5 Content Marketing Rules To Apply To Ecommerce (And Vice Versa)

By Jamie McSloy / October 16, 2017
content marketing ecommerce featured image

Having worked with a lot of ecommerce folks regarding their content marketing strategies, there are a few things that I come up with that business owners never seemed to have thought of.

If you’re starting an ecommerce store, in this article you’ll find a handful of things to think about that you might not have done.

Of course, if you’re more into the content marketing or IP based businesses, you can flip some of these rules on their heads and see if they apply to you too.

Let’s get on with it.

1. Content Syndication And Product Syndication

When you’re in the business of creating intellectual property, you soon learn to repackage and syndicate content whenever you can. (Or you don’t, like most content creators… but they’re behind the curve.)

When it comes to e-commerce, a ton of people ask, “Should I sell on Amazon or my own site?”

Yes. You should sell on both and anywhere else where there are different eyeballs that can see your offer and provide a positive return. If your product is still profitable when seller fees are calculated, there’s no harm in listing your products in multiple places.

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2. You Need A Product-First Mentality

With content creation, you can spend a lot of time wasting time. If you’re not selling anything, then you’ve got a glorified hobby. (Kind of like this blog right now.)

If you are selling stuff, then you should be building sales funnels and otherwise designing your content around getting people to buy your stuff.

The same is true of e-commerce. I’ve seen and worked with plenty of e-commerce sites that don’t connect their content and their offers. This is bad practice. If you sell widgets and you write about widgets on your blog, then point your blog post to the widgets you’re selling.

Don’t assume people will hop from your blog to your store just because they’re related.

3. Most Of Your Content Is Generated Around The Market’s Desires

When you write a blog or create an info product, you’d better check out the questions people are asking and then answer them with your content.

The same is true of e-commerce. When you’re selling products, you’re giving people answers to problems. Your content needs to be based around this fact.

Let’s say you have a pet food store.

“How to Give your Dog The Best Diet” is a far superior piece of content marketing than, “51 Times Dogs Made Us Laugh.”

No surprises for guessing which type of content is more commonly created.

Essentially though, you want your content marketing to be a natural extension of your products and you want your products to be the natural answer to the questions posed by your customers’ questions.

4. Selling Is As Much About The Experience As The Product

When you write sales copy, one of the first things you need to learn is that you aren’t really selling the product. You’re selling a solution to a problem or an experience that your reader can’t afford to miss out on.

When you’re planning an e-commerce business, you need to adopt the same mentality.

Let’s say you want to get started by dropshipping products within a niche. There is nothing stopping you. You can have a laptop in England and create a store that sells products made in China delivered straight to customers in the USA.

The logistics are easy, the overheads are low and the possibilities are endless.

So what makes people fail?

They don’t think of the experience.

They think that they’re going to hit tens of thousands of revenue per month just by uploading an Excel file to a Shopify template and that’s that.

Buying online is an experience. What experience are you providing?

Most ecommerce stores fail because they look like anonymous template websites with poor shipping times and no content whatsoever.

If you want your store to succeed like a real business, then make it look like a business. Your storefront should look like the online equivalent of that Mom-and-Pop store you used to love going in as a kid.

5.  Strategy Is Key And Expansion Should Be Modular

Needless to say, most people don’t know what they’re doing. In their rush to put up the aforementioned Shopify templates, they fail to see the forest for the trees.

You need to think about everything in terms of an overall strategy. Whether you’re creating info products, content marketing or starting a physical product business, everything you do should have a reason.

Sticking up a bunch of random products and hoping for the best won’t cut it.

Think about why someone would buy from your store as opposed to Amazon. What is it you’re doing?

Do that correctly. Test small and iron out the flaws.

Then expand upwards as you get better.

Most people don’t. They’ll go on Aliexpress, upload the same stock photos that everyone else uses and then put their pocket money into Facebook ads. They have no idea aobut the product quality, shipping times or anything.

Then they try to go global.

For some people, this will work if they get lucky. But for most, it’ll just be a waste of time, money and potentially a headache if they start shipping cheap Chinese factory goods with no quality control.

Think smart, do things correctly and reap the profits.