Tagged: Content Strategy
- by Lauren Wagn
Chances are you’ve been part of an eCommerce sales funnel.
You see a new brand on Instagram. Their product catches your eye as you scroll your feed and soon you’re looking at a post on their page from 52 weeks ago. They’ve convinced you! Next thing you know you’ve ordered from their website and are eagerly awaiting the package in the mail.
Does this sound familiar? This isn’t by accident. That brand probably had a killer eCommerce content strategy.
The most successful businesses don’t just post on the fly. Everything they do is perfectly curated to help consumers along their sales funnel and one step closer to purchasing their product.
Want to learn how to do it, too? Well then keep reading!
Why is content strategy important for eCommerce?
With an estimated 12 million to 24 million eCommerce businesses on the internet, setting yourself apart from the pack is crucial. While your brand may be unique, you need to convey this to consumers.
Luckily, you’re marketing in the same space you’re selling in.
This is where content creation and strategy comes in.
Posting consistently just isn’t enough. You need a good strategy to guide your decisions and get the results you want. This is where content strategy comes in.
By auditing your process, you can see where exactly you need to improve. This isn’t a one-time action, however. To keep reaching your goals, you’ll need to continue to edit and improve your strategy.
What are your brand’s goals?
The first step is looking at where your business is currently and where you would like it to be in the future. This will vary from organization to organization.
What would you like your business to achieve?
Here are some potential goals to consider:
- Higher conversion rate
- Better return on investment (ROI)
- Increased sales
- More engagement on social media
Take this time to compile data on your brand’s current position. Without knowing where you are, it’s hard to determine where you’re going. This will also act as your starting point when comparing future data.
Once you understand where you’d like to see your business it’s time to figure out how you’re going to get there.
Who is your ideal audience?
Your ideal audience is who is going to help you reach your goals. But first, you need to figure out who they are and how to reach them.
They’re also known as buyer personas. Don’t limit yourself to a single buyer persona as this can constrict your growth. Get creative and determine an array of people that can be helped by your product.
These personas are made up of several components:
- Demographic: This is quantitative information about your ideal audiences such as age, location, income, and gender.
- Psychographic: As the name implies, this focuses more on the psychological characteristics of your clientele. Personality, interests, attitudes, and views are all covered under this.
- Buying habits: This is a reflection of both the product you sell and the audience’s psychographics. Will they need a lot of information and time before making a purchase or will they impulsively buy?
- Pain points and goals: Look at what problem your potential customers may be having or, alternatively, look at where your customer aspires to be and how you can help them get there.
Now write it down!
Create profiles of who may be consuming your content. Give them names, backgrounds, behaviours, and desires. This will help you formulate how you’re going to address them through your content strategy.
We have a whole guide on creating these buyer personas in case you get stuck!
How does your audience consume content?
Once you know who you’re making content for, you’ll need to determine where they’ll be most likely to consume it. Otherwise, all your hard work copywriting is for naught.
Your buyer persona profiles will come in handy here. With the information you’ve gathered on who you want to be your audience, you can research where this particular audience is.
If you’ve determined that your ideal customer is a Baby Boomer, then TikTok probably isn’t the channel to reach them as only 5% of Boomers have a TikTok account.
That doesn’t mean using a single channel, however. While one channel may be the most successful based on your research, it is still important to spread your content strategy across multiple channels to increase its reach.
This is also the time to consider what hashtags will help land your content in front of your ideal customers.
For example, if your ideal audience is health-conscious, the hashtag #friesbeforeguys will not be the best route to their Explore page.
What kind of content will help move your customers through the sales funnel?
This is where the “strategy” in content strategy starts to shine.
If your marketing terminology is a little rusty, a sales funnel is a visual representation of the journey that the customer takes that begins with awareness of the brand and ends in a sale. (P.S. we have a blog post with 20+ useful marketing terms here.)
Each step of the funnel requires different content to keep the momentum moving.
The steps are:
- Awareness: This is when the consumer first hears about your brand. Types of content that can help you hit this first step are promoted or hashtagged social media posts, evergreen content like blogs that have ended up on their search engine results page (SERP), or easy to produce content such as quizzes.
- Interest: This is when potential customers begin to look into how to solve their pain points. Content that promotes what you offer and the benefits of your product can help facilitate this step.
- Discovery: This happens when your potential customer is aware of your brand and begin seeing it as a solution to their pain points. Use content that helps finalize your product as the solution to their problems such as guides and pros and con lists.
- Action: This is when the decision is made and your potential customer converts to an actual customer. Even though they have purchased your product, there is still content strategy at play. Reinforce their decision through FAQ pages and testimonials to ensure they are repeat customers.
A content calendar can help you organize your strategy to make sure you’re posting everything you need to for customers at every stage of the sales funnel. This will help you to create consistent and high-quality content.
Start developing your eCommerce content strategy today! Click here to drop us a line and let's chat.
How well is your content working?
