9 Steps to Create an Ecommerce Content Strategy That Sells in the 2020s

There are over 8 billion Google searches happening every day.

…AND…

By 2024, content marketing’s worth will skyrocket to $600 billion.

With numbers like that, it’s clear your ecommerce brand needs to get in on this whole “content marketing” biz.

Sure, building your own ecommerce content strategy can sound daunting.

But it’s much simpler if you follow a proven roadmap.

Plus, it’s super important to nail. 🔨

My writing agency was built on a fully customized ecommerce platform, bringing us over $5M in sales online.

I started with just $75 — but ultimately surpassed my competitors with over $9 million in funding simply by using SEO blogging as part of my overall content strategy with ecommerce.

The system I used can be repeated for any brand in nearly any niche out there.

And I want you to have it.

So, in this blog, I’ll give you the most important pieces to an effective ecommerce digital marketing strategy, so you can use organic content to reach more people, sell more products or services, and make more money.

Want a hands-on, step-by-step video course from me on how to effectively set up ecommerce content marketing? Check out our workshop on this topic in Content Hacker Academy, Ecommerce Content Marketing in 1 Hour.

ecommerce content strategy

How to Create an Ecommerce Content Strategy (Table of Contents)

What Is an Ecommerce Content Strategy?

Why Should I Create a Content Strategy for My Ecommerce Website?

9 Steps to Create an Ecommerce Strategy that Works

What Is an Ecommerce Content Strategy?

A content strategy for ecommerce sites is a plan to research, create, and execute high-quality content for ideal buyers to find.

But the key is to do it in a way that drives a healthy ROI.

Generally, this is through long-form articles born from deeply researched SEO blogging. Once those are established, it can also involve:

…and more.

When making an ecommerce-based content strategy for your store, things look a little different than your grandma’s sales tactics. 👵

Compared to a traditional hard sell, most ecommerce content examples feature a soft sell that builds trust through solving a problem. These strategies are at the top of the list for content trends in 2022, because they work so well (if said brand is truly providing valuable information within their content).

Your mission, or rather, your ecommerce roadmap strategy — is to create killer content that gets found on Google, turns visitors into leads, and sells for you like wildfire. 🔥

If you don’t have an ecommerce strategy around content yet, start now. And start with blogging, always (it’s got the best content lifespan out there).

Your content strategy for your ecommerce website is EXTREMELY important for many reasons, which I’ll cover next.

ecommerce content strategy

Why Should I Create a Content Strategy for My Ecommerce Website?

Don’t even get me started on the ROI of content marketing (or do, I’ll talk about it all day)! 😉

The benefits of a solidly executed ecommerce content strategy include, but certainly aren’t limited to:

  1. Content marketing directly answers leads’ questions, which builds authority, trust, and sales
  2. It can drive massive traffic to your ecommerce brand’s website
  3. There’s a huge ROI compared to paid advertising (and 1,000x what organic social does)
  4. It’s a way to differentiate and modernize your brand
  5. Ecommerce content marketing beautifully optimizes your conversion funnel to skyrocket those conversions (yes, even “while you sleep”)
  6. It can (and should) become your major stream of revenue on top of any additional streams (like a brick-and-mortar shop).
  7. It can compound over time — so you can build an empire in the long-term using sustainable content strategies

Owning a business isn’t for the faint of heart, and ecommerce brands are no different. Once you’ve built your repeatable content marketing ecommerce strategy, you’ll not only grow your sales, but you’ll have clarity and focus to scale to incredible heights online. 📈

10 laws to a self-sustaining business

Next up, I’ll take you step by step through the process of creating an effective ecommerce content strategy.

9 Steps to Create an Ecommerce Content Strategy (That Works)

What does a content strategy include? After working with over 5,000+ clients in every niche out there, I’ve repeatedly witnessed the foundations that need to be laid to skyrocket growth online (and it’s simpler than you might think).

Step 1: Embrace SEO Blogging

A whopping 59% of shoppers say they use Google to research a purchase.

But still, the competition can be fierce (especially if you’re in retail).

But I wholeheartedly believe the KEY to rising up to the level of (or even above) the big guys is through SEO blogging inside your ecommerce digital marketing strategy.

To create amazing SEO blogs for your ecommerce business, you’ll need:

  1. Time
  2. Knowledge/skills/tools
  3. Money (to hire SEO writers)

Here’s why good SEO blogging can help you stand out over your competition, even if it’s stiff:

SEO blogging lets you answer customer questions before they even buy.

Let’s say you create custom wedding shoes for women — your ideal customer is searching for keywords like:

  1. best summer wedding shoes
  2. sweat-proof outdoor wedding shoes
  3. closed-toe wedding shoes for snow

…and so on. 👠

If you’ve got a post that focuses on your fancy sweat-proof outdoor wedding shoes, she’ll end up finding it.

The key here is to create long-form content (1,500-2,000 words minimum). This is one of the biggest content pillars for ecommerce…  just take a peek at Google’s search results page in your niche for some solid ecommerce content marketing examples.

THAT’S how you connect your target audience to your products.

If you execute your ecommerce content strategy right, with well-research keywords and high-quality content, you can easily sell products online through your blogs.

sales dance

And always include a CTA inside your blog. They are vital. This is how you can turn a targeted visitor wandering in from Google into a lead and a customer.

Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience

Before you can blog, you need to know who you’re selling to.

This is important because in order to find keywords, you need pain points.

And in order to find pain points, you need to know who you are trying to sell to so you can find out what they struggle with — and solve it for them.

I’ll take you super in-depth on the “how” in step six, but I don’t want you moving forward with your ecomm content strategy without your ideal customer in mind.

Step 3: Build Your Content Team

Talented, hungry content writers are all around you. ✍️

Just look at the numbers:

Upwork processed $2.1 billion in payments for freelancers in 2019 — up a staggering 21% from 2018.

how to start a writing company

There’s a huge untapped pool of smart, professional content writers willing to work with you at an extremely affordable rate that won’t break the bank (and keep your profit margins healthy)!

So before you skip this step (you lone wolf, you) remind yourself that to scale this ecommerce business, you’ll eventually need a team.

And I always coach my students to start with a writer (even if YOU’RE a writer) — because content is that powerful (and your focus is going to be desperately needed elsewhere). 🧠

Need help finding the perfect content writer? I’ve dedicated an entire phase of my five-phase business coaching program, The Content Transformation System, to landing a rock star writer you trust and love. If you’re ready to go all-in on sustainable business growth and scale your brand to 6- and 7-figures, apply for my 12-month membership program here. Or, get started with the free training.

Step 4: Know Your Product’s Benefits

You’re going to get SO many ecommerce content ideas pulled directly from your audience’s pain points, so you must know exactly who they are.

Also…. what real edge does your product have over the others?

For a great ecommerce content marketing example, let’s take a look at the (adorably named) natural nail polish brand, Piggy Paint.

piggy paint ecommerce content

Their product’s benefits are that it’s natural, non-toxic, and safe (among others).

So if you put yourself in this brand’s shoes (and their target audience’s shoes) you can start brainstorming what these people’s pain points could be — based around the product’s benefits.

Some relevant keywords for them to target would be something like:

  1. Non toxic nail polish for kids
  2. Is water-based nail polish safe for toddlers
  3. What is the safest nail polish for kids
  4. Natural toddler polish

And so on.

But because there’s not just one natural nail polish brand, the audience also needs to know what sets this brand apart from their competition — and so will you. 💅

For example, if Piggy Paint was the only eco-friendly nail polish brand for kids, they’d want to write a blog around this benefit, too.

You can see how you can start to peel back the layers of your target audience’s behavior online through doing keyword research, and its powerful stuff.

Your benefits (features) will help guide you in finding keywords to blog around.

Step 5: Perfect Your Product Descriptions for SEO

Before you start publishing content, always make sure that your product descriptions are written and ready to go.

Want help writing great product description copy? Get your tush in our Content Marketing for Ecommerce workshop, where I teach you through in-depth video tutorials, written and filmed by me, exactly how to do this.

content marketing for ecommerce

These are incredibly important, so make sure to spend some time on them (or hire a writer to create them for you — especially if you’ve got a lot of products. You don’t want to get stuck in the weeds here, but it must be done.) 🌾

Make sure what you produce for your product descriptions includes:

  1. Completely original content
  2. About 200-300 words
  3. Unique descriptors that truly home in on what makes your product different than the others (this way both Google AND your leads can understand the ins and outs of the product)
  4. Actionable words in your SEO title
  5. High-quality writing — written well with no typos

PRO TIP: This should be done even if you’re using an ecommerce platform like Etsy or Shopify.

Step 6: Create Your Content Marketing Campaign Calendar

Your team is assembled. Your product descriptions are written. Now, it’s time to build out your editorial calendar.

Research is the name of the game during this step.

This is where the power of great content marketing tools come in. You need access to the data behind keywords. (This is how you’ll know which ones to add to your calendar and which ones to pass on).

If you’re looking for an affordable, collaborative tool for your content calendar, my team and I use and love Airtable for this.

