Content marketing is a great way to get traffic to your site from the search engines and other websites. It takes time to see sizable impact, but once it’s working it attracts traffic and builds a loyal customer base. At its simplest it’s a blog and great product pages – but it can then stray into any number of other areas.
Chloë Thomas, author of ‘eCommerce MasterPlan’ and owner of online marketing agency, indiumonline, has lots of advice if you are stuck for content marketing ideas. But first you need to understand why it’s important:
- Once you have built your content it’s very hard for a competitor to copy you
- It provides you with a USP and sets you apart from other sites
- Great content is an essential foundation of both your SEO (search engine optimisation) strategy and your social media strategy
- It can bring you a steady stream of traffic that’s interested in your products and business
At its simplest, content marketing is creating content that relates to your brand/products and putting it on your website.
Every piece of content you create should do at least one of these things (and usually all of them):
1) Be something people will read and want to share
2) Reflect your brand well
3) Help sell the products and remove barriers to conversion
4) Appeal to your target customers
Content can be infographics, videos, pdfs, FAQs, buying guides, images, reviews etc.
Most businesses have more content than they realise, so before you do anything else you need to work out what content you already have. To do this you need to do a brainstorm with key people in the business.
- What content do we already have?
- What content would our customers appreciate having on the website?
- What stories are there around our products?
Take the answers and extrapolate them. Each story from the brainstorm can create several items of content.
Each idea has the potential to be turned into several different pieces of content in varying formats.
Now you have an idea of the sort of content you are going to be creating, you need to decide what formats, and which platforms, you are going to be using.
For most businesses, the starting point and the centre of your content strategy, is your blog. A blog can host pictures, text, audio, and video – which makes it really versatile. Plus you own it entirely – so it’s all working for you.
Blog content is then very easy to syndicate and feed into your social media activity using RSS feeds.
Don’t forget to look at your analytics after a couple of months to see what’s working and do more of that!
eCommerce Masterplan: Your 5 Steps to Successful Online Selling has a RRP of £19.99 but costs around £12 on Amazon at time of writing.