Content strategy is never over! Trends and algorithms are always changing and to stay at the top of your game, you need to continuously evaluate your strategy.
Create a list of key performance indicators (KPIs) and monitor how your strategy aligns with your goals. For example, if your goal is to increase traffic to your website, what types of posts have the best clickthrough rate (CTR)?
You can also look for blockages in your sales funnel. If customers are making it to your website and stopping short of purchasing, consider what type of content you can make to address this. Maybe grabbing the attention of consumers is your strong suit but you need to work on converting them. Add this to your list of goals and audit your content.
This can also be a time to compare yourself to the competition. Research your competitor’s strategy and results and see how yours lines up. If you’ve reached your first round of goals, try using other brands as a benchmark and heighten your aspirations.
A brand is only as good as its customers think it is. Having an amazing product is only the first step. With a strong eCommerce content strategy, your brand can increase its reach and get its products in the right hands.
By knowing who your audience is and why they need your product, you can tailor your approach specifically to them. Set goals, research your ideal audience, and continuously audit your strategy to grow your business.
If you’re ready to find out why we say process equals success, then reach out and let’s chat!
- by Rose Regier
This post was written by our Account Manager Rose Regier.
It’s no secret that we love a good spreadsheet. Let’s just say they spark joy, so we use them a lot. And the monthly content calendar spreadsheet we use with our retail clients might be our favourite.
If you’re not a retail business, don’t go just yet! What we’re about to share can apply to any type of business.
Before we dive in, let’s talk about why we should plan our content. Why go to all the effort of planning content a month in advance? Wouldn’t it be easier and less time consuming to post on the fly?
Read on, because we’re about to show you how planning content frees up time to spend on essential marketing activities that have a big impact on the success of your brand.
Here are the benefits of a monthly content strategy:
1. Strategy in action
Planning posts in monthly blocks allows you to see at a glance how your content aligns with your digital marketing strategy. It also allows you to identify any gaps in content and make sure no product category is left behind.
2. Consistency is key
Building and maintaining a relationship with your audience takes consistent effort over time. Posting a flurry of content one week and then disappearing for a month can leave your followers feeling annoyed or disinterested. Using a content calendar allows you to spread out content so that your audience hears from you regularly and stays engaged. Plus, it’s great for the algorithms.
3. Tracking for the win
Although the monthly content calendar is mainly a planning tool, it also keeps a record of what you’ve done in the past.
This allows you to keep track of what you’ve posted so a) you can avoid duplicating content and b) you can measure the effectiveness of each category of product posts.
4. Stay one step ahead
Identifying key events — like holidays, sales, and product launches — and plugging them into the content calendar ahead of time means you never have to worry about those important posts slipping your mind.
Let’s move on to the “how.” How does the monthly content strategy work exactly?
How does our monthly content strategy work?
Our cloud-based monthly content planning spreadsheet allows multiple people to contribute in real-time. This gives our clients and account managers the ability to collaborate on the content planning process.
We work together to choose specific products to highlight based on the following criteria:
- New arrivals
- Most loved items
- Products we need to move
- Holidays or seasons
- Sales or promos
Each month gets a tab in the spreadsheet, and serves as a record of the content we’ve shared. Product categories are colour coded for a quick visual way to see the variety in planned content (e.g. clothing, accessories, jewellery) and identify any gaps in the schedule.
Here’s an example of how the calendar might look like before the product details have been added:
Of course, we also leave room for posting user-generated content. Customer reviews are 12 times more trustworthy than messaging from a business, so we make sure to work content created by customers who know and love our clients into the mix.
In a perfect world, all content would be planned in advance, and we could wrap it in a bow and send it out into the world.
The reality is that planned posts sometimes need to change, and some posts are time-sensitive and need to be created in real-time. Staying on top of upcoming posts to ensure the content is still accurate/relevant is crucial, so we bake this into our process.
Posting on the fly might seem faster and easier, but our brains work better when we dedicate ourselves to one task for a few hours as opposed to rapidly switching from one task to another.
Creating content in "blocks" of time instead of posting on the fly ensures higher-quality, on-brand content because we're not scrambling to come up with something new every day.
Even better: having the foundation of a monthly content plan frees us up to spend time on the behind-the-scenes activities that get results for our clients:
- Monitoring and responding to customer comments/messages
- Researching and adjusting hashtags
- Staying on top of social media trends and social platform updates
- Engaging with customers and vendors by commenting on their posts and stories
- Reviewing and sharing user-generated content
- Analyzing data across all platforms and adjusting the marketing strategy
Want to know more about working with us and how we can help your business succeed? Get in touch and let’s chat!
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- by Alicia Kurz
This post was written by our Account Manager Alicia Kurz.
Are you wondering how to write a great technical blog post for your clients?
Chances are, when you think about writing a technical blog post, your first feelings are a sense of dread, followed by being bored before you even start. If you aren’t an expert in whatever complex subject you are about to embark on, starting can be discouraging.
