When you think of businesses that could benefit the most from long-form content marketing, retail ecommerce brands aren’t generally the first that come to mind. But, online sellers can absolutely reap the benefits of blogging, vlogging, and other long-form in-depth content in the same way as many other brands.
Longer content posts have nine-times higher conversion rates than shorter posts. Furthermore, the vast majority of brands that have invested in content marketing have reported increases in brand awareness, engagement, and website traffic.
Retail ecommerce content is a whole different ball-game than typical, thought leadership-focused content that many B2B businesses focus on. Instead of writing heavily technical pieces on the details of the industry, retail ecommerce businesses have the opportunity to take a more unique approach to content marketing because it is more focused on branding and story-telling.
Here are some ways that your online brand can optimize all of your content pieces specifically for the ecommerce retail industry.
Be Sure that Your Website Host is SEO Optimized
Beyond establishing brand recognition, ecommerce content marketing is heavily focused on building up a library of keywords for organic search results. However, if your website itself is not optimized for SEO, your content efforts will not make as big of an impact as they could.
Google RankBrain uses AI technology to qualify websites and keywords and match it up to users’ organic searches. Although Google remains quite secretive about all the ins and outs of their technology, studies have determined the various components that are taken into consideration when ranking results.
As you can see, the trust authority of the host domain is the most important factor in ranking, closely followed by keyword frequency. This is why choosing a SEO focused ecommerce platform is a smarter choice for retail brands who want to be heavily content-focused.
Different hosting services offer special features for optimization, such as custom links, meta descriptions, H1 headings, and image alt tags to strengthen keyword visibility and help your site’s rankings. Be sure to take these features into consideration and go with a platform that will give your content the most bang for its buck in terms of SEO.
Include UGC as Much as Possible
User generated content (UGC) is incredibly powerful for retail brands because it provides new customers with authentic content they can trust. In fact, 85% of online shoppers trust online reviews just as much as they would a personal recommendation and 88% purposely seek out UGC before making a purchase.
Ecommerce retailers can make their content more UGC-focused by incorporating customer reviews into their marketing strategies. For example, product pages can feature customer testimonials and ratings so people can easily find reliable feedback on the product.
Another way to build UGC into your marketing is by using visual content that comes directly from customers. Some review management programs will automatically track brand mentions and collect UGC social posts so that brands can post them directly on their product pages. Your marketing team can manually track these as well with branded hashtags. If you do start to include UGC visual content, be sure that you use image tags for each of these as well to help your keyword optimization, especially when customers are searching specifically for product pictures.
Remember Who You Are Writing For
Again, retail ecommerce brands have the unique option of being able to create unique content without having to rely heavily on technicalities or scientifically proven facts. However, this does not mean that ecommerce brands should just make the kind of content they think their audience will appreciate. Understanding the details of your customers’ preferences and desires is just as important to keep in mind.
According to Sprout Social’s report, the types of content that customers want to see are honest, friendly, helpful, and humorous messages. However, it should also be noted that consumers tend to find it annoying when brands are too casual, use inappropriate humor, or try to connect to “younger” audiences with slang and GIFs.
Before you launch into a content campaign, be sure that your team truly understands who the audience is. In order to understand what kind of content is actually going to provide them with something of value, you will need to answer questions like:
- What issues are most important to your customers?
- What questions do they have?
- What do they want to know most about your business/product/industry?
Start by researching your audience through analysis and create the content around the answers they are seeking.
Use Multiple Mediums
Create a more unique content experience by incorporating multiple content forms that allow customers to engage however they choose. According to research from Hubspot, customers are far more likely to consume video content and social media posts thoroughly, while they tend to skim or partly engage with blog posts, podcasts, and interactive tools. This doesn’t mean that brands should skip this sort of content entirely; however, brands should be aware of which types of content will have a bigger impact.
Customers also prefer to see content that carries a message that is bigger than the brand itself. According to Adobe’s Consumer Content survey, customers were more likely to share branded content if it raised awareness for a good cause or was informative rather than promotional.
Take the online clothing company Finisterre as an example. While their content prominently displays their products, it is focused on their commitment to environmental sustainability and ethical fashion, rather than just pushing their brand. This creates an emotional purpose to their content, resulting in a stronger connection that leads to shares, purchases, and loyalty.
Optimizing your content specifically for ecommerce retail is not difficult if you know how to do it. Start off by ensuring that your website itself will help your efforts with keyword optimization features. From there, it is important to understand the type of content that will make the strongest impact on your customers, such as UGC and meaningful messages.
Retail ecommerce brands are a dime a dozen these days; competition is incredibly fierce. Online businesses must provide something unique if they are going to attract customers. In other words, online retail brands need to take their content beyond the blog post if it is going to be truly engaging. By keeping customers’ needs and desires as a top priority, online retailers can create the exact type of content that will bring in new customers.