Ecommerce marketing can sometimes come across as inauthentic. When you’re selling a product or service the messaging around your marketing efforts may read more pushy than persuasive, thus alienating your target market. 

When it comes to results in today’s market, gone are the days of, “buy, buy, buy.” Connection with your audience is key to success. Whether you’re in a saturated market struggling to stand out, have a high-quality product that may cost more but far exceeds your competitors offering, or simply want to grow your business and find more customers, content marketing is the perfect place to start. 

Brand storytelling statistic

For direct-to-consumer brands and many ecommerce businesses, it’s more important than ever to foster brand affinity. Brand affinity is, essentially, how much people like, talk about, and evangelize your brand. By using storytelling (which 80% of users want to see from brands) the beauty and skincare brand Glossier was able to build trust and go beyond one sale and build true brand loyalty. For Glossier, a company that invested in improving brand awareness and building brand affinity, the positive results were almost immediate and the ROI through the roof.

Regardless of your company’s products or services, content marketing and brand awareness are still the cornerstones of ecommerce marketing success. Here are a few ways you can utilize content marketing to start telling your story – and reach the people it resonates with.

What is content marketing?

You may be thinking that ecommerce businesses can get ROI simply by using paid media and optimizing their online platforms for organic search. However, building content that ranks and targets the right keywords (and ancillary keywords), as well as the appropriate audiences, means you’ll see greater results over time. Additionally, this strategy can reduce your hard costs. Your company may be making initial sales, but that doesn’t mean you’ve built a sustainable strategy.. Take the time to build an ongoing connection with your audience and they’ll come back time after time. 

Does content marketing work for ecommerce businesses? 

Content marketing (including social media, influencer marketing, on-page content, off-page content, and emails) has been a reliable source of customers and way of building brand affinity for years. Correctly implementing a content marketing strategy can be a challenge. Whether it’s correctly identifying where your audience is online or pinpointing different methods that will resonate with them. Take the time to put together a detailed content marketing strategy, including competitor research, a content audit, and a channel strategy to help you reach customers where they are. 

How can ecommerce businesses get started with content marketing? 

The first place for ecommerce businesses to start with content marketing is their audience. Whether it’s the price point, activity, or interest, you’ll want to start to narrow things down in a way that allows you to create a channel strategy. Within a channel strategy, you’d use the information you’ve gathered around where your consumers spend time online in order to craft content that resonates with them and their values. 

The other benefit of a distinct channel strategy is you can reach a variety of target audiences on different platforms. This means that regardless of where your audience is in the funnel, you can reach them with the information and messaging that speaks to their unique questions, concerns, and needs. 

Start with one channel and build a presence there. Start testing content types, posting times, and audiences. Follow people you think might be great potential customers and engage with their content. Overall, always be sure to test and think strategically about where you see your brand thriving, how to make your presence known, and how to connect with those audience members who advocate for your brand. Most importantly, enjoy the journey!

Social media 

Building a social media presence from the ground up can be a challenge. However, the key to a successful strategy is finding what resonates with your audience. For our client, Pacific Yurts, building their social media platforms has always come by partnering closely with them to understand more about their customers and make sure we’re curating user-generated content. 

We started the hashtag #MyPacificYurt to help collect the images of their beautiful structures in the wild, and then have been able to use them to highlight their community and build brand awareness for their products. 

For any brand, the key to building excitement on social media is engaging their audience and involving them in the ongoing discussion. Whether it’s home decor, cleaning products, or online services, there are ways to engage with and creatively sell your products effectively.

Influencers 

You may have heard of influencer marketing. It’s gone from being a tactic brands use to boost awareness to being a full-fledged industry. In fact, the influencer marketing industry is now valued at $5-10 billion dollars. Influencer marketing is also great for ROI. In fact, 89 percent of companies report it is comparable or more valuable than other marketing methods. 

For our clients, finding the best way to integrate influencer marketing while staying authentic is crucial. A brand’s authenticity is a crucial factor when it comes to a customer’s decision to purchase. Our team has developed unique and holistic ways to integrate influencers into our strategies. One example is our video marketing series with two influencers on how they built their yurt. Other options have included recipes created by users shared to Instagram and even testimonials from happy customers. 

On-page content 

On-page content like blogs and web pages help you build trust through insightful, unique content. You can use blogs to help explain your story and connect with your audience. Some examples we love are from our client, Schoolhouse, who create home tours using customers who have purchased their products

Other creative on-page content can include things like a magazine highlighting travel diaries and location spotlights for a luggage company or work culture pieces by an office furniture company. There are myriad ways to create content that resonates with online consumers. The key is to create a content marketing plan that captures their interests while ensuring your messaging isn’t all about selling your product or services

Off-page content and native advertising 

Branded content done right can be a great choice for those looking to expand their ecommerce marketing presence. Would being featured in a roundup be best for you? Or, alternatively, would building a native advertising plan help expand your reach to potential customers? Both options are valid, but choose the one that’s right for your audience and product. 

Here are some ideas about how to make sure you get the most out of native advertising: 

  • Make the content authentic. No one will care if it’s just a product shill, so ensure there is a story and a purpose. Don’t be afraid to explain how your product enhances the lives of your customers. 
  • Tell a story. See if there’s a way for a publication to align your brand or product with a topic or issue they already focus on. This will help ensure your content resonates with your audience.
  • Pick publications that are the right fit. You want to make sure your content feels useful to the publication’s audience. The best way to do that is to go back to your persona research. Know where the audience is online before paying for a big feature. 

Integrated strategies

An integrated content marketing strategy that focuses on your audience will be the most effective. Take the time to develop a content strategy that gets at the heart of who your customer is. Then, be creative in how you serve them. 

Build your strategy to support and empower them to live their best lives–with or without your product. Odds are, with the building of brand affinity, they’ll be converting into customers and supporting your business throughout their personal journeys. When people feel understood by a brand, they connect with it. This goes far beyond the sale of one item or one experience. 

Curious about how we’ve integrated content into our campaigns for ecommerce clients? Learn more about our experience in ecommerce and get details on the content marketing services we offer.