Image: 10'000 Hours
Tips for Generating Content for Your E-Commerce Business
So, you’ve recognized the importance of having a website, but how do you keep it populated with content that’s relevant to your audience? Time to build a long-term plan for your ongoing content strategy. Here are some tips to jump-start your thinking.
Spotlight a product category in a blog entry
Do you have a blog on your site? Remember, the purpose of your blog isn’t to sell things, at least not directly. Your blog helps build trust with your audience, so when they think of buying a product or service in your industry, they think of you first. But you can still use your blog to talk about why a product category you offer is important. That’s the why of solving a problem, rather than the how or the what (check out Simon Sinek’s TEDx Talk outlining this philosophy).
To this end, think of a way to frame your product in someone’s life: Convince your customers that hand-made vases provide perfect accents for a modern home or that a professional tax preparer can save them money. Nobody wants to read a blog post that’s really just a menu or a price list, but they always appreciate becoming a little smarter.
Interview your staff (or a customer)
You don’t have to generate content all on your own! Your coworkers are experts who have unique perspectives they can share. Chat with them for 30 minutes and publish what the conversation reveals. Here are some best practices for writing an interview blog post.
Also, consider interviewing a customer to craft a mini case study. Make sure you answer the following: who they are, what problem they had and why your solution was just right. Connect their specific issue to the common challenge that issue represents.
You can use this format again and again. Most small and medium businesses serve multiple types of customers, so if you’ve taken the time to split your customers into marketing “personas,” you can use those personas to inspire blog posts.
Create how-to videos or blog posts
According to Wyzowl, over 75% of video-marketing professionals say video leads to a direct increase in sales. You can be the place customers find what they’re looking for by creating how-to videos, which you can post everywhere: Instagram, YouTube and even as an embed in your blog. Patching holes in drywall, making pasta from scratch and studying for standardized tests may be areas customers want to learn about before they take the plunge on a paid product. Consider recording yourself performing common work tasks (and then add text with a free program like iMovie) or taking pictures throughout the process that you can use to illustrate a step-by-step blog post.
Create a checklist
You can create easy, interactive content by publishing a checklist of a process that’s common to your business. “Questions to ask when hiring a realtor” or “groceries to buy for homemade pizza night” could be shared as images or PDFs on your website and social platforms. Build the checklist with free software like Canva, making sure to brand it with your logo and colors. Use your own content as inspiration. Look back through your published newsletters or blog posts for popular or useful subjects you can rewrite as lists.
Send out roundups
Sometimes the best way to demonstrate your expertise is to point to other experts. What are you reading and listening to? What resources do you turn to frequently? Consider making a blog post that’s a “roundup” of blogs, posts, podcasts and other media you find useful. You can then reuse this on Instagram by creating a carousel (think slideshow). In the spirit of citing other experts, here’s a tutorial on making such carousels, which Hootsuite notes can get over three times as much engagement as regular posts.
Remix your content for update posts
One final idea: Comb through your old content and see if you have ideas that can be updated or revamped. Did you interview a customer a year ago that you can check back in on? Did you provide a holiday guide for Independence Day that could be reworked as a winter version? Or has a major news event, or perhaps changes to tax law, affected your customers? Returning to past subjects isn’t a bad thing, as long as you offer something fresh! Almost 60% of content marketers reuse content, so you’ll be in fine company.
You might take your expertise for granted, but it’s what readers crave. Use the above tips to help translate what you know to an eager audience. Maintain an active web and social presence so customers know who they can trust: You.
Product features may have changed and are subject to change.
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