Although traditional advertising can still be relevant, it’s no longer powerful enough to stand on its own.

It’s not capable of reaching the largest audience or generating the most interest with the minimum investment. If you want to build a strong brand and get more e-commerce customers, you should have a detailed content marketing strategy.

Content marketing lets you connect with and educate leads and customers.

Content is king, as Bill Gates used to say.

No matter the form it comes in, content is essential to the success of an e-commerce website, building a connection that can lead to short-term sales and long-term loyalty. It’s just as important as the customer.

No matter the form it comes in, content is essential to the success of an e-commerce website, building a connection that can lead to short-term sales and long-term loyalty. It's just as important as the customer. Click To Tweet

Content marketing is without a doubt one of the best ways to put a company in the spotlight. Unfortunately, about 63% of companies think they don’t need a documented content strategy.

What about you? Have you refined your strategy yet?

You don’t want to be in the 63% of businesses navigating without a content marketing strategy.

To get well-deserved exposure for your products, combine the many different types of contents (text, images, email, audio, and video). Also, come up with a consistent strategy that will be implemented across all channels, from your site to your social media pages. Once you’ve nailed consistency, success will be yours.

In this article we will talk about:

What is content marketing?
Why do e-commerce stores need a solid content marketing strategy?
Developing a content marketing plan for long-term growth
1. Set your goals and objectives
2. Know the target audience inside out
3. Selecting the ultimate content marketing channel
4. Decide on the right content type
5. Allocate resources and assign tasks
6. Generate great content
7. Share your content with the world
8. Track results
Examples of brilliant content marketing that will inspire you to take action
Content marketing Q&A

Enjoy reading!

What is content marketing?

The idea of content marketing has been around for a long time. This kind of marketing has gained lots and lots of attention and the reason is that it works.

What is content marketing, anyway?

It’s basically the creation and delivery of online content that targets all customers. The web-based material – which is free, by the way – gets the customer to do something.

Content marketing is educational. However, the focus isn’t on the products the company is trying to sell. No. The marketer offers good info to make people intensely loyal to the brand.

The content is working towards a bigger goal, as you can see.

Content marketing is surely worth a try. The facts speak for themselves. Here is a short list of content marketing statistics that deserve your attention:

1. 72% of marketers say content marketing boosts audience engagement. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)

According to current digital content marketing stats, marketers think that producing high-quality, relevant content encourages audience interaction. Besides increasing the time that visitors spend on the website, pieces of content help buyers every step of the way. What’s more, 72% of marketers saw an increase in the number of leads they were generating.

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2. Most marketers use blogging as a key content marketing tactic. (Source: OptinMonster)

Nearly all marketers report that blogging is their top content marketing priority. People love to read blog posts and share them. Blog posts are even included in email marketing campaigns. The results you can get from search ads are nothing compared to blogging. Companies with a blog receive more leads than those who don’t. Blogging can be excellent for your ROI.

3. YouTube has more than 1.9 billion monthly active logged-in users. (Source: HubSpot)

At present, people watch a million hours of YouTube content every single day. The average viewing session lasts approximately 40 minutes. YouTube is one of the most powerful tools for reaching your target audience. It allows you to distribute unmatched content, which is easy to consume and share. YouTube’s monthly user number isn’t comparable to that of Facebook, but it’s certainly getting close.

4. Snapchat and Instagram are recommended for the younger demographic. (Source: Sprout Social)

What do the numbers say? Well, Snapchat and Instagram reach more young people than any social networking services. Snapchat was meant to be a messaging app. Instead, it transformed into an ingenious way for teens to post video updates to one another and have fun with filters. 75% of Snapchat users are under 35 years. Instagram too is popular among the younger generation. The most significant demographic group are males between the ages of 18-24. Taking into account that Instagram added Stories and IGTV, this fashionableness doesn’t really come as a surprise.

5. Compared to outbound marketing, content marketing costs 62% less and closes about 3 times as many leads. (Source: Neil Patel)

There’s no denying that content marketing is cost-effective. You don’t have to dig deep into your pockets when it comes to creating and sharing online material. Consider investing your resources in a digital marketing program. Don’t rely on newspaper ads. You’re better off launching a content marketing campaign. Textual, visual, and audio content enable you to communicate with the target audience. Basically, it humanizes the brand and adds authority. Plus, it’s affordable.

