Did you know that consumers are 131% times more likely to buy your product if they have read an informational piece of content by your brand beforehand? In fact, consumers are still 48% more likely to buy your product after a week if they have read your blog. This is just one of the many reasons why creating fantastic blog content is crucial for the success of your ecommerce site.
Blogs provide an effective channel to engage with your target audience more effectively, build more meaningful connections and boost brand affinity, which can all contribute to helping you generate more sales. If executed successfully, an active blog will create a flow of regular organic traffic, attract repeat readers or even help you become a go-to content source in your field. Different types of content will target conversions in various ways at each stage of the sales funnel. For example, lifestyle blog content may not directly incite someone to convert but will help build trust in your brand and encourage sales over time. Whereas, a nifty tool you have created may encourage someone to convert instantly. The impact of your blog content will also depend on multiple factors, including whether it’s SEO-informed, promoted through email marketing or a hit on social media. So, where do you start?
In the planning stage, you will need to think about the purpose of your content. First, you should consider the user intent you aim to satisfy and ensure the information you are providing is useful. Then, you need to define your KPIs. What is the end goal of your blog? In most cases, your aim will be to drive more traffic to a specific product page to boost transactions but you need to be more specific. Let’s take a look at the marketing flywheel.
The marketing flywheel can be broken down into the attract, engage and delight phases. Content at the ‘attract’ stage should be targeted at first-time site visitors and provide useful information to grab their attention. SEO-informed content is effective at the attract stage and helps draw in new users who find your site in the search engine results pages (SERPs). At the ‘engage’ stage, your content should focus on creating a conversation with your prospective customers and provide solutions to their problems. The ‘delight’ stage is where you seal the deal and your content should be designed to encourage consumers to make the transaction. However, the flywheel model focuses on continuity which means your ‘delight’ content should also be aimed at existing customers, keeping them engaged, encouraging brand loyalty and making them want to share your brand and help you tap into a wider audience.
Regardless of your objectives, it is important to maintain balance between informational and sales-focused content to provide a good user experience and value to your readers.
Next, you need to choose your subject matter. This may sound easy but it’s important to do your research and find popular topics that your audience or prospective customers are interested in, and not make assumptions. Data is key.
You can find out exactly what your audience is searching for or talking about online using various tools, such as Buzzsumo’s Content Analyser, Reddit, Quora and Answer the Public. We would also recommend conducting in-depth informational keyword research which will allow you to understand the most common informational queries people have regarding your product or service, and give you the opportunity to answer these questions directly with useful content. Audience-first SEO can also be beneficial at this stage and help provide more detailed insights of who your audience are and what they are looking for. Audience-first SEO incorporates social media data and audience intelligence with keyword research to achieve this.
You should prioritise content where there is higher potential to obtain the featured snippet. Featured snippets appear at the top of the search results and offer users a direct answer to their query. A featured snippet provides greater brand visibility and helps improve click-through-rate (CTR) since many users will select the top result in the SERPs. Higher CTR results in a greater influx of website traffic which means more prospective customers. The example below shows the featured snippet for the search query ‘What is application support?’. This blog piece is written for the ‘attract’ phase. It attracts users onto its site, offers useful information and acts as the first stepping stone in the sales journey.
Remember, your content does not always have to be product-focused but can also include related broader topics. In fact, you can use supporting content to link to your transactional pages or main content hubs and help drive more traffic to these important pages. For instance, if you have a skincare product, there are plenty of related topics you could write about, such as morning skincare routines, cosmetic ingredients, facial tools or massage techniques.
A great way to gain the confidence of your readers is leveraging user generated content (UGC) on your blog. UGC can be any form of content produced by customers, employees, partner brands or influencers, such as reviews, guest blog posts, Instagram stories and tweets. More than half of online shoppers check reviews before making a purchase and are much more likely to convert if they have seen that another customer has had a positive experience with your brand. So, you should include reviews or quotes from your existing customers, or other users, to showcase your products and services on your blog. If you have any partnerships with influencers, you can also use their testimonials to support your blog content or invite them to create a guest post. For example, if you sell a food product, you could team up with a social media food blogger to develop a recipe using your product.
Your blog can be a fantastic place to promote any deals you have on your ecommerce site. You can update your content when running an offer and add blog banners to promote your current deal. This creates a sense of urgency and helps drive sales. Likewise, you can use your blog for product announcements or launches coming soon. This helps keep your customers in the loop and excited for your new arrivals. Offering a free trial can also be an effective strategy for enticing new customers. This type of content demonstrates confidence in the quality of your products, gives customers the chance to try before they buy and is effective at gaining customer trust and loyalty.
So, you’ve given readers all the information they need but what should they do with it? This is where call to actions (CTAs) and internal linking come in. A CTA simply refers to the prompt you use on your website to encourage readers to take the next step, such as internal links or buttons to product pages. Internal linking is beneficial for both SEO and user experience. Internal linking can help to drive more traffic to product pages to improve rankings and authority. Building a module under each blog post that pulls through related products or articles is an engaging way to do this and helps increase time on site, and allows the user to further inform their purchasing decisions. For example, if you have a blog about the benefits of CBD oil, someone may then want to know more about how to apply CBD, and you can link to this additional blog. Ultimately, you will help nurture your customers to a transactional page so they can now make an informed purchase.
In order to unlock the full potential of your content, it’s important to amplify your content to reach a wider audience. There are many different channels you can use to do this, from social media to email marketing. Email newsletters are a great channel to use to showcase your most valuable blog content and share it with your existing subscribers. Encourage newsletter sign ups by including an email sign up form at the bottom of all your blog posts. In this way, even if readers do not convert from a particular blog post, you can continue to build a long-term relationship with them by serving them regular informative content..
Including the social media icons on your blog posts is a simple yet effective way to encourage readers to share your content with friends and family, allowing you to reach a wider audience. However, you need to make sure you are creating valuable content that is worth sharing. You can also try methods to incentivise your audience to share content, and create higher social engagement and brand awareness, for example with competitions or giveaways. Social media is crucial for the ‘delight’ stage of the flywheel as you can engage new customers using your existing ones, and keep the wheel rolling.
In the best case scenario, social media offers the opportunity for your content to go viral.
Studies have shown that content with appropriate imagery receives 94% more views than content without images. Images are an engaging format to use and work really well embedded into your blogs to help break up text and keep readers interested. Where possible, you should aim to use original images of your own products instead of stock photos, for example use-case images of your products. Make sure to embed links in your images so that readers can click directly through to your product pages from your blog and make the journey to conversion easy for your customers.
Better yet, if you have the resources to create video content then you should be using it to demonstrate how to use your products in context in your informational blogs. For example, if you sell clothes, you can provide style inspiration or if you sell cleaning products, you can show how to use them on different household surfaces. Videos increase time on site and are the most engaging form of content, especially on social media. There are various platforms you can use to embed your videos on your blog, such as Vimeo. Top tip: Optimise your images! Add a short description to the ALT text section in order to help your image rank in the SERPs. Also, note that ALT descriptions are beneficial for visually impaired users. Likewise, it is best practice to add subtitles to your videos to make them more accessible to a wider audience.
As an ecommerce site, it is crucial for you to focus on your blog content in order to help you reach a wider audience and drive more sales. You can use these sure-fire steps for any type of business, no matter what you sell but just remember to be consistent and upload regularly in order to see results.If you’re looking for more information about how to create a successful blog for your ecommerce business, please get in touch with our expert content team.