Each week, we publish a mishmash of ecommerce related, insight infused articles for you to smash through. Just as we collect business information across all of a merchant’s channels in a single place, we’re doing the same for ecommerce related content from a variety of top tier content creators. 

If you find the material filling your appetite for knowledge, feel free to share this post, as well as any article you see here. This week we’re all about that content marketing. It’s a crucial part of any business’ marketing mix that acts as a funnel for traffic, a door for leads, and a ladder for SEO. In these articles, you’ll find the basics of content marketing and SEO, what content consumers are trusting, questions to ask yourself if you want to outsource it, and how to whip up high-converting landing pages.

Starting at square one

Like writing any article, we have to start at the beginning. Before we can offer tips, we need to know why content marketing is important for your business. Any and all online storefronts, whether you’re selling to a consumer or a business, should dabble with the typewritten word, and inbound marketing expert HubSpot explains why you need to have a content marketing strategy. At the end of the day, it’s all about the traffic. Content is another doorway toward locking in a sale, it helps to establish your business as an authority in whatever industry it’s in, and it’s a way of nurturing both leads and engagement.

Paying someone else to do the work

Let’s be completely honest, writing takes time and it can be pretty annoying at times. We get that content is king, but sometimes it’s easier to let other people take care of those royal duties. Quicksprout has an excellent outline of 11 questions to ask yourself when considering to outsource your site’s content. A lot of it depends on your budget, especially when you’re B2C, but selecting an outsourced source for your content is about more than having someone write stuff for you on occasion. Figure out how they fit in to your overall content strategy, see if their style is a match, if they’re engaging, and if their work is exactly what you want.

Adding “just enough” SEO to your content

When you think of content marketing, you have to think of SEO too. They’re like two sides of the same coin, but one side tends to be a little more unclear and smudged than the other. Fortunately, Econsultancy lays out “just enough” of what you need to consider when optimizing content for SEO. It’s much less about choosing the strongest keywords and sprinkling them throughout content, and more about ensuring all your web pages are functional and unique. Plus, there are a quite a few tools out there to do the legwork for you.

When is content the real deal

When you’re talking this much about words, it’s nice to see some numbers every once and a while. Adobe researched consumers’ content consumption habits, seeing how they judge the content’s authenticity and trustworthiness. In terms of the former, consumers are quick to take note of bias, manipulated images, and paid positive praise, each at 60% of the 1,000+ participants’ responses. Interestingly, content from friends and family members is considered the most trustworthy at 72%, indicating that engaging content – content that makes its way around the socials – is top of the tier.

On the same page

Blog content is a compounding type of thing – you do it right continuously over time, and eventually it will start paying off. But content marketing is a part of anywhere you have copy (written words), and some of the most important areas are your landing pages. Kissmetrics has an awesome article on how to create landing pages that convert. In many cases, less copy is more, and high-converting page content tends to rely on visual images. Once you’re through tweaking, measure each’s performance through A/B tests to perfect those pages.

Image: Flickr, Dennis Skley