Our infographics have been pretty popular lately (9 Powerful Blog Promotion Tactics got over 2,000 shares!), so we thought we’d dig a little deeper.

This time, we’re combining data from TWO sets of interviews: OGcontent’s “11 Pros Spill Their Guts About Ecommerce Content Marketing” by Scott Taft, and WordStream’s “21 Expert Content Marketing Tips from the Best Inbound.orgAMAs” by Miranda Miller.

We laid out all the information, identified patterns and trends, established a coherent narrative and hunted down relevant statistics– all for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

24 Juicy Tips for Ecommerce Content Marketing from Inbound Marketing Pros

YOU NEED A REASON, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?

1. BUILD A STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR AUDIENCE

  • Rand Fishkin taught me that content isn’t for direct signups – it’s to create loyalty, branding and familiarity.

Leo Widrich, Co – founder, 

Buffer

  • As long as people see content as a means to an end (getting higher rankings and distracting people so you sell more stuff) instead of part of the end itself (building strong relationships and an enduring audience who will ALWAYS buy your stuff) it’ll stay crappy.

Ian Lurie, CEO, 

Portent

2. INTEGRATE IT AS PART OF A GREAT USER EXPERIENCE

  • Experience is never divorced from commerce, so as long as your ecommerce site feels more like a gift shop and less like Walmart… you’re on the right track.

Ryan Deiss, Founder & CEO,

DigitalMarketer.com

  • Consider the user journey as they structure their content and site experience. In my experience, we are usually called on to accommodate many different buying stages.

DJ Francis, VP of Content Strategy, 

Imagination Publishing

  • The most ecommerce sites, content feels almost like a distraction. They’re there to sell products, and can’t make a good, data – verified connection between content and sales. So content gets shunted off to the blog, separated from the products, which of course reduces the impact, and makes it seem more like a distraction.

Ian Lurie, CEO, 

Portent

WHO ARE YOU WRITING FOR, EXACTLY?

YOU HAVE TO BE SUPER SPECIFIC.

3. GET TO KNOW THEM

  • Get to know your shoppers through data, social listening and engagement via real converations. The data will let you know how well types of content are performing. Social listening will give you an idea of what your customers are looking to see from you. Engagement opens dialog and actually empowers consumers to feel they are a part of your business.

Carmella Lanni, Blogger, 

The Vegan E – commerce Girl

  • Choose who you want to reach, and find out everything you can about them. Their problems are desires. The language they use when searching Google and social media for those topics. Who else is serving the needs of these people, both with content and with products and services.

Brian Clark, CEO, 

Copyblogger Media

4. DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO FEEL

  • Make sure you have a really well thought out positioning statement. This should summarize very succinctly the sets of feelings that you want to engender among your target customer. Having this will not only position you in the customer’s mind, it will help you focus your efforts.

Paul May, CEO,

 Buzzstream

5. IDENTIFY ENTERTAINING OF HELPFUL TOPICS

  • Think about the broad set of topics that may be helpful (or entertaining) to your potential shoppers. Don’t be salesy. Just share stuff that relates to them. Once you’re getting that attention, you’re hoping to squeeze the social, search and email benefits from it, making all of your marketing gradually more effective.

Andy Crestodina, Web strategist and Co – Founder, 

Orbit Media

6. FIGURE OUT INTERESTING CONTENT THAT HELPS SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS

  • Every customer really only wants two things from your content: (1) Help overcoming something negative, (2) Help achieving something positive. And, really, that’s what all products do as well.

Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, 

Meclabs

  • The best content is not about products but rather is a focus on the problems that buyers face.

David Meerman Scott, Marketing & Sales Strategist, 

Webinknow.com

  • Create content that sells the lifestyle around your products, not just the products themselves.

Mark Macdonald, Growth team & Content Manager, 

Shopify

  • Sell around a vertical. If you’re REI, it’s outdoor and sporting gear. Petco is about pets. What content will help solve your customers’ problems, answer their questions, inspire them to try new things, tell stories around their interests? Start reading consumer magazines in your sector. Experiment, learn what resonates, and develop a content strategy from there.

