13Oct
By: Marc Schenker October 13, 2016

Content marketing is one of the best ways to bring new customers into your eCommerce business. When you have an online store, you need a constant stream of new leads and regular site visitors. The Internet is a huge and vast place. Just because you have an online store doesn’t mean people will find you. By putting stellar, high-value content in front of your target audience, you’re using a proven way to bring customers to your site. That’s what content marketing is all about!

That begs the question, how do you identify and then put highly interesting content in front of people, so they would click over to your eCommerce site? Certainly, not just any old content will do the trick. The process is easy and straightforward, and you’ll be surprised at how you can copy and use it with great effect for your own online store.

It’s time to identify a trending story

To create high-value content that everyone wants to read, you have to naturally research what people are interested in at the moment. This is easily accomplished by checking two sources.

First, you can always check BuzzSumo. If you don’t already know, BuzzSumo is a very popular and useful resource that empowers you to search for relevant content by specific keywords. Then, it shows you the most popular topics by the number of social shares. Seeing these popular topics gives you a pretty safe idea of what’s trending—but only on social media.

If you want an even more accurate picture of what’s trending across the entire web, you can simply check out Google Trends by the specific keyword you’re looking at. This site offers a good indicator of what’s a popular trend since you can check trends as far back as 2004. For instance, if you notice that your content marketing keyword has been gaining popularity for the past decade, then it’s probably a good bet to choose as the content topic.

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Google Trends

The key is to choose this keyword based on the product or service you’re selling in your online store, because your content has to make sense and tie into what you’re selling.

Let’s say your eCommerce store sells chopsticks. Well, what do people usually eat with chopsticks? Sushi, of course! It just so happens that a search for “sushi” shows an unrelenting upward trend over the last decade or so. This means people are increasingly interested in sushi, making it an intelligent and logical keyword choice for your content marketing plans.

Use it for your own content marketing strategy!

This step is extremely straightforward. Now that you know that you have a trending story on your hands, it’s time to make it work for your content strategy. Copy it, and use it for your own content-production needs.

With “sushi,” for example, you know what about it makes for a great story. People are interested in eating good food that’s easy to prepare and that looks attractive to the eye. If you’re selling chopsticks in your eCommerce store, you couldn’t ask for a better trending topic! Plus, you can take the topic “sushi” and work it in so many ways to make an engrossing story that’s something people will want to read.

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Long-Form Content Performance

You can write a blog post on your eCommerce site about:

  • How to prepare sushi
  • The various kinds of sushi
  • What countries on Earth consume the most sushi
  • What the most popular kinds of sushi are
  • The craziest kinds of sushi

This is just a small example, of course, as the possibilities are almost endless. Once you settle on your topic, you’re best off writing a long-form blog post about it for your site. That’s because studies repeatedly show that longer content of approximately 2000 words routinely performs better in SEO rankings and organic traffic.

Equipped with your trending-topic keyword and your long-form blog post, you are positioning your eCommerce site to be the beneficiary of a lot of traffic if you do the next steps properly. All that’s left to do is put this wondrous content in front of people; how exactly do you do that?

Distribute it on various channels

Just because you’ve identified a hot topic and also written a high-quality piece of content doesn’t automatically mean that traffic will go to your store. You have to put this awesome content in front of people in the right channels, so they’ll visit your store and buy from you.

Here’s how you do that.

Think of the big sites on the web that drive traffic because they’re discussion-based and have a very active and large user base. What immediately springs to mind is Reddit. Reddit is a huge aggregation/social media/web-content rating/discussion site and one of the most-visited sites on the web. It’s perfect for getting people to take note of your content and drive traffic to your eCommerce site.

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Reddit

A warning, though: Reddit can sometimes be strict about what it lets its users post, so be sure to understand how to use the system to your advantage. Marketing Land recommends five steps to succeed at getting traffic to your blog from Reddit:

  1. Become a Redditor (an actual user of the site)
  2. Determine Your Subreddit
  3. Create Content Specifically for Reddit
  4. Ensure You’re Not Called out
  5. Don’t Neglect Any Comments

If you succeed on Reddit, your post will get to a subreddit’s front page, which will create enormous exposure and cause people to click on the link back to your blog post on your eCommerce store.

Similarly, you can harness social media for the same distribution effect.

On Twitter, you can create a sizeable following for your eCommerce store by tweeting valuable and relevant content to your industry peers, broken up once in a while with self-promoting tweets. It’s called the 80/20 rule. The longer you do this and the greater your following, the more traffic you’ll drive to your eCommerce store when you tweet content like your blog post.

Measure your results

Although all the previous steps are very important and arguably the foundation of your whole content marketing strategy, measuring your results is the most vital of all. You need to know the return on investment (ROI) of your time and effort. That’s why keeping careful track of the results you got is necessary and will inform your future content marketing aims.

The first place to start is consulting your eCommerce store’s site analytics. You want to know whether you got a meaningful spike in traffic during the time in which you shared your trending-story blog post on the various distribution channels.

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Web Analytics

Check also the various distribution channels in which you shared or otherwise promoted your high-value content.

Check Reddit to see if your post made it to the front page of its particular subreddit. If you crafted your content to be suitable for said subreddit and establish yourself as a legitimate user by regularly participating in the comments section, your chances of having your post make it to the subreddit’s front page drastically increase.

Check your social media stats on Twitter, for example, to see the number of impressions, likes and retweets your blog-post tweet got. It’s also helpful to see if posting at different times and days raises traffic back to your eCommerce store.

Way more than writing great content

Content marketing is about content—great content. Absolutely true! However, it’s sad that so many eCommerce-store owners still believe that great content will somehow automatically get traffic to increase to their site. That’s simply not true.

Creating awesome content is just half the battle. The other equally important half is putting that content before your leads, so they’re interested and motivated to visit your store. After all, without doing that, no one will find your store, and your store will just be a URL in some lonely corner of the web.


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