The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Online Merchants


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At its core, online content marketing is simply a form of communication. A way to connect with prospective and current customers to let them know about the products you sell. In today's eCommerce landscape, content marketing is all about the ways in which you communicate with your customers. In this eBook we divide content marketing into three channels:

Visual: You convert sales by recording product demos on YouTube and showcasing product imagery on Pinterest.

Social: Word of mouth about your products and business is spread through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and crowd sourced content.

Written: Instead of talking face-to-face with your customers, you reach them in the far corners of the Internet through blogging, online articles, and press releases.

After viewing this eBook, you will:
-Learn that today’s content is everything you publish on the web (i.e., images, pins, posts, articles, etc.)
-Understand that visual content is more sharable and easier to consume than written content
-Be able to start a business account for Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube

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The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Online Merchants

  2. 2. TABLECONTENTSOF VISUALCONTENT SOCIALCONTENT WRITTENCONTENT Pinterest ............................................. Facebook ............................................ Blogs .................................................. YouTube .............................................. Twitter ................................................ Articles ............................................... Infographics ....................................... Crowd Sourced ................................... Press Releases ................................... Instagram ........................................... Foreword ............................................ 03 Introduction ....................................... 04 08 19 29 35 42 52 61 69 80 84
  3. 3. FOREWORDBYLISASUTTORA Atitscore,onlinecontentmarketingissimplyaformofcommunication. Awaytoconnectwithprospectiveandcurrentcustomerstoletthemknow abouttheproductsyousell. And while the application of content marketing to eCommerce is rapidlygrowing,intheofflineretailworld,contentmarketinghasexistedfor hundredsofyears. Peddlers,theearliestmerchants,wentfromtowntotownshowcasingand sellingtheirgoods. Theytalkedtotheircustomers;sharingbenefits,features,andtipstosell theirwares. • Theirconversationwastheircontent • Wordofmouth,theirsocialmedia • Productdemonstrationsconvertedsales Intoday’seCommercelandscape,what’schangedwithcontentmarketing isthewaywecommunicate. Dividedintothreechannels,contentiseverythingyoupublishontheweb: Visual. You convert sales by recording product demos on YouTube and showcasingproductimageryonPinterest. Social.Wordofmouthaboutyourproductsandbusinessisspreadthrough socialplatformslikeFacebook,Twitter,andcrowdsourcedcontent. Written. Instead of talking face-to-face with your customers, you reach theminthefarcornersoftheInternetthroughblogging,onlinearticles,and pressreleases. Butitdoesn’tstopthere... Googlerewardsonlinemerchantswhohavehigh-qualitycontentontheir product pages, website, social platforms, and even marketplace productpages. Long gone are the days when content marketing was a “nice to have.”Intoday’scompetitiveonline arena,contentmarketingisa“must have.” In The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Online Merchants our goal is to show you step-by-step howtousecontentmarketingtoreachnewcustomers,getmoretraffic, andmakemoresales. We believe that content marketing should not be an intimidating, time consuming,orabegrudging“mustdo.” Itshouldbeanaturalextensionofyourbusiness. Somethingthatflowsfreelythroughsocialchannels,visualplatforms,and thewrittenword. Contentmarketingdoesn’trequireperfection,ratheritcallsforauthenticity; inyourbrand,withyourcustomers,fromtheheartofyourbusiness. In this guide we’ll show you how to find your voice, start creating high-quality content quickly and easily (without breaking your time or money budget), and give you practical, actionable tips for using today’s mosteffectivecontentmarketingchannels. The right content marketing is like compound interest. With every piece ofhigh-qualitycontentyoupublishtotheweb,yourreturnoninvestment growsandgrows.
