By Daniela McVicker
You have an assignment from Google.
In order to have a chance to be ranked high in search results, your eCommerce website should publish quality blog content. In this case, quality content doesn’t only mean an error-free content, but also that it should have value for them. By “value,” I mean actionable tips and takeaways they could use to make smarter buying decisions.
No keyword stuffing. No fluff. Only quality content driven by customer-centeredness.
One way in which you can complete this assignment successfully and keep Google satisfied is to share content created according to these guidelines. This, of course, means blogging.
Blogging for eCommerce: A Must for eCommerce Success?
Recent surveys suggest that more than 80 percent of people begin product research online. Well, you might be among these people, too. Just remember the last times you wanted to buy something; chances are, you did a little research using your smartphone or bought something directly from an online retailer.
In many cases, people doing online product research don’t know what they’re looking for, e.g. they don’t know an exact product model. Instead, they look for how to select a good product. The second part of the second sentence sounds a bit like a Google query, right?
Online product research involves a countless number of different queries, so the most important thing is to have your awesome content out there waiting to be discovered. Studies show that 70 percent of B2C marketers use blogs to distribute their content for marketing purposes, because of this reason.
So, content production and sharing it via a blog is something that you have to do to increase your online sales. Below, we’re going to take a closer look at four ways in which eCommerce blog content can help you with sales and provide some other great benefits in the process.
1. Consumers Want Content
I won’t surprise you by saying that many people, especially younger populations – Millennials and Gen Z – are using their smartphone countless times throughout the day. However, this obvious fact is also an important finding for eCommerce businesses. If you take a look at the above image once more, you’ll notice that 89 percent of B2C marketers are sharing their promotional content on social media.
This is not surprising because that’s where many of their target customers prefer to research products and connect with businesses. The abundance of content on social media – a big part of which comes from blogs – is easily explained by the fact that consumers want it.
Products and customer needs change. This means that to satisfy a growing interest in content, you have to be consistent about your blogging (and sharing blog content on social media). By having more content out there to be discovered, you’re increasing the chances that people will find it and come to your store for something more.
2. Content Influences Buying Decisions
This is a good one. Listen to this data (source: Business2Community):
- 81 percent of online shoppers begin product research online
- 89 percent of consumers trust online reviews made by people they don’t know as much as personal recommendations from friends
- 97 percent of online shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase
- An average person watches about 5.5 hours of video every day. An enticing product video is an effective tool to increase brand awareness effort.
This makes perfect sense: to find a good product, many people are aware of the product they would like to buy, but they’re not quite sure where to buy one and how much it costs (that’s where how-to articles come in). On top of that, if they find a product they like, they want to read more about it; that’s where product reviews and comparisons play an important role for eCommerce businesses.
Content that shares original research is also considered highly influential. If you have something unique, something that your customers can’t get anywhere else, then you could make a good impression and entice more people to read your blog articles and guides and/or watch your videos.
3. Content Allows You to Engage in Email Marketing
Every experienced eCommerce marketer knows that relevant emails can be very effective at driving traffic and increasing sales. In fact, email marketing has the highest ROI ($44 per $1 spent!), effectively outperforming such channels as paid ads and social media. However, to take advantage of this valuable marketing channel, you need content.
For example, you can share your blog content weekly or bi-weekly; product comparisons, reviews, interviews, buying guides, and other similar content will be appreciated if it meets the requirements of relevance and quality. If it does, it can drive more traffic to your eCommerce website, improve lead generation, and help you with building brand awareness and researching the needs and preferences of your target audience.
4. Content Helps with Improving Brand Image
Many customers tend to trust brands that demonstrate their professional knowledge and experience with products and services they’re selling or promoting (in fact, this is one of the reasons for the rise of social media influencers who try products and share their findings with others). A blog is a smart investment because if your brand consistently shares quality content about products, services, industry, customer base, it works to build customer confidence.
In turn, this confidence translates into more visits to your blog for more useful information as well as being more willing to consider your brand as a reliable option for buying.
Create and Be Consistent
Whatever Google wants from eCommerce businesses, they must do it, because these requirements typically represent the interests of online shoppers and information seekers. Quality content is one of these requirements. As you can see, by having a blog on your website and publishing there on a consistent basis, you can improve your lead generation effort, and, ultimately, increase sales.
One important thing to remember is that eCommerce blogging is not a sprint, but a marathon, so it requires consistency. To be on top of your customers’ minds, you have to produce fresh and engaging content on a regular basis. As you do it, your confidence and knowledge of content marketing will improve, just as your ability to drive traffic to product pages.