Content is the lifeblood of ecommerce success. But creating an effective ongoing content strategy can feel overwhelming.
In this post, I'll break down a smart framework to develop and execute a content plan that drives consistent traffic, leads, and sales for your online store.
We'll cover how to map out a multi-channel editorial calendar optimized for both customers and search engines. Let's dive in!
Start With Your Business Goals
Like any marketing initiative, begin your content planning by defining business goals. What purpose should content serve?
Typical ecommerce content objectives:
Attract and acquire new customers
Engage and retain existing customers
Educate about products to inform buying decisions
Build trust and credibility for your brand
Increase traffic from organic and paid sources
Nurture leads down the funnel to purchase
With your core objectives aligned, now craft a content mix across formats and channels that maps to each goal.
Build a Content Mix That Matches the Buyer's Journey
Your content must attract and engage prospects at every stage of the buyer's journey. Steer customers from initial awareness to informed decision making and finally conversion and loyalty.
A balanced ecommerce content mix hits on these key stages:
Awareness Stage Content
"About us" content
Spotlighting specific products
Consideration Stage Content
Detailed product information
Product reviews and comparisons
User guides and tutorials
Demonstrations and videos
Customer case studies
Decision Stage Content
Pricing and payment information
Shipping, returns, exchanges details
Responding to common questions
Promotional and coupon offers
Urgency and scarcity cues
Loyalty Stage Content
User-generated reviews and stories
Community engagement and discussions
Ongoing education and tips
VIP access and perks
Map Content to Match the Buyer's Mindset
For each stage, deliver content tailored to the visitor's mindset and motivations.
Early stage content should focus on education and awareness. Later stage content converts interest into decisive action.
Touch on branding, emotions, and problem-solving at different points of the journey to propel customers closer to conversion.
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Set Up an Editorial Content Calendar
With your content mapped to business goals and buyer journey stages, build an editorial calendar to manage creation and promotion.
A simple Excel spreadsheet works, with columns for:
High level notes
Plot out what content you’ll produce weekly or monthly across different formats like:
Keep topics varied and seasonal. Plan product spotlights, limited promos, holidays, and events.
Always focus on serving the audience first - not just promoting products. Offer truly valuable information they want.
Blend Evergreen and Trending Topics
Strike balance between evergreen content with long-term value and trending topics tied to current events, seasons, or news.
For exampleRecurring/evergreen content:
Product guides and tutorials
Common buyer questions
Industry primers or glossaries
Seasonal buying guides
Holiday gift suggestions
Reviews of new product releases
Reacting to current events or news
Refresh evergreen staples as needed but focus energy on staying topically relevant. Capitalize on trendsing keywords and hashtags.
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Write SEO-Optimized Content
Optimize every piece of content for organic search visibility by:
Including strategic keywords in headlines, body copy, alt text, etc.
Using keyword variations and long-tail phrases that attract traffic.
Crafting meta descriptions that compel clicks.
Structuring content in semantic HTML for accessibility.
Tagging images with descriptive alt text.
Interlinking related content to build internal site graph.
Managing XML site maps and robots.txt
Mastering SEO best practices earns long-term organic search visibility for your brand over time. This should complement, not replace, creating content expressly for customers.
Promote Content Across All Channels
Don't just publish content and move on. Promote every post aggressively across channels:
Add blog content into ecommerce site navigation and internal links
Share on social media when published, allowing repromotions and evergreen sharing
Send blog post summaries in email newsletters
Run paid ads to blog content and amplify through retargeting
Make videos searchable on YouTube and share across the web
Pitch influencers, journalists, and industry experts for additional signal
Insert gated content offers into ads to capture lead gen
Repurpose each piece of content as many ways as possible. Extend reach through partnerships and collaborations. Make content the glue tying together all customer touchpoints.
Measure What Resonates
Pay close attention to engagement and conversion metrics for each content piece:
Organic traffic and conversions from search
Social engagement like shares, comments, follows
Email open and clickthrough rates
Paid ad CTR, cost per lead, conversions
Backlink growth supporting SEO strength
Double down on performing topics, formats, and distribution channels. Kill off or rework underwhelming content quickly.
Use data to inform an evolving, customer-centric content roadmap over time. Meet your audience where they already exist.
Outsource Help If Needed
Producing great content across channels takes significant time. Don't overcommit your resources.
If needed, leverage help like:
Freelance writers and designers
Affordable video production
Done-for-you blog services
Content partnerships and guest contributors
Community user generated content
The right mix of in-house content with outsourced help sustains consistency at scale. Know when to augment skills and capacity.
Ecommerce Content Creates Connections
Done right, content marketing educates shoppers to buy, engages customers to stay loyal, and attracts new audiences through search visibility and partnerships.
Map your content strategy back to core business goals. Plan a thoughtful editorial calendar suited to each buyer journey stage.
Stay topically relevant, promotionally savvy, and data-driven. Great content converts casual visitors into lifetime brand advocates.
Let me know if you have any other ecommerce content strategy questions!
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