Rebecca Lieb, Digital Advertising & Media Analyst, 

Altimeter Group

  • Start producing content that is useful and interesting to your target audience. Give them a reason to come to your website. Without that, outreach to influencers isn’t going to be effective. In terms of finding influencers, you can use a tool like SEOmoz’s FollowerWonk – or even Twitter search.

Dharmesh Shah, CTO, 

Hubspot

YOU CAN START ANYWHERE, BUT YOU GOTTA

FIGURE OUT YOUR PROCESS AS YOU GO.

7. DON’T PUMP CONTENT, PUMP OUT PASSION

  • Only write about what comes from passion. Sure, you are not going to outrank Mr. Humungo. But slowly but surely you will build a local and relevant audience and in the end it is not about attracting 1 million people, it is about attracting the 1.000 that are in your area that want to give you money.

Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist, 

Google

8. GET CONTENT CREATORS INVESTED IN CONTENT CREATION

  • If you can go to people and say, look, you’ve told us about the time constraints of your job, we know you’re hesitant to commit to anything, but here is an editorial calendar that takes into account your time limitations, and here’s the kind of support we can offer you during the process… and here is WHY we want you to create this content… then you have a solid business case that also seems manageable to the individual.

Kristina Halvorson, CEO, 

Brain Traffic

9. START BY GUEST POSTING

  • Start by guest posting – not by writing your own blog. Put your best free content on the blogs your prospects are already reading. Don’t try to beat those influental blogs; partner with them. They’re looking for epic content, and you’re looking for prospects; so be uber-businessy about it and ‘synergize’.

Joanna Wiebe, Founder, 

Copyhackers.com

10. INCLUDE SOCIAL PROOF

  • Content marketing delivered by the brand must be complemented by content generated by brand or product advocates. Brands that emulate, if not duplicate, the best aspects of social networks not only activate a self – sustaining model of content marketing, but they can become more trusted in the process.

Kieran Taylor, CMO, 

Blucarat

11. WRITE IN A TWO – STEP PROCESS

  • The first step is the sourcing process. I find lots of research studies on a topic. Write a few sub – headings and basically make a big mess in a word document. I intentionally jot down lots of things that don’t flow well. I do this for around an hour or so. Then I go and do other tasks. Then in the afternoon, I get back to the post. The great thing is that my brain has by then normally made sense of all the different sections. I then edit and write the actual wording, the flow and ordering all the research I’ve collected. I then publish that post next thing in the morning after doing a few final tweaks, like adding images, and so on.

Leo Widrich, Co – founder, 

Buffed

THERE ARE

STANDARDS OF EXCELLENCE YOU SHOULD AIM FOR. 

12. WRITE IN YOUR AUDIENCE’S LANGUAGE

  • What we call SEO copywritting is actually reflecting the language of the audience back at them (when done correctly). This has been the secret to effective copywritting in general for decades before search engines. The key is to quit worry about gaming an algorithm (that’s getting more ”person like” all the time) and focus on the language of the audience in order to connect with them, first and foremost.

Brian Clark, CEO, 

Copyblogger Media

13. TRY LONG – FORM WRITING

  • Long – form stuff definitely works. But not for complex stuff – it is usually consumer – focused and impulse – buy. It is not against best – practice. It is actually in a long and battle – tested tradition of direct response copywriting. The stuff has been around for many decades with people like Eugene Schwartz. I wouldn’t use it for expensive B2B stuff though.

Tim Ash, CEO, 

Sitetuners

14. USE VISUALS WITH RESTRAINT

  • People misunderstand the power of visuals. Basically they distract the visitor and make it hard for them to prioritize. There is a hierarchy and stuff at the higher levels will prevent the visitor on focusing on more subtle stuff at the lower levels. So cut back on the motion and the window – dressing – boring works.

