This guest post was written by Chad Fisher founder of B-Town Web, fellow Shopify expert and a master of design and development.
It’s time to get serious about content marketing for your store and these 59 tips will set you on the right path. Why 59 tips and not 58 tips? We chose 59 for the same reason that 7 minute abs is WAY better than 6 minute abs. If you can implement many of these 59 fantastic content marketing tips it will help you connect with your customers and increase the organic traffic to your site. Without further ado, here are the 59:
- Who is your target market? Create a market assessment along with buyer personas so you know who your customers really are.
- What is your unique selling proposition (USP)? Why are your products different from the competition?
- Understand “The Skyscraper Technique” and how you can create content 10X better than the competition.
- Add a visual component to your blog content. Spice it up by adding images or even video, your customer engagement metrics will improve dramatically.
- Create Infographics that highlight interesting facts about your industry. Visual content is easier to share on social media.
- Be creative in your use of visual content, for some companies it’s video, others it’s Pinterest, my favorite is what Grammarly is doing with their grammar cards.
Content Audit Tips
- Create a list of all your content. Match that list up to Google Analytics and remove the content that isn’t performing (no views in the last 6 months) and expand on the content that is performing well.
- Worried that outdated content has broken links? Download the Xenu Link Sleuth tool to find and fix those broken links.
- Do you have a 404 page? If you don’t have one, build one and take the time to insert your messaging.
- Make sure you don’t have duplicate content on your site or else your SEO traffic will suffer. Do a test of 5-10 pages to assess the uniqueness, an easy way to do that is to copy snippets of text (at least 15+ words) from each page and copy it into Google.com to see what turns up, hopefully your page is first!
General Content Tips
- Interlink pages on your site. Include hyperlinks from one page to another where it makes sense for the reader. This will make your site more interesting for the reader and will give improve your SEO
- When you create hyperlinks, make sure to include multiple words like this to inform the reader.
Sharing Content Tips
- Clearly articulate your shipping policy on your site. Do you offer free shipping? Make that very prominent on the site.
- Document your return policy. Your customers want to understand the ins and out of returns, do you allow them? Do you charge for them?
Content Promotion & Sharing Tips
- Develop a process for your customers to share your content on Twitter. Is there a hashtag your products your customers regularly use? Are you monitoring it?
- Promote your written content on Facebook on your company page. Also create a private Facebook group for your most ardent customers and share your product roadmap, solicit feedback and give them a voice into your product development process.
- Before you start writing your next blog post, think about how you are going to promote it. Push it to your social channels and experiment with paid advertising to promote it further.
- Subscribe to the Eric Ward newsletter, for only $8/month there are great ideas for content promotion.
- Stop only sharing your content. Share other people’s content 2-4X as much as you share your own. This will help build trust with your customers and may open up co-marketing opportunities for your products.
- Create a newsletter if you don’t have one, we love and recommend Mailchimp to manage our newsletters.
- Setup an email drip campaign for first time purchasers of your product. What is an email drip campaign? It’s a series of automated email messages that lets you educate and connect with your customers.
- Less text is more in a well done email, and this Hubspot post is a great resource for best practices on creating your own drip campaign.
- Don’t forget to post your drip emails in HTML somewhere on your site. You’d be amazed at the long tail SEO traffic you can get, plus your potential customers may end up going back to them if they failed to open up the original email you sent.
- Aaron Wall’s SEOBook.com blog is loaded with useful information. Mostly focused on SEO there are also great content and marketing tips you can glean from his posts.
- Brian Clark shares many great content tips and advice on the Copyblogger site, great place to get educated on content marketing in general.
- The Content Marketing Institute is the gold standard for content marketing information.
Content Analytic Tips
- If you don’t have Google Analytics installed on your site, stop what you’re doing and set that up right away! It’s free and it’s an extremely useful tool that will tell you all about your site traffic.
- Establish content metrics that you measure, track and report on. Time on page, bounce rate, conversions, all of these metrics will help you identify the content that matters.
- Create goals in Google Analytics so you can track content interactions. If you are doing paid promotion on your content with Google AdWords, create conversion tracking as well.
Research & Analysis Tips
- Use aHREFS to find out where your competition is getting their links from and you may be inspired to create new content for your site.
