Your ecommerce store needs a blog like Harry needs Sally. Your ecommerce blog is not only your place to share content with your audience, it’s where you get to tell your story. From company stories and procurement features to product reviews and seasonal content, make sure your blog is in line with your brand messaging and sales KPIs. Here are my top six ecommerce editorial calendar hacks that have helped me structure my content strategy.
Tent-pole events to structure your blog
Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s, Halloween… Everyone loves a holiday. Which ones are big for you?
- Select your big tent-pole events and create plenty of content around these days. Think about how you can get into the emotional core of these big traditions and how your products help people celebrate.
- Plan for tent-pole events plenty in advance. Make the most of freelance copywriters and marketing budgets to help you create truly exceptional pieces of content.
- Awareness days are great for getting your store involved in charity outreach and can help you advance your CSR strategy.
- Don’t forget the big discount days like Black Friday: leverage all the existing promo and hype around the event to help you sell more in your store. Create seasonal offer codes and offer discounts within your content.
Helpful product how-to’s and guides
Make sure that your ecommerce blog offers value. You want to help customers make the most of their experience with your products. The more technical or unfamiliar the product, the more help they will need.
- Host a ‘product hacks’ series where you give insight on new and unexpected ways people can get value from your products. This is great content to source from your customer community.
- Does your product often get used as part of an event and milestone? Offer advice on how people can maximize their experience and have an awesome time with your product in-tow.
- Are people likely to travel with your product? Take it on holiday? Offer it as a gift? Give people useful life, as well as product, advice. Is there anything else they might need to buy?
- See helpful content as your chance to maximize people’s experience of the products. Readers Digest did it with this fun guide on how to use spare coat hangers. If they can do it with coat hangers, you can do it with your products.
- This is where your SEO keyword research will come in handy. Use SEO keywords to discover what people are searching for and make sure your guides address as many of these concerns as possible.
You don’t want your blog to be all about you! Some of the most compelling ecommerce content is the kind that gets customers involved. Think about how you can feature real people and their stories on your blog, rather than stories created by your marketing team.
- Share real customer stories, especially if there’s a fuzzy, warm angle to it.
- Host competitions and giveaways and create user-generated content around these. Opening up your blog to competitions and customer content is a great way to make your ecommerce blog blog more about community, less about broadcasting.
- Share the different ways that your customers have used your products and made them their own (especially if your product has gone on a bit of a journey with someone).
- How about sharing some facts and stories about the product journey before it gets shipped out to a customer? People love a good provenance story,
OMG, ‘wow’ content
You need a few stories in your blog that knock people’s socks off. This is the kind of stuff that will get shared over and over again on social media. Think flagship content that takes weeks and months to plan with an accompanying flurry of social media activity.
- Inspirational stories about survival against the odds are always great for generating a social buzz. You want these pieces to be properly PR-worthy.
- Content like this is great to write, but don’t get carried away by creating stuff that’s irrelevant to your store. You want to find the crossover between creative inspiration and your core product offering. Infographics, calculators, and interactive guides are all potential ‘wow’ content formats.
- If you haven’t got anything to share yet – create a wow moment. There are loads of examples of great customer service moments of going above and beyond going viral.
Sometimes you have to give to get a little. To do this, create content that helps address people’s everyday challenges.
- What are people seeking for? What makes them happy? Create content that addresses people’s most basic needs. This relaxation guide from The Body Shop is a great example of altruistic content that is also on-brand.
- Put yourself in people’s shoes and address their needs and desires.
- Don’t do altruistic content that has NOTHING to do with your products though. It will make your blog lose focus.
Now you don’t want to be shoving your brand down people’s throats, but you’ll want to lift the veil on what actually goes on behind the scenes every now and then.
- Focus on actual narratives and events, rather than more generalized mission statement copy. That belongs on your corporate or ‘about us’ page, not your blog.
- Don’t be salesy or cheesy. Please.
- Introduce the people behind the products or customer service to help people connect with real faces instead of faceless entities.
You want an ecommerce editorial calendar that is real and compelling, but also matches sales KPIs. Factor in all of the above and you will have a stellar ecommerce blog worth reading.