5 Ways Ecommerce Sites Are Killing it With Content Marketing

feature

This is a guest post by Emma Siemasko from Grasshopper.

Whether you’re selling t-shirts or homemade jewelry, by now you’ve probably heard that you need to be marketing your business with content.

That’s because creating valuable free content creates trust, builds your brand, keeps people informed, gives you something to share on social media and helps you rank in search engines.

More importantly, content marketing helps you attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers.

But how many companies are actually walking the walk? And more importantly, how can ecommerce companies like yours create content that breeds fans and followers?

Well, let’s look at how other online stores are managing to sashay down the content runway in style:

1. Creating How-to Videos 

How-to videos are an easy way to hook people into your content, especially if you sell a niche product on your site. Luxy Hair sells clip-in hair extensions that give you bigger, fuller hair than ever before, but their YouTube channel is as impressive as their product.

They have a ton of videos on how to use what they sell. Customers can learn how to pick an exact shade, how to store their extensions, how to clip in the hair extensions, and how to use these extensions with short hair.

But they also show people how to do stuff that has nothing to do with extensions. Women can learn how to blow-dry their hair, make a soft romantic ponytail, or put their hair in a quick and messy bun.

In other words, they’re giving something away for free (as an attraction strategy) and selling something related.

 

Learn from Luxy Hair:

  • Use how-to videos to explain your product (it might be obvious to you, but difficult for customers!)

  • Go beyond your product and reach your audience with how-tos

  • Never underestimate the power of teaching.

2.  Creatively Answering Your FAQs 

Many ecommerce sites have FAQ pages to deal with common questions and alleviate customer support (and rank in search engines). FAQ pages are a necessary piece of content, so go out of the way to make them awesome.

I love Zirtual’s “Examples” page that explains their service (they provide virtual assistants). They’re not ecommerce, but their personality gives you an idea of just how fun content can be:



REI sells outdoor sporting and camping gear. They field real questions from their customers and answers them in how-to videos on a YouTube channel called REI Find Out.

These videos explain how to use products that REI sells, so that when people search “How to fit your bike” an REI video pops up. These FAQ videos position REI as a camping authority, which is exactly what they strive to be.

 

Put another way, having an awesome FAQ page will help you engage your customers, demonstrate your expertise and show your personality.

Learn from Zirtual and REI:

  • Your customers have questions. Answer them creatively.

  • Use FAQs to fuel ideas for content and boost yourself in search

  • Stop asking your virtual assistants to find you escorts (yick!)

3. Using Photo-Heavy Content

As an ecommerce company, you’re selling products, so get out that camera and figure out how to get really awesome images in your content.

I work for a B2B company, so when I see how ecommerce companies using beautiful photos as part of their content strategies, it makes me so jealous I could scream. Just look at how VivaLaJewels, a tiny ecommerce jewelry company, inspires wows on Instagram.

One Kings Lane goes way beyond Instagram. They sell all kinds of household wares – from picnic tables to mid-century modern dressers to vintage globes. If you visit their “Live Love Home” page, which basically serves as their blog, you’ll be presented with magazine-quality images that’ll take your breath away.

One Kings Lane provides really useful content (love this one on how to paint stairs), while combining it with beautiful, well-placed images.  

Their right-hand navigation shows photos of actual products you can order. A social button as you read encourages you to get connected with One Kings Lane, too. Um, WOW!

Learn from One Kings Lane:

  • Fill your blog posts with beautiful images of what you sell

  • Flank your blog posts with products (but do it tastefully– no spammy, ugly, self-promotional stuff)

  • Paint your stairs because these look so, so cool

4. Becoming Your Own a Media Outlet 

If you look around for the best menswear blogs, you’ll find two of the most popular are run by Urban Daddy and Gilt.

To become an all-out authority in your space, it might be time to become a publisher. If you set up a hub where your audience can get info, you’ll separate yourself from companies that are giving the hard sell. Instead, you’ll inspire more trust and authority in your industry. You’ll also generate a ton of traffic through the media outlet. Cha-ching.

GetKempt and GiltMANual are media outlets in their own right, even though they’re run by sites that sell clothes.



Learn from Urban Daddy and Kempt:

  • Consider setting up separate media outlets to build trust

  • You can become a publisher just like Inc. or The New York Times

  • The content you publish does not need to be overwhelmingly branded

5. Being a Little Righteous and Staying in The Know 

Birchbox, a subscription services that sends out beauty boxes once a month, has an arsenal of blog posts focused on issues of appearance. They sell beauty products, so obviously they’re in the business of helping women look great, but they don’t shy away from the tough stuff.

Birchbox welcomes discussions about whether or not wearing makeup is even right, and how wearing makeup effects how society views women.

They report on weird beauty news and reddit threads that are getting attention. They’re not shy about addressing world issues, facing controversy head on, or diving into self-image and beauty issues.

This attitude builds respect in a world where a lot of beauty companies only care about making money. Go Birchbox.


