So you’re trying to build a great web store… The pictures are crisp. The site navigation structure makes sense. Your brand is firing on all design cylinders. Yet there’s still e-commerce content marketing to get right – because if it isn’t, the rest of your strategy can fall apart.
Great writing is essential. It’ll give you exposure, character and credibility. The right word in the perfect place may just tip your close-to-purchasing prospects over into a sale. Of course, this also means that the wrong content approach can squander your budget, branding, time and energy just as easily.
Let’s make sure that never happens. Here are some of the most common e-commerce content marketing mistakes we’ve come across:
- Starting without a marketing strategy
- Not fully understanding your target audience
- Creating content for product descriptions that lacks individuality
- Publishing blog posts that don’t interest your customer base
- Ignoring keywords that are more relevant to your products and services
- Not using various types of content
Ready to see if you’re making them?
Jump the gun without a content marketing strategy
Every great expedition needs a map – otherwise how will you get to where you’re aiming for? A content plan acts in a similar way. It gives confidence and direction to your writing. This ensures that every bit of content you create is actively working towards your business goals.
Too many businesses want to get their brand, site or campaign off the ground before looking at their content way in advance. The problem is, that launch becomes scattershot. The site text varies wildly. Blogs, PR and social media posts drip out as and when, neither unified nor well-timed. The result? Interest in your brand waivers and potential sales slip away. It’s much better to have a robust strategy for e-commerce content marketing in place.
Create content for the wrong audience
Digital marketing is never a cut-and-paste affair. Different audiences want different things. They have their own wants, needs and quirks. Selling a plush business wallet to a high-flying exec is miles apart from advertising vegan honey to a yoga instructor. You absolutely have to know who your target audience is. They will guide every word that gets written.
Knowing your audience ensures clear messaging. You’ll express your relevant USPs, easily answer any pain points they might have which your product or service can solve, and help them overcome any barriers to purchasing. When you tailor your e-commerce content to your audience, you give them a reason to care about your brand.
Settle for cookie-cutter product descriptions
“Introducing X! The only way to X your X! For ages X to X! Next-day delivery…” Sound familiar? Plenty of brands – often those that leave product descriptions till last – just use this kind of template text across similar categories, changing the odd word here and there. They might be cheaper and easier to create, but they don’t sink any hooks into your customer base.
The best product pages are targeted and varied. They take your ideal audience and address individual concerns, uses and results. The basics are covered (like size, colour, ingredients, storage, etc.), yet the message is almost custom-made for a particular buyer. This enables them to quickly see why they should choose one product over another and your brand over your competitors.
Blog about yourself too much
Blogs and articles should give readers something in return for their time – something useful. Think of them as a knowledge bank: one that links ever so subtly back to your brand, but has the sole purpose of informing potential customers, solving their problems or inspiring their action. Poor e-commerce sites don’t do any of these. Instead, they’re obsessed with company news and PR.
Some of the most notable e-commerce content marketing mistakes involve a string of ‘Here’s a new product…’ pieces or ‘There’s another trophy on our shelf…’ slaps on the back. We aren’t saying accomplishments and award wins are irrelevant, but they should never make up your entire content plan. Tips, analysis, market comparisons and stage-by-stage guides are far superior to any self-congratulatory posts. They’ll encourage people to stick around and see what else you have to say.
Miss or misuse the right keywords
One of the biggest content marketing mistakes happens at the keyword research stage. When optimising content for search engines, brands will sometimes rely too much on short-tail keywords – that is, the most popular or searched-for terms related to what they’re selling. Unless you make them more specific (such as ‘reflective running jacket’ rather than ‘jacket’) or localise those terms (‘reflective running jackets in Manchester’), your business will be facing an uphill battle against some of the biggest brands on the market.
Another mistake is using the wrong keyword for a particular type of content. As audiences use product pages and blog posts slightly differently, this can affect search ranking. Google may rank a product page higher for a ‘head term’ or main keyword than longer-form content. You might want to save ‘reflective running jacket’ for product pages while your blog series drills into questions like ‘how do I run safely at night?’, adding searchable value to your online store.
Focus entirely on SEO or PPC and forget other types of content
Sure, search terms and paid ads are important at generating traffic. But they’re just the grease on the wheels of your business. To really gain momentum and get that traffic to convert, you need to create e-commerce content that looks great, sounds incredible, and reaches your audience at the perfect moment.
Take email marketing, for example. If there isn’t a build-up to launch, you’re sacrificing early buzz and more sales. Offers and behind-the-scenes glimpses that land in your target audience’s inboxes can whet their appetite. Then you have to trace the buyer journey and, with the help of your e-commerce content marketing plan, tell them what they want to hear as they get closer to a purchase, using a number of mediums that support your PPC or SEO efforts.
Video explainers (with a good script) can show a product or service in action. Case studies help readers put themselves in a customer’s shoes. Campaign landing pages function as a home for fresh ideas and storytelling. Social media updates humanise your brand. And a blog post can add further weight and relevance. You might even want to explore print marketing, like a brochure, poster, postcard or catalogue. Lead nurturing is almost limitless if you have the right experts on board to help.
This is where we come in. Making You Content have traversed so much e-commerce marketing territory that we can help you swerve these mistakes before they cut into your budget and patience. Get in touch today. We’re just a conversation away from developing a richer, more targeted e-commerce content marketing strategy for your business.