  4. 4. CONTENT Customers want content “Today’s web is an endless 24/7 cycle fed by content and social actions. In this cycle, brands are realizing that content is currency.” – BRYAN RHOADS, GLOBAL CONTENT STRATEGY, INTEL Google wants content IS THENEW BRAND CURRENCY Content feeds social media 69% brand awareness GOALS OF CONTENT MARKETING The top goals of marketers utilizing content marketing include customer acquisition lead generation customer retention/loyalty SOURCE: Blueglass 68% 67% 62%
  7. 7. THE OF THE Visual content is the biggest content change for 2013 and beyond Why visual? RISE VISUALWEB HUMANS ARE VISUAL VISUAL IS MORE SHARABLE TECHNOLOGY ADVANCEMENTS • Humans prefer to see the message rather than read it • About 65% of the population are visual learners • The web is saturated with text • Visual content is easier to consume • Say more with less (a picture is worth 1,000 words) • More computing power and bandwidth has enabled easier streaming of product videos and viewing of images • 70% of web users consume content regularly via video SOURCE: Visual Teaching Alliance + Online Publishers Association
  8. 8. WHAT Pinterest is the 3rd largest social network 79% more likely to purchase pinned items vs. Facebook +22% YoY Pinterest is an online, visual content platform. It refers more traffic to external sites than YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn COMBINED! 16 of top 20 users’ highest affinity categories are retail-related Pinterest ranks 2nd on the Buying Power Index, second only to LinkedIn M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M BBBBBBBBBBBBBBB BBBBBBBBBBBBBBB BBBBBBBBBBBBBBB BBBBBBBBBBBBBBB BBBBBBBBBBBBBBB BBBBBBBBBBBBBBB BBBBBBBBBBBBBBB BBBBBBBBBBBBBBB BBBBBBBBBBBBBBB BBBBBBBBBBBBBBB ISPINTEREST? SOURCE: comScore + Steelhouse > +( )+ 3.4 billion monthly pageviews 30 million unique monthly visitors 2
  9. 9. PINTERST Last year 70% of Pinterest’s more than 11 million users use Pinterest for shopping inspiration and to keep up with trends IS ARETAILER’S DREAM 66% of Pinterest users regularly follow and repin retailers • Compared to 17% of Facebook users who use Facebook for purchasing inspiration SOURCE: BizRate
  10. 10. WHO 80% 20% Brands of all styles and sizes are on Pinterest IS ONPINTEREST? Women make or influence 85% of all purchasing decisions User demographics: SOURCE: She Economy + Forbes
  11. 11. CANI BUSINESS ACCOUNT? HAVE APINTEREST To create a Pinterest business account, visit and follow the steps. Once you have signed up, you will have a Pinterest account with your business name at the end of your custom URL. It will look like this:
  12. 12. PINIT FROM PIN TO SALE TOWIN IT Pinterest drives sales on: • Marketplaces • Websites PINNED TO PINTEREST SOLD OUT ON AMAZONPinterest allows you to categorize your pins as: • Boards • Product showcases • Images from multiple sources • Exclusive offers and sales Pinterest gives you the perfect chance to up your SEO ante. Your “Pin title,” description, and additional color commentary are not only indexed by Pinterest but by Google as well. So be sure to add quality information to your pin titles, including: the full product name, the brand name, and what the product might be useful for. Also include hashtags (e.g., #travel, #cooking, #kitchen, #running, etc.) for better indexing.
  13. 13. PINTERESTPRESENTS A KIND OF NEWBOARDPINTEREST BOARDS PRODUCT SHOWCASE IMAGES FROM MULTIPLE PLACES Pinterest boards are themed. Each board is made up of a collection of pins. These collections can be anything from style to price range, color to electronic, or sale items to fun extras. When creating a board, use a mix of your products, other pins, or interesting content from around the web.
  14. 14. OPTIMIZEYOURPINTERESTPROFILE VERIFIED ACCOUNT Optimize your profile: • Link your website (and follow the instructions to verify your URL with Pinterest) • Add a company description • Add a profile image (e.g., logo) • Update your physical location • Connect to Facebook • Connect to Twitter
  15. 15. PINTEREST YOUNEED TO BE PINNING FROM YOUR WEBSITE ISEVERYWHERE Add Pinterest buttons • “Pin it” button to products • “Follow us on Pinterest” button to website PINNED TO PINTEREST Link buyers directly to your products Add a Pin it button to every one of your products on your website. This will allow buyers to Pin to their own boards. You should also create Pins on your company’s Pinterest page and add them to appropriate boards. Pinterest followers will be able to Repin your items or purchase them by clicking directly to your product page with the URL on listed at the top and bottom of each Pinned item. ADD PIN IT BUTTON PINNED ITEM DESCRIPTION COMPANY WEBSITE URL
  16. 16. THE Connect with Facebook friends Follow other Pinterest users PINTEREST BUILDINGFOLLOWERS Search by keywords and find other Pinners in your niche Add the “Pin it” button to your products on your website GUIDE TO • Use high quality images • 192px–600px wide and up to 5,000px tall • Use a filename with keywords • e.g., bern-watts-bike-helmet-matte-black.jpg • Pin from an original permalink source • If you upload an image, be sure to add a link to • the appropriate content • Include analytics tracking in links as appropriate • Add a keyword-rich description • Limit to ~200 characters • Add price if appropriate • Also pin videos BE PINWORTHY! A Few Tips to Achieve Pinvana
  17. 17. PINTERESTASSIGNMENT ACTION 1. Set up a Pinterest for business account a. 2. Verify your website URL 3. Start pinning and building your boards a. Themed images b. Product images GOALS
  18. 18. WHAT SEO optimized videos can land your business on the first page of Google for free Descriptive product videos can boost your conversion rates 10-40% on average 48 of the top 50 online retailers are using product videos on their sites YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine, second only to Google ISYOUTUBE? 2 YouTube mobile gets over 600 million views a day YouTube is localized in 39 countries and 54 languages 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY 600 MILLION VIEWS PER DAY SOURCE: comScore + YouTube 1 trillion views in 2011 YouTube is as social as it gets! The growth of YouTube has accelerated with the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networks as it enables sharing of online video. For example, 500 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook. Over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute. And, 100 million people take a social action on YouTube (e.g., likes, shares, comments, etc.) every week.