For research, I’ve used KWFinder and I think it’s fantastic — it’s affordable and can be a great pick for scrappy founders.

keyword research for ecommerce content strategy

And then there’s my favorite tool for advanced users and teams:

It’s on the pricier side, but if it’s in your budget, Semrush is THE gold standard for SEO research. You can watch me do a brief rundown of my experience with this “Disney for marketers” here: 🎉

You’re not just limited to paid SEO tools during this step, either.

Dive into communities like Quora and Reddit. These are tremendous pools of opportunity for finding pain points directly from your target audience.

BONUS: If you can help the poster, add a link to your content that directly answers their question! It will not only help them, but also others who happen upon the thread in the future.

And when it comes to how often you should post on your blog, stay consistent.

Blog consistently each week, and if you do more, you’ll see the benefits. (You can 2x or even 3x your leads in a matter of months by sticking with a consistent schedule.)

Step 7: Collaborate Within Your Industry

Keyword research isn’t just for building out your ecommerce content calendar — you can also use it to source opportunities to get your product/services in front of more eyes, by being featured on other websites. 👀

Here are three great ways to go about this for your ecommerce company:

  1. Guest blogging: Writing blogs for someone else’s website can be great if you’re wondering how to promote your content. And when it comes to ecommerce brands, you’re able to present your product/service in the best light, build trust, and even network within your industry.
  2. Reviews: In exchange for a free product, you can ask other business creators within your niche to write an honest review. This can be a great chance for exposure on a site that may be more established than your own.
  3. Comparison posts: During your keyword and SEO research, you’ll likely come across listicles with multiple products under a “best of” list. If your product belongs there, you can reach out to the site and see if you can get yours on the list.

comparing posts

Your job as a business creator in the ecommerce space is to always keep your eyes open for new opportunities, and not think of your brand as solely your website — but as an ecosystem your website lives within.

Want to break free from the grunt zone and move into the delight zone of your business journey? Learn how to start, grow, and scale your own content-based sustainable business in my action-packed free training for passion-fueled entrepreneurs ready for more.

Step 8: Measure Results + Continually Update Content

Every single quarter, I’m in my Google Analytics and checking out my most popular posts.

Why?

I keep them fresh and updated.

If you know your post is getting traffic, you want to optimize it to sell.

If you know your post is selling, you want to keep it doing just that! 🚀

This is another place where the magic of your keyword and SEO research tools come in. Once you have those high-ranking posts, plug them into those tools for some great data.

You’ll get deep insights into keywords that you’re ranking for (that you may have not even realized) and be able to tweak, refine, and optimize.

Buttons go dead. Links break. Maybe your business or your products have changed, too.

So, keep blogs relevant, fresh, and high-quality. Updating old content is such an important piece of any ecommerce content strategy. So important, in fact, that it was 90% of our content marketing strategy at my writing agency (versus the 10% of adding new content).

ecommerce content strategy

You’ll also want to learn how to measure your content marketing ROI so you can track your success — you’re going to be proud of how far you’ve come, especially when you can see it with cold, hard data!

Step 9: Ask for Customer Feedback

It’s alarming to me how often this step is overlooked in some ecommerce websites’ content marketing funnel and strategy.

Make sure you’re gathering feedback from your customers. 💥

This is a super low-cost way to:

  1. Build trust with leads and customers
  2. Source more content ideas

This is why you’ll often see an automated email come through after you’ve used a service or a product. For example, I recently used a local pet sitting business — and this morning I received an email asking for a review and feedback.

This is a powerful step not to skip — you’ll be getting data directly from the most important audience out there — your customers.

Tying Your Content Strategy for Ecommerce Websites Together

If you follow these steps in this guide for creating an ecommerce marketing plan and content strategy, I have no doubt you’ll soar.

Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if you see your posts skyrocket past the big guys on Google and comfortably settle into the #1 spot for many hot keywords.

But if you’re wanting to go in-depth with this, and learn exactly how it’s done, I invite you to enroll in my powerful workshop on Content Marketing for Ecommerce.

In this 1-hour training, you’ll dive deep into everything we covered today and more, plus receive my SEO-friendly product description templates, AND a long-form SEO blog template for you or your writer (which will help you follow an exact, proven structure without complications). Click here to enroll in our Content Hacker Academy ecommerce 1-hour workshop for the discounted sale price of only $27.

content marketing for ecommerce

About Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is an entrepreneur, 6x author, and a leading strategist around creating exceptional content and brand presence that lasts online. At 19 years old, in 2011, she used her last $75 to build a 7-figure agency, Express Writers, which she grew to $5M and sold ten years later. In the 2020s, she's devoted to running The Content Hacker, where she teaches creative entrepreneurs the strategy, skills, and systems they need to build a self-sustaining business, so they are finally freed up to create lasting legacy and generational impact.