Who has time for blogging when you have an online store to manage?
With the amount of effort that goes into running an ecommerce business, it’s easy to overlook marketing tactics that don’t have immediate returns. Because that’s what content marketing is: a long game. It’s a ton of effort for rewards that only manifest many months down the line.
But what many online retailers don’t realize is that once blogging starts to pay off as a marketing channel, it pays off big time. Sure, you have to wait for it, but a blog is immensely effective at generating traffic, nurturing leads, and converting visitors into customers.
Let’s take a look at some actionable tactics that you can apply to your ecommerce site’s blog. These are the tactics that will result in sustainable growth for your business.
Use The Right Keywords
Blogging is primarily about bringing in organic traffic. Here’s how it works:
- People search for answers to questions that are loosely related to your company’s product and service.
- Your blog is well-populated with several well-researched articles that answer these questions.
- Google crawls the web looking for great content that answers the users’ questions.
- Google serves your blog as one of the top results.
- The user clicks through to your site, is impressed by your thorough answer, reads more of your posts, and eventually subscribes to your newsletter so they can read more of what you publish.
This represents the top end of your typical content-driven marketing funnel. Of course, there are other ways it can play out, but you get the gist.
In this section, we’re going to talk about point 3 – getting Google to notice your content.
One of the main drivers for Google serving a specific piece of content as a top result is the smart use of keywords in the post.
Using the right keywords – at the right amount – is one of the cornerstones of search engine optimization (SEO). Keyword research is, arguably, the most important driver when it comes to developing your content strategy.
Great keyword research will help you find:
- The terms people are using to find specific topics.
- The popularity of these terms.
- The level of competition you’ll face when attempting to rank for these terms.
Don’t be afraid to delve into the nitty-gritty of keyword research. It’s going to be the foundation of growing your traffic volume, customer base, and revenue.
Understand What Your Audience Needs
Keywords represent only one side of the logic that drives your content topics. If you want your blog to really contribute to your online store’s growth, you have to balance keywords with your audience’s needs.
To do this effectively, you need to have a very deep understanding of your various customers. Don’t be fooled into thinking that only one or two types of people will be buying what you’re selling.
Developing buyer personas is the first step to understanding your audience’s needs. If you haven’t gone through this exercise yet, do it as soon as possible. It has benefits that reach far beyond helping you develop a great content strategy.
Think deeply about this exercise. Consider every single type of person that may be interested in your company and create content addressing these people’s unique pain points.
For instance, one may assume that Bay Alarm Medical sells their alert systems only to senior citizens looking for peace of mind as they deal with the risks of aging. If so, the company could easily have fallen into the trap of creating content that only speaks to this persona’s needs.
But what about the children of elderly parents? They’re interested in the same product, but their reasons for buying it are different. Their motivations and pain points are different. Naturally, there also needs to be some content addressing them as well.
There’s even space for a third potential buyer persona – care home administrators. While the safety of their residents is obviously their top concern, they also have other pain points like budget and exposure to legal risk to consider. This opens the door to a whole different category of relevant blog topics.
Understanding who you’re selling to is critical if you want to make the most of your blog. Speak the language of every single one of your various customers and address their needs with your content.
You cannot afford to miss out on one of your buyer personas. If you don’t take this task seriously, you WILL miss out on sales.
Make The Odd Sales Pitch
Typically, the purpose of content marketing is to give objective answers to readers’ questions. However, it doesn’t hurt to infuse the odd blog post with a clear sales pitch.
If your content is good and the proposition is elegant, you can include your pitch without compromising the reader’s experience.
Zoma does a terrific job of this in one of their blog’s most comprehensive posts – a very detailed piece of writing that focuses on the best mattresses in 2021 .
Contrary to what you may expect, the post’s purpose isn’t to sell a specific mattress. Instead, it aims to help readers determine what mattress types best accommodate their body type, sleeping habits, or health issues. A handy table of contents at the top of the article makes this clear to the visitor.
However, interspersed throughout the post, the reader will find links to various product landing pages that relate to the section containing the link.
The way Zoma wrote the article, these links feel incidental to it. They’re secondary to the helpful information it provides. This is critical if they don’t want a first-time visitor to feel like they’re reading nothing more than a biased, long-form advertisement.
Build Credibility For Your Brand And Products
In the highly competitive world of online retail, customers are drawn to products they believe in. If your site makes extraordinary promises, you better be able to back them up. The last thing you want is for your brand to come across as untrustworthy.
Your site’s blog is a fantastic place to position your brand as an authority on a particular topic. And that’s one of the most effective ways to build trust with your target audience.
Online supplement retailers, Transparent Labs, does this brilliantly by publishing highly scientific content that gets overseen and approved by an advisory board. This panel of experts reads through every single one of the brand’s blog posts, advises on the content angle, and approves the claims they make.
Every single one of the site’s blog posts contains a reference to the advisory board and even places a very prominent link to a page that lists each member’s credibility.
Transparent Labs play in an industry where credibility carries a lot of weight. There are tons of supplements that make questionable, pseudo-scientific claims about their worth.
By publishing interesting, highly specialized blog content that’s backed by a panel of experts, the brand does a great job of separating itself from the charlatans.
Seeing returns from content marketing takes time and no small amount of effort. But don’t let it put you off making your blog work for you.
The effort may only pay off in the long run, but the rewards are potentially enormous. A single post that ranks in Google’s top three search results is enough to see a massive spike in traffic.
Taking your blog seriously also has benefits beyond merely bringing in traffic; a well-crafted post can do wonders for conversion figures and profit margins.
If you run an ecommerce business and you’re not using your blog to drive growth, you’re missing out on one of the most effective marketing channels out there.