3 Types Of Content For Growing Your Online Store

Despite the myriad changes and developments to the world of ecommerce — social selling, AR/VR marketing, POS accessibility, to name but a few — one thing remains the same: content is crucial for growing your online store.

But the best strategies are those with a variety of content. Diversity attracts and engages, keeping your content strategy fresh and interesting.

With that in mind, read on to learn three types of content that are essential for growing your online store in 2020.

Content isn’t just about winning customers — it’s about winning at SEO too. Discover how to use keyword synonyms to improve your content here.

Source authentic social proof with UGC

User-generated content (UGC) is a crucial content type that helps online stores grow. As the name suggests, this is content that is created by your customers, rather than your brand.

This user-led approach offers genuine, sincere content that other customers trust more by virtue of it being unbranded — it is social proof in its purest form.

Part of UGC’s appeal is that it is easy to source too. Users create content and share it across social all the time. UGC simply pivots this so it can be used to celebrate your brand and meet your specific goals.

Take social scheduling tool Buffer, for instance:

Image credit: Instagram

Using the #BufferCommunity hashtag, the brand collates user-generated imagery to highlight how its customers are able to use Buffer from anywhere in the world, and in the most unusual of places. This showcases Buffer’s value to users on social, spreading brand awareness into the bargain.

One of the easiest ways to source UGC from your customers is via a UGC contest. Invite your social audience to submit their own content (typically photos or videos) based on a certain topic — best use of your product, for example — and the winner gets a prize.

Crucially, entrance for your competition should require social sharing and/or tagging of friends. This helps increase awareness of your online store and helps grow your brand into the bargain.

Write articles that provide genuine value to customers

Despite the plethora of different content formats available today — video, infographics, social stories, and so on — blogs remain a popular and effective format that can help your online store grow.

Blogs have always been an important part of ecommerce content strategies, but the way audiences have consumed blogs has changed over time.

Naturally, blogs are able to achieve a variety of different goals for your online store: product pushes, event descriptions, new product announcements, and so on. But if you truly want to grow your ecommerce business and encourage repeat custom, your blogs should deliver value.

Take ecommerce seller builder Shopify’s blog, for instance:

Image credit: Shopify

The company’s blog is replete with a staggering array of blogs covering everything from product page upgrades to eBay integrations. Combined with its Academy and Guides, this positions Shopify as a genuinely valuable resource, and its customers will return to it time and again for more of the same.

Naturally, value can be different things to different customers, even to different industries. But as an example, you could write a blog (or series of blogs) that outline your brand’s ethical commitments. Alternatively, you could highlight an industry-relevant news story and provide your own expert insight into it.

Of course, these are just examples. What’s crucial in these value-led blogs is that you tap into your buyer personas and provide content that is valuable to them. Appeal to their interests and pain points and create articles that solve those pain points.

Rather than viewing your blogs as a route to sell products, see them as building blocks that strengthen your customer relationships. It is this that encourages repeat custom time for your online store and again.

Make product video essential to your product pages

Video is a powerful form of content that should form a crucial part of any online store’s strategy. It’s a blend of visual and narrative that taps into your audience’s attention through digestible, bitesize clips.

Video can be used to achieve a variety of different goals, from explaining concepts to giving behind-the-scenes looks into a brand.

But beyond this, you should consider including videos as an essential part of your product page. Rather than using a few photos to display your product, record one or two 5-10 second clips that show it in action.

Embedding videos on your product page help grow your online store by encouraging customers to connect with your products on a more tangible level. Beyond flat photos that don’t convey the depths your product has, video shows them in a real-world setting — vital for convincing customers to buy.

Fashion retailer Net-A-Porter is a fine example of this.

Image credit: Net-A-Porter

As well as a few photos showcasing the product from different angles, each product page has a video embedded alongside these images to display the garment being worn and moved around in. This lifts the product from the static and into the real world, helping consumers engage with the product on a more meaningful level.

While not all products can benefit from this, for some industries — fashion, jewelry, and so on — it is hugely effective, and it’s a form of content worth including for your online store.

Interesting and diverse content is the cornerstone of a successful online store. It engages customers, delivers value, and helps audiences connect with your brand on a deeper level. Take inspiration from the above and create a content strategy that helps your store grow and grow in 2020.