With the release of the Outfitter Pro Premium WordPress theme, Rafal Tomal and I have been talking a lot about ecommerce websites.
Naturally, Rafal has great ideas about designing a t-shirt store, while I’m interested in how I can market an ecommerce store with, yes, geeky merchandise, but also robot kits and other nerdery for my site, Maker Hacks.
After I installed WooCommerce, I started thinking about blogging for ecommerce websites. Is it different from other types of content marketing? If so, how? And …
Should you blog and create content to sell ecommerce products?
Let’s dig in and discuss!
Unfortunately, ‘build it and they will come’ rarely works
That’s not to say every store is an uphill struggle. With the correct product and market fit, conversions might happen easily.
Send me an email with the subject line “New Doctor Who T-shirts” and you know I will open that guy. Every. Single. Time.
(Note to self: email Sonia with “new pug puppy toys” and a PayPal purchase button …)
But if you’re still growing your audience and need to get the word out about your ecommerce store, here are smart reasons to start blogging.
One of the primary reasons you should write blog posts is to raise awareness of what you sell.
Each article you write is like a friendly interaction with a salesperson about your store. Your blog offers opportunities for people to find your products and ultimately add them to their shopping carts.
It doesn’t end there, though. Blog articles offer another way for you to get social shares to your website, amplifying your reach.
While someone might not share an individual product, the same person might be willing to share your article that mentions the product (more on why later in this post).
With awareness comes more opportunities to get links from high-quality websites.
And when you craft articles that link to your products, you give search engines more unique content to serve up.
Another aspect of “awareness” is staying top of mind with your prospects and customers.
Your site visitors have a lot of choices when it comes to websites they frequent. Providing a steady flow of new, useful articles gives you a chance to enter their inboxes without being overly promotional.
You shouldn’t avoid pure sales or product announcements, but if you approach your topic from different angles and show up consistently, you will increase your chances of getting return visitors.
Awareness helps drive sales, but you also need to generate interest, desire, and action, which is where writing blog posts can come in handy!
Your ecommerce system alone is limited for building up your product enough to make a sale, but a blog post can work more persuasion magic through the power of storytelling.
A case study, serving suggestion, usage demonstration, or even a “how to” can put the product in the spotlight and give it the proper context to convert a prospect.
We all know, as consumers ourselves, once we find a store we like, we are more willing to return to that store than go someplace similar.
With content marketing, you can use carefully written articles and sequences to enjoy a greater share of your customers’ budgets, as well as attract new buyers.
Now that you’re preparing to blog, what should you write about?
I’ve got you covered there too, with eight types of compelling content for ecommerce blogs.
1. Case studies
One of the most powerful stories you can tell is how your product helps people or provides the benefits you promise (and perhaps unexpected benefits you didn’t anticipate).
Think about the hero’s journey …
What was their situation like before? What was their challenge or goal? How did they implement your product in their solution? What is their situation like now?
Seeing is believing, so seeing how something works and causes a change can take someone from skeptic to advocate.
That is why a “before and after” is so compelling, especially when the prospect can feel a connection to the person getting the results.
3. Launches and product announcements
The most straightforward type of article tells your audience something new is available for sale.
Give all the specs: benefits and features, the price, who it is ideal for, why it is a good option, and tell them what to do next.
You might even offer a special deal with your favorite copywriting technique (urgency? scarcity?) to prime the pump.
4. Upgrades and improvements
Launch day is not the only time you should update your customers with news.
Whenever you deliver an upgrade, improvement, or other positive development, shout it from the rooftops!
Existing customers, new customers, and potential referral partners will be interested in your announcements and the fact that you (or your suppliers) are continually improving what you sell.
5. Customer profiles
Customer profiles help people identify with what you have to offer.
People like to see themselves in your testimonials and case studies, so writing about your diverse customers is a smart way to show new prospects that they are similar to your current customers.
Also, you build confidence and trust. Prospects see that people are buying and having success with your products!
You will likely have documentation or help articles to answer questions or offer guidance about your products, but it’s extra helpful to demonstrate how the products you offer can be used — in a casual, blogging format.
“How to” articles attract prospects who are looking for solutions. Show them how your product is a strong match for their needs.
7. Serving suggestions
A serving suggestion is a mashup of a tutorial and customer profile. And it doesn’t just apply to food!
Show photographs of your products in customers’ hands. Have a gallery, or link to Pinterest and Instagram.
How are people customizing the items you sell in your store? What do people do with your products? What would make prospects excited about what they could do with them?
8. Competitions and prize draws
Need an excuse to talk about your product?
Give one away to a lucky reader while telling your whole audience about the product’s benefits!
But there’s more …
Don’t forget to consider:
- Off-site content marketing. Guest post, encourage customers to write their own reviews, and put publicity materials in influencers’ hands to help get inbound links.
- Visuals and video. YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook are other channels that help you show benefits (rather than just talk about them).
- Affiliates. Ask your affiliates what they need from you and how you can help them strengthen their promotions.
The proof is at the cash register
It’s a content world, so don’t allow your store or products to get lost in the noise.
Give your prospects useful resources that also educate them about what they need to know to do business with you.
Once you’ve made your WooCommerce store organized and beautiful (Outfitter Pro can help with that), let your audience know about all the aspects that make your offerings special. Get writing! 🙂