Content marketing is potent, but is difficult to do well and requires investment of time and expertise. However, there are one or two ways to growth hack your eCommerce content marketing – as shared by our friends in this Survey Anyplace guestpost below.
As an eCommerce marketer or business owner, you are aware of the power of content marketing but at the same time, you know that this is not your main focus.
There are only a few eCommerce companies that invest in content marketing and this is quite normal since their goals are not even remotely related to this type of marketing.
However, with this article, I will try to present you with some of the best strategies to engage in eCommerce content marketing without spending too much of your precious time with this strategy.
Let’s take a quick look at some of these best options:
eCommerce Content Creation: 5 Creative Ways to Speed up the Content Creation Process
1. Use a Content Calendar
Before thinking about saving time with marketing automation and content creation, you need to start with a content calendar. Whether your are publishing on social media, on your eCommerce website, on a dedicated blog or on all these channels, you need to optimize this process as much as possible if you want to speed up the content creation process.
One of the most important decisions in this case is to create a content calendar and develop your content based on scheduled timetables, keywords and topics. Here’s an example from CoSchedule’s own team – CoSchedule offer a marketing-calendar app:
The easiest answer to why should you use a content calendar is because improvising doesn’t work. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll end up wasting time you could be spending being productive.
And if you don’t keep organized, you’ll be less likely to succeed. Using a content calendar makes it easier to plan out what you’ll be doing in the future.
2. Repurpose content from other sources
Whether you have a dedicated blog or not, there should be enough content on your website to work with. I am referring to content that is already published on the website. In many cases, these old pieces can be repurposed and used as new for your ongoing content marketing strategy.
Content update: Some of these pieces of content may prove to be outdated and lacking in informational value due to this issue. There’s no problem, you can update the information and republish the pieces to meet the required standards of the present. You can do this with old blog posts, with technical descriptions, tutorials, and product descriptions as well. You can update even the product manuals, should there are any.
Content republishing: If you have a blog that compliments the eCommerce website, you can choose to republish older article as well. I am referring to evergreen content pieces that are unnoticed by today’s users and clients.
Take this snowboard size chart for example, every year new people will be interested to find their perfect size, so you can shamelessly republish and promote this chart when the winter season starts.
“The fastest way to content bliss is reusing previously successful content and promotions,” said Jordie Van Rijn, email marketing consultant from EmailMonday. But what if you haven’t done a campaign on that angle before? Pick your competitors’ mind and be inspired by what they are working on. For instance the “New year new you“- type of email campaigns that Amazon and others deploy.
You can search these and other online email galleries, use your own swipe file or turn to Wayback machine for inspiration.
3. Use User Generated Content
There are a lot of brands that are thriving without actually creating content. Still, they seem to have unlimited sources of new and fresh ideas whether they are in form of articles, videos, or other types of visuals. How do they do it?
Well, they let their users, fans, and customers provide the required content for their ongoing marketing campaigns.
The most successful example, in this case, comes from Red Bull, a company that managed to build an absolute media empire around the brand. They survive on user generated content only and it seems to do it quite well considering they don’t invest much time in content creation. You can adapt this strategy to an eCommerce store through contests.
Red Bull’s Shorty Awards winning campaign #PutACanOnIt is a fine example of how user generated content (UGC) can create an overwhelming response on social media.
Red Bull found a photo on Twitter in which their can was held in front of Mini Cooper by the photographer, making the Mini a look like it was carrying a Red Bull.
Sensing opportunity, the brand added a #PutACanOnIt hashtag to it.
The idea took flight – around 10,000 original images were subsequently uploaded within a few months.
If you can think outside the box, a clever social media campaign can provide you with tons of user generated content.
A similar strategy was implemented by Glossier, a beauty products shop who targeted Instagram influencers and engaged them into their campaign. The strategy is quite simple yet, effective. These influencers received early Glossier products and their mission was to post images depicting the products and reviews of the products under the brand’s hashtag.
When you’ve repurposed all your own content and your users have done their share, it’s time to look at other experts or fellow bloggers close to your industry.
Writing quality content can be challenging and time consuming: doing research, looking for examples or case studies to mention. That’s where co-creation comes in handy.
In co-creation you collaborate with other people who help you write valuable content. Reciprocity plays a key role here. It often begins with offering something valuable to someone else, especially when you’re first starting your relationship. So the first thing you need to do is think about what you can give fellow bloggers that is of value to them.
You should be able to give it freely, without much effort or a high cost so that you can do this at a large scale. (If you produce content, it could be backlinks. But it can also be a large subscriber base, a popular roundup where you mention people, or the free use of a tool or service you’re providing.) This allows you to ask for something in return that is of equal value to you.
By being generous, and always giving something first, you’re making it very hard for others to refuse you if you ever want them to return the favor.
My advice would be to join a community and look to connect with other members who market to the same audience: they are good candidates for content co-creation.
This will provide you with an unlimited source of content ideas and inspiration for your blogs or websites. A community that will adopt the concept of co-creation and co-promotion and provide you with the necessary quotes and answers when you conduct studies.
“When you have a shared target audience that can benefit from broader industry experts imparting and reciprocating advice, why wouldn’t this be an effective marketing and content creation tactic?” says Lee Wilson, Head of SEO for Vertical Leap. “Through expert driven and audience-oriented content reciprocation you can extend the potential reach of your content as well as the value provided.”
5. Use templates
There are many ways in which you can use the concept of templates in your favor. You can do it even with your blog posts.
Templates can be created to fulfill a wide range of needs.
You can start your marketing campaign by creating several templates for different designs and goals. For example, you can use social media graphic templates with Bannersnack, Infographics templates with Venngage and interactive content templates with Survey Anyplace.
There are even formulas for storytelling – we gathered 18 proven examples
At the same time, you can create templates for your Infographics and ease this work up to the point it will take only a few minutes to create such visuals. Venngage, in this case, is the greatest example. Their templates, at the same time, can be of use if you want to engage in this type of content marketing.
At Survey Anyplace, we see that our templates not only accelerate content creation for our users, but they also serve as organic traffic magnet on our landing pages. Templates generate traffic because people search for them
Make sure you have a template for different types of content. For example, The Wandering RV have a template for RV rental articles, for product review articles, for informational articles, etc. Using the same format again and again speeds up the content creation process significantly.
Source: Wandering RV
Are you about to internationalize your business? Are you already an international brand? Well, if your answer is positive, then I have got yet another good news for you. You can multiply your posts in as many languages you can address, considering the markets your products are available on.
“A simple tactic that helped us to triple our blog post output: translations. Our original posts are all in English. Over the past two years, we also started to publish posts in German, French, and Spanish”, Pascal van Opzeeland, CMO at Userlike said. “If you sell worldwide, I’d definitely recommend it. We are less accurate in our keyword targeting, but the competition of non-English content is much lower. And translating a post takes 5% of the time it takes to write an original one” he added.
This may prove to be one of the easiest to implement strategies for content creation. And, it may prove to be effective even if you do not have a blog and choose to translate only the product descriptions and technical details from your store. They will provide you with localized keywords for searches performed in other languages and as a consequence, provide you with a lot more organic reach than before.
Content creation is and should be an important part of your marketing strategy. The fact that you are trying to promote an eCommerce business is irrelevant in this context since everything you post online can qualify as content.
I hope that the above examples will help you improve your strategies and create success for your eCommerce business starting from today.
What other types of content creation techniques would you recommend to an eCommerce marketer and why?
Besides kitesurfing, Stefan is passionate about the use of technology to build professional relationships with people, at scale.