How to Use Content Marketing to Sell Products Online
“Create content that teaches. You can’t give up. You need to be consistently awesome.” – Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics
If you are looking to sell products online, content is important.
It helps you stand out from the clutter, draw in your customers and close more deals.
As Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing rightly said, “Content is the reason search began in the first place.”
Before the days of display ads, PPC and social media – SEO was the only hope for businesses to be found online. And content is the backbone of SEO.
Not much has changed after all these years. Even today, “Content is king” when it comes to getting traffic and conversions. In fact, it has become even more powerful and effective than ever before. Content marketing is not going away, so you might want to get on board.
eCommerce and content marketing
A proper content marketing strategy for an eCommerce store serves numerous purposes, including:
- Raising brand awareness
- Improving ranking on SERPs
- Better user engagement to attract new customers and nurture current customers
- Provide better support by means of helpful content such as how-to videos, user manuals/product guides and other advisory content to aid customers naturally down the purchase funnel
- Enhance social reach to improve the chance of word-of-mouth mentions
What kind of content should you use to sell products online?
Well, it usually depends on industry and target customers. However, according to eMarketer.com e-newsletters followed by white papers, videos, case studies, webinars, research reports, infographics, product demos and interactive apps are the most premium type of content used by marketers.
Here are 3 tips and examples of how some of the larger eCommerce brands are incorporating content into their strategy to sell products online.
1. Write compelling headlines
Remember what they said about always starting with the basics?
The headline of your post is where it all starts. It is your headline that is displayed in search results and therefore they have a massive impact on your ranking as well as on grabbing the attention of your target audience.
There are numerous tips available online on how to write ballistic headlines but among those, we found a few worth mentioning.
First thing first, incorporate some power words that convey feelings as well as appeal to the readers in your headlines. Mind-blowing, skyrocket, devastating, wondrous, triumph, explosive etc. are some power words that can help you achieve phenomenal success.
However, you need to maintain the right balance otherwise the piece of content may look spammy to both search engines and readers. Remember that while the goal is to make it sensual and stimulating, don’t go overboard.
A compelling headline piques your curiosity just enough to make you click a link and read further to bridge the gap between your pain points and the solution offered by the content creator. You should therefore create intrigue without giving away too much information in the headline.
Now, the last one is probably the most challenging one to achieve. Remember Steve Jobs’ iconic speech “Here’s to the crazy ones?”
Yes, we are asking you to be the ‘round pegs in square holes,’ to breakdown conventional thinking.
If you really want people to read your articles, share them and talk about them – stop being conventional. Try to see things differently, say what others least expect, let people disagree with you, and challenge the status quo. While some will glorify you, you might also ruffle some feathers. But as long as you back up your points with proper facts and data, there is nothing to worry about.
2. Write guest blogs & longer copy
Forget what Matt Cutts told you about guest blogging being dead. It simply isn’t, period.
While the head of Google’s web spam team was probably talking about the death of low quality guest blogging for link building purposes, the discipline is still very effective, if done right.
AO.com, for example, has a content section called AO life within the main site where it features posts from guest writers and contributors, talking about myriads of topics keeping the readers’ interests in mind. There is no hard sell here; they simply provide links to products mentioned in articles.
Reach out to high traffic blogs related to your niche and publish a certain number of guest posts at regular intervals to expand your market reach and improve your brand.
In addition, it’s about time eCommerce marketers get rid of another long-standing myth. It’s about internet users having short attention spans, especially when it comes to lengthy posts.
True that the average attention span of people in 2015 is just around 8.25 seconds, but since you have read this far, you know better. People will read your post no matter how long it is, if you write about things they want to read and provide proper insights.
Search engines also love long-form copy; the top pages displayed on Google’s SERP results for almost any keyword usually have an average of 2000 words each.
‘The Journal’ section of Mr Porter features some longer copy and fashion enthusiasts simply love reading them. What they do is create sleek and well-presented content such as interviews with eminent personalities like Jose Mourinho, Noah Baumbach, the Goldston twins of Athletic Propulsion Labs etc. to grab the attention of their readers.
3. Content gamification
Interactivity is fine, but you need more than that in today’s marketing landscape. You need to gamify your content using parallax scrolling, advanced video and rich media technologies, allowing your viewers to interact with it in various ways.
A number of eCommerce brands are embracing content gamification. While some are opting for the simpler form such as progression bars and/or loyalty badges, others are being more elaborative with 3D viewing options or creating video games involving their product.
Chipotle, for instance, leverages storytelling and gamification to take its branding efforts to the next level with Scarecrow.
Be calm and keep creating great content
Irrespective of the strategy you follow, remember that the main goal of your content is to inspire existing customers and potential audiences alike.
There are so many eCommerce brands leveraging the power of content to inspire audiences, boost their search results, and build their brands.
If they can do it, you can too.
To become an authority in your niche; content is king.
Guest Author: Mansi Dhorda works at E2M – A Digital Marketing Agency. A social media enthusiast, she is well-versed in content marketing and other internet marketing niches. You can interact with her on Twitter. Her Twitter handle is @mansidhorda.