Content Marketing in the E-Commerce Industry

Jun 14, 2013

Article ImageThe following article is the third in a series addressing the needs and concerns of content marketing in a variety of industry verticals by Jessica Davis of Godot Media.

Content marketing is not only about maintaining a blog and sharing posts on social media platforms. Content marketing is about providing additional value to a customer and providing all the necessary information required for a customer to make an informed decision. The global e-commerce industry is growing by leaps and bounds as people are switching from brick and mortar stores to online retailers.

Moreover, the purchasing decisions made by customers are highly influenced by the information that they come across on the internet. According to a recent survey by Burst Media, the purchasing decisions of 80% of Americans between 18 and 34 years old were influenced by blog posts. This goes to show that content is king when it comes to the e-commerce industry.

With so many e-commerce companies and websites to compete with, companies in the industry must be able to provide valuable, informative, and accurate information to their customers. Content marketing in this industry should be geared towards improving people's knowledge about products and brands, allowing them to make effective comparisons and informed purchases. The modern-day customer is also averse to blatant advertising campaigns and brand promotion activities. Content marketing is the perfect way to promote your brand subtly while providing valuable information to people.

Most importantly, content marketing helps e-commerce brands maintain their reputations. Almost anybody can write and publish whatever they want on the internet in minutes. E-commerce companies are often faced with disgruntled customers and employees. Without content marketing, such companies would be powerless against false and exaggerated claims. It is true that you cannot please everyone with your products and services but people do believe what they read online and there is a high chance that people will find negative content about your company on the web. Through your content marketing efforts, your company can respond to such negative claims and provide your side of the story.

How Content Marketing Can Help E-commerce

One of the most important benefits of content marketing for e-commerce companies is search engine optimization. It is no secret that every e-commerce website wants to rank at the top of search results. E-commerce websites need to attract a lot of web traffic to make sales and SEO is the best way to do so. Publishing original content and inserting keywords naturally allows search engines to index your website and helps boost your site's ranking for certain keywords.

With the help of content marketing, you can reduce your dependency on PPC, CPI, and other types on online advertising. Content marketing is extremely cost-effective and can lower the marketing budget of any e-commerce company while making their marketing efforts much more effective. You can also improve and establish the expert status of your company by using content marketing. By creating insightful and original content and by publishing it through the right channels, you can establish yourself and your company as expert sources of information in the industry.

People trust expert sources more and buy products from companies they trust. So content marketing done correctly can also make your company more trustworthy. You can also boost your ad campaigns with effective web content. With the help of long descriptions, Infographics, images, and videos you can explain the features and benefits of your products in detail.

Content Marketing Tips for E-commerce Companies

  • Highlight user generated content--Customers are a jaded lot and have little faith in advertisements and other company-created promotional material. They want honest reviews and opinions from existing clients and customers. In fact, endorsements from friends and family members greatly influence the purchasing decisions of customers. So if your products have received positive feedback, publish this feedback on the product's webpage and on your social media pages. On the other hand, if you have received negative comments and feedback on your products, use such negative feedback to improve your products. More importantly, show how your products have changed the lives of your customers. Ask customers to send in their stories about using your products and use these stories to explain the benefits of your products.
  •  Use visual content--Visual content is perfect for e-commerce industries. Instead of writing about your products, take attractive images of the products and publish them on your website. You can also create video tutorials and show customers how to use your products correctly. Infographics, charts, and graphs can all be used to describe your company's progress and to show yearly results. Don't forget to publish such visual content on your social media pages too.
  • Engage with customers--Encourage customers to leave their feedback and comments on your website and social media pages and always respond promptly. Always thank customers for their positive comments and always answer any query that a customer may have posted. Also, never react defensively to negative comments. Analyze negative comments, respond diplomatically and use such feedback to improve your products.
  • Offer downloadable content--Content marketing should not end with publishing content on your website. You need to make your content as memorable as possible. This is why you should offer downloadable content to visitors and customers. Such content should ideally be free of cost. Ebooks, brochures, quizzes, catalogues, manuals, etc. can all be offered as downloadable content on your website.

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)

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