How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy for your Brand

Corey Grigg

March 31, 2021

Whether you are a well-known fashion brand or smaller niche ecommerce business, having good, well optimised and written content is just as important as ever. Content marketing is still a crucial means of communication to your current and potential future customers, especially for ecommerce brands and can help to build brand awareness, generate leads, promote a business’ values and much more.

Discover how to write effective content for ecommerce sites with the steps below.

What is content marketing for ecommerce businesses?

As the name suggests, content marketing involves the strategic creation of content to assist in the promotion of a brand or its products. The content that is created needs to be relevant, attractive and engaging to the target audience for it to succeed. Examples of modern forms of content marketing for ecommerce businesses include:

  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Interactive maps, charts and diagrams
  • Blog articles

While there is a near-endless variety of content types, the main focus still for many businesses is blog articles. Not only do they typically offer a lower production cost compared to other content types (such as videos or podcasts), but their potential outreach through online channels such as SEO is immense.

That being said, putting pen to paper as a brand requires strategic planning for the blog article to succeed. There are many factors to consider when writing content for an ecommerce site. From generating ideas to tracking the final outcome, we share our strategy on writing effective blog articles for any ecommerce brand or retailer.

Stage 1: Research & Planning

To give your content the best possible chance at success, a thorough level of research and planning needs to occur before you start anything. Like a classic ‘conversion funnel’, we want to take the same approach when it comes to planning content—start with a wide net to capture ideas, which we then funnel down into one final blog article concept during the process.

How to research blog article ideas

Instinctually, many ecommerce businesses will start by using digital marketing tools to generate content ideas. While using keyword research to form the basis of your blog article is key, it’s also important to marry this planning with additional research to fully flesh out other ideas.

Ultimately, the content is going to be engaged with by your target audience, so getting a complete picture of their content needs is essential. Consider using the following methods to further research topic ideas and your reader’s needs:

  • Using customer interviews, reviews and focus groups
  • Mapping out the customer journey and analysing pain-points within it
  • Viewing customer enquiries to answer common questions
  • Completing competitor research to uncover content gaps
  • Researching customer forums and online communities
  • Utilising recent trends to pair the brand with
  • Analysing top-selling products or product categories
  • Measuring previous high-performing content on social media channels
  • By pairing customer-focused research with keyword planning, your content will have the framework to succeed online and with the target audience.

Evergreen vs. Seasonal Content Marketing

Blog article topics can be typically divided between two categories, Evergreen and Seasonal. By choosing which category your content falls into will help plan when is the best time of year to publish it.

  • Evergreen: Content that is relevant to the audience all year round.
  • Seasonal: Content that is relevant to the audience at a specific time or period during the year.

An example of Evergreen content could be a Product Buying Checklist (such as a ‘Buyer's Guide to Football Boots’), while a Seasonal content example could be a Gifting Guide (such as a ‘Father’s Day Gift Guide’).

However, depending on your chosen topic, the choice between Evergreen or Seasonal is predetermined which makes this step easier.

How to plan your blog article

With a topic decided, it’s time to decide on the content of the article:

  • What do you want to include in it? Write down all the sections you want within the article and any notes based on your research. It is also worth deciding what you don’t want to speak about in the article. Doing this will help keep you focused on the topic at hand and not get sidetracked while writing.
  • What is the core message you want the audience to receive? Are you using this article to create brand awareness, generate leads, sell a product or something else? Deciding on the core message will help track the success of the article once it’s published.
  • What media do you have access to which will complement the content? How will any images, videos, graphs, maps or other media be accessed or created for the blog article? If you plan on using statistics or quotes in the content, also start collecting sources for those too.
  • How will the content be amplified once published? Other than being posted on the blog, will the article be shared on social media channels, influencers, eDMs, downloaded as a white paper or any other means?
  • Is there a deadline the article needs to be written by? Particularly in the case of Seasonal content or an article that has been written off the back of a current trend.

Ideally, an article brief can be created before writing content to ensure the article is well researched and optimised. It will also allow the writer to easily see what will be featured in the content and any information needed to create it.

Stage 2: Writing & Content Creation

If you’ve followed the process so far, you will now have a highly detailed plan for your article. All that is left to do is create it.

Before writing a blog article

  • Who is writing the content? Will it be created by an internal team such as marketing? Or will you be using an external asset such as an agency or guest poster?
  • Does the brand have a tone of voice document? Read the tone of voice document to understand how the business wants to be portrayed through the copy before starting.

Writing for user experience

While your blog article must feature the keywords you want to rank for, it’s equally important that the article is primarily written for a real-life audience, not Google. The customer is king when it comes to content, but what does this mean in practice?