  19. 19. YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube 100 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute THE YOUTUBEEXPLOSIONVIDEO YouTube has more video uploaded in one month than the three major United States television networks have created in the last 60 years. YouTube sees 70% of its traffic from outside the US. SOURCE: YouTube
  20. 20. YOUTUBE SEOMATCH AND THE GOOGLE MADE IN HEAVEN Want to get your business on the first page of Google search results? Because video is heavily searched, Google prioritizes it in organic search results. This means that a YouTube video with proper SEO can land on the first page of Google search, for free. Forrester Research found that website sites that otherwise would have a difficult time achieving a first page ranking in Google are 53 times more likely to successfully achieve first-page ranking if their sites feature relevant video content.
  21. 21. YOUTUBECONTENT ISIMPACTFUL YouTube is: • Free • Easy Product review, demo, and unboxing videos are becoming more and more popular. Not only are retailers seeing the results, but consumers are getting more educated about the products they want to buy or have already purchased. Creating a video is easy, it does not have to be professional quality, and it doesn’t require expensive equipment. Descriptive videos that have been SEO optimized and include a link to your webstore to purchase the product will drive much more traffic to your website and can boost your conversion rates 10-40%. CHANNEL SUBSCRIBERS CHANNEL VIDEO VIEWS CHANNEL NAME YouTube content can be: • Product reviews • Product demos • Product unboxing • Product tips • SEO optimized CHANNEL IMAGE EMBEDDED WEBSITE URL SUBSCRIBE BUTTON PRODUCT VIDEO NAME PRODUCT VIDEO VIEWS
  22. 22. CANI CHANNEL? HAVE AYOUTUBE To create a YouTube channel, visit and follow the steps. Once you have created your Google account, you will have a YouTube channel with your business name at the end of your custom URL. It will look like this:
  23. 23. TYPESOFYOUTUBECONTENT TO PROVIDE Quality video content includes: • How to/demo videos • About us/our story videos • Product comparison videos • Product review videos • Product unboxing videos • Product tips videos • Fun/entertaining videos Making a video should be fun... and it is! Neither a high-tech studio nor high-tech equipment are needed to create an effective video for YouTube. You can use an iPhone (which has a high-resolution camera built in) to record your video. If you want to step up your production a little bit, purchase a 1/8” microphone adapter (an inexpensive option is the Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone). You can also find a wide range of video lighting equipment on Amazon. HOW TO/DEMO • SHOWCASE THE PRODUCT • POST TO A BLOG OR WEBSITE • HIGHLIGHT THE FEATURES • PIN TO PINTEREST • BREAK DOWN BARRIERS AND DEVELOP THE KNOW, LIKE, AND TRUST FACTOR • A HOT TREND IN PRODUCT VIDEOS • DRIVE THOUSANDS OF VIEWS ABOUT US/OUR STORY COMPARISON + REVIEW TIPS-N-TRICKS UNBOXING FUN/ENTERTAINING
  24. 24. Drive as much traffic as you can to your videos and website with quality information that’s SEO optimized (remember this can land your video on Google’s first page of organic search for free). All videos must include: • A video title • A video description • Video tags THE SEO3TITLE DESCRIPTION TAGS Be seen! Your video title is considered one of the most important factors for video ranking on search engines and in YouTube search results. Start your video title with the main keyword(s), product name, and/or key product feature(s) then include a brand name (if applicable). As a best practice, your video title length should not exceed 45 characters (with spaces). Use a catchy title–many videos get watched because of how they sell themselves. TITLE TAGS DESCRIPTION
  26. 26. YOUTUBEASSIGNMENT ACTION 1. Set up a YouTube channel (brand name) a. 2. Create your first video 3. Push your video out to: a. Facebook b. Pinterest c. Twitter d. eBay e. Website f. Blog GOALS
  27. 27. WHAT Visual representations of information, data, knowledge, or products A huge opportunity for online merchants! AREINFOGRAPHICS? Highly shared content that is likely to go viral Infographics tend to get picked up by the media
  28. 28. GRAPHICS REI INFOGRAPHIC CANTELLSTORIES Share tips on how to use your products Promote a lifestyle or experience Introduce people to new products Be sure to credit the sources used in your infographics THE BEST SOURCES
  30. 30. INFOGRAPHICDESIGNRESOURCES Check out these great resources for creating inexpensive, quality infographics: • • •
  31. 31. INFOGRAPHICSASSIGNMENT ACTION 1. Identify a topic for your infographic 2. Choose compelling information and images 3. Post the infographic and encourage sharing GOALS
  32. 32. WHAT Instagram is a smartphone app Instagram is like Twitter with pictures Facebook recognized the power of photo sharing, and they knew Instragram was doing it right. So they snatched them up for $1 Billion in 2012, adding a proven, successful platform to their portfolio, plus a nice chunk of market share. Instagram is a visual sharing social media platform Over 50% of the world’s top brands are on Instagram ISINSTAGRAM? SOURCE: Simply Measured + Interbrand
  34. 34. INSTAGRAMASSIGNMENT ACTION 1. Set up an Instagram account 2. Find your social media followers on Instagram and get in touch 3. See what other brands are doing 4. Shoot and post your own images to share GOALS
  36. 36. WHY Is social media a nice-to-have or necessity? Necessity! Increases the KLTC (Know, Like, Trust, and Convert ) Factor of your brand • Brands with consistent, interesting content build a following • Brands that engage with individuals create customers • Customers buy from brands they know, like, and trust Differentiates you from the competition SOCIALCONTENT? Enables people to share and talk about your brand Social media is here to stay! And it will only continue to get bigger. Therefore, putting in place a solid social content marketing strategy will position your business for the future. So create a plan to make social media work for your business!
  38. 38. WHAT 25% of Facebook users are in the US Facebook is available in 70 languages Facebook users like and comment on more than two billion posts every day, over 250 million photos are uploaded every day, and 70% of local businesses use Facebook for marketing. Some might say that they are obsessed with Facebook, and with the reach you can gain for little to no cost, what’s not to love? Facebook is a social networking service launched in February 2004 Facebook has over one billion active users, more than half of which use Facebook on a mobile device ISFACEBOOK? SOURCE: Mashable + HubSpot
  39. 39. COMMERCEVSMARKETING Three ways to use Facebook in eCommerce COMMERCE MARKETING DRIVE TRAFFIC • Customers buy products on your Facebook shop • Facebook hasn’t cracked the “Buy it on Facebook” code • Debate continues over efficacy of Facebook as a place to shop • Brand Presence – KLTC factor • Buyers check Facebook reputations for brands, product ideas, and buying experiences • Send buyers directly from your Facebook page to your webstore, product listings on a marketplace, or to your pinterest page or other social media avenues
  40. 40. BUILDA FACEBOOKBUSINESS PAGE Interact with your customers with posts about: • Product tips • Product images • Product videos • Product reviews • Customer testimonials • Sales and discounts • Announcements • Industry stats To create a Facebook business page, visit and sign up using the provided steps. Next visit this page for a simple step-by-step guide to create your Facebook business page. It takes just a few minutes to set up and its free. Once you have created your Facebook account, you will have a Facebook page with your business name at the end of your custom vanity URL. It will look like this:
  41. 41. COVERPHOTOPANORAMICORCOLLAGE Cover photo restrictions: • Less than 20% can be text Effective Facebook cover photos represent your brand and evoke feeling. Whether you choose to do a panoramic image or a collage, you should change your cover photo every few months. That said, be sure to market with your Facebook cover photo! Add a call to action (e.g., Visit our website or Like our page), promote a sale (e.g., Spring into Summer Event – Save 20%!), and add your website URL. PANORAMIC COLLAGE COLLAGE COLLAGE WITH WORDS Facebook cover photos are displayed 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels high and can be a panoramic or a collage
  42. 42. Facebook profile pictures can be a logo (e.g., wordmark or icon) or product image. PROFILEPICTURES Facebook profile pictures are displayed 160 pixels square but must be uploaded at 180 pixels square LOGO (WORDMARK) IMAGE (PRODUCT) LOGO (ICON) IMAGE (PRODUCT) LOGO IMAGE (PRODUCT) When uploading your Facebook profile picture we recommend that you use a logo (or product image) that is easily viewed in newsfeeds (displayed at 90 pixels square). For companies on Facebook, the use of your brand logo as your profile image is the best paractice, unless your personal image is the face of your brand (then we recommend that you use that image).