Learn from Birchbox:

  • Take a stand on an issue – it’s impressive

  • Don’t shy away from controversy

  • Be grateful that you can choose from more than 18 haircuts!

Keep Calm and Content On

Content. It’s the material you create to inspire existing customers and the audience you hope to reach (your next customers are out there somewhere!) Ecommerce sites across the web are taking advantage of content’s power. They’re killing it– and you can, too.

Boost your search results, inspire your audience, build your brand, and become an authority – all with the help of content.


About the Author: Emma Siemasko helps small business owners and entrepreneurs up their game through writing and blogging. She’s the Content Marketing Specialist at Grasshopper, the entrepreneur’s phone system, and founder of Frog2Prince, an online dating consultancy.

http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0070/7032/files/ecommerce-content-marketing.jpg?2825

Shopify Ecommerce – Start your FREE trial now!
Sell products online
Shopify makes it easy to open an online store by providing all the tools and help you need. Click here to try it for free!

180x150

via Shopify Blog – Company at http://q.gs/1230192/http://www.shopify.com/blogs/blog/9938694-5-ways-ecommerce-sites-are-killing-it-with-content-marketing

Is Twitter The New Facebook?

Twitter phoneIf your target demographic is under 35, you may want to consider investing more time into Twitter. In fact, many social media experts are projecting that 2014 may be the year of Twitter. Currently, almost half of Twitter users are between the ages of 18-29. This group tends to be mobile and well-educated, with 40% holding at least a bachelor’s degree. However, the Twitter landscape may be shifting slightly younger within the next year or so.

In a recent study, Pew researchers found that teens are increasingly leaving Facebook for other social networks–namely, Twitter. In fact, teen Twitter use has grown by 24% this year, up from 16% in 2012. But why are teens leaving Facebook? Mostly for two reasons: the “drama” that goes on via Facebook and the fact that their parents are now active Facebook users, making it more difficult to have privacy. These teens also felt that Twitter and Instagram allowed them to better express themselves and are shifting to those networks.

If young adults are part of your target market, you may want to consider shifting time and resources to Twitter and more creative social networks like Instagram. Rather than overt advertisements, create opportunities to include this demographic into your brand with contests, features and visually engaging images. Ask open-ended questions to understand their view of your brand, which will help better connect with them. Get creative with hashtags and fan photo contests, using Twitter and Instagram as launching points to involve them in your brand.

Other articles you’ll love:

How Does Social Media Influence E-commerce?

Marketing To Millennial Moms

Why Do Consumers Share Content?

 

Free Trial. No Credit Card Required!
Start selling online today with CoreCommerce No setup fees, search engine friendly, free marketing tools and the most features. .

Read more at CoreCommerce

How Does Google’s Hummingbird Work?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird In FlightWithin the past few weeks, Google made some big changes to their algorithm, known as Hummingbird. Named after how fast and precise it is, Hummingbird focuses on returning better search results. Here are a few key ways Hummingbird works:

  • Previously, Google would ignore certain words in a search. With Hummingbird, Google now considers all words in a search to better understand the context of the search and what the user is looking for.
  • This new update helps Google to be more perceptive and intuitive with search results. Hummingbird allows Google to be able to take a general search, understand the context and return search results that are more appropriate. Overall, Hummingbird is about the intent behind a search rather than just keywords.
  • Many of the changes with Hummingbird are directly related to the rise of mobile, especially for searches on the go, where a more natural, spoken language is used to search.

For businesses, Hummingbird is a great incentive to become the authority in your niche and offer answers that consumers are looking for. Content marketing is an excellent way to get started, especially blogging. Consider what questions people who may be interested in your product would have and answer those questions well. Think Q&A’s, DIY instructions, how-to’s and more. Since search is becoming more conversational, think in those terms as you write.

Other blog articles you’ll love:

Perfect Your Landing Pages

Seven Tips For Creating Content

Writing Product Descriptions For E-commerce

Free Trial. No Credit Card Required!
Start selling online today with CoreCommerce No setup fees, search engine friendly, free marketing tools and the most features. .

Read more at CoreCommerce

5 Must Have Features For Ecommerce Blogs

feature

This is a guest post by Shawn Graham.

Blogging. When it comes to ecommerce, it’s one inbound marketing strategy you can’t afford to ignore. 

It’s the primary place on your website where you can share fresh content, initiate conversations, and connect with current and prospective customers.

Smart online retailers also understand that a blog can be a powerful attraction strategy for any website. Not only will creating high quality blog content help you rank for important keywords in search, it will also give you something valuable to share on social media.

But to get the most bang for your ecommerce blogging buck, you’ve got to make it as easy as possible for people to find exactly what they’re looking for (and hopefully even more). And for that to actually happen, you’ve got to have the right mix of navigation, calls to action, and social sharing.

Let’s take a look at the 5 features your ecommerce blog just can’t live without:

Calls to Action

You can write the best blog post in the history of blog posts, but if you don’t entice your visitors to actually do something while they’re on your site—you’re missing a huge opportunity. Whether it’s an email sign up, rss feed, or link to a featured product or upcoming sale, you’ve got to incorporate targeted calls to action that are tied directly to your content marketing goals.

