Setting up an e-commerce business is relatively easy and less expensive. However, with approximately 80 percent failure rate, running a successful online store is easier said than done. The lack of relevant traffic is one of the key reasons why most e-commerce companies fail to take off. Thankfully, blogging can help you generate tons of traffic in relatively less time if done right.
Statistics show that companies that blog receive 97% more links to their website compared to those that don’t. However, e-commerce blogging not only helps attract traffic to your website but also helps build brand awareness, both online and offline. With increased customer engagement, you can generate more sales and earn more profits. Unfortunately, without a proper strategy, even the most promising and innovative e-commerce blogs will eventually fade away and fail.
Here are a few e-commerce blogging tips that will help you generate better customer engagement, turning your online store into a financial success.
1. Recognize the Needs of Your Customers
The end goal of your e-commerce blogging strategy is to grab the attention of your target audience. So, you need to know what your target audience wants to read before you start blogging. Usually, there are two types of target audiences, existing customers, and potential customers.
a) Target Potential Customers
Most potential customers will end up on your blog via online search (Google search engine ranking) or different social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. These customers are enjoying your posts though they haven't found them compelling enough to buy your products. So, find ways to make it better. When writing for potential customers, ask yourself the following questions:
- What core value and information does the content offer my customers?
- What problem are my posts solving?
- What am I offering that others are not?
- What questions are my prospects likely to ask?
- Am I sharing enough links, images, and videos through my posts?
b) Target Existing Customers
Existing customers are the ones who have already made at least one purchase on your site. Chances are they like your posts, so keep sharing a similar type of content. You can also share posts on products that can be paired with best-selling products.
c) Create a Buyer Persona
One tactic most e-commerce businesses use is to develop a buyer persona based on market research and data about existing customers to generate better blog posts. Based on the buyer persona, you can determine where to focus your blogging efforts because it provides detailed insights into customer preferences and needs.
Usually, two key points should be acknowledged when developing a buyer persona.
- Customer demographics, such as age, sex, geographic location, and education, among others.
- Customer's activities (behavior pattern) across multiple channels such as your website, live chat windows, social media platforms, mobile devices and email.
These measures will help you strengthen your e-commerce blogging strategy more than ever.
2. Get Creative with Topic Ideas
It’s no secret that blogging is the most powerful content marketing tool for online businesses. But, coming up with fresh content ideas for your e-commerce blog can be a challenge. Though you are an expert in your niche, sometimes you may struggle to come up with unique topic ideas. Here is how you can overcome this challenge:
a) How-To Posts
These posts are popular among bloggers and readers alike. In fact, how-to posts are an e-commerce blogging staple because they can provide valuable information on how to use your products or services. Perhaps you can write about 50 ways to wear the pashmina you sell online. This way you can not only show your existing customers how to use one of your products but also inspire new prospects to buy the product by suggesting multiple ways to use it.
b) Current Events and Trends
Following current events and industry trends is also a great way to come up with fresh content ideas. You can write your views or opinions on the latest news and developments in your industry. You can also write about how your products can be used during a particular holiday season.
c) Product Spotlights
Though product description can provide detailed information about a particular item, it often fails to instigate potential consumers to buy the product. However, if you share behind-the-scene stories (product spotlights) of your product, your readers may feel encouraged to buy the item. Adding a discount coupon at the end of such post can take the customer engagement one step further.
d) Ask Your Customers
Talking to your customers is one way to come up with fresh content ideas. If you ask your customers directly, they may tell you about the different problems and challenges they’re facing. Some of them might also be interested in knowing how you made the product. By writing on issues concerning your customers (even if they are not related to your product), you can build a strong personal relationship with them.
3. Hook Your Readers with a Captivating Title
Research shows that humans had an average attention span of 8.25 seconds in 2015. As a result, only 4 percent page views lasted more than 10 minutes. So, chances are most readers will move away from your post if your title is not intriguing enough. In short, your title or headline is what makes your potential buyers read, share, and comment on your blog post.
- The title should describe the topic of your blog post clearly.
- Try to keep it short because maximum character count is 65 before being cut off in search results.
- Use interesting adjectives and numbers as they grab readers’ attention instantly.
a) Use Headline Analyzer
A headline analyzer tool such as ShareThrough is excellent for optimizing your blog titles. The best part is most of these tools, including ShareThrough, are free for use. You can try different combinations until you get a headline with maximum score.
Check out the following examples:
Before – ‘How to arrange your wardrobe’
After – ’21 inexpensive ways to arrange your wardrobe for the winter’
It is evident that adding a number and an adjective turned an average headline into an above average headline with a score of 73.
4. Focus on Visuals
Visual content can certainly generate better engagement compared to written content. Statistics show that blog posts with images or visuals get 94% more views. This trend is likely to go up as the number of people accessing the Internet from their mobile devices continues to rise. That's why you need to include visuals into your blog articles wherever possible.
You can incorporate images, videos, GIFs, infographics, and screenshots in your posts, particularly if you want to provide your audience with a glimpse of how your product or service works. However, you should use only high-quality visuals that resonate with your content because poorly-designed visuals are likely to do more harm than good. When it comes to visuals, layout, and quality counts as much as with any other type of content.
Check out this example from StoreGrowers, one of the best e-commerce blogs.
In this blog post titled ‘How to Set up Google Shopping Campaigns That Print Money’, Dennis uses visuals in the perfect way possible. He opens the post with a funny GIF and uses screenshots to explain the process of setting up Google shopping campaign in a step-by-step manner.
5. Build Your Subscriber List
Email marketing is one of the best ways to generate sales, particularly for online stores. Statistics show that email is 40X more effective at attracting customers than Facebook or Twitter. In other words, if done right, your e-commerce blog can be used to build a dedicated subscriber list. It will allow you to build a strong personal relationship with your potential customers as they will be able to hear from you once a week via email.
To build your email list:
- Offer post-specific bonuses such as an eBook, video, free e-course or even a printable or downloadable version of your infographic or entire post.
- Use a content locker plug-in to hide a part of your post and ask users to sign up to read the full post.
- Place a sign-up form at the end of the blog posts or in your sidebar. Don't forget to tell your potential customers about the benefits of signing up.
In the following blog post, Shopify urges its potential customers to join more than three hundred thousand entrepreneurs who have already subscribed. This is one of the many ways you can persuade your prospects into signing up.
Blogging is a great content marketing tool for e-commerce businesses. It allows you to generate a dedicated customer base, build your email list, and create brand awareness. However, coming up with fresh blog posts is a huge challenge. That's why you need to polish your writing skills, own your niche, and understand the needs of potential customers. The above tips will help you maintain an e-commerce blog effortlessly.
About the author: Brian Zeng is the owner of Ponbee.com. He is an entrepreneur by spirit. Through Ponbee, Brian would like to share his insights on an array of topics related to business, e-commerce, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship.