Practical Ecommerce

3 Steps to Efficient Ecommerce Content Marketing

Implementing an effective content marketing strategy can be a challenge. Coming up with ideas, developing content, and distributing it takes work. Many businesses feel that they don’t have the time or resources to do it regularly.

Here are three steps for ecommerce companies to achieve content marketing efficiency and successfully.

Step 1: Develop One Good Piece of Content as a Foundation

While brilliant ideas should be at the core of any content marketing strategy, you don’t have to generate them as often as you think.

It’s not necessary to produce original content every day or every week. You just have to develop one high-value piece of content and find ways to expand or re-purpose it into other formats, to fill your editorial calendar for the next several weeks or months.

Develop a meaty piece of content — such as a buyer’s guide, ebook, or magazine — for a foundation. Make sure it includes helpful points, research, and action steps to spin off as blog posts, tweets, pins, and more.

Consider what Herschel Supply, a supplier of travel equipment, is doing. Last year, it launched The Journal, a complimentary bi-annual print publication that contains articles, interviews, and images curated by the company. The Journal not only allowed Herschel Supply to showcase its collections and tell its stories, it also enabled the company to generate other posts — online articles, Instagram images — based on the magazine’s contents.

The Journal

The cover of The Journal, a bi-annual publication published for content marketing purposes

Step 2: Find Ways to Repurpose the Content

Once you have your foundation content, it’s time to break up and distribute the pieces. This process will vary depending on your business and the content that you developed, but some of the most common ways to do it are as follows.

  • Blog posts and articles. Take excerpts from the original content or expand on its sections to produce full-length articles that can be published on your blog or as guest posts on other sites.
  • Images. Post images on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. You can also take quotes or tips from the original content and turn them into sharable images using services such as PicMonkey, Imgur, and Someecards.
  • Video. If the original piece of content has how-to or instructional parts, produce videos using them.
  • Comparison charts. If you showcased or featured multiple products in your foundation content, develop a chart that would make it easy for your customers to compare them.
  • Testimonials/expert reviews. If you interviewed customers or experts for the piece, use quotes and put them on your site, social media accounts, or even your product pages.
  • Infographics. Published any statistics or research? Create infographics out of the data to be shared on your blog and on social media.
  • Newsletters. Break up the parts of your foundational content into several newsletter issues.

By effectively repurposing The Journal, Herschel Supply published multiple posts on Instagram, Pinterest, its blog, and more.

Herschel Supply Instagram

Hershel Supply repurposes content to Instagram as a form of content marketing.

Just because you can reuse and distribute content across various sites and channels, doesn’t mean that you should. Remember that you want to be as efficient as possible, so only repurpose content for sites that your prospects use. For instance, if the data shows that you don’t have a lot potential customers on Instagram or Vine, then you shouldn’t waste time repurposing and posting content there.

Step 3: Analyze and Repeat

Analyze each piece of content that you repurpose and fine-tune the process based on the traffic, engagement, and conversions. Do certain channels or content types perform better than others? Refine your process accordingly. Look for feedback that you can use. For example, if someone asks a question in the comments, see if you can answer it in a separate article.

Consider re-purposing other user comments. For instance, if your ebook receives good reviews, then tweet excerpts of them, to generate even more buzz.

Jerry Jao
Jerry Jao
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Comments ( 2 )

  1. Laura A. January 24, 2014 Reply

    I have tried doing most of these things. I am finding that it is still impossible to drive traffic to my site. Do you have to spend big bucks to have a successful marketing strategy?
    Laura Araujo
    Founder & Owner – Manhattan Eats
    manhattan-eats.com

    • Jerry Jao January 24, 2014 Reply

      Hi Laura, content marketing takes a long time to invest. It’s like SEO, Google search algorithms will not pick up everything immediately – it takes time to build up your search ranking, etc. Similarly, to create content on your site and build up a critical mass and audience following, etc. – it is a commitment you need to make. I’ve gone through that myself. I am sorry that there is not a ‘magic bullet’ here but if you are consistently investing in content marketing, it will pay off eventually – you do not necessarily have to invest ‘big bucks’ – leave that to the big guys ;)

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