Where should they go? Start with the top of your sidebar.That’s prime real estate and the perfect spot for an email signup. By building your list, you’ll have a way to follow up with current and prospective customers over time and that’s totally invaluable. Shopify pulled together a great post on why ecommerce sites need to build a mailing list. You also want to take full advantage of the space at the bottom of each post. If they’ve made it all the way through your content, there’s a pretty good chance they enjoyed what you had to say and are ready to take action.

Clearpath Robotics does a great job of defining what you can expect when you sign up for their e-newsletter (ex. robotics news, ideas, and more) and managing expectations on the frequency of their outreach (ex. sent quarterly).


Content Categories

Having clearly defined content categories not only increases the likelihood that your blog posts will stay on message, if you include them in your blog navigation it will also make your posts a whole lot easier to navigate for your audience. And that means they’re more likely to spend more time on your site, read more of your posts, and make a purchase.

Typically, they’ll be 5-7 broad buckets within which all of your content will fall. Pure Fix comes in just under the wire at 6 total.Whatever you do, just make sure you don’t go over the top. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with too many categories and a cluttered mess.


Recent and/or Popular Posts

One of the best ways to pull folks in and get them to check out some of your other blog posts is by including a “Recent Articles” or “Recent Posts” section in your secondary blog navigation. There’s just something about “new” that has a way of piquing our interest.  

Isn’t your eye just automatically drawn to that area on the Moorea Seal site?

And while recent posts are great for showing what’s fresh – they don’t necessarily display your best content. An alternative to displaying your recent blog posts is to showcase your most popular posts. Popular posts can be effective because you already know these posts resonate with your target audience and you get to take advantage of the power of social proof.

In other words, people will place a higher value on content they believe to be popular among their peers and will be more likely to click on it. Copyblogger does this well:

Social Sharing

Whether you want to grow your social media following for your ecommerce site, share your posts with their friends, or both—always be sure to include social sharing buttons on your blog. Just make sure any and all social sites make sense for your specific business and your target audience.

In most cases, you’re probably looking at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and possibly Instagram. Below, DENY Designs also decided to incorporate their Twitter feed into their right sidebar.


Search

Often overlooked, incorporating something as simple as a search box (yes, a search box!) can give visitors to your blog a way to look for a specific word or phrase without having to waste time or get frustrated skimming through dozens of posts.

Here, Rare Device includes a search box at the top of their blog so people won’t have to scroll to find it.


Building a successful ecommerce blog requires more than just having the right content. Once someone clicks on one of your posts, you want to keep them there so they start to form a connection and affinity towards your business.

As you think about your audience and your blog, what features might you add to your sidebar to help make your content easier to navigate or encourage prospective customers to engage?


About the Author: Shawn Graham helps small businesses create and implement performance-driven marketing strategies. Learn more about how to improve your ecommerce blog by checking out Shawn’s new ebook Blogging for Badass Small Businesses.

http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0070/7032/files/ecommerce-blog.jpg?2795

Shopify Ecommerce – Start your FREE trial now!
Sell products online
Shopify makes it easy to open an online store by providing all the tools and help you need. Click here to try it for free!

180x150

via Shopify Blog – Company at http://q.gs/1230192/http://www.shopify.com/blogs/blog/9920354-5-must-have-features-for-ecommerce-blogs

Synch Cloud Apps; Build a Better Business With 3dcart & Kevy

Online store owners have come to rely on cloud apps, but getting them to communicate and work effectively isn’t always easy. Enter Kevy, a software company that offers Cloud Connectors. With Kevy, the apps you’ve grow to depend on will work seamlessly together inside your 3dcart store(s). Kevy helps e-store owners using cloud apps avoid […]

What are you waiting for? Sell Online With 3dcart!

We are a 3dcart Certified Partner

Start your online store in 60 seconds

Read the rest at 3dcart’s Ecommerce Blog http://q.gs/1230192/http://blog.3dcart.com/synch-cloud-apps-build-a-better-business-with-3dcart-kevy/

Using Text Personalization Fields as a Quantity Field

http://www.corecommerce.com. Using Text Personalization Fields as a Quantity Field.
Views:
363
0
ratings
Time:
05:19
More in
Howto & Style

Free Trial. No Credit Card Required!
Start selling online today with CoreCommerce No setup fees, search engine friendly, free marketing tools and the most features. .

Read more at CoreCommerce

Adding a Progress Bar when Submitting an Order with CoreCommerce

http://www.corecommerce.com. Adding a Progress Bar on when submitting a Order with CoreCommerce.
Views:
448
0
ratings
Time:
01:34
More in
Howto & Style

Free Trial. No Credit Card Required!
Start selling online today with CoreCommerce No setup fees, search engine friendly, free marketing tools and the most features. .

Read more at CoreCommerce