There's no denying that content marketing is cost-effective. You don't have to dig deep into your pockets when it comes to creating and sharing online material. Consider investing your resources in a digital marketing program Click To Tweet

Why do e-commerce stores need a solid content marketing strategy?

Content marketing isn’t complicated at all.

However, you must have a powerful strategic plan and stick to it.

A content marketing strategy is the one thing that separates successful marketers from their less successful counterparts. The plan of action scrutinizes the various ways this marketing approach can be used across the buyer’s journey, customer life cycle, or customer touchpoints. 72% of marketers who have managed to increase their level of success say they may never have achieved anything without a good strategy.

No matter if you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for a while now, develop a step-by-step content marketing plan. So, why exactly should you take time for planning?

There are several reasons.

  • To keep up with the competition: 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day, according to eMarketer. Infographics, product reviews, and “How to” guides offer them what they need to created targeted mini-campaigns. With a solid content marketing strategy, you’ll keep ahead of the competition. Be creative and do things that set you apart. Create remarkable, sharable content every day. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Take control of your blog and make it fun.
  • To build brand awareness: Brand awareness impacts buyers’ decisions when choosing between competing companies. Strategic content advertising helps you build brand awareness and make your business’ reputation even more positive. Creative elements, such as text and images, show people who you are and what your brand stands for. It practically establishes a voice of industry authority. If you want to take advantage of the incredible advantages for brand amplification, have a well-structured strategic plan.
  • To get more targeted leads: Great content attracts customers. Marketers not only have documented plans to increase their lead generation but also they invest more than half of their money into their lead generation strategy. Do some research, determine what content you want to share, and pick the right distribution channel. A strategic content marketing approach is all about distributing the relevant content that you’ve created and building profitable customer relationships.

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  • To boost sales: Marketing that is focused on creating and delivering Web content to a clearly-defined audience has the power to increase website traffic and fill the sales funnel with potential buyers. Smartphones and social media networking platforms have become part of daily life, so you might want to have a content marketing strategy to bring in new customers. You’re competing for attention and it’s time to get into the details.
  • To keep customers for life: While trying to attract new customers, don’t forget about the ones you’ve got. Customers who love your products and services are the ones who keep revenue streams flowing. Use content marketing to secure loyal customers. Engage with consumers as they reach different stages of the purchase journey. When customers strongly support your organization, they’ll recommend your products and services without expecting anything in return. There’s nothing more important than building loyalty among the customer base. Design a strategy that allows you to retain customers.

Developing a content marketing plan for long-term growth

Gone are the days when all you had to do was write a blog post and publish it. Content marketing is a complex approach that involves numerous options. You don’t need to try all of the content types, yet you provide the target audience the content that it lusts after. And choose the right channel. If you don’t have an action plan, there’s no better time than now to create one. Regardless of how simple or complex your content marketing plan is, you won’t have trouble implementing it.

1. Set your goals and objectives

A clear purpose will boost your productivity. To make this marketing strategy work, have a good understanding of your business goals and objectives. You can’t produce content without careful consideration. Of course, goals and objectives vary from company to company. Yet, there are some that all kinds of businesses can plan for. Examples include attracting prospects to your business, illustrating benefits, ranking on the SERPs, and driving engagement to the social content. What are your goals for the future?

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    2. Know the target audience inside out

    The moment you understand what the audience wants from your company, you’re able to create material that they will love. If you want to have targeted content that proves a deep understanding of the intended readership, go to social media platforms. Social media sites like Facebook or Instagram provide considerable amounts of audience data. You can get data from specific platforms and fully appreciate the demographics of the people following you. You can also take advantage of external social media analytical apps, like Sotrender, for even more insights on your audience. For any piece of content, you can write precisely for the target market.
    Glossier content marketingSource.

