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What Content Marketing Offers to E-Commerce Sites

-- 2013-09-03 1:00 am --

By Guest Blogger Joseph Berida

Content marketing is one of the biggest trending marketing techniques today. How exactly does it help the many e-commerce site owners looking to boost their sales? To find the answer to that question, we must first understand what content marketing really is.

The Importance of Value

Content marketing is a holistic approach to providing more value to your target audience based on a variety of compelling and useful content distributed through the right channels.

Basically, it’s giving relevant information to your prospects and customers for free. The idea is that they will learn to appreciate your content, and in return learn to trust you as a quality content provider. They won’t just allow you to send them more content; they will actively search for it and share it through their own networks.

By educating them about your industry and how your products are the best in the business, you generate more qualified leads, turn leads into customers, and one-time customers into brand loyalists.

Getting Friendly with Search

By delivering a constant stream of new and informative content on your e-commerce site that people share (whether it’s through social media or links from other websites), you are also improving your chances of ranking higher on search engines.

Search engines want to make it as easy as possible for people to find quality content by linking to them in the top results pages. Search is still the number one avenue for direct traffic in e-commerce sites, so it’s critical that you are ranking high.

Creating the Right Content

You can start mapping out your content strategy with different types of content that will cater to the special desires of an e-commerce audience.

Blog

There is a reason why blogs are still in use today by businesses, including Dollar Days. According to a 2012 Burst Media Survey, 8 out of 10 Americans within the 18-34 age range say that blog posts with brand mentions influence their purchasing decisions.

The angle of content marketing isn’t always self-promotion. Instead of talking about your own products, tackle issues that are relevant to your industry, whether they are problems your customers are facing or the challenges you and your competitors need to overcome.

Video

Video is your greatest tool in informing your audience about the products you’re selling, as humans favor visual information. We simply understand things better when we’re shown what they offer and how they work.

Record instructional videos of your products in use as well as the benefits they provide. Your site’s visitors will feel more assured seeing your products working just as you market them.

Experts’ Insights

Another avenue where people can find out more information regarding industry issues as well as the products you’re offering is through engagement with experts in the field. If you have contacts with thought leaders or at least those with the proper credentials to their name, set up a section on your site where they can receive questions from visitors and have them answer those questions

User-Generated Content

Besides hearing from authorities in the industry, buyers are more likely to listen to the recommendations of real people who’ve tried the products themselves than your own promotional efforts. Allow customers to write reviews on your products. Feature the ringing endorsements on your product pages.

Spread the Word

As mentioned above, there is still the marketing side to content marketing. You’ll need to get your content out in the open if you don’t have a recognizable brand.

Social media is one of the more obvious platforms to share your content. Facebook and Twitter are the biggest sites, but you can also try out image-based sites such as Pinterest and Instagram where you can share photos.

Don’t forget to include share buttons within the pages of your content so that visitors can easily post them on their social networks.

Participate in active forums that are related to your business. Once you’ve proven yourself as a contributor, you can drop links to content within your site in your forum posts.

Email is a platform where you can directly engage with customers. You can create a newsletter where you can regularly send updates about your products with links to your site’s content as well as exclusive offers such as discounts and promos.

Consumers are constantly searching for quality content online. Capture their attention on all fronts with the right kind of information spread out through multiple channels, and you’ll earn their trust that they’ll want to do business with you.