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 20, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 20th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to raise pay and add extra work benefits for delivery drivers Following the rise in fuel prices and protests by Amazon workers, the ecommerce giant is raising its delivery drivers’ pay and adding more work benefits. Amazon has mentioned that it will be investing $450 million into rate increases along with an education program and a Delivery Service Partners program. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/amazon-to-raise-delivery-drivers-pay-and-add-more-work-benefits/) Amazon announces it will give away shipping software to merchants at no cost Amazon has recently announced that it will be giving ecommerce merchants free software to manage shopper orders on and off its platform as it extends its reach. The ecommerce giant will be ending monthly costs for sellers using Veeqo, a shipping software it recently acquired and instead offer to them a new, free shipping software. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/amazon-to-give-away-shipping-software-to-merchants/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Walmart unveils new virtual fitting rooms In an effort to drive clothing sales, Walmart has launched virtual fitting rooms while competitors reduce spending amid the cost of living crisis. The virtual try-on tool can be used by Walmart customers to virtually measure the clothing items and see how the products would look on them. Shoppers will now be able to see how over 270,000 clothing items on Walmart’s ecommerce site would look on their bodies. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/walmart-launches-virtual-fitting-rooms-to-drive-clothing-sales/?utmsource=Retail+Gazette+Subscribers&utmcampaign=2da7f0f8f8-EMAILCAMPAIGN202209150742&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0d23e2768b6-2da7f0f8f8-61040615) THG slashes sales and profit expectations The Hut Group has slashed its forecasts for 2022 as rising interest rates, inflation and energy costs take a toll on consumers. Previously, THG estimated its sales growth to be between 22-25% but after a recent evaluation, has lowered this prediction to between 10-15%. Initial predictions did not take into account the negative effects of ceasing sales in Russia and Ukraine along with the impact that the cost-of-living has had on consumer spending. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/thg-slashes-forecast-as-cost-of-living-crisis-hits-consumers-wallets/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- DHL and Post Office team up to provide click and collect services Through a partnership between delivery company, DHL and Post Office, a new click and collect service is to be tested at Post Offices before rolling out to over 1000 branches across the UK. Online shoppers will now have the option of choosing their local Post Office as a collection point, and DHL will fulfil the delivery aspect, opening up networks for both parties. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/post-office-partners-with-dhl-express-to-provide-click-and-collect-services/) US consumer watchdog plans to further regulate the BNPL sector The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has raised concerns regarding the collection of consumer data and the fast-growing nature of the BNPL sector, which includes companies such as Affirm and Klarna. The CFPB is worried that these companies could be negatively impacting consumers’ financial health and aims to put better regulations in place to ensure consumers are safe and empowered. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/us-consumer-watchdog-to-start-regulating-bnpl-sector/) Japanese ecommerce market estimated to grow by 6.9% in 2022 The ecommerce market in Japan, largely dominated by domestic online retailers including Reakuten and Mercari, is set to reach $194.3 billion USD in 2022, after seeing an annual compound growth rate of 5.2% between 2018 and 2021. This makes Japan the fourth leading ecommerce market globally, following China, the US, and the UK. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/13/japan-ecommerce-market-to-grow-by-6-9-in-2022/) Ecommerce brands are spending more on TikTok ads TikTok may soon be surpassing Facebook and Google as the most lucrative advertising channel, with ecommerce brands spending 60% more on TikTok ads in Q2. Facebook is still ahead as the top choice for ecommerce advertisers but only grew by 5.6% from Q1, while Google grew 20.5% in Q2, and Snap declined 10.8% in Q2. [Read more on SearchEngineLand](https://searchengineland.com/ecommerce-brands-spent-60-more-on-tiktok-ads-in-q2-387876)
Sept 13, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 13th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon scales back on US warehouse facilities Amazon is shutting down two facilities with 300 employees, discarding plans for 42 facilities, and delaying plans to open a further 21 buildings across the US. The ecommerce giant is scaling back on hiring as well as the expansion of its vast delivery network, as it was left with an excess of space following its rapid expansion during the pandemic. [Read more on Business Insider](https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-closes-2-facilities-scraps-plans-42-new-buildings-report-2022-9?r=US&IR=T) --- Other Marketplace News --- JD.com is ‘betting’ on ecommerce grocery market Amidst a slowing economy and a decline in ecommerce, Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com has increased its urgency to seek new growth engines. The company is looking to boost its online grocery business through offline partnerships and expansion into lower-tier cities, where it may be able to unleash more consumption power. [Read more on The Star](https://www.thestar.com.my/tech/tech-news/2022/09/08/chinese-ecommerce-giant-jdcom-bets-big-on-online-grocery-lower-tier-markets-amid-slowing-economy) Shopee shuts operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico Sea’s ecommerce arm, Shopee, has shut local operations in some LATAM countries but will continue to maintain cross-border operations in a few markets. Latin America is Sea’s most important region following South-east Asia, accounting for close to 19% of its revenue in 2021. The move away from these countries is largely due to increased levels of macro uncertainty and rising interest and inflation rates, and rather putting a focus on its core operations. [Read more on Straits Times](https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/seas-shopee-shuts-operations-in-argentina-chile-colombia-mexico-sources) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Instagram scales back