  43. 43. USINGFACEBOOKIMAGES All of your uploaded images or images your business has been tagged in appear in the Photos tab (just under your cover photo) on your page Other than the standard photo groups (e.g., cover photos, profile pictures, photos of me, and Instagram photos) you can create albums of selected images. These albums can be of related products (e.g., Video games), categorized products (e.g., Spring styles), events, conferences, or customers using, wearing, or buying your products. Photos automatically group in albums: • Cover photos • Profile pictures • Instagram photos • Other created albums
  44. 44. PROMOTED • PROMOTE YOUR POST TO REACH MORE PEOPLE AND CHOOSE YOUR MAXIMUM BUDGET AND AUDIENCE • PROMOTED POSTS ARE PAID PROMOTIONS POSTS IMAGES EXAMPLESPROMOTIONS BLOGS VIDEOS FACEBOOK ON • POSTS WITH IMAGES ARE SHARED 3X MORE THAN POSTS WITH TEXT ONLY • IMAGES ARE DISPLAYED 403 PIXELS SQUARE • SPECIAL FACEBOOK ONLY COUPONS ARE A GREAT WAY TO INSPIRE YOUR FACEBOOK AUDIENCE TO BUY • THE FACEBOOK COMMUNITY LOVES EXAMPLES OF WAYS TO USE A PRODUCT • THE MORE CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE THEY ARE, THE MORE THEY’LL BE LIKED AND SHARED • MAKE NEW BLOG POST DO DOUBLE DUTY BY SHARING IT ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE • POSTS WITH VIDEOS ARE SHARED 10X AS MUCH AS A TEXT ONLY POST SOURCE: Simply Measured + M Booth People love to showcase and share their ideas, so ask your customers on your Facebook page to share their tips on using your products, or tips related to your niche – it will skyrocket your page’s engagement. For blog posts, link directly to new posts and you’ll build a following of people who look for your latest blog post announcements on Facebook. They will also Like and Share your posts! Always use an eye-catching photo in each blog post – these images get your blog post announcement noticed on Facebook.
  45. 45. DRIVE TO AND FROM TRAFFICFACEBOOK Drive traffic from Facebook with customized tabs, including: • Other social media outlets • Specials, deals, or contests • Videos To install Facebook Like buttons to any of your products, simply go to the following website and follow the instructions: CUSTOM FACEBOOK TABS ADD A LIKE BUTTON ADD FOLLOW BUTTONS Drive traffic from your webstore to Facebook with buttons: • Add “Like” buttons to your products • Add “follow us” social buttons
  46. 46. FACEBOOKASSIGNMENT ACTION 1. Set up a Facebook business page and get your branded URL 2. Post 1-2 times a day 3-5 days per week 3. Add Facebook buttons to your website 4. Tell your customers about your page 5. Interact with comments on your page GOALS
  47. 47. Twitter
  48. 48. WHAT Twitter added 1 million new accounts every day in 2012 More than 163 billion tweets to date At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called “tweets.” Each tweet is 140 characters long, but don’t let the small size fool you—you can discover a lot in a little space. You can see photos, videos, and conversations directly in tweets to get the whole story at a glance, and all in one place. Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions, and news about what you find interesting 175 million tweets in 2012 ISTWITTER? SOURCE: Mashable + Twitter
  49. 49. WHYTWITTER? Reach: • Other people retweet your content and spread your message to their audience SEO: • Google and Bing index tweets and Twitter profiles Promotion Engagement PROMOTION & ENGAGEMENT Twitter makes it easy for users to have short, powerful interactions with their customers. Some customers will prefer to communicate with or follow you on Twitter rather than Facebook. There is a lot of business happening there. That is why it is important for every eCommerce merchant to have an active Twitter presence.
