4 Tips For Launching Your First Ecommerce Content Strategy

Once upon a time, it was very common for a retail operation to sell purely through offering low prices, high-quality products, superb service, or some combination of the three.


Today, though, things are rather different. The level of competition is so formidable that it’s enormously hard for a seller to find an edge over their rivals in one of those traditional ways. So what’s the answer?


Well, every merchant should still strive to excel in those ways, bolstering their value propositions however they can, but they can’t stop there. They need to do more — and if you’re determined to carve out a niche in the ecommerce world, your first port of call should be content marketing.


By producing and distributing relevant content, you can build up your brand in a compelling way and ramp up your traffic without coming across as pushy.


It’s much easier said than done, though: many people have tried and failed to embrace this potentially potent method, leading to a great deal of frustration.


To improve your chances, we’re going to look at four tips for launching your first ecommerce content strategy. Let’s get to them.

Set up an on-site blog

The humble blog is the cornerstone of every good content marketing strategy, so that’s where you need to start.


It’s important to focus on the word on-site. Some brands make the mistake of setting up their blogs on separate websites.


They don’t want to modify their main websites, or maybe they don’t know how to, so they just cobble together some simple WordPress sites and use those instead.


It really doesn’t help that not all ecommerce platforms natively support on-site blogs.


This even goes for some that ostensibly cater to creatives: Big Cartel, for instance, only offers a basic WordPress integration that draws upon an external site.


So why is this a problem? Well, one of the core goals of an ecommerce blog should be to help your store rank well, and your blog posts can’t do much in that regard if they’re based on a separate domain.


A separate domain for your blog means you lose all that valuable SEO value from your blog, and your blog doesn’t benefit from your home domain at the same time.


If your store platform doesn’t feature native blog functionality, look for a plugin that can add it, or consult an expert developer to have them modify your site accordingly. If you’re serious about content marketing, this is a mission-critical move.

Create a content calendar

Writing one or two blog posts doesn’t sound so onerous — but what about writing 52?


Plenty of brands offer weekly blog updates, which means they pump out 52 pieces of written content each year at a minimum.


This is harder than you might imagine. Constant ideation can be a tiring process, so it’s useful to create a content calendar ahead of time.


A content calendar lets you plan and organize your ecommerce content strategy for the entire year, centered around themes, topics, seasonal events, and so on.


For instance, if you build certain events into your calendar such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, you can plan content for it well ahead of time, saving you time and stress into the bargain.


There are lots of handy templates available for this too, so it’s easy to get started. It’s worth planning at least a month in advance, if not too. This gives you a little breathing space in case deadlines get pushed.


Knowing what you’ll be writing about next week (and next month) will help you with keeping tasks fresh: if you get stuck on the next piece, you can divert your attention to the piece after that and get something useful done.

Focus on SEO viability

SEO (search engine optimization) is a core element of a strong ecommerce content marketing strategy.


Each blog post you write (or outreach asset you create, because there’s value in making infographics, explainer videos, etc.) should be geared towards bringing more people to your store, and Google is the primary route through which traffic arrives.


Every piece of content must have a central theme and a keyword (or set of keywords) for which you’re hoping to rank.


If you’re trying to run an online shoe store, for instance, you might write blog posts about common shoe-related questions: how to check your shoe size, how to resole a shoe, how to choose a shoe for hiking, and so forth.


AnswerThePublic is great for finding questions like these. Enter a keyword into the search bar, and you will be presented with a list of useful questions taken from real users on the web. Use these to inform your headers, which in turn can shape out your article.


Using these keywords in your headers and copy helps shape your content strategy. However, it’s important not to overuse them or weave them in your content unnaturally. Use them sparingly, and lean on synonyms or alternative words to help mix your copy up a little.


For instance, rather than repeating the word “shoe”, use “footwear” or “trainers” instead. This helps keep your content natural, while ensuring Google’s crawlers understand what it is about, helping them to rank it.


Pay attention to competition when researching keywords, since it’s always harder to rank for hyper-popular terms. Search for a term and see which pages (and brands) are at the top of the SERPs.


Can you outperform them?


Look for low-hanging fruit in the form of valuable keywords that aren’t being targeted very well.


If you can create content that’s hugely better than what’s showing up, you can get ahead.

Prioritize quality and consistency

Lastly, it strongly bears noting that you need to prioritize quality and consistency above all other things.


Don’t worry about quantity.


Trying to put out a large number of blog posts often leads to disaster.


Brands that commit to twice-weekly posts can’t keep the momentum going, and give up altogether, leaving their blogs abandoned and leaking traffic at a rapid clip.


If you can only manage two blog posts each month, go with that.


Always upload a new post at a set time in the week, and make it clear to your followers when they can expect updates.


Even just one new post each month can do well if it’s exceptionally good, and one standout post has more SEO value than a hundred mediocre posts.