The Content Marketers Guide to Ecommerce

A comprehensive guide to building a successful ecommerce content strategy.

When it comes to content marketing, we tend to think about the creation and distribution of content as well as the strategy behind it.

With ecommerce, attention needs to be paid to the goals and desired effects that strategy could have. While other industries might focus on improving brand awareness or building leads, ecommerce brands have to create a content strategy that results in actual revenue. 

A well implemented ecommerce content strategy helps to engage potential customers, giving them the right information at the right time of their buying journey. This helps build credibility and trust that can often result in confident online purchases. 

To help you along the way, we put together a list of everything you need to consider when building a world-class ecommerce content strategy. 

Considerations for impactful ecommerce content

While there are a number of quick wins you can implement to improve your ecommerce site right away, if you are hoping to overhaul your current content, you will want to take a deep dive into your current state of play. 

By reviewing and auditing your processes and ways of working, you will quickly understand what is possible and this can be fed into your strategy to make it even more obtainable. 

Here are a few things that you need to review beforehand:

Marketing resource and alignment

Content marketing is not just about copy. A range of content types should be considered within your strategy, such as video, social media, and collaborations.  Ensuring you have the right resources in-house or working with an agency is your first step to ensuring you are able to execute the tasks ahead of you. 

Other key marketing considerations at this stage may include:

Current user experience

A key part of your strategy should focus on creating a positive user experience for your customers. While this is true for all websites, it’s exceptionally important for ecommerce sites where the desired outcome ends in a purchase. Google also puts a lot of pressure on ecommerce sites to follow their guidelines around experience, expertise, authority and trust.  

Other user experience considerations you might want to look at include:

Sales-focused content

While your overall marketing strategy will and should include tactics for upselling, promotions and brand awareness, you can also focus on increasing sales conversions through on-page copy. An effective content strategy considers things such as product descriptions, internal linking and more. 

When auditing your content, you may want to include: 

Customer retention tactics

Your content marketing strategy isn’t all about new customers and new sales. A huge part of it should be focused on customer retention and how you engage with them to come back. Your products may be great, but what about your website and marketing tactics?

Some key considerations here might be to look at the following:

Competitive landscape 

With the online marketplace continuing to grow with businesses moving online every day, having a clear content strategy will help you to identify what makes you stand out from the crowd. A good strategy will also start with an assessment of what your closest competitors are doing, enabling you to tailor your strategy to ensure you’re up there with the best. 

A competitor analysis might include:

Building a successful ecommerce strategy

Now that you know where you currently stand, it’s time to take those insights and build on them. Here are the broad strokes you need to plot out before getting into the details. 

Know your target audience

When creating any content strategy, you need to consider your target audience and their buying behaviour. We recommend investing time in building out archetypes or personas to ensure your content speaks their language. 

You may already have a clear understanding of who you’re targeting, but there are ways to gather data and assess this accurately. These could include: 

Align goals with business objectives 

If you have KPIs that need to be met, such as building brand awareness (discovery focused) or increasing sales (conversion focused), this needs to be taken into account when building your content strategy. 

Very specific types of content will service each of the KPIs you have and it is better to manage the expectations of your content going into developing your strategy. 

Discovery-focused content: includes blogs, guides, podcasts, social content and online coverage with the main objective being increased awareness and consideration. 

Conversion-focused content: includes optimised product pages with the main objective being better conversions. 

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Know and own your USPs

By understanding where you fit into the market, and what you can offer that’s higher quality than or even completely different to your competitors, you can decide how best to position your products and how your content should reflect that. 

Key things to consider here include:

At this stage, you will also want to consider your tone of voice. Having a clear tone of voice document ensures all content is written from a single source of truth across all channels, no matter who is creating the content.  

Content ideation and research

Now that you have all of the strategic elements figured out, the next phase is to actually dig into topics that you can own. There are so many ways to generate ideas, some of our tried and tested methods include:

Your plan of action

Finally, although it may seem obvious, one of the key areas to outline is resources. How much time and budget do you have? By having a clear overview of the resources you have access to, you can now map out your next steps. 

You need to identify the following:

All of this should be plotted and planned in some form of a collaborative content calendar or Gantt chart. This ensures targets, dates and individuals are held to account. 

Engaging those who aren’t ready to buy

Once you have the lay of the land, it’s time to start categorising the type of content that needs to be created. It’s tempting to go ahead and create loads of content, but it’s vital to remember who you’re making it for. 

Start by building out a user journey for each stage of the funnel. By doing this, you’ll build a better understanding of what types of content will resonate for people depending on the stage of the funnel they’re currently in. 

Here is a template that can help put your thoughts in order:  

What you need to do next

There’s a lot to think about before you begin, but with  the right research and planning, a well-thought-out content marketing strategy can be essential for a successful ecommerce website. If you’d like more support with building a winning strategy,  check out how our expert team of strategists can help.