  50. 50. YOUR BRAND Create a header photo for your page 1252 pixels wide by 626 pixels high Create a branded background image Create a 160 character bio to describe your brand/what you sell TWITTERPRESENCE Find and follow the influencers in your niche. When searching for influencers, look at profiles of the people you follow (niche related) and then see who they follow. If you interact with these influencers they may follow you and then their followers may follow you, too. PHOTO (LOGO) BACKGROUND IMAGE COMPANY BIO HEADER PHOTO
  51. 51. TWEETYOURHEARTOUT What to tweet: • Product tips and tricks • Sales, discounts • Product announcements • Ask questions/for opinions • Ask which of your products your followers like best • Tweet cool product pictures • Ask for retweets • Tweet recent blog posts • Tweet videos Remember to use hashtags (e.g., #ecommerce) to assist in getting your tweets picked up in Twitter search. Also, Twitter makes it easy to reply to and retweet, making Twitter a perfect environment for sharing. Be sure to retweet when a customer says something good about your company. ASK FOR RETWEETS RETWEET SHOUTOUTS USE HASHTAGS SHOUTOUT RETWEETS
  52. 52. BUILDAFOLLOWING Build your following with • Free or paid tool • Find people with interests in your products to follow • Search by product type or industry category • Search results are listed by number of followers When you start to build your Twitter following, be sure to balance the number of people you follow with the number of people following you. You don’t want to go out and follow 2,000 people when you only have 25 followers because Twitter views that as a spam account.
  53. 53. See what’s happening: • TWITTERSEARCH To use Twitter advanced search, visit For more tips on Twitter advanced search, see Twitter’s documentation: SEARCH ADVANCED SEARCH SEARCH RESULTS ADVANCED SEARCH RESULTS Twitter advanced search: • Trends • Influencers • Customers • Marketing ideas
  54. 54. DRIVE TO AND FROM TRAFFICTWITTER To install Twitter Tweet buttons to any of your products, simply go to the following website and follow the instructions: ADD A TWEET BUTTON ADD FOLLOW BUTTONS Drive traffic from your webstore to Twitter with buttons: • Add “Tweet” buttons to your products • Add “follow us” social buttons
  55. 55. TWITTERASSIGNMENT ACTION 1. Set up a Twitter page and get your branded Twitter handle @businessname 2. Post 1-2 times a day 3-5 days per week 3. Add Twitter buttons to your website 4. Tell your customers about your profile 5. Interact with tweets, comments, and direct messages on your profile GOALS
  56. 56. Crowd Sourced Content
  57. 57. WHAT CONTENT? ISCROWDSOURCED Turning customer comments into marketing Passive: • Customers post to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, website, etc. Active: • You solicit feedback from your customers and post to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, website, etc.
  58. 58. CREATE CONTENTFOR Dollar Shave Club (DSC) • DSC took a mundane product and added humor • Spent $10K on a video • Nearly 10M views to date • Average CPC for “shave” related keywords = $1 • DSC has the #5 rank in Google organic search for the keyword “shave” COMPANY COMPANY CROWDSOURCING CUSTOMERCUSTOMERCUSTOMER CUSTOMER Let your customers know you want to hear from them, when you are generating content for crowdsourcing. When soliciting content from your customers, be sure to give them a platform to post freely (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and your blog).
  59. 59. CROWDSOURCEDASSIGNMENT ACTION 1. Let your customers know you want to hear from them 2. Showcase your customers’ comments 3. Spotlight a “Customer of the Month” 4. Spotlight a “Product of the Month” 5. Ask for feedback from your customers GOALS
  61. 61. WHY Written content is search engine friendly Increases the KLTC (Know, Like, Trust, and Convert ) Factor of your brand • Brands with consistent, interesting content build credibility • Differentiates your brand from the competition • Enables people to share and talk about your brand Written content drives traffic • Google rewards high-quality, relevant content • Creates inbound links WRITTENCONTENT?
