While SEO is important to e-commerce companies, the best way to engage customers is by creating content that informs and educates the shopper. This content helps them make informed decisions, and instils trust in your brand. Here is how to create engaging content.
- Feature original photographs: First of all, we can all agree that good visuals immediately attract attention, thereby, engaging prospects at the first level. Secondly, excellent and optimised product images improve organic searches, and are the closest thing to provide the experience of sensory pleasure – holding, feeling, and looking at the product from different angles – that shoppers otherwise don’t get with online shopping. To make it interesting and relevant to your theme, motto or brand name, you can create original graphics or edit images to suit your blog posts and other content material. There are tools to help you do this easily, like Canva, Snappa and PicMonkey. They help with image creation, creating original graphics, offer pre-designed templates and backgrounds, edit photos, add text to images, access a zillion fonts and icons, and a whole lot more.
- Use images wherever necessary: Although you should avoid overdoing it, sprinkle your text with a good number of photos to break the monotony and keep the interest. Your content could be highly relevant and engaging, but the average shopper doesn’t necessarily feel the urge to read that much! By using good quality images to complement the text you keep their attention on the page and get them scrolling. Images should be juxtaposed in a way that they are balanced out with the text on the page. For instance, if you are writing a descriptive article, a learning tutorial, a DIY piece, a travel feature, or a list of products, use a lot more photos, illustrations and screenshots. As you can see, these are articles that rely heavily on the power of image to aid in easy and quick understanding or it leaves the reader exasperated and they exit the page faster. Ideally you should balance out high quality pictures with small blocks of text and bulleted points to improve readability.
- Opt for infographics wherever you can: An infographic is the ideal form of using text and image together. It relays the information faster and is easier to process without the tediousness of reading about it in paragraph format. And the graphics aid in quick visual understanding. Blogs that use infographics see better engagement and have a higher rate of being read and shared. Even simple infographics are effective. You can use tools like Piktochart, Infogram and Venngage to create infographics from pre-designed templates that can be customised, allows you to add images, add charts and visuals, edit fonts and colours etc.
- Jump on the bandwagon of influencer marketing: Online shoppers readily trust certain groups of people – word of mouth from friends or family, feedback from other shoppers who have used your product, and reviews or recommendations from influencers. Who are these influencers? Popular bloggers, media personalities and such, who people follow and are influenced by. People look to these ‘experts’ for advice. This is why influencer marketing is becoming the new tactic in marketing. By interviewing them about your product, creating content around that, and featuring their opinion in your blogs etc., you can leverage their influence with your existing readers as well as theirs (when they share the feature with their followers). For instance, let’s say you sell farm produce. You get micro-influencers to share their tricks in using that produce to make quick, simple and delicious meals. Or if you sell hair and beauty products, you could get the micro-influencers to tell customers how to do a popular hairstyle, how to manage a certain kind of hair difficulty using your products, or to even model your product in a realistic non-studio setting. This can easily run up your engagement and ROI! Take it up a notch and use social media, like Instagram, to feature these photos and allowing customers to visit the product page directly from there.
- Be open to including guest posts: It isn’t always easy to come up with content topics regularly, or supply a fresh perspective. But then you have other people who are happy to do it for you. So let them! By vetting your contributors, you can find the right people to add high-quality content to your site. They supply fresh ideas and a fresh perspective on your brand, and their guides and instructions – which aren’t dictated to them by the marketing team – can offer a different voice to your company that people can engage with personally.
- Check-out the competition: It’s not being sneaky, it’s being aware! Or call it what you want, but the fact remains that by checking out your competition – who, btw, has already done their research – you can analyse the top performing content and engaging topics that are receiving a lot of attention. We’ve talked about the same thing before with regards to keyword research tools: learn from the enemy!! What kind of content strategies are they using? What topics are trending? What kind of formats do they use to create trust and support their claims – stats, case studies, feedback, reviews… What is the underlying structure – informational content, educational content or promotional content? How is it working for them? What kind of engagement do they see across all online platforms? And yes, of course you have tools to help you analyse your rivals!
So ensure each piece of content that you put out there has a specific purpose. People respond better to information that educates them, rather than information that tries to shove an idea on them. So take care to craft content that is based on the needs of the customer first and only then the needs of your company!
Follow these few guidelines to get better engagement with your content from customers.