So you want to use content marketing for your eCommerce store.
But what works best?
Most of the information you’ll read online is wrong because content that works for software startups doesn’t apply to eCommerce. If you go down that route, you’ll waste a lot of time and energy on content that just never delivers results.
Instead, here are five types of content that I know to perform well for eCommerce—because I’ve helped clients do it.
1. Brand buying guides
The single biggest opportunity you have in eCommerce is selling to someone interested in buying.
But chances are, you lose opportunities to customers who can’t make up their minds. This type of content is for them.
If you sell more than one product in a single category (like most stores), then you’re likely losing customers due to confusion. Few customers are experts, and when faced with too many choices, they often decide by not deciding.
A brand buying guide solves this problem. People aren’t reading for an answer of “it depends.” You’ll want to share exactly which of your products the customer should buy.
A good idea is to recommend products based on what your user needs. For example, share the best kind of sleeping bag for weekend camping, extreme conditions, and cross-country backpacking.
- Which Acme Supplement Is Right for My Workout?
- How to Choose the Perfect Acme Gaming Chair
- Understanding the Differences between Acme Basic, Advanced, and Professional
2. Competitor reviews
Up next, competitor reviews.
It’s obvious why this is an effective SEO strategy—readers are thinking about buying from your competitor! If you can convince someone to buy from you instead, you win.
Lots of store owners are uncomfortable with competitor reviews. They’re afraid of coming across as negative and nasty.
But a great competitor review is honest and accurate, never nasty. Share the differences between your products and explain why you sell one type of product. Include third-party reviews when possible to back up your claims.
If you’re worried about coming across as too mean, consider ending the piece in the same way as a brand buying guide—“our competitor’s product is best for beginners, while our product is best for intermediate to advanced users.”
- Contigo vs. Acme: Who Makes the Better Thermos?
- Here’s the Little-Known Problem with Dollar Shave Club Razors
- We Tested Four Blender Brands. Here’s What We Found.
3. Category buying guide
If a prospect isn’t planning to buy from you or your competitor, they might still be thinking about buying in the category. And a comprehensive buying guide can help them decide.
(A word of caution: while doing SEO planning, you should check what’s already ranking. Often category pages claim all top Google positions for keywords like “3D audio headphones” or “apple peeler.” Competing against category pages with guides is a losing battle.)
For a category guide, you’ll want to break down the types of products in the category. Explain their uses and pros and cons—especially details only industry experts like yourself would know. (This type of content also works well when you optimize product descriptions.)
Then share the best options, recommending the versions you sell of top products.
And a word to the wise—don’t mention competitors here. No need to give readers a reason to buy from someone else!
- What Type of Biodegradable Toothbrush Is Right for Me?
- Road vs. Mountain vs. Hybrid Bikes: How to Choose
- This Is How to Choose the Perfect Chef’s Knife for Your Kitchen
4. Industry “dark secrets revealed”
I discovered this type of content rather by accident. A client asked if we could do a piece breaking down the “dark secrets” of their industry, and I agreed.
Little did I know it would end up being the most profitable piece of content we ever published on their website.
The strength of this type of content is exposing an industry “secret” that you’re changing with your brand.
To work, the “secret” needs to be something few consumers know (even if it’s known in the industry). And it needs to be something you do differently.
This kind of content works because it impacts the customer on an emotional level. And it shows you stand for more than just selling a product.
- The Shockingly Low Amount It Actually Costs to Make a Dress
- How Many Times Have Food Delivery Boxes Been Recalled? Here’s Why You’ll Never Know
- Why the Jewelry You’re Wearing Might Contain Lethal Amounts of Lead
5. How-to with your product
Instructional content is the final most effective content type I’ve seen work for eCommerce stores.
With this content type, you’ll want to explain how to do something using your product. The goal is to emphasize how your product is better, faster, or easier than the alternative.
A good way to do this is to show the “standard” way to do something, then how to do it with your product. One way to show this is by giving “X number of ways to do XYZ,” with the first being with your product and the others being the traditional way.
In this way, you show the value of what you’re selling while still providing helpful instructions to those who haven’t bought it (but might in the future).
- 4 Ways to Cook a Perfect Rice Pilaf
- How to Change a Car Tire as Quickly as Possible
- 7 Stylish Ways to Dress Up a Scarf
eCommerce content that works
Is this every type of eCommerce content that delivers results?
Of course not.
We’re regularly experimenting with new content methods with our clients and finding new structures, themes, and promotion strategies that work.
Interested in finding out what works best for your eCommerce brand? Talk to us today.