  62. 62. THE OF Educate • Show your expertise with product reviews and helpful tips Empathize • Create case studies that demonstrate an understanding of what your customers have gone through or go through • “Katie had this problem until she bought product X” • “75% of new puppies have accidents in the house” Entertain • Content doesn’t always have to be serious (think reality TV) 3E’SWRITTEN CONTENT
  63. 63. SEARCHENGINE FRIENDLYCONTENT OLD SCHOOL CONTENT NEW SCHOOL CONTENT Google emphasizes that it wants high-quality content written for people, not search engines. And as search algorithms have become more sophisticated, the ability to “trick” the search engines into indexing low-quality content has diminished. Duplicate content with non-relevant backlinks will hurt the ranking of your site. Today’s winning content marketing strategy revolves around writing quality, helpful content that is valuable to your customers and makes people want to visit your site instead of someone else’s.
  64. 64. Blogs
  65. 65. BLOGGINGVSSOCIALMEDIA Has social media replaced blogging? No! Businesses don’t own their social media presence While you must have a social presence, you own your business blog and you are not vulnerable to platform policies The important thing to remember when thinking about blogging vs. social media is that both avenues drive traffic to your website and marketplace listings (and your social media outlets can advertise your blog while your blog can advertise your social media outlets). Both allow you to promote your products any way you want to and you can showcase your company in a way your website simply can’t.
  66. 66. MARKETPLACESELLERS A blog is your home on the web to drive traffic to marketplace products Get all the benefits of content marketing without building a full eCommerce website Interact with your customers: • Build a mailing list • Sell directly from your blog
  67. 67. RUN YOUR BLOG ON WORDPRESS Run your blog on WordPress ( • WordPress is search engine friendly • WordPress allows any theme/design • WordPress has tons of functionality OWNYOURBLOG DON’T HOST YOUR BLOG AT WORDPRESS.COM DON’T USE BLOGGER.COM DON’T host your blog at • You will not get your blog traffic, will DON’T use To own your blog, visit to download the free WordPress software. Then if you are a marketplace seller and do not have your own website, install your stand-alone blog on a top level directory (e.g., or if you have your own website, hang your blog off your eCommerce site (e.g., and drive all of the traffic to your website. Then customize your blog using a theme. Find free themes here: And find paid themes here:
  68. 68. Blog post best practices: • 500 words per post (longer is okay, but not too long) • Split into paragraphs • Use bullet points • One topic per post with one to two links to products (three at the most) • Use long-tail keywords to target your market • Blog consistently TIPSBLOG POSTTHATSELLSFOR A
  69. 69. The great blog post six: 1. Keyword rich title 2. Engaging image 3. Helpful, interesting content 4. Related to your market and your products 5. Descriptive text links to your product page 6. Keyword rich sub-title 6 KEYWORD TITLE HELPFUL CONTENT ENGAGING IMAGE DESCRIPTIVE TEXT LINKS MARKET RELATED KEYWORD SUB-TITLE BLOG POSTTIPS
  70. 70. Your voice makes your message and your products memorable • What you say and how you say it carries through all your content VOICECLEARGET ON YOUR Speak on behalf of your brand with your content • There are many different ways to talk to the same audience
  71. 71. WHO’SYOUR AUDIENCE? THE OLD WAY THE NEW WAY When finding your voice and writing to today’s web customer, look at their interests, passions, and what’s important to them. Try to think like your customer and ask, “What’s in it for me?” If you were reading a blog post on your website, what would you want to know? That’s the key to finding your target audience.
  72. 72. YOURMISSION... What’s the spark that fuels the business? Content should amplify that spark Sell the sizzle and the steak “At REI, we love to get outside and play, and we know first-hand the importance of quality outdoor gear... Whether you’re new to outdoor adventure or a seasoned pro, we gladly share our enthusiasm for our products—and the trails, slopes and waterways where we play” – REI MISSION STATEMENT “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis” – PATAGONIA MISSION STATEMENT
  73. 73. BLOG TIPSMARKETING Register your blog with the blog directory Put together a blog editorial schedule Outsource your blog if you don’t have the time or resources • • Elevate the personality of your blog. Really have some fun with it! Personality attracts customers like a magnet. Even if the same product is sold other places. Adding personality to your blog is a great way for your customers to get to know you and it can help your posts go viral.
