If you have any background in digital marketing or eCommerce, you may have heard the saying “content is king,” and that really is true. We can say that “Goal-driven Content” is the undisputed king of eCommerce sites.
Like millions of others in the world, when you want to know something or learn a new skill, of course you use a search engine. It could be something fun like “ How to cook pizza ” to something more serious, such as “How-to build an online store.”
As an eCommerce site owner, how can you use ” How-to Content” to increase your eCommerce sales ?
That’s a big question to answer – and we know you’re busy. So, we’ve made an easy-to-use article to summarize all you need to know about using ” How-to Content ” to increase sales on your eCommerce website and why should you start creating your own how-to content.
Before we jump into the why, let’s take a look at the what…
What Is How-To Content?
In general, how-to content, aka “how-to guide,” refers to instructional content that offers practical advice that aims to help users to do something the perfect way, like the DIY or tutorial videos.
In the eCommerce field, how-to content refers to the content that helps shoppers select the right product, make the right decision, or find the best deal. It also helps brands build visibility, trust, respect, and loyalty.
Now you have a good idea of what is how to content. Let’s dig deeper to find out how important it is to have a “how-to content” for your eCommerce content strategy…
Benefits of Using “ How To Content ” on Your eCommerce Site
Before we jump straight into the benefits, we want to emphasize that creating a how to content isn’t a “nice to have” thing—it’s a fundamental requirement for your eCommerce success.
Despite the fact that the how-to content has morphed in recent years, it’s still incredibly valuable. Take a look at how many search results will appear when you narrow content down to titles including “how-to.”
The most important benefits of how-to content can be summarized in the following 3 points:
1. Generate Leads for Your Business
The most important aspect of having how-to content is, of course, generating leads. Businesses always need to generate new leads to increase revenue and to keep the business going on.
Having instructional content helps your business to be found by the users who are searching for using particular products on the web or solving a certain problem. And this may lead to an increase in your eCommerce website traffic leading to an increase in sales.
2. Create and Retain Loyal Customers
It’s natural that some of your potential customers are ready to buy, some aren’t, and that is all perfectly fine. No matter at which stages your potential customers are, they all have different inquiries about the product or service that you’re offering.
Providing great content that answers your customers’ questions, solves their problems, makes your brand useful, and brings customers back after making a purchase helps you generate repeat purchases and increase loyalty to your online store. Also, this would generate a good feeling towards your eCommerce site and make a good impression on target customers.
3. How-To Content Is Evergreen
Of course, there are some content pieces that are very time-sensitive, as they can be outdated quickly. However, how-to content is evergreen and tends to remain out there for a long time in Google’s Index to bring in traffic for your eCommerce website from time to time.
The extra benefit of the evergreen how-to content is that there is no need to add new content every time; rather, it can be re-posted any time with a little extra effort.
Tips to Build a “How-To Content” Strategy for Your eCommerce Site
The well-crafted how-to content strategy of any eCommerce website must have three pillars, according to Eric Artz, the CEO of REI:
- Shopping-related content: To build an interested and engaged audience.
- Post-purchase content: To increase sales with new customers.
- Between-purchase content: To increase revenue with existing customers and build loyalty.
Let’s dig deeper into each one…
1. Shopping-related Content
In this stage, you should develop how-to content that focuses first on conversion and drives your business forward. The best types of content that may appeal to your shoppers in this stage are:
- Product reviews
- Buying guides
- Product comparisons
2. Post-purchase Content
Post-purchase content helps you answer your customers’ questions about the types of things they’ve bought or will buy from you. You should build loyalty by helping customers learn how-to use your products and services and make the most out of them.
The best types of content that may appeal to your shoppers in this stage are:
- Care and maintenance instructions
- Set-up guides
- Repair help
3. Between-purchase Content
At last and after you have your shopping-related and post-purchase content, create content that creates tomorrow’s repeat customers by answering the questions that come up for your customers when they have stopped thinking about you.
This will help bring your brand back to your customers’ minds in ways that your customers appreciate the purchasing experience with you and might bring your brand back to mind when it’s time to buy again.
The best content types that between-purchases customers appreciate are:
- Activity hacks/tips
- Location guides
- Skills and knowledge
Surely you want to see real examples of how eCommerce sites use how-to content. Let’ take a quick look…
Examples for How-To Content from eCommerce Sites
The following shows examples of how-to content that brands can create, and how effective it can be in terms of eCommerce SEO.
Azazie: Bridesmaid Dresses and Wedding Dresses
Azazie uses tailoring guides and how-to videos to help its customers find the best dresses that fit their shape and skin color. This type of content works in two ways: Azazie ranks well for terms around the topic how-to take measurements, and this content helps their own shoppers find products that perfectly suit them.
Azazie provides its customers with useful content on sizing, in addition to a tailoring tool that enables shoppers write their measurements to find the best dresses that meet these measurements so they can access this content whenever they need it to make an informed decision.
REI: Outdoor Clothing, Gear, and Footwear
You cannot imagine how effective this content can be for REI in terms of search positioning. Here are Google’s search listings for a search about choosing headlamps:
We wrote “how-to choose headlamps” on Google search and we found that REI is dominating Google results. First, the REI YouTube video commands big space above the fold, and also has the first organic result, pushing other competitors further down the page.
Also, the landing page for the organic result has the YouTube video embedded and includes a visual step-by-step guide to choosing the best headlamp.
Generating how to content is a great way for businesses to increase sales of eCommerce websites. When creating how-to content, remember to focus your content on solving a problem or satisfy a need for your potential customers. A detailed how-to content is only helpful if it actually solves a real problem for your customers.
Moreover, how to guides are always long, which can be boring. Avoid this by breaking them up visually using images, videos, checklists, quotes, etc.
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