- Take a random walk through Google. Search for popular products you offer, see any new competitors? Take a look at their content strategy and see if you can co-opt parts of their strategy and make it your own.
- Use SEM Rush to do keyword research. You can find search volume information on potential keywords that you want to rank for.
- Use SEM Rush to do keyword analysis on your competition. You will find the phrases they are ranking for and those can become new targets keywords for your content marketing strategy.
- Create a co-marketing content strategy and execute on it every month. It’s one of the best ways to get the word out about your products.
- Reach out to influencers and see if there’s an opportunity to co-author content. Maybe a joint white paper? Joint blog post?
- Interview 10 experts in your area, document their responses and package that content into a PDF that you offer to new customers.
- Create a co-branded landing page with products or services that are tangentially related to the products you sell.
- Host co-marketing webinars with services that mesh well with your products. Transcribe the webinar and put the transcript on your site. Also email the video and transcription out to your newsletter subscribers.
- Co-host events. Ask for sponsors and give them an opportunity to speak. Invite your customers and have them on a panel discussing your product. Video tape the event and transcribe the video and add that content to your site.
Blog Post Tips
- Stuck coming up with ideas? Hire a freelance writer to create 30 new ideas for your store’s blog.
- Choose topics that will educate your users, and show them that you are an expert in your industry. The goal is to build trust with your potential customers, so they can reach out to you when they need help
- Create a content calendar. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, set up a shared Gmail email address and use Google Calendar to track topics so everyone on the team can see when they are due.
- A thorough and well-written FAQ about your ecommerce store can serve many functions. It’s amazing how many potential customers will dive in, and start reading your FAQ to find about the different types of ways they can use your product.
- There are dos and donts to creating a proper FAQ page, don’t overwhelm your reader with questions; if you end up with more than 10 questions in a row, break up your content into sections.
- Maintain your FAQ page and plan to review and update it every six months, as information can quickly become out-of-date.
- If your customer support reps are receiving the same questions over and over, make sure to add that question to the FAQ.
Industry & Association Tips
- Are there industry blogs where you can sign up and become a contributor? These are great opportunities to subtly promote your products through a trusted channel.
- If there are no industry blogs, start one! Here is a great example of an industry blog that was created by a lawyer and has been a never ending source of referrals.
- What associations exist that are related to your product? Can you join that association and help out? The association may have a blog where you can create content and potentially promote your products.
Review & Comparison Content Tips
- Allow your customers to leave reviews on your products. The social proof will increase sales and you can tie those reviews into your Facebook and Google ad campaigns.
- Create comparison content, your customers are comparing your product to your competition so create your own comparison content to drive those searches to your site.
Product Description Tips
- Product descriptions are an afterthought for your competitors and this becomes your opportunity, take time to write unique product descriptions and don’t copy them directly from the manufacturer as that can hurt your SEO.
- Don’t be afraid to add a little humor for your customers to jazz up a product description. Google, and your client’s customers, will love you for it!
- Successful ecommerce companies receive many support emails and phone calls and they are a great source of information that can be repurposed for your help files.
- Did you know you can use a call forwarding service, like Twilio, to record your customer support calls? At the end of each month, you can download the call files, and have a writer transcribe the text to build-out rich content for your help files.
- If you’re looking for help file examples, check out this list of companies; this will give you a great goal to shoot for. Novel ideas like this are how you build value for your customers and keep them coming back for more services.
Customer Outreach & Survey Tips
- SurveyMonkey is an extremely useful survey tool, take a few minutes and install a survey on your purchase confirmation page.
- Ask your customers to rate your company and get a net promoter score rating, this will give you an indication of your brand strength and how likely your customers are to recommend your products to their friends.
- Call one customer a week and ask them how they use your products. Ask them what features they like best and what is missing.
If you made all the way through the 59 tips, we appreciate it! Now start with just 2 of the tips and see if you can get those rolled out in the next 7 days. Then pick another 2 tips for the following week. If you can stay disciplined your store will be a content marketing powerhouse.
When he’s not doing 6 minute abs, Chad Fisher tries to practice what he preaches as the owner of BTown Web, a full service web and content creation agency. If you are looking for additional growth strategies for your store, consider joining our free eCommerce Growth Group.