    3. Selecting the ultimate content marketing channel

    Content marketing channels are platforms that you can take advantage of to establish a connection with shoppers and consumers. There are 3 channels that you’ll want to leverage:

      • Owned media for content distribution. It includes your organization’s website. You publish the material in a designated space over which you have complete control. People want to see that you’re active and make an effort to keep them informed. Owned media can also include your social media sites and ecommerce landing pages.
      • Earned distribution. This involves getting others to share your content. To have your company mentioned in an article, increase your SEO efforts, get press coverage, and become a contributing writer for sites like Forbes, Huffington Post, or Inc.

    the six pillars of social commerceSource.

    • Paid media for content distribution. Paying for distribution has become a common practice. What happens is that you pay so that your digital materials are distributed. You can launch a Google AdWords campaign or opt for paid social media advertising. Sometimes, this approach is more effective as opposed to organic efforts.

    4. Decide on the right content type

    Content is part of any strategy, so devote enough time to choosing the right type of content. The most successful content marketing campaigns contain various forms of content. The following ones will suit your brand and drive traffic to your e-commerce website.

    • Blog posts – Blogging doesn’t take too long, so include your ecommerce blog in your plans. Create authoritative content in your niche and you’ll be sure to dominate organic search results. Post blog posts on a regular basis, as you risk losing readers. Industry trends, gift guides, interviews, and news are just some examples of ideas that are easy to implement.
    • Video – You don’t need to take a close look at statistics to understand that video receives better attention. Visitors who skim through blog posts and are looking for specific details will appreciate a neatly-crafted video. Include product videos or webinars.
    • Infographics – The thought of going through endless quantities of data isn’t exciting. Infographics are very easy to comprehend, not to mention that they come in handy for consumers who are looking for how-to-advice. If you plan to share statistics, numbers, or figures, make an infographic. Present the information with the help of vivid images and pleasing visuals.
    • eBooks – eBooks are a high-performing type of content marketing, providing value to companies as well as customers. Online marketers use electronic books all the time. Create and make available eBooks for free. This will demonstrate how trustworthy you are and help potential customers get to know more about you.
    • Podcasts – The number of individuals who listen to podcasts increases by the minute. It seems that people enjoy listening to podcasts. Make sure to offer listeners actionable tips and help them gain further insight. You can publish your podcasts on Web-based platforms such as iTunes and SoundCloud.

    seo optimization website architectureSource.

    5. Allocate resources and assign tasks

    Determining how to allocate resources isn’t exactly easy. This is because you’ve got to make decisions at various levels. Inefficient resource allocation can lead to complexities, which in turn can lead to missed opportunities. It’s recommendable to detail the resource requirements in your marketing plan.

    As mentioned earlier, content marketing doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. On the contrary, it costs less than traditional marketing. Still, you’ll want to allocate internal resources in an effective manner. Resource allocation has a great impact on all levels of the organization.
    It’s not a good idea to automate all content marketing tasks.

    Some tasks are better handled by humans, so don’t count exclusively on artificial intelligence. When assigning tasks, establish who is responsible for the work, make your expectations crystal clear, and, last but not least add a timeline to it. If you’re running a big campaign, you’ll surely have a lot of tasks to handle. Make a list of the most important content marketing tasks and assign them to your employees.

    6. Generate great content

    Now, the fun part begins. You have to create compelling content that attracts potential customers. Maybe you don’t have a clue where to start.

    If you’re in a sector like technology, you don’t have to worry because there are plenty of things to talk about. Come up with topic ideas that appeal to the audience personas, reaching out to blogs, video, infographics, and so on and so forth.

    Content creation starts with the written word. Always think of the person who will read your text. Is this the best piece of writing they’ve ever come across? If the answer is no, don’t hit the “Publish” button just yet. Creating content that gets shared and talked about takes time. So, be patient.

    Expert opinion:

    Marie Fincher, head of the content department at TrustMyPaper, says that:

    “Error-free content is more important than ever. All forms of writing need to be proofread prior to publishing. In other words, the materials have to be technically and grammatically correct. Even one spelling mistake can affect the outcome of your marketing efforts.”

