In 1732, Benjamin Franklin, under his alias Richard Saunders, kicked off something huge with Poor Richard's Almanac.
More than just a yearly mix of weather forecasts, proverbs, and poems, it was a clever move to promote his new printing business. Yep, this was the 18th century's version of content marketing!
Fast-forward to now, content marketing is all the rage, raking in a whopping 63 billion dollars in 2022.
Franklin, the print-savvy entrepreneur and future President of the United States of America, had no idea he was setting the stage for today's marketing game-changer. Who knew an old-school almanac would pave the way for a billion-dollar industry?
1. Content Marketing definition
According to the Content Marketing Institute:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The keyword here is “valuable.” It’s what differentiates content marketing and typical advertising. In other words, it is a long-term strategy that aims to build a strong relationship between a brand and its customers. To successfully do it, brands (e-commerce in our case) need to create quality content that brings value to their customers consistently.
Quality content comes through the sharing of educational, entertaining, and insightful information that will ultimately help readers improve their lives and solve daily problems.
On average, companies allocate around 41% of their marketing budget to content marketing initiatives
Now that we have clearly defined what content marketing is, let’s explore its importance and its impact on your e-commerce business.
2. 10 reasons why you should implement a content marketing campaign for your e-commerce business
2.1 Get better rankings on search engines
Have you ever asked yourself how Google ranks websites on the 1st page?
They determine the rankings by using a complicated algorithm that takes into account hundreds of factors such as keywords, website structure, page loading speed, number of backlinks, etc.
To put it simply, Google ranks the ones that are considered the most useful and relevant to the search request. So using quality content can help you rank in the top pages of Google and that can drastically boost your traffic.
2.2 Generate more traffic to your site
90% of web traffic comes from being on the first page on Google.
Producing high-quality content while targeting specific markets by using specific keywords can help you rank on the first page of Google and thus drive more traffic to your website.
The higher you’ll rank, the more traffic you’ll have.
According to HubSpot, companies that publish consistent blog articles are driving 55% more traffic than other companies. So make sure to provide your readers with quality content and work on your SEO (search engine optimization) to drive more traffic to your e-commerce.
2.3 Provide more content on your site
It may seem like a simple thing, but the more content you produce, the more content you’ll have on your site. Having an extremely rich website, full of content, will help you showcase your expertise and establish yourself as an authority on the subjects related to your products and services.
Customers want content that helps them make better and smarter decisions, so providing that for them can help you gain the trust of your customers, leads, and the industry as a whole.
Knowing that there are trillions of content materials out there, it can be really hard to separate the goods from the rubbish.
Since people usually seek out information from sources they trust, establishing yourself as a respectable and trustworthy brand will make people return more frequently. It also gives more reasons for your visitors to stick around, navigate through your website, spend more time on it and thus maximise the chances of them purchasing in your e-commerce.
After all, you want to learn from and do business with people you trust, don’t you?
2.4 Generate more leads
Driving more traffic to your website is already top-notch, but what’s the purpose if you don’t turn this traffic into leads?
Creating quality content for each stage of your customer’s journey can help you easily convert these visitors into leads and leads into customers. The most important is to provide content that engages customers during each phase of their journey and to guide them to make a better and faster purchasing decision. Content marketing helps to create a faster sales funnel.
2.5 Increase conversion
According to the Aberdeen Group, content significantly drives conversions. On average, conversion rates are six times higher (2.9% vs. 0.5%) for companies and brands using content marketing than those that aren’t.
So creating content that resonates in your targets’ minds can help you not only to generate more traffic and leads but also boost your conversion rates and convert those leads into customers.
This will lead to an increase in your sales and thus your revenues. So despite results not showing up directly, in the long run, content marketing can be a real lever for boosting sales and revenues.
2.6 Get more engagement
Another important benefit of content marketing is the increased engagement that you get from your customers.
Providing helpful and relevant information on questions and topics that are interesting to your target audience is the best way to start a conversation and get them to interact with your brand or around your brand. A good way to drive engagement can be by sharing your content on social media such as Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
This will also help you to drive social media traffic, which is one of the most powerful ways to reach and engage with new leads while at the same time nurturing a long-lasting relationship with your current customers.
