Content – whether that’s a video how-to-guide, a funny post on social media about your niche, or a list of helpful pointers – helps differentiate you from other webshops, builds your brand, and drives customers to your products and services.
But it can be difficult to come up with your content strategy if you’ve never tried it before. But following the advice and tips in this article will help you define your goals, determine what content is relevant to your users (and what isn’t), and help you create your first content strategy for your online store.
What is content strategy?
Content Strategy is about figuring out what content your shop needs and how to best distribute it. That means creating useful guidelines for content creation, analyzing your customers’ needs and figuring out what kind of content they’re looking for. In essence, it’s about asking “why and how would someone look for my products?”
Typically, we use the term interchangeably with Content Marketing Strategy. However, whereas a content strategy is about setting overall guidelines and goals for the content, Content Marketing Strategy is more concerned with the nitty-gritty.
Why make a Content Strategy?
There are multiple benefits to creating – and adhering to – a content strategy.
Most importantly, good content creates new customers. If you’re seen as knowledgeable and helpful, you increase your sales. Customers like to buy products and services from people they trust and consider to be experts in their chosen field.
Secondly, content can also help to drive more organic traffic from Google searches to your PrestaShop. That’s also why a good content strategy is often a key part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Thirdly, it makes your work much easier. A dependable roadmap for content is easy to follow, so you don’t have to devote oceans of time to analyze and build your content from the way up each and every time you make a post on social media or write something on your blog.
Five tips for an efficient content marketing strategy
1. Be SMART about your goals
Goals are essential to any strategy. When it comes to content strategy, you especially don’t want to wander around aimlessly or set impossible standards, that you have no way of knowing how to achieve.
That’s why you should evaluate your goals using SMART.
SMART as an acronym has had a few different definitions. This particular interpretation of SMART stands for:
What is the content meant to achieve? How do you measure whether this happens? Who is making it? How is it relevant to your customers’ needs and wants – and how does it create value for them? At what date or time should this result be achieved?
Specificity is especially important. Are you looking to get more organic traffic? More engagement on social media? More leads for your e-mail marketing? Get people to buy a specific product? Whatever the case may be, if you don’t know what action you’re looking for the customer to make, it’ll be harder to make content that gets them to act.
2. Let your audience define the content
Your audience can be ruthless. If a piece of content is irrelevant, they will bounce.
That means you should be looking to understand what they want. Sometimes that’s to solve a problem or satisfy a need. At other times, it’s about avoiding a problem or alleviating a fear.
To know why a customer buys a product or service, you need to understand them.
That’s why a lot of content strategies spend a considerable amount of time defining the buyer’s persona. A persona is a detailed representation of the ideal customer. Picture them in your mind: What are their interests? What is their age? What gender are they? What are their relations like? What do they like? What do they hate? What problems do they have? What would they most like to do in the world? What would they rather avoid?
Answering questions like that will help you understand their needs and create content that helps them.
You can also try a separate approach: the job. What is the end-result of them using your product or service? And why would they want to? In short, your product isn’t important – only what they’re using it for.
The easiest example of this approach comes from Harvard Business School marketing professor Theodore Levitt, who said: “People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”
So even if you’re selling actual KS Tools, you should be thinking about home projects, DYI, and explainers on how to use the tools, rather than technical specifications.
3. Plan your ressources well
When you’re making your content strategy it’s important to consider, realistically, how much time, money and manpower you can devote to your content creation.
Not everyone has a forty-person marketing department to manage and make content that’ll drive potential customers to your site and create sales. Whether you’re a one-person webshop or a team of twelve, you need to make sure that you aren’t biting off more than you can chew. Too much work and too few resources will only stress – and it won’t help you achieve your goals.
It’s okay to only post a new piece of content once a month if that’s all you have time for. Just consider the work going into the content, and what your business gets out of it.
This often means making good content that emphasizes the long-term. That’s because it’s better to create good, lasting content that creates real value for your existing or new customers rather than fifty, spur-of-the-moment haphazardly posts that loses relevance days after posting.
It’s also a good idea to make a content plan. That could be a calendar with events that are relevant to your customers – or specific deadlines for pieces of content.
If you, for example, are preparing a Black Friday-sale, make sure to create a dedicated Black Friday-campaign page, so your customers know where to find the best offers on your online store.
4. Content audit: Get all your ducks in a row
Once you’ve established the groundwork, it’s a good idea to go through and optimize old content. That means re-reading and editing text, images, videos etc., that you’ve used previously.
On a webshop that usually pertains to the frontpage, landing pages, FAQs, Campaign Landing Pages and more. Does it align with your new strategy? If not, then you should set aside time to get it right. (And if you spot great content that doesn’t match your content strategy, consider re-evaluating the strategy or exempting this particular piece of content from content purges, until you can make something better.)
Optimized content is especially important on evergreen pages that your customers regularly visit or that drives traffic. So if the choice is down to making a new blog-post or getting your products page up to date, start with the product page.
5. Start executing on your content strategy – and evaluate often
It’s time to get started!
But remember that a good content strategy isn’t just about execution – it’s also about follow-up.
Ideally, you should regularly be checking in on your content’s progress towards achieving its specific purpose and adjusting or improving upon it, until you get the results you’re looking for. Sometimes a few tweaks are needed, and at other times, you’re better off starting anew.
But content is only part of the equation. If your content is driving traffic but people are bouncing half-way through a sale, you might consider looking in a different direction, such as at improving the UX of your online store.
It’s not easy to run your own online store. But with a solid action-able content strategy, you’re sure to always be striving towards helping your customers and driving sales to your site.