Luckily, these steps will help you develop a process to create useful, interesting technical content and take the guesswork out of publishing great technical posts. Let’s dive right in:
Where do you even begin?
The good news is, the thought of writing a technical blog post is more challenging than actually doing the work. The key is finding the points in the topic that interest you and focus on highlighting those points. When you’re more interested in a topic, you’ll be more enthusiastic about writing the post and finding the correct information. The better the post, the easier it is for the audience to connect with the topic.
Technical blogs are a great way to reach a lot of people and give people information that’s easy to consume. After writing many technical blogs, here’s the workflow that makes things easy to focus on content instead of logistics. Let’s start spreading some good ideas!
1. Define your audience and key messages
Who are you writing for? If your target is moms between 25-40, your writing is going to sound much different than writing for 30-50-year-old engineers in the forestry industry — am I right, ladies?
Audience personas can be quite helpful when you’re thinking about the tone and structure of your piece. A wine blog for beginners can likely be more light-hearted than a post about the environmental impacts of dust on a local community, for example.
It’s always important to think about what’s in it for your audience. People have limited time, so reading your blog better be a good use of theirs. Are the key messages of your blog in line with what your target audience is looking for? If not, you will need to make adjustments so people aren’t asking “who cares?”
2. Research your topic
Thank God for Google. Likely, you aren’t the first to write about whatever topic you are about to delve into. That’s a good thing. You have information from multiple sources — just please fact check — so it allows you to piece together the best information in the easiest to read way. Just because others have done it first, doesn’t mean they have done it best.
Often the research provided to you is written in nerd language and it’s your job to figure it out. If you’re a writer, that can be fun. It’s like fitting puzzle pieces together to make information more accessible to a larger audience.
If you have questions, other people probably do too. Your blog is where people will go to find those answers.
If you are writing this blog for a client, schedule a call where you can ask questions and make sure your key messages are clear. While you can independently find out a ton of information by yourself, it makes it a lot easier when you and your client are starting on the same page. Plus, they probably have specific information they want to be included that may not have been clear to you initially.
Make sure to record the call so you can go back and reference it. This will save you a lot of stress. It’s much easier than taking notes and trying to remember everything.
3. Create an outline
Now that you have your key messages down, you’ve researched your topic, and your client has given you an idea of what they are looking for, it’s time to create an outline.
Luckily, you have other blogs to reference and see first-hand which ones you were drawn to and which ones you pressed the back button immediately.
I said it once and I’ll say it again: always start with “what’s in it for them.” If your introduction doesn’t have a hook, your audience is gone.
Use headings and lists to make your content easy to read, and use a call to action at the end of your blog that aligns with your goals. Book a meeting, follow us on Facebook, or buy now are all great examples of how to further engage your audience after they have read your blog.
Outlines are also great to organize your thoughts and weed out excess information that will cloud your key messages.
4. Start Writing
Use your own voice to relay your messages. Whether that’s the professional version of your voice or your Saturday night version after a glass of wine version, just make sure the tone matches your content.
Use the K.I.S.S. method. In case you weren't born 60-years ago, or you just prefer to not reference rude acronyms, that means Keep It Simple, Stupid. Take out industry jargon and complicated language. You can sound smart without using words people have to Google. Your blog should be accessible to a large audience and easily consumable, not feel like more work.
5. Take a Break
Give your eyes a break once you’ve written your piece. After you stare at your computer for hours trying to write the perfect blog, you might become blind to minor errors. Maybe you typed “and” twice or used the same word in a paragraph three times. Try going on a walk, or just not looking at a screen for a couple of hours before you come back to it.
Although I prefer to save the trees, a great tip is to print your piece and edit it on paper — after you have run it through Grammarly, of course. For some reason, it’s easier to make changes that way.
Plus, it’s kind of satisfying to edit your own with a red pen… maybe that’s just me.
If you have a chance, ask someone else to read it for you. Try not to get annoyed when they give you irrelevant suggestions. They also might catch something you said twice, or ask a question about something you thought you answered, but you weren’t clear enough.
6. Add the Finishing Touches
Now it’s time to make your blog look nice. Add headings, photos, article links, and an SEO-friendly title.
The most satisfying part of writing your blog is clicking the publish button. Ensure the blog is going to the right part of your website, add tags, set a featured image, and utilize any widgets you have installed on your site to make your blog SEO-friendly.
After it’s published, check that the image that pulls works on your social platforms and that it loads correctly on both desktop and mobile feeds.
You want people to see what you’ve posted. Share your blog post in places your target audience hangs out. Ask people to share it. This gives you a chance for your network to spread your post to their network.
Use Canva to create free images that look great on social, and you don’t need to be a designer to use. You can also resize these so it fits correctly on all platforms.
If your piece is really awesome, consider doing some digital advertising for it to get the most eyes on it.
Just remember, practice makes perfect. Eventually, writing technical blogs will become more of a habit, and creating these posts will flow much easier.
If you need help writing blog posts or getting your content in front of the right people, drop us a line and let us know how we can help!