I was on a call with a Website X-Ray client when they asked me, “Kai, what do you see as the future of Ecommerce marketing?”
Content. The future of Ecommerce marketing is content. I firmly believe that the most successful small, large, and startup Ecommerce brands over the coming ~ five years will be brands that add a content-focused arm to their business.
So many reasons! But let’s check in on the top 4 reasons:
- If you want traffic from Google, Google wants content from you. Google (and Search Engine Optimization) is a reliable traffic source. But if you want traffic from Google, you need to create high-quality content for them to share with searchers.
- Consumers have been trained to seek out content. Thus, you need content. Be it entertainment or news content or evergreen informational content, the proliferation of smartphones and social media means that consumers will want to experience whatever content you have for them. (So, if you don’t have content, you’re missing out on opportunities.)
- The best way to attract visitors is to produce the content they’re looking for. What questions are your consumers asking about the challenges your product helps with? Where are they going for answers? What type of content are they already engaging with (e.g., audio, video, text, newsletters, articles, blogs)? It would be best if you created that content.
- The price of admission for every platform is content. No matter which platforms interest you (e.g., TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Newsletters), the price of admission remains the same: interesting, engaging content. And the more platforms that you pursue? The more content you’ll need to be creating.
When you line these reasons up, you can see that the path forward is content-focused. Your product pages alone aren’t enough. If you want to reach your customers, audience, and market where they already are, you’ll need high-quality, engaging content that answers the questions they’re asking.
Thus, the future of Ecommerce is Content.
This shift is well underway. REI just launched REI Co-Op Studios to produce original content and entertainment. Over to their press release:
REI today announced the launch of Co-op Studios, the retailer’s new in-house content arm. Across films, podcasts, and editorial programs, the studio develops and produces stories that entertain, enrich and explore the power of time spent outside, while complementing the co-op’s broader climate and racial equity, diversity, and inclusion commitments.
As I see more of these shifts happen, I’ll keep you, dear reader, up to date. I expect we’ll see more established Ecommerce companies add an in-house content arm over the coming months and years. And I expect we’ll see smaller/newer Ecommerce companies and startups start seeing their content as a core pillar of their business.
What this shift means for you, your store, and your customers
Now, does this shift to content mean that you should immediately rush out and buy a full streaming setup for your office, a pair of expensive Elgato Keylights, and a green screen?
No. Not yet.
This shift means that you should start thinking about the content opportunities and initiatives you’ll want to pursue 1, 3, and 5+ years out. Start by answering these questions:
- Who is your market?
- What influencers or creators in your niche do people in your market follow?
- What types of content do people in your market read, like, and subscribe to (e.g., podcasts, YouTube, newsletters, blogs)?
(Uncertain on the answers to any of these questions? Then you should reach out to your customers and ask them. Market research and customer research to better understand your customers is an incredibly impactful part of your SEO.)
That will give you a sense of where your market is spending their time and what content they’re seeking out. From there, you’ll want to ask yourself how you can start creating the content — the articles, guides, podcasts, tweets, newsletters, and or videos — that your market is looking for.