Topic: How to Use Content Marketing to Attract, Engage & Retain More Customers!
Host: Lisa Suttora , ecommerce strategist and Founder/CEO of WhatDoISell.com Date: Thursday, July 29th Time: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. PST (Pacific Standard Time)
Description: Social media may be the belle of the ball, but on the web, content is still king! Unfortunately many online sellers overlook this free, highly effective marketing strategy. Discover how to use content to:
Drive targeted buyer traffic
Convert more sales
Retain existing customers
Give your business a unique presence on eBay
Join ecommerce strategist Lisa Suttora, Founder/CEO of WhatDoISell.com as she discusses several creative ways to use content marketing to successfully promote a business in any online niche market.
You’ll learn how to integrate content with eBay’s marketing tools, as well as how to leverage your content on today’s top social media sites, when you attend this “don’t miss” workshop!
Visit http://certifiedprovider.ebay.com/ to learn more about eBay Certified Providers and the services and solutions they offer to help an eBay seller grow their business.
There are many reasons to use content marketing to promote your business on eBay, but let’s start with the top five:
1. Customer Expectations. Today’s web consumers expect content to be delivered as a “companion piece” by online sellers. They want more than “just a product” to be part of their buying experience. Online shoppers are used to getting good information about the products they buy directly from the merchant they're buying from.
2. Competitive Advantage. Content marketing enables you to distinguish yourself from your competitors. This helps you create a Unique Selling Position (USP) for your business on eBay. The type of content you can create is unlimited. Unique content created in your "voice" will help to brand your business turn potential buyers into lifelong customers.
For example,if you sell energy saving devices for the home, your content will speak to the issues that your target audience cares about. It will help guide people to make the purchases that are right for them. By speaking to the issues/topics/interests that are important to your target market, you engage your customers. And an engaged customer transitions naturally and comfortably into a sale.
3. Search Engine Magnets. The search engines are now looking for content in association with physical products. This is one of the biggest changes in the physical products selling arena over the past few years. Today when search engines look at your product pages, they are looking for more information than just "make, model and color" in order to index your page. They are looking for descriptive content about the product being sold. Content in conjunction with products drives better search engine visibility.
4. The "Secret Sauce" for Your Business. Content marketing is the secret sauce that can tip the buyer decision to make the purchase from you. When you invest your time in building up helpful, relevant content and populating your pages on eBay, your blog, your email marketing newsletter etc. you are showing your customers that you provide added value in addition to the products you sell.
For example, if you sell expensive Koi pond kits and supplies, your customers want as much information about the product before they buy it, and they also want to know how to maximize their investment.
Your customers want tips on installation, getting the oxygen levels right in the pond, what plants and accessories might work for this particular pond. Since they can’t talk to you face to face before they make their purchase, guides or tip sheets on how to know which Koi pond is right for them can be the defining factor between buying from you and buying from your competitor who does provide this content.
5. Trust, Credibility and Authority. Content marketing establishes you as a credible authority in your niche market. On eBay there is a big difference between someone who is a professional seller and a casual seller. A casual seller will often put up a product and try and let the product sell itself.
The professional seller will give their customers all the information they need to make the buying decision and feel good about their purchase.
Sell collectible glass? Market your business by telling your customers how to clean, store and display their newly purchased items.
Marketing pet supplies? Share tips and techniques for keeping your pet healthy and training your pet. Is your focus on puppy products? How about creating a list of the top 50 names for dogs this year!
The benefits to content marketing are many.
And another benefit? Content marketing is free or low-cost!
1. Articles, top 10 lists, checklists and tip sheets 2. Video 3. Audio
All three formats are effective ways to deliver your content and each format has certain advantages.
Articles, top 10 lists, checklists and tip sheets are excellent for SEO (search engine optimization) visibility. They also provide the ability for your customer to read and print the information that is important to them.
Video content is booming! Most people are visual and the ability to create how-to videos and post them in your eBay listings can bring life to your store and products!
Audio is another great way to provide added value. Short informational audios about a product are quick and easy for people to listen to.