  • Keep keywords natural: While it may feel obvious, the language and choice of words you use needs to be natural. Don’t inject blatant keywords into a sentence—instead, phrase them naturally and let them blend into the sentence.
  • Speak to your audience: Use language your readers can engage with. Fun, casual brands may prefer to use slang and abbreviations, while a more corporate business could have an audience that prefers technical terms and more direct phrases.
  • Use bullet points, numbers and tables: Instead of large walls of text, make it as easy as possible for your readers to consume your content. Bullet points, numbering and tables help make information easily readable to both your audience and search engine crawlers.
  • Internal linking best practice: Whether you’re linking to a product, service or another piece of content, internal linking also needs to be authentic, relevant and natural. Ideally, the anchor text needs to be similar to the page you are linking to. Don’t use the word ‘here’ or ‘now’ to link to other pages, as it’s not good for a reader’s experience.
  • Heading hierarchy: Clear and concise headings that use long-tail keyword phrases allow the reader to easily differentiate the sections of your content. Search engine crawlers also use your headings to understand content and rank it for those queries.

Completing a first draft

Whenever possible, always create a draft of your article before publishing it. This allows time for another person within or outside of your team to proofread and sense check the content. In particular for more technical topics, having someone outside of your team read through the article will help ensure it can be understood by people of different knowledge levels if that is a goal for the content.

When an article is ready to go live, ensure that it has had a spelling and grammar check, and that all links work correctly.

Stage 3: Tracking & Optimisation

To further enhance your ecommerce content marketing strategy, blog articles need to be tracked and optimised in the future. Not only is it important to ensure the content engages your target audience, but it also allows you to adapt your strategy based on what did and didn’t work.

Tracking & measuring your content marketing

If you had created a goal as part of your article brief in the planning stage, it is simple to use that objective as your main way of measuring the success of your content. That being said, content can serve many purposes, which the goal should reflect. Here are a few objectives that you can measure your content by:

  • Reporting traffic, new users, keyword rankings and other metrics through Google Analytics or SEO tools
  • Acquiring reader feedback through surveys or comments
  • Counting email sign-ups or leads
  • Analysing conversion metrics such as revenue or click-through rate
  • Measuring social shares, likes and clicks
  • Creating brand awareness and reviewing unlinked mentions on other sites
  • Manually checking rankings for keywords

How to optimise content in the future

Updating and optimising your article breathes new life into your content—help setting it up for long-term SEO success. Both your audience and search engines benefit from content optimisation, making it an important factor that needs to be included in the blog article’s lifecycle. These are many ways to update and optimise your content, some of which include:

  • New information based on the topic
  • New content based on current trends or styles
  • Updating statistics or quotes
  • Updating imagery
  • Updating tone of voice
  • Adding videos, infographics or other rich media
  • The audience gains new information that will help inform their decision, while search engines are able to rank the article for additional keywords based on the new content.

The importance of content for ecommerce sites

It’s no secret that content marketing needs to be part of your wider ecommerce strategy. Its longevity, low cost to produce and ability to grow online authority makes it highly attractive to ecommerce businesses. Other key benefits for content marketing include:

  • Builds brand awareness
  • Builds domain authority
  • Can target long-tail keywords that category and product pages typically don’t rank for
  • Can achieve a number of non-direct revenue-driving goals (such as lead generation)
  • Educates the customer through information and expertise
  • Produces additional opportunities to gain new users and traffic
  • Increases positive user signals such as pages per session and time on site
  • Complements other online channels such as social, paid search, CRM and affiliate marketing
  • Allows your site to rank for additional rich snippets and universal search results

Throughout all the stages of creating content—planning and research, writing and creating content, and tracking and optimisation—the customer needs to always be the primary focus. The content is going to be read, consumed and ultimately actioned upon by them.

For more information about building an ecommerce content marketing strategy, contact Pattern Australia now.

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Sept 27, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters](https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/amazon-drives-renewable-energy-push-with-71-new-projects-2022-09-21/) Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/26/prime-early-access-sale/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/shopify-launches-new-localisation-tool/) Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News](https://uk.news.yahoo.com/etsy-600-million-on-marketing-ceo-154054219.html) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/22/meta-to-slash-costs-by-10-over-coming-months/) DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/21/dhl-partners-with-quadient-to-offer-smart-locker-delivery/) The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/online-fashion-market-worth-e175-billion-in-2025/)
Sept 22, 2022

How an Amazon SEO Agency Should Be Serving Your Brand

If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.

Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.

At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise  are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead. 

What is an Amazon SEO Agency?

An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.

A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:

Prioritize Your Success

Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance

Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS. 

To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.

Provide Detailed Competitive Insight

A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.

It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.

Reduce Your Ad Spend Over Time

Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins. 

Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.

Amazon SEO Optimization and More

As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.

Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.

Sept 20, 2022

4 Ecommerce Marketplace Consultant Must-Haves

Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces. 

Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.

So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.

Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products. 

What is an Ecommerce Consultant?

An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.

An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.

Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.

1. Brand Obsession/Specialization/Passion

At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services. 

2. Proven Results

It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.

3. Wide Range of Marketplace Expertise

It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.

4. Network of Resources

The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.

Achieve Your Ecommerce Goals With Pattern

Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces. 

With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.

Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.