E-commerce is more than just what’s hip and happening.
It’s the future of business.
A 2017 survey quoted on Statista.com showed that 40% of Internet users in the U.S. bought goods and services online several times per month, with 20% making those purchases weekly.
Experts also predict that by 2020, retail e-commerce sales worldwide will have doubled from what they were just two years ago in 2016.
You need great content to bring in clients, but even more importantly, great content strategy to drive the gears of your online business.
Strategy #1: Appeal to search engines and readers
Earlier in the decade, keywords determined website page rank. But according to DYOmapper.com, they’re now one of approximately 200 factors that Google uses to make that call.
You still need to pay attention to SEO. Make a list of 7 to 10 keywords for your business and use them for page titles, sub headers, URL and meta-descriptions.
But don’t overrun a web page or blog post with keywords. You’ll end up devaluing the content because nothing kills content flow like repetition.
Keyword stuffing will look like you’re trying so hard for algorithmic validation that you don’t care about the actual people visiting your website.
Focus instead on content that is as interesting and useful enough that readers might want to share it across social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Strategy #2: Strive for maximum content digestibility
Readers love dynamic content. They also like lots of white space.
Even if you write long blog posts of 800 words or more, consumers will stay with you – if you know how:
- use bullet points and/or subheads to highlight your main ideas
- limit paragraph length to one or two sentences
- Bold important words and phrases
These strategies will help eyes/brains register ideas and digest content quickly.
Remember: consumers like what they read to go down smooth as good food and drink.
Strategy #3: Problem solve rather than hard sell
Your business exists to solve problems.
So your content should always focus on what your goods/services can do for people. Or how they can make business goals more achievable.
Keep this point in mind for how to organize your website as well. What you put online should exist to help, not create more problems.
Make it easy for your visitors to:
- navigate your pages
- click through to external links
- find product/service information
- make purchases
- contact you
But nix the hard sell.
Show consumers why they should want what you offer, yes. Give them a call to action that references your business, yes. Then let them decide.
To quote Copyblogger founder Brian Clark, “When you focus on the outcome you expect from your content, you are almost invariably failing your readers.”
Put your readers/website visitors first. Always.
Strategy #4: Stay relevant through trend-integration
Effective content strategy includes staying on top of what’s hot. Trending topics can range from current events (including seasons and holidays) to news of the day.
Integrating trending topics into your content will make your business and the goods/services you sell more relevant. And it will show you’re awake and aware.
But watch out.
Consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow says that buyers are “overwhelmed with spin, hype and superficiality and they’re working to de-BS their lives. There’s almost a visceral reaction to phoniness.”
In other words: find natural connections between your business and what’s happening. Otherwise you’ll look like you’re trying to sell Christmas trees for the Fourth of July.
Strategy #5: Reference key influencers…and become one yourself
There’s only so much you can do to promote your business.
That’s why good content strategy also involves social media, which Forbes writer Ryan Holmes has called “the single most effective way to reach audiences.”
Ways of using social media to help boost your visibility include:
- sharing content on major sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube
- guest blogging on sites relevant to your industry
- backlinking to content by influencers/thought leaders
- advertising on sites like Facebook, which now has more than 2 billion users
The more you tap into the power of social media influence, the more you build your own online authority.
And the more you build your authority, the more trust and interest you build in your brand…which can only mean more sales for your business.
Strategy #6: Unleash the power of e-newsletters
E-newsletters may be old news. But don’t count them out because they’re “just email.” Or because email is so last century.
Email is in fact one of the few reliable touchstones in the increasingly fractured world of online marketing. According to a recent study, more than 90% of American adults use email.
And Forbes reports that a whopping 80% of businesses report that email is directly tied to their primary revenue.
Taking the time to craft great e-newsletters is well worth the time and effort.
So before you engage in content creation for your business, think about:
- what that content will look like
- where and how you want to use it
Then move forward, full speed ahead.