Practical Ecommerce

Attract Qualified Traffic with Content Syndication

Stop focusing on getting tons of traffic to your ecommerce store. Instead, shift to getting the right kind of traffic that will produce visitors who can turn into buyers. Syndication is perhaps the most powerful tool to help produce qualified traffic. Syndication means taking one piece of information and using it in multiple ways that also allow other people easily share it.

Just spreading the word about your store is not enough. For syndicated content to be effective, you must know your niche and have something of value to say to it. In doing so, you can create your own viral flood of targeted buyers. Content is king and useful content is the only way you will attract prospective buyers to your store. So, create a viral breadcrumb trail leading back to your store with some juicy insider tidbits, how-to tips or expert insights.

Choose a Niche Within Your Niche

It’s best to start with a very narrow focus, so choose a niche within your niche. If you sell nutritional supplements, focus on one demographic group or health symptom. For example, one group might want a natural supplement to aid with indigestion, so get a clear picture of who these people are and how they want to hear your message.

Create a niche board. Take a blank piece of paper and draw a stick figure in the center. Add words, pictures, phrases that describe this group and only this group so as to create a picture of this profile as completely as you can. Ask yourself, “How is this group unique?” Don’t stop until you have a clear mental image of this sub group and feel as though you could pick the members out of a line up.

Say Something Helpful (Or Don’t Say Anything)

Find out what this group’s biggest issue, question or problem is. Make it your goal to answer all questions surrounding this topic and provide the information they need to resolve this problem. Make sure you are not just hawking your product (even if it does solve the problem) by including references to authority sites and independent reviews. When you write, think about speaking directly to the person you identified with the niche board; be specific and personable.

Don’t be afraid of mentioning your competition because people can already find them online and look at their information, too. Just be honest, ethical and informative.

5 Ways to Syndicate Your Content

  1. Post a how-to video. How-to videos are always popular. So if your group has a common problem, create a how-to fix-it video. It can be a simple slideshow voice over or a how-to video through TubeMogul, which allows you to syndicate your video to multiple video sharing sites with one click. This gets it in front of more people with less effort. TubeMogul has a free version and an upgraded version, which provides more tracking information.
  2. Schmooze with the experts. Interviews have always been powerful leveraging points for any business. Many experts love to get interviewed (I know I do), and the interviews can easily be done over the phone or via a webcam. Interview an expert, and then syndicate it. Create a webinar, an audio download, make a video short and transcribe the interview. Promote the interview to your newsletter list as well as the expert’s newsletter. Leverage the content so as many people as possible can get to it and share it.
  3. Become an informational hub. Create HubPages or Squidoo lenses. Both of these sites have massive traffic and search capabilities within their sites. Each allows you to cluster together articles and topics for more authority. You can add links, audio, video, and images and create professional entries on just about any subject. These sites make it very easy to create a content page loaded with extras.You can link directly to your store, but make sure you only do this once per post and also link to other articles or sites as well. If you do link, go directly to a relevant product page or category. Both of these sites make their money with Google AdWords, so expect some visual competition.
  4. Blog somewhere else. There are dozens of niche social sites where you can start your own blog. These social media centers can be great places to connect with your niche group. Start a group, and join a group. Make sure you interact with people before you start sending them copious marketing messages. Remember these places exist because people want to connect with people over relevant information, not sales pitches. If you aren’t polite here, it can really backfire on you and your brand.
  5. Post bookmarks and tags. There are new social bookmarking sites popping up everyday; staying on top of them all is seemingly a full-time job, so just choose a dozen and sign up. There are other sites that help speed up the process of tagging a single page to multiple social sites. I recommend SocialMarker.com because it speeds up multiple submissions significantly. It will take some time to set this up because you must already be signed up to the individual bookmarking sites. Don’t let this set up process scare you away. I have had articles, videos and product pages show up in 4-5 on the first page of Google as a sole result of tagging.

Some of my favorites are Reddit.com, Propeller.com, Faves.com, Del.icio.us, and Jumptags.com. But there are dozens more, with some appealing to specific groups of their own. Visit each of them and see what is being tagged, if it matches your group then join and start bookmarking.

Make sure you bookmark more than just your pages so you will not get banned; bookmark at least two other pages for every one page of your own. In fact, why not start right now by heading over to Reddit. And tagging this article (tags: viral traffic for ecommerce, free online store marketing tips, promote web store) just to see how easy it is.

Encourage Sharing

All of these content pieces, from articles to videos, can be shared across wide networks of interested parties; syndication makes it easy. Ecommerce stores can capitalize on this trend by being information leaders rather than followers. Encourage your visitors to bookmark your online store pages with an Add This widget. Ask people to share the information and show them how, and add a call to action request at the end of your video, audio or article.

Taking the time to syndicate helpful information is one way you can leverage the power of the web and bring your online store more qualified customers.

Lists of Niche Social Media Sites

Jan Riley

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  1. Armando Roggio May 21, 2009 Reply

    Jan, nice article.