Your About Me page is a core place to use content marketing to establish a USP (Unique Selling Position) for your business.
Instead short lines about yourself or simply saying “Welcome to my eBay store, we’re dedicated to your satisfaction.” your About Me page should be a rich page that describes your business and what your customers will find in your store. Information about your niche, awards, certifications, a description of your business and an overview of the products you sell can be woven together to make a content rich About Me page.
Content Marketing Tip: Less is more! You don’t have to write volumes on your About Me page, in fact you shouldn’t go on and on. A meaty summary of who you are on eBay and what you have to offer can easily be written in a few short 3-5 sentence paragraphs.
eBay’s Custom Store Pages are a prime location for content marketing. And the ways in which you can utilize your custom store pages for content marketing are endless.
Top 10 lists, product reviews, a behind the scenes look at your products or your business, how-to guides, trend information, size charts, tips, assembly help, human interest articles, the latest product information, FAQs etc. can also be showcased on your custom store pages.
Custom store pages make it easy to keep your content fresh!
Each level of eBay store comes with 15 custom store pages to work with.
Search for a product in Google and you’ll often find an eBay Guide that’s been written about that product on the first page of the search results.
Just another example of how much the search engines love content!
eBay Guides are designed for you to create content based around your knowledge or expertise of a product. In addition to the core content, eBay Guides allow you to enter tags to identify the keywords that the guide is written about.
This adds to the visibility of your guide both on eBay and off!
For example, this eBay Guide (you'll need to open a new browser window and past this long link in to see the guide)
And each time someone comes to view this guide, they also learn more about the eBay seller who wrote the guide and can be taken directory to his listings.
On the right hand navigation bar of every eBay guide page is a “Member Information” box with links directly to their items, eBay store, and About Me page.
You’ll see that this particular seller has also employed content marketing as I’ve described above on his About Me page.
eBay Guides are a very powerful way to establish yourself as an authority in your niche market. And best of all, the majority of your competitors don’t realize the benefits or utilize this very powerful marketing tool!
You should also distribute your content off eBay for the purpose of driving traffic back to your eBay store.
Some top off- eBay distribution channels are:
1.YouTube 2.Your blog 3.Facebook 4.Twitter (140 character content snacks) 5.Article marketing 6.Niched community sites 7.Package inserts
And this is just the start!
Don't rely solely on Best Match to drive traffic to your products on eBay. As a business owner you must take control of your own traffic driving efforts and get customers to your business on eBay through many pathways.
Several years ago, people who taught content marketing strategies would advise that your written content should have a specific percentage of the right keywords in order for the search engines to sit up and take notice.
As a result, content was often designed with search engines in-mind and came across as stiff and stilted to the people reading your content.
Fortunately those days are gone and search engines like Google value and promote content that incorporates relevant keywords as a natural extension of the topic.
Imagine you were telling a friend how much you love the new steam cleaner you just purchased. Describing how it removed stains and made your carpet almost new again.
Talking about how much better you felt to clean with steam instead of using all those toxic chemicals. Sharing with excitement how the steam cleaner blasted the dirt out of the bathroom grout in your 1940’s craftsman house!
You wouldn’t purposely pepper your conversation with a certain percentage of relevant, searchable keywords, however in the course of the conversation, relevant keywords associated with the steam cleaner would make their way naturally into the conversation.
This is exactly what the search engines are looking for when they crawl your content to see if it valuable.
Keep this in mind when writing your content. Don't spam your own content with the same keyword over and over again, just because it's a highly searched keyword.
Your content should contain both primary and secondary keywords as well as long-tail keyword phrases in order to be search engine friendly as well as valuable to your customers.
Conversational content with a variety of natural keywords related to the topic.
No discussion of content marketing would be complete without paying special attention to the use of video for content marketing.
eBay allows you to add YouTube hosted videos to your listing pages. Again most sellers don’t take advantage of the increased sales conversion that video content can bring to a listing.
Content for videos can include product reviews, feature demos, how-to guides, tips, assembly help, a human interest story, FAQs etc.
