January 17, 2019
It’s no secret that in marketing, “Content is King.” But in the B2B eCommerce space content marketing can be an especially helpful tool.
Dealing with businesses can be an impersonal, purely transactional experience if you let it. But the truth is that you want loyal clients who will buy from you again and again. and people fall in love with people, not business operations.
To personify your brand, and build loyalty with your target audience and customers, the answer is Content Marketing. Having a great content marketing strategy will help you generate traffic, build trust and authority, supplement inbound marketing to raise your conversion rates, and even help with customer retention.
The question is: How?
With creative, effective content marketing ideas, you can elevate your B2B eCommerce sites to be an industry leader with a loyal following and customers in as little as a few months.
Here are some of the best of those ideas you can use to win in 2019.
5 Effective Content Marketing Strategies for eCommerce
Social media and paid ads aren’t the only way to drive traffic to your website.
With these 5 creative strategies, you can use content marketing to generate more leads and sales for your eCommerce business.
1. Email Marketing
Social media is important, but email is still one of the most lucrative marketing tools you can use.
Not only that, but it’s the most secure.
B2B email lists are also more lucrative than B2C. This is because your customers use their professional emails on a daily basis, meaning you’ll have a great chance of getting their attention.
Here are a couple of ways to make sure you stand out in the inbox and raise your bottom line with email marketing.
Keep it Personal
The best way to stand out in the inbox is to be as intuitive to the needs of your reader as possible.
Use segmentation to send your readers relevant offers.. If you speak directly to them, they are more likely to engage with your content or reach out to work with you.
- If your clients order weekly, you can set up an automated email that says “Did we do something wrong?” if they miss a week. Just asking how you can help will make the customer feel like they’re not just a number, they matter. This automation is simple, and could dramatically help your retention rate. It could even save a huge account for you.
- If you’re running a promotion on a certain item, you could segment those who normally order the item and those who don’t. You would send these two audiences two different emails. For the audience that’s familiar and already a fan of the product, you could sell them on buying in bulk while the sale is on. For the audience that doesn’t normally order the product, you could sell them on why right now is the best time to try while they get a discount. This strategy will raise your sales on both ends by simply taking the time to make it personal.
Email is a highly effective form of content marketing. With an effective strategy and segmentation, you can turn your list into a source of new and ongoing customers.
Search engine traffic is highly targeted, residual, and has the potential to pull in a high volume of customers to your sites. So, what do you need to do to rank on Google?
Blog – especially if you’re in a competitive industry. While blogging isn’t a default capability in Magento, the community supports eCommerce platforms that use blogs with extensions in the Marketplace.
One of the biggest challenges for business owners is not knowing what to blog about. To be effective in your blog content marketing, you will need to conduct keyword research to find the right focus terms for your site.
Blogging for eCommerce Starts With Keywords
Here’s how it works:
Your audience visits Google to find a solution to a problem. Maybe they’re even searching for the best B2B eCommerce provider for their needs.
Then, you use the keywords tools to see what they're searching for, and the exact search terms they’re using to search for it.
The key here is to be intuitive. When your audience conducts a search it’s because they have a question they need an answer to. But they don't normally plug the entire question into the search bar. So it’s up to you to find relevant keywords and ask yourself, “What question do they have that would make them search for this?”
Finally, use the user’s questions to come up with relevant topics and write blog posts answering those questions. Make sure you’re using the customer’s language – meaning you’re putting the keywords they plug into Google directly in the article as you write it.
This is your best bet for creative blog content that is both optimized for organic traffic and written with your audience in mind.
A Few Extra Notes About Keyword Research
While high volume keywords might look the shiniest in your search, they're not. You'll need to look for highly relevant keywords with low competition. These are the easiest to rank for.
Also, keep in mind that you can use long tail keywords to rank faster. “Long tail” means the query is longer.
For example: a short query might be "bulk party supplies". But a long tail version of that would be the complete "where to buy party supplies in bulk". Long tail keywords tend to have the lowest competition. They'll also have lower search volume, but they’re so targeted that you’ll often get a higher conversion rate from those posts.
Make the Most of Your Blog Content Marketing
Ultimately, blogging is about bringing valuable, actionable, and informative content to your audience. It can even be entertaining, and it doesn’t always have to be keyword heavy or optimized for Google.
A lot of your leads will come back to your blog again and again before they ever buy.
Likewise, a lot of your customers will frequent your blog as well – if it’s good. So, blogging as a whole has many benefits, including:
- Warming up a cold audience
- Converting visitors to buyers
- Brand recognition
- Building brand loyalty
- Giving existing clients another reason to stick around.
You’ll also need to use SEO articles to bring in the traffic, but try some of these other ideas to keep the traffic hungry for more:
- Big company announcements and changes. Also how they benefit your customers (think frontend redesigns, features, new products, etc.)
