Coffee entrepreneur James Hoffman could easily have leveraged his success as a barista contest winner and roastery and café owner to build his coffee empire. Instead, his approach relied on his countless hours of educational YouTube content, which focused on sharing his extensive knowledge and passion for coffee. But his goal isn’t only to build his brand.
“If I’m looking like I’m here to build a relationship with you that’s just about education, but quietly trying to just sell you products,” he says, “I don’t think that’s being honest. I don’t think that helps build a real, meaningful, lasting relationship with your audience.”
Hoffman’s ecommerce content marketing strategy emphasizes outreach and education, and it sets him apart in the coffee world and contributes to his widespread recognition and influence. Here’s how to use similar ecommerce content marketing strategies to your advantage.
What is ecommerce content marketing?
Ecommerce content marketing is a strategy that online businesses use to create and distribute informative and entertaining content to attract and retain customers. The content can take the form of YouTube videos, blog posts, articles, infographics, Instagram Reels, and assets that appear on other social media platforms.
These materials subtly promote ecommerce brands’ products without coming across as directly promotional. The goal is to build lasting relationships and establish trust with your audience to create a loyal customer base that values your business not only for its products but also for the high-quality or entertaining information it provides.
Ecommerce content marketing strategies
Great content marketing is engaging and focused. Here are some successful approaches to get you started with your content marketing efforts:
Video content can help show the human story behind your ecommerce business, fostering a personal, relatable connection with your audience.
Take Beardbrand’s series of videos as an example. Each has an engaging story, clear connections to the brand’s values, and links to product pages. By showing barbers in their element and providing useful information about men’s hairstyles, Beardbrand endears viewers to the brand without hard-selling its products.
Search engine optimized content
A search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is a comprehensive plan for improving your website’s rankings in search engines. It involves tailoring your ecommerce website’s content to align with what potential customers are searching for online. An effective SEO content strategy can enhance the visibility of your site in search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive more organic traffic to your ecommerce store.
SEO can include detailed product descriptions, informative blog posts, and helpful how-to articles that are rich in relevant keywords and serve the needs and interests of your target audience.
Keyword research, an on-page SEO tactic, involves identifying the terms and phrases that potential customers use when searching for your products or services. Integrating keywords into your site’s content makes it more likely to appear in search engine rankings for those terms. Continue to update your site with fresh, keyword-rich content to keep it relevant and encourage users to make repeat visits.
User-generated content (UGC)
User-generated content (UGC) refers to content—like social media posts, images, videos, text, audio, and other media—that is created and shared by users on digital platforms, rather than by brands or professional content creators.
Ecommerce businesses often encourage or use UGC featuring their products or services to build authenticity and trust with their audiences. Real customer stories allow ecommerce companies to showcase their products in a more genuine way than paid advertising tends to. UGC can also increase the scope of a brand’s online community without straining its marketing budget.
Consider showcasing UGC on your site or social media channels to keep your ecommerce brand relatable and engaging. You might encourage customers to share their experiences through product reviews or social posts, providing a steady stream of valuable content to share.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing lets you engage with your target audience at any stage of their customer journey. It offers a platform to display your brand identity, interact with potential customers, and cultivate a community. You can also educate your audience about your products and leverage social media influencers to promote your brand.
Ecommerce content marketing FAQ
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant material about your products or services to attract and retain an audience—and, ultimately, drive conversions.
How do you create a content strategy for ecommerce?
Ecommerce websites can leverage unique, personal content to address customer queries, showcase products, tell the brand’s story, and offer exclusive insights. This helps set your brand apart and subtly guides customers toward purchasing without aggressive sales tactics.
What is the goal of content marketing in ecommerce?
Content marketing helps ecommerce sites build customer trust. A well-crafted piece of content can deliver lasting value, attracting organic traffic and serving customers for years. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to deepen customer relationships, eventually converting them into sales.