Tim Ash, CEO,

 Sitetuners

15. BREAK DOWN COMPLEX ISSUES AND VISUALLY DEMONSTRATE CONCEPTS WITH INFOGRAPHICS

  • I love infographics IF – and only if – they’re done well. I think infographics have been abused and have gotten a bad rap as a result. But when we’re analyzing data from thousands of advertisers and looking at billions in spend, charts are boring. Infographics can really help break down complex issues and visually demonstrate concepts if they’re done right.

Larry Kim, CTO, 

Wordstream INC.

PEOPLE ARE BUSY SO

YOU HAVE TO REACH OUT TO THEM.

16. FIND PROMOTABLE TOPICS

  • Health, taste, weather
  • Use those keywords to build co – relevant content ideas.
  • Push the content at their followers through outreach and ads.
  • Reward profile creation, newsletter signups and follows.
  • Keep the conversation going through relevant social channels.
  • Look at the word cloud of all the followers of the biggest player

17. APPLY THE 5 PRINCIPLES FOR CONTENT PROMOTION

  1. PLAN – Spend at least as much time planning as you do on the actual promotion.
  2. SEGMENT – Broaden the list of people you reach out to by segmenting your – content market.
  3. LEVERAGE – Leverage easier to acquire links to help get the more difficult ones.
  4. ENGAGE – Engage in your community prior to outreach.
  5. AUTOMATE – Automate low – value tasks.

Paul May, CEO,

 Buzzstream

18. BUILD A FAN BASE

  • Strategically, I believe that start – ups should be building permission assets – groups of people who are excited to hear what they have to say (tactically, I’m a big fan of email marketing).

Will Critchlow, Co – Founder, 

Distilled

19. PERFORM EMAIL MARKETING

  • Love. Email marketing! If you are not thinking about the transformative nature of mobile on email consumption and engagement, you are making a BIG MISTAKE.

Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist, 

Google

YOU NEED TO MEASURE THE EFFECTS OF YOUR WORK

OR YOU’RE FOOLING YOURSELF.

20. OBSERVE THE HIERARCHY OF METRICS

  • The motivation behind measurement is to figure out what is working and what is not. Most of the time, we measure things that we think are indicative of the thing we actually want. Because often, it’s hard to measure the thing we actually want.

Dharmesh Shah, CTO, 

Hubspot

21. AUTOMATE A CUSTOM REPORT WITH ONLY SPECIFIC METRICS THAT YOU CARE ABOUT

  1. FOCUS ON KEY METRICS
  2. AUTOMATE THE PROCESS
  • Aside from forensic data dives, webmasters should only spend their time monitoring key performance indicators (metrics on ‘roids’) that they care about. So for one webmaster, this might be just the basics. For another, they might be a brick and mortar who only cares about traffic from their sales regions, let’s just say. That will require a custom report using some advanced(ish) metrics. But all too often, marketers don’t automate this process and do the same repetitive tasks week after week, month after month.

Annie Cushing, Founder,

 Annielytics

22. MONITOR DWELL TIME

  1. Is there a dwell time that leads to higher conversion rate?
  2. Any correlation to social sharing?
  3. Does page speed cause higher or lower dwell time?
  4. In some cases, does dwell time cause me to make more repeat visits (and money)?
  • For sites like my blog a very large percentage of people will just come to read the latest post or one post to solve a specific problem. Dwell time tells you what that engagement looks like because all web analytics tools stink (natively) at capturing time for single page view visits. I use the data to figure out what content is causing people stay and read.

Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist, 

Google

THE BEST PART OF ALL OF THIS IS THAT

YOU GET TO GET BETTER AT IT.

23. JUST KEEP DOING OVER AND OVER

  1. Figure out what you want to focus on.
  2. Make an editorial calendar for yourself.
  3. Set aside writing time for yourself honor it.
  4. Do it. Ask for feedback

24. REWORK CONTENT

  1. Focus heavily on design (emphatize, define, ideate, prototype, test)
  2. Think about channels (videos, blogposts, emails, slide decks)
  3. Incorporate feedback explicitly 
  • I think that I’ve been too guilty of always moving onto the next thing rather than seeing all the different ways that a piece can be repurposed.

Will Critchlow, Co – Founder, 

Distiled

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