Still Don’t Think Your Online Store Needs a Content Marketing Strategy? Think Again

Still on the fence about how a content marketing strategy helps your online store get more sales? Here are the facts that prove it works.

Content marketing: It costs 62% less than outbound marketing, but generates three times the leads. As such, 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day.

That effort pays off. The year-over-year growth in unique site traffic for these content marketing leaders is 7.8x higher than for followers.

If that doesn’t make you think twice about content marketing, we’re not sure what will.

Today, many online retailers believe it’s enough to build a store and put it on the web. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re running an online store, having a content marketing strategy is essential. Here’s what you need to know about content marketing tactics for your online store, and how to start implementing them now.

Why Content Marketing Matters

If you’re not familiar with content marketing, you might think it’s a “nice to have,” rather than a necessity, and that advertising is really where you should put your time, energy and resources. That’s not altogether true, though. While advertising used to work to nab new customers and make sales, it’s had its day in the sun and is quickly fading out as a standalone tactic.

The reason?

Today’s customers don’t want a hard-sell. They’re sick of sales tactics that feel slimy and in-your-face. They’re smarter and more comfortable with technology than ever before, and they want information and value rather than overstated advertisements.

They’re not wishy-washy about this, either: Ad blocking usage surged 30% in 2016 alone and about 615 million mobile devices now use ad blockers. This rise of ad blockers has communicated two massive things: Consumers don’t want your ads, and you’re going to have to come up with a new way to connect if you want to them.

If you’ve previously relied on ads as your primary lead-generation method, this might be a bit scary. If you’re open to a new approach, though, it’s an exciting reality.

When you switch your focus to content marketing, you create a new and more valuable way to connect to your customers. You also stand a pretty good chance of boosting your position in the SERPs and becoming more prominent on Google. As you can see in the diagram below, content marketing is one of the best ways to achieve natural search success.

5 Tips for Your Content Marketing Strategy

In the age of ad-blockers and inbound, content marketing is one of the most effective tactics you can use to drive leads and encourage people to visit your online store. In addition to being less expensive than traditional outbound marketing, content marketing is much more effective, too.

Unfortunately, only 42% of marketers report being effective at content marketing.

In most cases, this is because very few marketers have an official content marketing strategy. If you want your online store to succeed in content marketing, developing a plan is one of the first things you need to do.

1. Start With Content Outreach

Content outreach is the foundation of a good content marketing strategy. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most intimidating.

Content outreach works like this.

You spend your time scouring the web for blogs and platforms that operate in a similar niche to yours and might be interested in posting something you’ve written. While it can be hard to pitch yourself to people you don’t even know, doing it can have a significant impact on your reach and lead generation tactics.

The reason for this is simple – when you post a piece on a well-known blog, you make use of that platform’s audience and readers. This, in turn, helps spread the word about your brand and ensure people understand where to find you.

2. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is quite a bit like content outreach, except that it’s a more ongoing approach. Like content outreach, though, it’s one of the most effective ways to build your audience and drive visitors to your website. That said, it also requires some real attention and dedication.

As is true for content outreach, guest blogging involves finding a platform you admire and creating content for it. To begin your guest blogging process, start with a quick search of similar platforms and publishers. Look for those that accept guest posts (be sure to read their posting guidelines thoroughly) and then get to work creating content.

Some platforms might only accept completed pieces, while others will accept pitches and ideas.

3. Social Media Sharing

Social media sharing is a fantastic method for expanding your reach and ensuring you maintain your audience.

And it makes sense because 22% of the world’s population uses Facebook and LinkedIn has more than 530 million users. The biggest benefit of social media, of course, is the traffic that these channels can potentially provide for your brand.

By selecting the social platforms that will work best for your brand, and by using them to showcase your offerings and products, you can pull your audience in and boost your sales.

4. Produce Visual Content

Visual content is rising in importance and popularity. Today, 37% of marketers report that visual marketing is the most critical form of content for their businesses, after blogging. As such, 51% of B2B marketers prioritize creating visual content. Follow suit and create visual materials for your brand.

Things like infographics, memes, graphs and product videos are fantastic options. Here’s a visual to convince you.

5. Start a Contributor Column

While this isn’t a new thing in the world of online marketing, a contributor column is a great option to consider in 2018 and beyond. Much like guest blogging, writing a contributor column for a major platform or news organization is a great way to get clicks, reads and shares headed your way. It’s also a fantastic way to showcase your new products.

See if you can grow a guest blogging opportunity into such a column.

Content Marketing for Your Online Store

Your online store can thrive with the help of content marketing. By implementing these five tactics, you can boost your sales, increase your traffic and enjoy a more streamlined daily operation for your digital store.

To give you a head start, here’s a detailed infographic that you can use to learn how to create a content marketing machine for your online store.

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