Content marketing is an essential element of any website, regardless of the products or services you sell. Great content increases brand awareness and helps build trust by establishing your business as an expert in your field.
It also helps connect digital marketing channels together, improve search engine rankings, and create a consistent feel between your website, social media, and blog. Using similar terms and creating links from one medium to another not only helps build credibility, but increases the likelihood of your company being found online.
If you are an ecommerce business, it can be hard to figure out how to make content marketing a valuable asset on your website. With consumers having higher expectations than ever, the importance of a personalized and enjoyable experience online couldn’t be greater. Companies like Magento can help maximize engagement on your website by optimizing the content and formatting it for the device that it is viewed on. A desktop website may have more text to describe products or services while a mobile-optimized site may be more image-focused with a menu to additional information.
An industry that has thrived with content marketing is the fashion industry. Consumer behavior has changed, as people are shopping across multiple devices and mobile is becoming more prevalent. In order to keep up with all of these changes, an ecommerce tool like Magento might be just what your business needs.
When considering content marketing for an ecommerce site, these are four things you should keep in mind:
Create a Unique Branding Experience
No matter how many competitors are in your market, differentiation is more important than ever before. Content marketing is a great place to make your brand stand out by giving it a genuine voice and personality. The terminology you use on your website and social media sets the tone for how you will be perceived by prospective customers. An engaging presence that invites feedback and responds to it can do wonders for setting your business apart.
Another great way to create a unique experience is through the layout of your site. The strategic use of images and interactive content can improve engagement while minimizing the burden of reading pages of text.
Is your website organized into appropriate categories so content is easy to find? Are the fonts legible and appealing? Is it easy to add items to a shopping cart and make purchases? These are all essential questions to ask yourself when building or updating an ecommerce site. When designing and adding content, always keep the consumer in the back of your mind. Your website might be the first point of contact you have, so use it as an opportunity to show consumers who you are!
Use Images and Video
An important thing to remember is that content marketing isn’t just about text. Sure, you need to accurately convey the message of your business and describe the products or services you sell. But also remember that many website visitors don’t have time or aren’t on the appropriate device to read paragraph after paragraph of descriptive text.
This is when you can let images and video do the talking. Showing pictures of your products/services, describing how to use them, and suggesting complementary products are just a few ways you can use content marketing for your site. For example, the fashion and beauty industries can really take advantage of imagery by putting together outfit suggestions, demonstrating how to create a particular hairstyle, and much more.
This is also an area where you can effectively connect your site to your social media accounts. Utilizing image-based platforms like Pinterest and Instagram can help show off your products and how to use them. Research says that 44% of people are more likely to engage with a brand that posts pictures on a website or social media than any other type of post. People love to see styles that other followers or fans have put together, and they especially like to see ideas from the retailers and businesses they already shop at. It helps to add credibility and engagement to your marketing, while driving additional traffic to your website.
Optimize for Any Device
You can have influential and engaging content, but that means very little if you haven’t optimized your website for all types of devices. Make sure you design a responsive site that can detect what type of device it is being viewed on or a separate mobile site altogether. Mobile users certainly don’t want to spend their time scrolling through tons of text or having to zoom in and out to read smaller fonts. 40% of consumers will leave a site if they have a bad user experience, which means a site that isn’t optimized could be potentially handing your competitor free business. By minimizing text and letting images do most of the talking, you can better engage with mobile customers.
A desktop site, on the other hand, can be a little more generous with text content. But just because someone is visiting your website on a computer doesn’t mean they have tons of time for reading and educating. It’s important to find a healthy balance so that you can remain informative, but sensitive of someone’s time.
A blog is a great way to go more in-depth about your business and industry because those visitors are intentionally there to get more information. Someone trying to make a quick purchase may or may not have that interest. So make sure you cater to both types of consumers to give them a positive user experience.
Engage on Social Media
As I briefly touched on earlier, all of this time that you’ve spent on creating quality website content should be backed up by a solid social media presence. Ecommerce businesses have so much opportunity available to them on social media because shoppers want to see how something works or how something can fit into their everyday style. Customers like an interactive experience online so they feel like they are making an educated purchase decision.
To further increase engagement, interact with your followers by following them back and sharing their ideas. Pose questions to create a conversation-like atmosphere and encourage them to post photos on your page. User-generated content helps further personalize your social presence and make consumers feel involved, rather than just being spoken to. Creating a positive social experience can encourage followers to travel over to your website for further engagement. And then your awesome website content can step in!
Much of what I’ve mentioned above might be hard to visualize for your company’s ecommerce site. These are three great examples of prominent companies that have made content marketing work for them:
A lot of luxury retailers like to take a “less-is-more” approach, and Marc Jacobs does this flawlessly. The clean look of their products page makes the accessories the focal point, and you can simply hover over each one to get more information. This way, you can easily browse until you find something you actually want to learn more about. This is a no-frills website and effectively evokes the notion of a quality, upscale brand.
Vizio is a great example of effective content marketing through a blog. Technology can be a little tricky when it comes to blogging as you don’t want to write in a language that the average consumer doesn’t understand. But they are able to create a unique user experience by relating to current events, hosting contests, and using a good mix of text and visuals. The layout is extremely modern and interactive, which helps promote their cutting-edge image.
What I love about Volcom’s website is that when you arrive you aren’t bombarded with products, but rather a simple image to represent each product line and links to more information. The company is also very involved in skateboarding and surfing events, so their homepage caters to both the products they sell and events their consumers are likely interested in hearing more about. They also focus more on the consumer by including models in their pictures, instead of just showing each clothing item against a plain background. This is a great tactic for fashion retailers to help the shopper envision themselves in the clothes and take a more personal approach.
These ecommerce companies are just a few examples of how you can effectively incorporate content marketing into your website marketing strategy. It’s easy to hear the term “content marketing” and think that you have to be a world-class writer to be successful. What content marketing boils down to is the user experience; how do you portray your business through a combination of text and imagery? If you can communicate what your brand stands for through an attractive interface and engaging content, you are sure to take your ecommerce site to the next level.