In case you haven’t realized by now, we’d like to knock you over the head with the fact that ecommerce is now the new cool kid on the playground. With brick-and-mortar businesses sulking and failing to adapt as the not so cool kid anymore, it’s easy to note why this is happening with ecommerce brands steadily taking over.

Now, what makes this new cool kid attractive amongst other factors, is the incredible content marketing that captures attention, consumer loyalty and most importantly, the intended sales. Businesses in all industries are refining their approaches to how they market their content and we’re here to break down the five strategies in which your ecommerce brand can be successful too. Let’s align.

Prioritize E-A-T Score

Google recently made changes to its search quality ratings guidelines and advanced it to include something called an E-A-T score. E-A-T score focuses on Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness. Individual content creators within brands are now propelled to apply this score and refine their content in a way that adheres to the ratings guidelines.

As an ecommerce brand with importance centred around your product pages ranking highly on the SERPs; you need to find ways to improve your E-A-T score because Google’s algorithms are designed to imitate hypothetical human quality raters.

Expertise

You need to position yourself to search engines and users as a brand that has thorough, proven knowledge of the goods you offer. As an ecommerce retailer, you can start by making sure that you work with highly reputable manufacturers. Revealing how your suppliers and manufacturers are recognized experts in your field will reflect you in a good light.

You can also reach out to prominent figures that have proven expertise in your industry to give you recommendations.

Remember that functionality, aesthetics and integrity of your website factor hugely as well in how experts will decide to give a vote of confidence to you and your products.

Authority

This is basically to verify the above factor – Expertise. In the ecommerce world, it’s easy for well-known and established companies that manufacture their own products to be seen as highly authoritative. Third-party sellers, on the other hand, need to present evidence that proves that they are a verified merchant for certain products.

Trustworthiness

How well your product pages rank all depends on customer success. For example,

  • Do your product pages answer potential questions or concerns a buyer might have?
  • Is it easy to get in contact with you?
  • Is the return process clearly explained?
  • Are there any unpleasant surprises in the checkout?
  • Are there verified user ratings?
  • Do the pages deploy HTTPS?

The more descriptive, intuitive and secure your product pages are, the better the rankings.

These guidelines will need to be at the forefront of your content marketing strategy in order to get product pages ranked.

Video Integration

One of the biggest challenges of online shopping is not being able to view products in person. You really never know what you are getting until that dress arrives on your doorstep a few sizes smaller than you anticipated. We’ve all heard of such horror stories which have even been translated into sensational memes on social media lately with captions “What I ordered vs. What I got”.

An image of a customer on Twitter complaining about an order she got.

Remedy that fear with your audience and implement Augmented Reality. This is described as “an interactive experience of a real-world environment whereby the objects that reside in the real-world are “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual & auditory.”

However, when you don’t have space on your budget to spend on such yet, videos are your next perfect solution. Videos are content marketing gold and if you haven’t realized this, our Why Video Marketing Is Vital For Any Brand Success In The Digital Age article educates on this bit. Ideally placed right on product pages, videos give buyers a visual understanding of what they are purchasing. Seeing a real human being handling the product is about as close as getting to see it in person. Off product pages, you can use videos to discuss the latest trends in your industry, compare items, or bring guests in for interviews, etc.

Remember that search engines and social media give a nod to videos first in their ranking algorithms. Using videos across the different facets of your ecommerce platform solidifies your brand voice and values. Additionally, and equally important, it gives potential buyers all the information they need.

Qualified Reviews

Customer reviews influence purchasing decisions heavily. Reviews serve as a validation from a third-party source who’s more likely to be objective and that’s why they are extremely powerful in swaying people’s choices.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies and review services have taken advantage of this and are creating fake reviews so to increase customer confidence. Over time nevertheless, both consumers and search engines have found a way to wise up to this practice.

Reviews have been a ranking signal for a while now, but Google has made it a point to prioritize reviews left via a verified Google Review Partner. There are platforms such as Trustpilot and Yotpo as well that put a lot into making certain all reviews are authentic and timely; in return having Google see them as credible resources. These verified reviews can improve your Google Seller Ratings tremendously.

Furthermore, review snippets help you stand out in organic search rankings.

An image of men's clothing online store review.

 

As an ecommerce brand, it would be recommended to choose a verified Google Review Platform in order to collect and manage customer sentiment. A lot of these programs give you the ability to turn your reviews into visually appealing bits of content that can then be displayed on your social media, website and more. Reviews, testimonials and all other forms of user-generated content are influential, powerful content marketing weapons for ecommerce.

Attaining and promoting positive sentiment is something that will continue to be emphasized on, and it would do you great to get a head start on it.

Micro Influencers

There’s a major delusion out there concerning influencer marketing. A lot of brands assume that the only influencers worth considering are individuals with a lot of followers on social media. Meaning that when conducting research for potential partners, they tend to lean towards the number of followers as the top deciding factor. This is not a good idea and might do one of the following – be expensive or not yield good ROI.

With that said, it’s perhaps advised that smaller ecommerce business consider micro-influencers with a typical following of under 100 000.

Engagement levels tend to decline as an influencer gains more followers. Accounts with 1000 followers or less normally present more or less an 8 percent engagement rate while this metric drops to about 4 percent in followings of 1001 – 9999. Smaller followers engage more and are focused on the message. Engagement will always be more important than the number of followers.

An image of an influencer's Instagram post promoting a product

 

(Pro Tip – Use a diverse set of industry influencers along with different styles and hashtags to be able to reach a plethora of different audiences)

A Worthy Cause

Cause marketing is the key in creating a more loyal and devoted customer base. It’s been mentioned in research that 64 percent of consumers buy on belief and will choose, switch, boycott or avoid brands based on their standing regarding social issues.

The cause marketing decided on can be a small contribution that’s on a monthly or annual basis. It also can be a cause that can define the actual brand itself.

The first thing to consider as an ecommerce brand looking to set firm footing in cause marketing is choosing a cause that aligns with your business goals. If there are no similarities or parallels, it will look like just another cheap PR stunt. When you’ve chosen a fitting cause, you will need to ask the following questions:

  • Will a portion of a purchase go toward the cause?
  • Will it be a “buy one give one” deal?
  • Will it be action-driven where customers can get involved themselves?

When picking from the several types of cause marketing, consider the one that will benefit both parties involved.

An image of Mugg n Bean doing a worthy cause under cause marketing.

 

Cause marketing shows consumers that their money is going to something greater than both themselves and the brand. As a company, you also demonstrate that you are devoted to the community around you and prove that buying your product is making the world a better place.

Wrapping Up

Well, there you have it. Granted, ecommerce businesses have it tough these days, especially when competing against giant companies such as Amazon. Still, with stellar content being created and distributed, there’s nothing stopping you from running alongside these big guns. Just keep these five strategies going and you’ll be part of the cool kid squad in no time too.

In case you missed it, learn about The 8 Crucial Ecommerce Tools Needed For Your Online Store To Succeed!

 

References

Dudhareja, M. (2018). 5 Ways Ecommerce Brands Should Approach Content Marketing. [online] Search Engine Journal. Available at: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/ecommerce-brands-content-marketing/274393/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=daily-newsletter&utm_campaign=daily-newsletter [Accessed 31 Oct. 2018].