- Product reviews
- Product guides
- Case studies of how your company has helped businesses save cost and streamline their logistics operations
- Industry news (and your company’s take on it)
- Guest expert spotlights and interviews
Rotating between these and SEO articles alone will produce a well-rounded blog. You'll not only pull traffic for your B2B eCommerce business, but warm it up and convert it at the same time.
3. Content Upgrades
B2B content allows for many opportunities to get creative and engage potential customers. One of the best ways to make the most of your traffic is to utilize Content Upgrades.
A Content Upgrade is an irresistible piece of content offered in exchange for a user’s email address. The purpose is to 1) give users something awesome and 2) grow your email list.
Your customer base is always looking for more information on how to improve their own businesses and utilize your services and products. Knowing this, you have the chance to offer them Content Upgrades in the form of tutorials, ebooks, expert interviews, free courses, and so much more.
FreshBooks: Utilizing Content Upgrades to Generate New Business
B2B accounting software provider FreshBooks is a shining example of how to use Content Upgrades to turn website visitors into leads.
FreshBooks utilizes search engine optimized landing pages to draw in users searching for “invoice templates.” Once there, users are presented with the option of downloading a free template in exchange for entering their email address.
Not only are users able to create a professional invoice on the fly, but they are set up with a free trial of FreshBooks. At that point, FreshBooks has already added a potential lead to their email list, for future marketing opportunities.
FreshBooks has found this to be so effective that they created free downloadable invoice templates for a variety of professions. These pages bring in organic traffic and then present users with a Content Upgrade (the free template) to entice them to join their email list.
Content Upgrade Ideas for B2B eCommerce Sites
In creating a Content Upgrade, it’s important to consider what type of content would be of the greatest interest to your potential customers. After all, people are wary of handing over their email addresses in fear of getting spam to their inbox. Your upgrade needs to get them excited to opt in.
For example, if you sell building materials to construction companies, you may consider creating a downloadable ebook titled “25 Ways to Use Recycled Wood in Your Construction Projects” or “50+ Kitchen Design Ideas to Inspire Your Clients.” You are providing something of value to them, and generating a lead for yourself.
Some Content Upgrade ideas for B2B eCommerce include:
- Downloadable wholesale product catalog
- Opt-in for use of a free tool on your website, like a cost calculator or website audit
- Access to a free email course on how to use your product or services
- Sign up for an exclusive webinar
- Free industry expert interview download
- A free trial of one of your new products
- Access to detailed reports, white papers, or case studies
For your Content Upgrade to be effective, you need to consider what your target audience want to see. You can conduct market research to see what users feel like is missing in your content – then create an upgrade around that.
Then, design your upgrade, incorporate it into your existing content, and add the opt-in. Before you know it, you will be growing your email list and generating leads for your eCommerce business.
4. Influencer Content
In an age where your audience is skeptical of (almost) everything they see on the internet, Influencer Content is priceless.
What is Influencer Content?
Influencer Content is any content that uses the endorsement of an influencer to give it more authority and – in a lot of cases – more reach.
This could be a guest expert blog post, a video interview on YouTube, or even a video ad with the Influencer as the spokesperson for your brand. Strategically placing industry leaders in your branded content elevates your position to match theirs. This can make leads trust you faster, and allows you to tap into the Influencer’s audience directly when they share the content through their social media channels.
Influencer Content in Action
Consider a fitness B2B eCommerce store that sells gym equipment to gym owners. One way it could generate user interest is through reaching out to popular figures in the fitness world. For example, popular athletes, bodybuilders, and successful gym owners can endorse their equipment, making an industry-wide statement that they’re the best eCommerce fitness retailer.
Most influencers tend to have a solid online presence on social media platforms – particularly platforms like Facebook, Instagram (think fitness models), Youtube, and Twitter. B2B organizations can reach out to these influencers and invite them for collaborations.
What popular industry leaders could you start building a relationship with now, that could one day lead to a public endorsement?
5. Free Guides and Ebooks
Your customers don’t want to just buy a product. They’re coming to you because they want to use your products to reach a goal.
Whether you’re selling supplements, clothing, electronics, food, or something else, you’re selling directly to businesses who see your products as a means to an end, not the end itself. This leaves you an incredible amount of room to create guides around how to use, store, purchase, and even sell your products for profit.
As a content marketing idea, you can create a free guide or ebook helping them achieve their one big goal instead of doing individual product guides.
For instance, if you provide HVAC systems to businesses, you can write a guide on “How to Keep Your Office Cool This Summer” in your brand’s name. Most of your leads and customers will be happy to download it. If you require an email address for the lead to download the guide, then you can use the email strategy from the first section to market to them in the long run.
Your content is only “King” if you use it as a way to stand out and deliver a full experience to your audience. Use it not only to attract and convert, but build an authoritative brand presence, nurture your leads, and retain your customers.
You need to create creative ideas to stand out in your industry.
Ask yourself, how else could you use content to stand out in the marketplace?
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