  74. 74. BLOGASSIGNMENT ACTION 1. Download Wordpress at 2. Create your first post and blog one to three times a week 3. Have blog posts pre-written 4. Respond to comments on blog posts 5. Use guest bloggers for diverse content GOALS
  75. 75. Articles
  76. 76. ARTICLEVSBLOGPOST What’s the difference between an article and a blog post? • Articles live on your website • Blog posts live on your WordPress blog Articles keep people coming back for help and insights. And most importantly, articles on your website get you more love from Google. Submit to quality article directories (not all directories are created equal) •
  77. 77. Don’t duplicate blog post and article content Rework content for different platforms DON’T DUPLICATE Google penalizes duplicate content. So be sure to have different content for each platform. For instance, you might have a product you want to review on your blog. You could write an article around tips and tricks for that same product for your website. Similar content that has been sepearted and written up differently for the two platforms.
  78. 78. ARTICLESASSIGNMENT ACTION 1. Rework blog content as articles 2. Submit articles to a quality article directory 3. Add pages to your website GOALS
  79. 79. Press Releases
  80. 80. WHYONLINEPRESSRELEASES? Press releases give your brand instant credibility Press releases build inbound links from an authority site Press releases get picked up by industry media Press releases get picked up by industry bloggers Press releases are no longer the old style press releases aimed at journalists. Topical online press releases enjoy high search engine indexing and leverage high search engine visibility. And the best thing of all is that online press releases remain in the search engines and can even be shared on social media platforms!
  81. 81. PRESSWORTHY RELEASES NEWS OLD PRESS RELEASES NEW PRESS RELEASES The web has changed the way press releases are distributed, as well as their purpose. Today’s online press releases serve more as news releases for a company, and are no longer reserved for only major announcements. Press release distribution via the web is affordable, allowing small businesses to get the word out about news in the company that is of interest to their customers and the media.
  82. 82. PRESS RELEASESTRUCTURE Follow this press release structure: • Who (company name and description) • What (brand name or product category) • Why (problem or benefit) • When (season) • Where (location) • How (call to action) It is great to write press releases for the products you sell on your website and on the marketplaces. If you choose to do so, be sure to include images and videos for much more visibility in organic search. This can drive traffic from the press release to your website, your product pages, and your YouTube channel. WHO WHY WHAT WHEN WHERE CALL TO ACTION
  84. 84. Check out press release websites for tips on how to produce solid press releases Paid services offer different release levels Start with a free service and budget in a paid release for big events PRESS RELEASETIPS
  85. 85. PRESSRELEASEASSIGNMENT ACTION 1. Choose an upcoming event, sale, or product introduction 2. Write a release using the format in this presentation 3. Schedule one press release per quarter GOALS
  86. 86. CONTENTSCALE SOURCE: Forrester Research Businesses must be content “Creators” Groups in this scale include consumers participating in at least one of the indicated activities at least monthly BE CONTENT CREATORS
  87. 87. For more content marketing information, visit: • • • View all three content marketing presentations on the Monsoon Commerce YouTube channel: • Visual content • Social content • Written content CONTENT FOLLOWUP MARKETING MONSOON COMMERCE WRITTEN CONTENT LISA SUTTORA VISUAL CONTENT PINTEREST FOR ECOMMERCE SOCIAL CONTENT To supplement this guide, we have three comprehensive presentations on the Monsoon Commerce YouTube channel at
  88. 88. Monsoon Commerce Lisa Suttora Lisa Suttora is an eCommerce marketing strategist who helps onlinemerchantsdefineandimplementtherightcontentmarketing strategies to reach new customers and convert more sales. Since 2004, as Founder and CEO of Lisa Suttora International and,Lisahasworkedwithmerchantsinsevencountries andover2,500nichemarketstobuildthrivingonlinestores. Her step-by-step, easy-to-implement, marketing approach provides time-strapped business owners with a practical, doable method for getting the word out about their products and services. Lisa’s eye for innovation and trends, combined with strategic focus, have earned her frequent guest spots on radio, in print publications, and on stage at industry conferences. Withherstraight-talkandinspirationalappeal,youcanalwayscount onLisatohaveherfingeronthepulseofwhatworksnow! StayintouchwithLisaSuttora: Monsoon Commerce is an eCommerce solutions company powering the online success of mid-sized merchants and multichannel retailers. Our integrated solutions allow you to easily manage inventory, orders, and fulfillment; sell more products in more places; and intelligently price products across channels. Monsoon Commerce also owns and operates, the premier online marketplace connecting millions of consumers to tens of thousands of independent sellers of books, music, movies, and video games. Our more than 20,000 customers, including 2,500 online merchants and multichannel retailers, commonly experience a level of success that is both impactful and enduring—at times, eventransformational. StayintouchwithMonsoonCommerce: