[Guest post by James D. Burbank ]
Content marketing has been with us for quite some time now and only the blindest and the most delusional ecommerce owners are not at least giving it a go. Simply put, content marketing has become an inseparable part of promoting one’s ecommerce business online and there are no two ways about it.
The most impactful consequence of this is that your average, work-to-rule content marketing does not cut it any longer. In order to really stand out, an ecommerce owner/manager will need to take it to another level. Today, we will be talking about some of these advanced content marketing techniques that you can utilize in order to make your online shop more alluring and popular.
Power up your Blog
Before anything else, it is probably time to give your blog an overhaul. It is far more likely than not that your blog is not all that it could be. In all likelihood, you are writing about the stuff you sell here and there, perhaps do a brief overview, a comparison or two. Stuff like that. A few months ago you stopped including photos in your articles.
Well, it’s time to do something about it. Reevaluate your blog and turn it more into a magazine than just another place to flog your products. One of the best examples of how to do this is the Coggles blog which features a ton of categories with great stories and articles. They probably have a whole team behind their blog, but you can always do something similar on a smaller scale.
The reason why your blog needs to pop is that it will be your starting point, something you will reference when reaching out to other people.
Amp up your Content
In order for your content to be truly attractive and shareable, it will have to be much, much better than anything your competition is doing. A great way to go with your content is through newsjacking, where you jump on a piece of news or popular culture and build your own content around it. Just, for the sake of your children and the future of mankind, please do not do another Game of Thrones-related article. There are too many of those already out there. There were too many of those four years ago.
If you are selling something in a more “technical” industry, such as, for instance, car parts or machinery of some kind, it might be a good idea to do some extensive, proper research and write a white paper where you will provide the readers with statistics and insights that have not been covered up to that point. Statistics are particularly good because future writers will often reference them when writing their own articles.
Both these techniques are very shareable and also captivating enough for your guest blogging efforts.
You might want to check out this comprehensive guide to engaging content from FourDots if you want more ideas for amping up your content.
There is a very good reason why the subheading of this section is simply word video repeated three times. It is that important. It is that good for promoting your content. These days, it is also easier than ever before to create videos that will look as if made by professionals with high-end equipment. Of course, the content of your videos is going to vary depending on what it is you are selling.
If you sell tools, for example, you can have a DIY channel where you cover various repairs (perhaps in partnership with local pros). If you sell clothes, you can make short videos with local modelling talent. You can do unpacking videos, how-to guides and so on.
Besides featuring your videos on your website, you should also promote them on YouTube, as well as social media. For instance, you can put the most interesting parts of your vids on Vine or even Snapchat behind-the-scenes mishaps. If you want more ideas and advice, check out this great article at Shopify.co.uk.
Don’t Fail at Social
We are hearing left and right all about the importance of social media and how brands should be utilizing them as a way to promote and find new customers. In reality, however, most brands fail at it. Big brands. Important brands. Brands that might have even used social media to their benefit in the past.
A perfect example of this (albeit in the travel and not ecommerce industry) is the very recent case of Cynthia Johnson, a very influential branding and digital marketing expert who went to Twitter to voice her negative experience with Expedia. Pretty much every travel website and service failed to react properly, even though they were included in the conversation by other people. You can read all about these epic fails in this very thorough article at SerpMedia.
It is very, very easy to imagine a case in which ecommerce websites fail to take advantage of such a situation. For example, we can imagine an influencer failing to find a good enough guide on something at the ecommerce website they usually deal with. You happen to have just the guide (or are able to bang something out in matter of hours), or any other kind of similar content and you offer a helping hand. You do not have to even wonder if an endorsement is ensuing.
In the end, it is all about being involved and not seeing your content marketing as an afterthought. If you are not sure you have the time and the know-how to pull it off, you can always approach someone who will have advice for you, or might even do your supercharged content marketing for you.
The important thing is not to ignore it.