that can be used for a range of different reasons. It also makes use of nice and clean product photos for each brand. Not only this, but there are internal links to all of the product pages for these different primers, which is exactly the point of creating this product guide – to drive traffic to those pages.
The guide then finishes off with some general but applicable information regarding primer and some steps to follow down the bottom.
Overall, this is a good product guide.
It could contain more, but it doesn’t have to.
The only thing that I could honestly say is lacking, but not necessary, is product demonstration videos.
This would complete the guide in my opinion and make it top-notch content marketing for eCommerce.
Fun and Varied Content
Content can entertain, and entertainment attracts the public. Therefore, content marketing can use contests, surveys, questionnaires, and other forms of fun and interactive content distributed through various blogs or social network accounts to attract potential customers.
Contests, for example, clearly give something to the contestants, such as the chance to win a prize. But they are also a great opportunity to get more followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and similar platforms.
You can learn a lot from people who fill out surveys (for the information they provide), which could then be used to make improvements on your website or drive more sales. You can create surveys about your website, the products you sell, aspects of your niche, and have people complete it for you, possibly in exchange for a little reward like a 5% discount code.
The same goes for questionnaires, and the results that you get back could not only be surprising, but also incredibly useful for your eCommerce content strategy.
This type of content is a winner for both parties. The visitors get to pass the time and have a bit of fun while you get their valuable answers to utilize in future.
This is an example template of a survey form created by Survey Monkey.
They have a free plan and paid ones as well, and the free plan enables you to have up to 10 questions with unlimited responses.
This is a good choice if you want to create some surveys for your websites visitors or email subscribers and you could gain some valuable information from them in the process.
Create A Glossary of Industry Terms and Jargon
Sometimes it can be overwhelming when you’re trying to purchase something but everything you read about it is in terminology you don’t understand.
You trawl through countless Google results and feel like you knew less about it now than before you started doing research.
If only a retailer made a glossary of what all this crap means so you know what you need.
You’d probably even buy it from them too since they helped you.
It’s easy to talk in industry terms when you’re an expert on the topic, and it’s even easier to ramble on about all things related.
The problem is, when industry experts are writing for the consumer, a lot of them aren’t thinking for the consumer.
This can lead to really good content becoming confusing and making the reader look up certain terms they don’t understand.
Do you know what this does?
Makes them leave your website!
Even if they just quickly Googled a term and then came back to your site, they still left. Any time a user leaves your website creates a chance for them to never come back. What if they Googled that term and then quickly got distracted on social media? Even if they saw the browser tab with your site open 20 minutes later, do they still have the same level of interest as they did before?
Always write for the general reader. If you have to include something technical, explain it if you need to in the least condescending manner possible.
Got an eCommerce site selling lawn care products?
Here’s an example above of a glossary of lawn care terms.
You could create internal links within the glossary to related products you sell and many people would find this type of content useful.
Glossaries should be fairly easy for you to create if you have a lot of knowledge about your niche and could also increase your authority as well.