On an ecommerce site, you should look to create content that supports your sales process and directs potential customers to products that can benefit them and inform their decision to buy.
Too often, blogs are filled with titles that lack relevance and the commercial edge they need to be beneficial.
So, what should you put on your blog?
The purpose of your blog
Before you think about the content you produce you need to think about the actual purpose of your blog and how it fits into the way a user will work through your website.
A blog can help draw in traffic to your website that you wouldn’t normally see arriving through your product and category pages. You attract people with questions, researching products and looking for the solutions to specific problems.
Potential customers land on your blog pages and through the content presented on them are driven to the next step in their user journey – be that more information, or looking at the products on your website.
Think about your user journey. You might think that people land on your homepage and then move through your website. This makes sense conventionally, especially as many people see their homepage as the ’start’ of their website. However, the user journey for people coming into your site actually starts on a search engine.
For example, your user journey might look something like this:
- Searcher types a question into Google
- Search results include a link to your blog providing the answer to their question
- The blog and its call to action drive the user to the next logical step in their journey
The purpose of your blog should be to increase the likelihood of searchers and potential customers finding your site when looking for the answers to their questions and the solutions to their problems.
Types of content?
The best way to understand which content is best for your business is to work out which topic areas you can and should cover.
One way to do this is look at the goals your content might have:
- Reinforce authority and knowledge
- Provide benefit to your audience/customers
- Provide a commercial benefit to your business
In a perfect world, every single piece of content would hit all three of these requirements. As a rule of thumb, you should always aim to hit two out of three. This way, you are always producing content that provides a number of benefits to your business.
By reinforcing authority, we mean creating content that, as a business, you have the ability to talk about confidently.
For example, a fashion brand producing a blog about the big trends for autumn/winter. As a topic, that is going to do a lot more for them from an authority standpoint than something less relevant, like a listicle about the top 10 hats worn by celebrities during awards season.
That isn’t to say there isn’t a place for content like that, of course. However, if you’re trying to build a sense of knowledge and authority around your brand, you need to keep an eye on the balance between content that builds authority and content that, at least on the surface, seems more clickbait-focused.
Build authority with:
Your content should help guide customers to a decision. Answering questions, usually defined by a mixture of understanding your audience and looking at key search terms and queries, can help provide content which solves problems.
This content should present the solution to an issue or answer a question in a way that isn’t sales-focused, but more approachable in tone. If you try to force a sale or promote your brand too early, you risk alienating your potential customers.
Instead, focusing on a strong call to action is much more effective. A call to action should include points that present your brand as able to help action the solutions you’ve mentioned in a blog post. This helps to provide increased benefit to the customer by offering them non-salesy information they can use, giving them the answer to a question or solution to a problem, before directing them to the next step in a sales journey.
Benefit customers by:
- Answering questions
- Solving problems
- Highlighting issues
Creating content that is commercially beneficial will help drive sales as well as place your brand front of mind for future customers.
Commercial benefit can be hard to achieve in isolation from the other points we’ve covered. It’s often easier to aim for meeting the needs of the customer and talking about topics on which you are an authority. This creates a positive image of your business which, when coupled with a strong CTA, can reap major rewards for your business.
Hitting this touchpoint should drive customers to the next logical step in the sales process. Every piece of content you produce should have a number of logical next steps to take. This could be going to another blog for additional information, linking to products to highlight the tools needed or used within a blog, or pointing at a way to get in touch with someone directly for more information.
When devising your content strategy, it is worthwhile to think about what you want each piece to accomplish. Understanding this can help you to make the most out of each piece you produce for your website.
Maximise commercial benefit through:
- Strong CTAs
- Directing to logical next steps
- Moving the sales process along
Creating ecommerce content with a commercial edge
Creating the right content, specifically to drive success on an ecommerce site, needs planning and strategy – from understanding your audience and what their needs are, to strong CTAs that drive customers through your sales process.