    7. Share your content with the world

    Get validation by sharing your materials. The importance of sharing can’t be overstated enough, especially in the digital age. The target market fancies information in the forms of graphics or podcasts. Offer people the content they want to see. When you finally have all the content for delivering your business message, share it.

    8. Track results

    Needless to say, it’s essential to keep track of Web content and measure the performance of the marketing campaign. Owing to technological advances in marketing analytics, you can easily determine your content’s performance. You can deploy large volumes and varying types of data to identify patterns and oddities. In a nutshell, you’ll know if you’re performing at high levels.

    Content marketing isn’t limited to storytelling. It’s about driving positive results. Pay attention to metrics like user behavior, engagement, SEO, and revenue. If you do things right, it’s impossible not to see tangible benefits.

    Examples of brilliant content marketing that will inspire you to take action

    Does content marketing start to feel a little bit difficult? Maybe these real-life examples will put your mind at ease. Take inspiration from brands that have made content marketing work for them:

    HubSpot uses in-depth blog posts to deliver valuable content to users

    Over the past years, HubSpot has strived to help organizations execute their inbound marketing strategies. The team is made up of inbound marketers and automation experts that know exactly what to do to drive results without compromising. HubSpot has built a solid blog audience by offering in-depth information. What the experts do is deliver content that’s specifically crafted for the audience, teaching marketing, philosophy, and business principles. If you keep an eye on HubSpot’s marketing, you’ll see that creating comprehensive blog posts is the key to their success.

    Glossier uses user-generated content on social media to boost trust

    Even if user-generated content has been around for some time now, not all marketers understand its true power. This is unfortunate considering that 76% of people put their faith in the images created by consumers, finding them more authentic. Glossier has proved that it’s worth becoming more visual. Glossier, which was a beauty blog in the beginning, introduced its own products to the market not long ago. Their marketing is realized through user-generated content. In essence, Glossier makes sure that each piece of content has a purpose. They don’t post just for the sake of it.

    Shutterstock created an interactive infographic that uses video and sound

    90% of the information that is sent to the brain is visual, so it only makes sense to include infographics in your content marketing campaign. Shutterstock shows that it can be done. The company always creates animated infographics, leveraging video and sound, sticking out in the online environment. It’s unclear how Shutterstock will perform in the future, but what’s certain is that they’re currently leading the way. Hootsuite started a video marketing campaign inspired by Game of Thrones.

    Hootsuite is one of the many brands celebrating Game of Thrones. The company made an ad showing everyone that “social media Winter was coming” by means of a video. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is undoubtedly invaluable. The uncommon video marketing campaign was launched back in 2014. A Game of Social Thrones reminded everyone that social media life can very well imitate art.

    Content marketing Q&A

    • What content marketing mistake should I avoid most?
      Spelling and grammar mistakes can affect your content marketing strategy but one mistake is even worse: creating irrelevant content that brings no tangible value to your readers.
    Spelling and grammar mistakes can affect your content marketing strategy but one mistake is even worse: creating irrelevant content that brings no tangible value to your readers. Click To Tweet
    • How do I know what type of content to produce?
      Before starting a content marketing strategy, you have to research your audience and the type of content they like to consume. Business intelligence tools can be very helpful in this regard.
    • How much content should I produce every month?
      The frequency with which you post depends on your industry and preferred medium. In more technical, specialized industry, a couple of blog posts each month is enough, but in competitive niches such as retail, you may need to post an article every week and post several social media updates every day.
    • Will I be able to see quick results from content marketing?
      No. Content marketing is a long-term investment. It doesn’t generate quick results overnight, and clear results may take months to appear.

    Although e-commerce stores have many great marketing tools at their disposal, content marketing is one of the tried and tested solutions that can help stores of all sizes. Whether you choose to engage with your audience via blog posts, social media updates, infographics, or even videos, content marketing can help you build authority, generate traffic and create trust.

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    Author bio:

    Diana NadimDiana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. Diana also runs her own 3to5Marketing blog. What inspires her the most in her writing is travelling and meeting new people.

    💡 At Growcode, we develop and maintain online shops and B2B ecommerce on Magento!

    Growcode Ecommerce Blog / Ecommerce / Content Marketing Guide for Ecommerce