When you go to an eCommerce site, you may notice that besides products and services, the company also has a blog. You may think of a blog as a nonessential element. After all, you have so many other business duties. A blog can’t really be that important – can it?
In reality, a blog is a very effective marketing tool. Think about how many pages your website has, and how often they are updated. If you’re like most companies, you have a small amount of pages that aren’t updated too often. Without regular updates, your search engine rankings can remain static or drop. This makes it hard to drive traffic to your website.
Blogging eliminates this problem. Each blog means another page that will show up in Google search results. Each page has the potential to bring in more and more customers. As an added bonus, you can use the content in your blog on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This helps drive traffic even more.
So, now that you know why you should create a blog, the next step is to develop the right strategy. What should you write about? How should you position the content in order to attract the right users? How to Develop a Content Strategy for Your eCommerce Blog that works ? Here are some ways to develop a strategy that will set up your company for success.
Research Your Target Audience
In order to create content that works, you have to know your audience. You have to be able to write blog posts that they can identify with. In your mind, you should be able to come up with characteristics that are present in your ideal customer. Are they male or female? How old are they? What types of careers do they have? What is their annual household income? Married? Kids?
By getting a deeper understanding of who exactly your products and services are intended to target, you can create content that perhaps solves a problem or fits their needs in some other way.
Find Out What Your Customers Are Looking For
Look at what customers are searching for on your site and create keywords based on the results. Ideally, the keyword phrase should consist of two or three words. You want to aim for specificity. If you have a website about dogs, “dog” is going to be way too generic. Try terms like “dog training” or “dog breeding.” You can use these keywords as ideas for blog topics.
If you find that your customers really enjoy content about a specific subject, you can enhance the content even further and create videos, eBooks, and other marketing tools. In the age of YouTube, how-to videos are especially popular. The more successful companies use an average of 15 different marketing approaches, so don’t be afraid to try a couple and see which ones work the best.
Create Content That Puts the Customer in Control
Customers want to shop online at their own pace. They appreciate content that can help them make decisions without the need to call customer service and be on hold for an hour. They also don’t want to send an email and wait two days for a response.
Great content answers questions that customers might have before placing an order. For example, a clothing store might have an interactive guide that helps customers pick out the perfect pair of jeans. Content does not need to be in blog format or even have a significant amount of text.
Visuals can be even more helpful, depending on the products being sold. In a nutshell, your goal is to create content that makes it easier for your customers to make a purchase.
For some companies, it’s important to provide customers with valuable information that they might need before making a purchase. This is especially useful in the home repair and home décor niches. For example, choosing the right flooring is important for many homeowners, and they may not even know where to start. A blog about the various types of flooring and their pros and cons can help a customer make an informed decision.
Create a Sense of Community
Believe it or not, some shoppers don’t want to simply purchase a product and be on their way. They want a sense of community. They want to spend some time developing a relationship. As an eCommerce site, you should be willing to develop a relationship; after all, this relationship can make you big bucks. So, to meet this need, be open to the idea of a forum where customers have the ability to ask questions and receive responses from others.
You can also consider setting up Q&A sections on product pages (like Amazon) or allowing blog commenting so that others can weigh in with their opinions. If your site doesn’t offer any of these capabilities, you can also take advantage of social media for this purpose. Set up a Facebook page specifically for customers.
Determine a Frequency
Once you’ve settled on a blog or other form of content marketing, you have to update it regularly. It can’t be a one-time thing if you’re looking to create long-term relationships. It has to be consistent. You can’t have five blogs one week, two the following week, three the next week, and so on. Customers will want an idea of when they can expect to see new content. Come up with a schedule that works best and stick with it. Don’t leave your customers hanging. They’ll look elsewhere if it seems as though the content hasn’t been updated in quite some time.
Is Your Content Strategy Working?
You won’t gain tons of visitors overnight, but you should start to see a change in time. This might be a good time to ask for feedback from customers. Evaluate your strategies to see if your marketing goals are being met or if you need to come up with a different strategy.
Rose Burg is a content enthusiast who is happy to tinker with words all day long. He is curious, quirky and obsessed with all things design. He has been helping e-commerce companies establish their online presence and achieve their sale goals since 2007. When he is not at work, he enjoys night swimming.