The benefit to a YouTube hosted video is that you get to re-purpose your content for double duty!
You get the video visibility on YouTube that will drive traffic to your eBay listings/store.
And on eBay your video engages the customer and can increase sales conversion.
Recently, a client of mine shot a video to showcase a unique one of a kind toy collection she had sourced. With no additional marketing, this video has over 55,000 views on YouTube!
The product sold on eBay immediately. But more importantly, each time the video is viewed on YouTube it continues to drive traffic to their eBay store.
A “How to set-up your honey bee house.” video both in your eBay listings and hosted on YouTube can easily show prospective buyers how to make use of your products. (Bee keeping is a HOT trend.!)
A friend of mine recently spent over $600 purchasing all the bee keeping supplies that were featured by a seller in their “how to raise honeybees” video.
Videos are also getting prime placement on Google’s search pages.
While you may not get your eBay product listing ranked on the first page of Google, your video review of the latest gaming console that you’re selling may make the first page. And that video will drive traffic directly to your eBay store where people can buy it.
Rather than read about a product, these days people want to watch a video to learn more about it. Another reason why video must be a part of your content marketing strategy.
Video tip: You don’t have to be picture perfect or camera ready to use video as part of your content marketing strategy. No makeup artist or expensive equipment required.
Just be yourself and use a Flip video camera (it’s quick and easy and you can find them on eBay) and talk about the product you’re selling.
We look forward to seeing you at the next workshop!
Lisa Suttora is an ecommerce expert and founder of WhatDoISell.com. Since 2004, Lisa has specialized in helping online entrepreneurs master the marketing and product sourcing skills they need to build unique, thriving businesses in today's top online marketplaces.
A note from our Legal Department: The statements and opinions made in this discussion board are those of the workshop host only and do not reflect eBay policy or eBay's opinion with respect to such statements.
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How to Use Content Marketing to Attract, Engage & Retain More Customers!
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Take advantage of this great opportunity to ask Lisa Suttora how you can increase your marketing reach on and off eBay!
Workshops are interactive, so please feel free to ask your questions that directly relate to this topic. We will answer all questions!
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Hi marcusmsc, Welcome! The best way to start learning about selling on eBay is to buy a few items and get familiar with the buying/selling process, then start to sell small items from around your home.
Glad to see you here! You pose a good question because there are a lot of myths about duplicate content.
Google will penalize your site on the web if you repeat the same content throughout the page in an attempt to SPAM your page with a high percentage of the same keywords. People used to do this in an attempt to get 80% top keywords on a page.
The search engines are too smart for that now!
What you don't have to worry about is posting an article on your blog, and then repurposing it as a Custom Store Page and then repurposing it for email marketing content.
Although I do like to change things up a bit - I usually change 15-20% of the content to keep it fresh.
BTW, you don't want to use those article tools that blat out the same article to hundreds of sites. That also ticks the search engines off.
Here's a helpful tip for creating content easily...
Keep a reference file of content ideas.
When you think of somethign you want to write about, note it in digital format on your computer - that way when you are ready to write a review or an article, you already have a bunch of ideas taking shape!
Hi bocciball7rgi, Your niche lends itself well to content marketing. I took at look at your store and content marketing will be a breeze!
The first and easiset ideas would be to write about cool craft projects or items people can make with the fabrics you sell. In your niche, people buy on inspiration! They see a cute idea and buy the fabric/pattern etc.
My daughter's sewing teacher is a perfect example of this. She shops eBay all the time looking for cute fabric and ideas for projects to make.
So you should focus on that in your custom store pages etc.
Do you have a Wordpress blog? If not, this is your #2 area of focus. Your blog is your home on the web.
It's here that you can do a lot of content marketing and drive traffic to your eBay store.
Think about doing other content marketing like:
Craft of the month Having your customers send in photos of what they've made with your fabric.
I also noticed you are not using the "Classic" eBay store template that displays the 300 character description of your store.
You'll want to go into Seller Manage Store and change to the classic template.
That visible store description will give you better search engine indexing in addition to giving your customers a quick synopsis of what you sell.
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