Common eCommerce Mistakes | Content Planning – Part #3

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It has been well reported, here and on numerous digital marketing blogs, that content is one of the many keys to drawing an audience into your brand. The internet as a whole is loaded with content, opinions and educational resources. Content marketing is a great tool for communicating with your audience.

Every great ecommerce web site contains excellent content and that rarely happens by accident.

For many of us, it is easy to expound on beliefs with our words and talk about ourselves and our wares. Producing and publishing content is more than education and news reporting. Understanding this fact is the difference between a fun blog, an opinion laiden editorial versus content marketing that feeds SEO, Social Media Marketing, Lead Generation and eMail Nurture Campaigns.

content marketing planner

Common eCommerce Mistake: Lack of Content Planning

As content marketing continues to grow as a method to fill your web site with your thoughts, opinions and beliefs it is still an area most ecommerce sites fail to plan for. Meaning, just as we mentioned in the article about a Strategic Marketing Plan, Content Planning is a must. However, most ecommerce web sites fail to plan and we at Viral Solutions see this quite often.

We too often see content produced as a space and time filler rather than as a key component to an overall marketing strategy. As Viral Solutions we have produced over 650 such articles, which is a major expense for the agency, but over the years we have seen our organic reach and social sharing (that's free ya' know) grow exponentially. 

You must plan your content in advance. This plan will help your writers do research rather than whip out an article because you need one. A quality content marketing plan takes into account upcoming major events, holidays that impact sales and new product announcements to name a few. Your content marketing plan should build brand awareness, site traffic and fuel your customers to make purchases because your article fed their why.

A lack of long-term content planning, that is coordinated with an overall marketing strategy, used to fuel your e-commerce transactions is a major mistake we see in our digital marketing agency. Most ecommerce businesses slap product on a site, maybe write a blog article when they have time, and hope people come to buy. Planning your content well in advance turns this accidental marketing tactic into one that is strategic.

A great content marketing planner is not a short-term venture. You are looking at many years of content production. This is why we believe in quarterly manageable plans and a variety of writers, who by the way, are some of the most critical people you can employ in your ecommerce business.

How to build a content marketing planner

First, connect with  your marketing team or agency on at least a quarterly basis for a half-day session during which you will brainstorm about your upcoming content needs. Most content falls into one or more of several categories.

You should be using each and every content style and delivery mechanism listed below.

Your content marketing options should also contain facts and figures about your customer journey, purchase habits and decision styles. This information is best obtained from those who are in regular contact with your customer as well as Google Analytics.

What are your goals for the content you produce? Traffic? Awareness? Attention? Opt-in conversions? Authority? Each of the content styles above, especially when methodically produced using all facets, styles and deliver mechanisms can and will achieve all of those goals over time. Your job is to be committed, consistent and persistent.

What do I do with all this content?

At Viral Solutions we use content derived from a solid marketing strategy and customer engagement plan to fuel our email marketing, SMS (text message) marketing, video marketing and social media presence.

When you have a solid content marketing strategy with a team of talented writers your social media postings will now be purposeful rather than whimsical. Any social media channel needs a purpose and a set of goals. This cannot be managed without a strategy. Yes – you could get lucky by just doing whatever comes to you. However, that method is not sustainable or trainable. Your social strategy goals should accomplish the following.

content marketing planner

If you don't plan it or measure it – you aren't managing it. What do you do now?

Your customers have a known lifecycle and take a known path on their journey with your products and services that you offer oneline. Make sure you have that mapped. Make sure your automated marketing campaigns follow, direct and influence that flow too. Make sure someone is responsible, accountable and has the authority to make changes.

Depending on the size of your business, establish a voice of your content. Is that one individual? Is that a different person depending on topic or delivery mechanism? Is content production a shared process?

Document and plan your content on a calendar, make sure you account for all the various delivery mechanisms mentioned above.  Now evaluate article performance by the number of hits, time on page, conversion rate and return-on-investment.

Align your various social channels with matching content. Meaning, that Facebook tends to be dominated by women over 45 and Pinterest is loved by a much younger audience and LinkedIn is a hangout for professionals and recruiters. You must know what buyer persona uses what social channel. The same goes for email marketing versus SMS (text message) verus on-site live events. Choose your words to match the channel which in turn matches your buyer persona.

Fittingly, next week we will discuss the overuse and thew wrong use of a buyer persona. 

Copyright 2017 Viral Solutions LLC

We help overwhelmed small business owners duplicate themselves – so business can be fun again.
Viral Solutions LLC is a Digital Marketer Certified Partner, an Infusionsoft Certified Consultant and a Google Partner – Certified in AdWords.

 


At Viral Solutions we are committed to seeing YOU succeed. It is our goal to grow your business with proven digital marketing strategies that will help your business for the long haul.

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Filed Under: E-commerce