2.7 Increase brand recognition
The more content you create, the more visibility your brand gets.
It allows you to be more consistent in the delivery of the message behind your brand. A highly visible brand sticks in the minds of customers, and through quality content, can create an emotional connection with its followers.
Ensuring consistent and positive experiences with your customers and followers will turn them into brand advocates who will talk about your products and your brands, and thus attract many more customers.
2.8 Provide better customer service
As Pat Ahern brilliantly quoted it in his article on Junto: Content marketing makes life way easier for your customer service team.
Providing quality content where you explain how your services or your product work can help you decrease the number of tickets your customers raise.
Content marketing has a proactive approach to customer service, as you’ll be able to produce content such as detailed product pages, videos, articles, etc. that will help answer your customers' questions. You can also, as an example, write posts that answer the most frequent questions asked by your customers.
This proactive approach (among many others) will help you reduce response time and answer your customers’ needs immediately. It will also help you save your teams' effort, who instead of answering thousands of emails, can redirect customers directly to relevant blog posts, videos, or FAQs.
2.9 It’s more enjoyable than typical advertising
Did you know that 42.7% of global internet users aged between 16 and 64 utilise ad-blocking software at least once monthly?
In contrast to typical advertising, which pushes information and is intrusive, content marketing takes a pull approach.
You attract customers by sharing high-quality and valuable information with a targeted audience, and this is much more enjoyable to everyone.
According to Demandmetric, 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles rather than an advert.
2.10 Save money
Content marketing isn’t just more enjoyable than traditional marketing, it is also much cheaper. According to demandmetric, content marketing costs 62% less and generates 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing. So not only does it cost less, but it also continues to generate traffic long after it is published, whereas paid ads stop generating traffic as soon as your budget runs out.
Good content also gets shared on social media and reposted on blogs, and thus can go insanely viral and easily reach millions of users (just think about your favourite meme). Trying to reach a similar number of people through traditional marketing channels would cost millions more.
As Gary Vaynerchuk famously quoted: If you are not producing 100 pieces of content … every single day, you are leaving the greatest opportunity in the world on the table.
And Gary is right, with so many powerful benefits, it’s easy to understand why more and more companies are investing so much time, money, and effort to create high-quality and extremely valuable content.
This explains why, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 56% of businesses reported that they want to increase their content creation spending.
No matter what industry you are in or what size your e-commerce is, the sooner you start investing and implementing content marketing in your strategies, the sooner you’ll improve your brand recognition and sales.
3. How to get started with content marketing
To get started with content marketing more engaging and effective for your e-commerce business, here are some easy and actionable tips:
- Define your goals: Determine what you want to achieve with content marketing (e.g., brand awareness, lead generation, sales).
- Understand your audience: Research and create buyer personas. For instance, if you sell eco-friendly products, your target audience might be environmentally conscious consumers who value sustainability.
- Audit your current content: Evaluate existing content (if any) to see what works and what doesn’t.
- Develop a content strategy: Plan topics, formats, and channels. Ensure it aligns with your audience's interests and your business goals. For example, if you’re in the fashion industry, you could create seasonal style guides, how-to-wear videos, and trend reports.
- Create a content calendar: Organize when and where you'll publish your content.
- Start creating content: Produce high-quality, relevant content. Mix formats like blogs, videos, infographics, and social media posts.
- Engaging product descriptions: Instead of just listing features, tell a story. For example, for a vintage watch, talk about its history and craftsmanship.
- Use customer reviews: Showcase reviews in your marketing materials. Social proof and UGC are king!
- Optimise for SEO: Use relevant keywords and meta descriptions to improve your content's search engine visibility.
- Promote your content: Share your content across chosen platforms. Utilise email marketing, social media, and paid ads if necessary.
- Engage with your audience: Respond to comments, messages, and emails. Engagement builds community and trust.
- Measure and adjust: Use analytics tools to track performance. Learn what resonates with your audience and refine your strategy accordingly.
- Be consistent: Regular updates keep your audience engaged. If you run a pet supply store, post weekly on social media about pet care, customer stories, or new products.
- Stay updated and evolve: Keep up with industry trends and adapt your content strategy as needed.