5 Commonly-Made Ecommerce Content Marketing Mistakes That Lose You Customers

Content marketing is becoming increasingly popular among businesses both big and small. It's no wonder – content is king, after all. For a long time, e-commerce stores stayed away from content marketing, believing that it would be harder for them to do it or that it wouldn't make sense.

However, content marketing is the best way to increase your revenue organically and without beating your readers with a bat of ads and pop-ups. It's natural, useful and helpful - nothing can beat that. Seth Godin even says 'Content marketing is all the marketing that's left.'

But, with an increasing number of people trying to fill their sites with content that potential customers would like, there is also an increasing number of mistakes made. Any of those mistakes could cause the marketing efforts invested to go to waste.

Here are 5 of those mistakes and simple ways to fix them.

1. Not having a strategy

So, you have been creating great content, consistently posting it, sharing it on social media and getting a decent response in likes. However, the thing that you really wanted – an increase in ROI – escapes you. You can't understand why your awesome, useful content isn't resulting in any conversions.

Well, the answer is quite simple – with over 250 million content pieces created every minute, you have to do more than just have great content.

*Content marketing is all about two elements – solid strategy and an excellent tactical execution. *

One without the other simply doesn't make sense. The same thing would happen if you had a great strategy but no execution.

How To Fix This Ecommerce Content Marketing Mistake:

Well... create a strategy.

To do this, you'll need to know what your goals are. Imagine yourself planning a trip – you need to know your destination before you can make arrangements for arriving. Your destination is your goal.

First, determine your S.M.A.R.T. goal:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Assignable
  • RealisticTime-based

“So, for example, your S.M.A.R.T. goal could be to 'increase your monthly revenue from conversions by $15,000 within 6 months' or 'increase your number of leads by 30% within 3 months'. It shouldn't be something like 'become a billionaire in a year'”, - explains Mary Durr, a Content Marketer at Uktopwriters and Study demic writer.

Then, you can build towards your goal – go backwards and calculate what you'll need to achieve that goal. The best method you could use is to break it down into small tasks and steps.

  • Define your problem:** `I need to increase my number of subscribers by 2000 in 90 days'
  • Do the research: Read guides, tips, advice, listen to podcasts and seminars.
  • Create a hypothesis: 'X traffic source will result in Y more conversions.'
  • Test the hypothesis: Conduct a small experiment to verify your theory.
  • Analyse the results: See if the hypothesis was accurate. If yes, ask WHY?
  • Make a conclusion: Document your process and your findings so that you can repeat the marketing strategy.

If you have a great strategy, but no execution, just listen to this advice:

'The longer you're not taking action the more money you are losing.' Carrie Wilkerson.

2. Not understanding your audience

Knowing your audience inside out is the key to creating content that will appeal to them. So, if this is your buyer persona, the extent to which you know your customers:

  • Mina Walsh
  • 20-35 years old
  • Lives in New York, single
  • Wants to be able to look professional but save money.

Then you don't know your audience at all. This is only the surface of what they are, of who they are and what they want. This may be the reason why your response is not that great – you don't understand your audience so you are not creating the content that they need.

How To Fix This Ecommerce Content Marketing Mistake:

There are three methods you could use to find out who they really are:

1. Conduct surveys

To know more about your customers, simply ask. Create surveys of 10-12 questions that will really allow you to gain some insight.

2. Do phone and in-person interviews

Call your customers or try to set up an in-person meeting. It's much easier for you to understand your customers this way and you can ask any additional questions you'd like.

3. Create web and exit surveys

These are great for finding out more about your customers experience and obstacles that made them exit. Keep the questions short and to-the-point.

Take a lesson from Ritz-Carlton, offering a package "perfect proposal in the park" for their target audience. They really understand their customers:

3. Focusing on SEO

SEO could get you a wide reach and decent ranking in 2007 – consistency was all it took. However, it's 2018 and while SEO matters, it's not the most important thing when it comes to content marketing. Sadly, a lot of business owners and content writers still believe in SEO firmly and they keep writing content for the purpose of SEO.

Keywords are fine but don’t do this...

But the truth is, SEO will not get you far.

How To Fix This Ecommerce Content Marketing Mistake:

You need to differentiate yourself. Almost every market is oversaturated – whatever topic you come up with, it's already been talked about online multiple times. However, it's the way you tell it that matters. Find a voice that stands out or a new way of presenting information. This is far better than SEO. Use tools like My Writing Way or Paper Fellows to help you incorporate SEO in a non-intrusive manner.

4. Poor content

So, one of the reasons your content may not be working for you is it's quality. There are millions of blog posts and content pieces online – how many of them would you classify as high quality? Writing content for content's sake, because you need to fulfil a quota or something similar will not win you any conversions.

This may sound like a useful article, but just pay closer attention...

How To Fix This Ecommerce Content Marketing Mistake:

Instead of writing 10 posts of usual fodder, try writing just one article that will stand out. Make it packed with quality and value for your readers. Make that one post pack a punch stronger than 10 regular posts would.

Use these tools to help you out with this:

  • StateOfWriting and Via Writing are content writing guides which can help you make every word count.
  • UK Writings is an editing tool to help you remove all of the redundancies that weaken your text.
  • Academ Advisor and Boomessays are formatting tools to assist you in making your piece readable and visually appealing.
  • Essayroo is a tool that can help you write catchy and attention-grabbing titles.

5. Stopping at publishing

You've written a great article full of actionable, valuable advice that your audience would love. You've hit 'publish' and now you're waiting for that amazing response – conversions, shares, more conversions and so on.

Well, if 'publish' was all you did, keep waiting. It will never happen.

So many business owners do this and can't figure out why content marketing – while working perfectly for so many others – is not working for them.

Well, after all, it's called content marketing.

How To Fix This Ecommerce Content Marketing Mistake:

What most of these business owners forget, is that they need to put their content in front of their readers. So, for instance, if your audience is mostly using Twitter as their social platform of choice, that's where your article needs to be. But don't just stop there. You need to share your content – social media, email, forums and so on.

  • Reach out to influencers that have recently written about similar topics and ask for their feedback or their share.
  • Share your content on social media platforms and mention these influencers in your posts.
  • Send your article via email.
  • Be an active member of the community where your post would matter.

'Content is king but distribution is queen and she wears the trousers.' - Jonathan Perelman.

Final Thoughts

Content marketing is an interesting and effective way to drive traffic to your site and increase your conversions.

It's important to remember that content marketing isn't just one thing. You may read this article and think, "I only need to do this (write better, distribute more etc.) and it will work." But that is wrong.

Content marketing is a mix of strategy, understanding of the market, quality writing, SEO, marketing and distribution and many other things. It's a field where you have to keep learning, optimizing, improving and adjusting all the time. It takes time to see the results but once you see them, you'll love content marketing.

I promise.

About the Author:

Freddie Tubbs is a digital marketing consultant at Academized. He regularly takes part in marketing conferences and webinars and writes marketing blogs at Australian help and Oxessays.