This week, we invite a special guest to the Tako Stand. Amanda Natividad is the Head of Marketing at Growth Machine--an SEO-driven content agency and beloved client of Tako.
Take it away, Amanda!
Content marketing is all about creating awesome, genuinely helpful stuff that people enjoy reading or watching. How often that content turns into sales has everything to do with how well you know your audience.
The most successful content marketing combines the needs of organic traffic and sales. It brings new people to your website and then turns them into customers.
Today, we’ll walk you through getting started with content marketing for your eCommerce site: defining your audience, writing for different kinds of site visitors, creating a data-driven keyword strategy to grow organic traffic, and publishing great content in Shopify.
Define Your Audience
Start with your buyer persona. This is a fictional description of a person derived from real insights about your ideal customer.
Generally, a buyer persona includes information like:
- What your customer’s lifestyle is like
- What motivates their spending habits
- How much they’re likely to spend on your product or service
- What their fears or frustrations are
Start mapping these insights to your product line. Ask yourself: What problems does my product solve? Why would a customer choose mine over a competitor’s?
As your audience grows, you may want to revisit this and go beyond the traditional buyer persona, to start developing a content marketing persona. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of why your audience connects and identifies with you.
To create a content marketing persona, identify and research your superfans, learn where they get their news and information, and understand how they want to consume your content. Then take all those insights and compile them into a readable format for your content marketing persona.
Outline Your Content Strategy
OK, now you know your audience. Next, think about how they might progress through your marketing funnel--or their journey from when they first hear about you to making a purchase from you.
The buyer’s journey varies across industries and product types, so it’s important to note that there are no shortcuts here; you really do have to know your audience in order to craft content that will contribute to a successful sales funnel.
Assuming you did not glaze over step one (Define Your Audience)--because you are a very savvy business(wo)man who listens to people who know stuff-- you can start your outline simply, with a two-fold content strategy: Focus on new visitors, and inspire those visitors to become customers.
1. Attract new visitors: a.k.a. organic traffic. Create content that anyone within your target audience might be looking for. Educate, inform, and entertain them.
If you’re a beauty product company, think less about which eyeshadows you want your readers to buy. Instead, think about which Fall looks they would be most interested in seeing.
2. Turn visitors into customers: In SEO-speak, this might line up with long-tail keywords: key phrases that are longer and tend to signal higher intent to purchase.
Here’s where you might think about your different eyeshadow palettes. Consider a mega-review of your products or a roundup of eyeshadows best suited for warm skin tones.
The operative word here is “outline.” Don’t worry about being specific yet. Start by outlining your desired headlines with placeholders. You’ll fill in the placeholders later with well-researched keywords.
Draft those headlines in two columns like this:
This is a new site visitor. Assume they’ve never heard of you, and they found your interesting article through Google search.
They know exactly who you are, what you stand for, and what you sell. They might even love you, and they’re juuuuust about to whip out their credit card to make a purchase.
Our Favorite Fall Looks Featuring <ideas that are relevant to your buyer persona>
7 Ways to Get the Most Use Out of <your product>
10 DIY Ideas for <holiday that’s relevant to your buyer persona>
The Best Deals on Our Site for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Your Holiday Gift Guide for <the industry you’re in>
5 DIY Ideas Using <your products>
What the <news that’s relevant to your audience> Means for You
Quiz: What’s Your Style Profile?
SEO 101: Create Your Data-Driven Keyword Strategy
SEO is a black box for a lot of people, but it’s really just an extremely effective way to create a great experience for your website visitors.
It’s Google’s job to help a searcher find the answer to their query. So Google crawls the web, looking for the most valuable (read: helpful) content for all the possible queries. It’s your job as a website manager or content marketer to make sure you’re providing Google with the content it needs in order to trust you.
On the technical side, that means making sure your website is set up correctly:
- Title tags match up with the content on the web page itself
- The site is readable and responsive across a number of devices (desktop and mobile)
- The site is reliable and trustworthy (fast load time and no security concerns)
On the content side, it means creating high-quality content that people are actually looking for.
“But how do I know what they’re looking for?”
You may be tempted to think that the audience definition you’ve done will cover you here, but SEO is less about personas and more about hard data. To figure out what people are searching for most often, you’ll need a keyword research tool.
We like to use Ahrefs for keyword research, and they also have a free tool called Keyword Generator to help you find thousands of keywords ideas in a snap. You can also check out Moz’s Keyword Explorer or Google Trends, which are both free.
We’ll stick with Keyword Generator as our example. Ahrefs clearly spells out keyword volume and keyword difficulty — the two most valuable pieces of information to guide your content strategy.
Keyword volume: Estimated monthly searches for a keyword.
Keyword difficulty (KD): A scale of 1-100 for how hard it is to rank for the keyword, according to Ahrefs.
Continuing with the eyeshadow example, here’s what Ahrefs shows:
The word “eyeshadow” gets about 18,000 searches per month. That’s a lot. But the keyword difficulty level is 43. That’s pretty hard.
The holy grail is to find high-volume keywords with low difficulty. As a general rule of thumb, try to find keywords that have at least 500 searches per month, with a difficulty level of 1-20 (but the lower the number, the better).
Looking at this keyword list, there are some great examples. “Eyeshadow looks” gets about 12,000 searches per month, and the keyword difficulty is only 5. I’d guess that most people are finding these looks on social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. That’s good news for makeup companies because it indicates there’s an opportunity to create structured content for that topic.
A makeup company might want to try creating a blog post called, “Eyeshadow Looks for Winter 2020.” Or “Timeless Eyeshadow Looks You Can Use Year-Round.”
Keep searching for keywords related to your niche, and track the data in a spreadsheet so that you’ll have your list handy as you chip away at writing content. Each keyword will be an article idea, so if you come up with a list of 50 or so keywords, that should cover you with content ideas for the next several months.
(You might have noticed that Keyword Generator shows the keyword difficulty for only the top 10 searches. You’ll have to buy Ahrefs to get full access and a treasure trove of SEO data.)
Publish Great Content in Shopify
It’s no secret that Google Docs is one of the best office tools out there. It allows you to write and format written content, add images, and collaborate with colleagues in real time. Growth Machine and Tako Agency are both avid Google Docs users.
Problem is, when you’re copying and pasting that content into a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Webflow, or, in our case, Shopify, you’ll run into formatting issues. That’s normal (but really annoying).
Uh-oh. Shameless plug alert.
To make the Google Doc-content-to-Shopify transfer easier, Growth Machine just launched a Shopify app called MagicPost--built with help from Tako Agency. #collab
With MagicPost, all you need to do is insert the Google Docs URL for the post you want to publish, and your content will be imported straight to your Shopify blog.
This means you won’t have to:
- Upload images separately
- Reformat headers
- Spend all that time fixing weird text formatting
You’ll save a bunch of time and even improve your SEO because MagicPost structures your blog post correctly. You can get started with MagicPost with a 14-day free trial.
Go Forth and Get Those Customers!
To be truly successful in content marketing, you’ll need to define your audience, outline a content strategy based on that data, and use a reliable tool to dig up heavy-hitting keywords (and then use them effectively).
Just remember: content marketing is a long game. Publish consistently and give it time to see your return on investment.
Once you start getting those organic visitors (and you will!), the benefits will continue to compound over time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amanda Natividad is the Head of Marketing at Growth Machine, an SEO-driven content agency.