in-stream shopping elements Instagram is re-examining its approach as it hasn’t been able to make ‘fetch’ happen. ‘Fetch’ in this context being the online shopping trends which have become all-consuming in China, and what Western social platforms have been hoping to add into their apps to make them more addictive and revenue-generating. Consumers have not been swayed by the latest shopping tools on TikTok and Instagram, leading to Instagram scaling back its in-stream shopping program. [Read more on SocialMediaToday](https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/instagram-scales-back-in-stream-shopping-elements-as-it-re-examines-its-app/631276/) FedEx Express supporting the growth of cross border ecommerce FedEx express has expanded its international commerce shipping service to four more markets across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region in an effort to support the strong development of ecommerce in this region. Three of the fastest growing markets, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam are leading Southeast Asia’s ecommerce sales, which is set to reach $100 billion by 2023. [Read more on Post & Parcel](https://postandparcel.info/149889/news/e-commerce/fedex-express-supports-the-growth-of-cross-border-e-commerce-within-the-amea-region/) India ramps up hiring as companies prepare for shoppers Ecommerce companies are getting ready for the festive season by rapidly expanding their temporary workforce. As ecommerce in India grows, the country is predicted to have 372 million online shoppers by the end of 2022. The festive season this year, running from October to December, is expected to see a two-fold increase in logistics and delivery alone. During this period, companies are predicted to add 20% more to their existing workforce base, with a 8-10% higher pay scale compared to last year. [Read more on Business Insider India](https://www.businessinsider.in/business/ecommerce/news/the-great-indian-festival-of-hiring-e-commerce-companies-gear-up-for-indias-shoppers/articleshow/94000346.cms)
Sept 6, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 6th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon announces new inventory and distribution service, AWD Amazon has launched Amazon Warehousing and Distribution (AWD), providing inventory and distribution services to its sellers as a means of addressing current supply chain issues. AWD is now available for sellers using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), i.e. outsourcing their fulfilment to the platform. Amazon has plans to expand the service outside the platform in 2023. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/02/amazon-introduces-new-service-to-help-solve-supply-chain-challenges/) Amazon Web Services (AWS) launches in the UAE AWS, Amazon’s cloud-computing platform offering, has launched its second region in the Middle East and now provides its services in the UAE. The move will now allow anyone in the UAE who utilises cloud technologies to harness AWS’s advanced platforms and APIs. An estimated $11 billion USD is expected to be added to the UAE’s GDP thanks to the implementation, with an average of 6,000 external vendor jobs to be created annually. AWS is now available in 87 zones across 27 regions, with sights set on expanding further across Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/30/amazon-web-services-launches-region-in-uae/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Lazada to launch in Europe Alibaba-owned ecommerce platform Lazada is set to launch in Europe, marking a refreshed internationalisation push from the company. The move follows toughening economic conditions and performance in Southeast Asia, advancing the need to tap overseas markets. In Europe, Lazada will face tough competition from giants like Amazon and Zalando. Lazada’s exact entry strategy is to be confirmed and will be reliant on macroeconomic and market conditions, according to Lazada CEO James Dong. [Read more on DigitalCommerce360](https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2022/09/01/alibabas-lazada-to-take-on-amazon-zalando-in-europe-push/) Chinese ecommerce giant Pinduoduo to launch cross-border platform in the United States Pinduoduo, a Chinese ecommerce giant rivalling Alibaba and JD, has announced it will be launching a new cross-border ecommerce platform. The marketplace is set to launch in the United States next month, as part of the company’s larger push into new markets. Pinduoduo found success in China thanks to its rock-bottom price offerings and harnessing of social commerce marketing, emulating strategies similar to fast-fashion giant Shein. [Read more on Yahoo Finance](https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/pinduoduo-launch-international-e-commerce-034129263.html) Alibaba launches its biggest B2B sales event, ‘Super September’ China ecommerce giant, Alibaba, has now launched its month-long B2B sales event ‘Super September’. The event provides 40 million buyers and 200,000 suppliers with the ability to connect on the platform, showcasing a ‘virtually unlimited’ number of products. The event hopes to foster new cross-border business relationships to tackle supply chain challenges currently faced by businesses. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/01/alibaba-launches-super-september-b2b-sales-event/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Klarna’s losses quadruple in first half of 2022 BNPL provider, Klarna, has reported losses of $581 million USD for the first half of 2022. This figure is almost four times larger than a year earlier, where $129 million USD in losses were reported. The company attributes the losses to employee costs, technology investments, and rising credit losses. Klarna’s figure reporting comes amidst worsening economic conditions, fresh legal and regulatory scrutiny, and pressure from Big Tech competitors. [Read more on The Financial Times](https://www.ft.com/content/483451db-9221-4ca4-83a6-b4ddc6bfcfbb) [Read more on the Guardian](https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/aug/31/klarna-losses-more-than-triple-as-consumer-spending-slows) One fifth of Snap employees to be laid off amidst poor financial performance Social media platform Snap (‘Snapchat’) has announced it will be laying off 20% of its employees and closing out a number of projects following a year of poor financial results.The move will see 1,200 employees globally lose their jobs, saving the company an estimated $500 million USD in costs. Snap is currently valued at $20 billion, an 84% decrease from its valuation of $130 billion last year. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/01/snap-to-lay-off-20-of-its-workforce-and-wind-down-a-number-of-projects/)