Ecommerce content marketing sounds good in theory – but few sites do it well.
Loads of ecommerce sites will put up a blog, write a company update once in a while and call it a day.
That isn’t enough.
Even though site owners have a ton of things to do – from managing inventory, to perfecting design, to hiring staff – content and SEO have to be part of the equation.
I know when I look for examples of content marketing for ecommerce clients, it takes some digging to find great examples in their industry.
For the purpose of this article, ecommerce content marketing is defined as content created and produced for your website with the goal of attracting traffic, links, and conversions.
These content assets are typically created as blog posts, resource pages, or visual assets outside of the typical ecommerce product and category page architecture, but still well integrated.
And while interactive mobile apps and videos can be considered content marketing, we’re focusing on content that lives on websites and generates traditional organic traffic from Google.
There are definitely secondary effects, such as social shares, email newsletter mentions, and viral word-of-mouth, but we’re taking the SEO-centric approach here.
We’re also including a mix of content that knocks it out of the park with big campaigns, as well as smaller content that works hard, such as blog posts.
Side note: One misconception is that ecommerce is only selling products online – that couldn’t be further from the truth – ecommerce encompasses any transaction that happens online. This guide breaks down all the categories – from Business to Consumer, to Government to Business.
All traffic and link estimates below are from Ahrefs.
Here are some of the top sites that do ecommerce content marketing well.
1. Angie’s List
Angie’s List is a gargantuan traffic beast that encompasses many service industries and locations.
In addition to their standard listings pages, they have a massive articles and research section that together account for over 30% of their estimated 5 million a month in organic traffic visits.
This large content piece – Watch Manhattan Grow over 400 Years – is a true content marketing asset that includes multiple visuals. This goes above and beyond a standard blog post and is the type of content perfect for pitching bloggers.
It catches the attention of viewers and linkers alike since this visually takes you on a journey through history and educates you along the way.
While the relevance to the Angie’s List brand is somewhat fuzzy, you can’t deny it’s a great piece of content.
If you want an over-the-top example of content marketing it’s this.
Proflowers created a list of 151 Types of Flowers, complete with images, seasons, zones, and more. It’s quite the doozy but it stands head and shoulders above similar content.
Not only does it generate over 17,000 visits a month in organic traffic, but it’s attracted 49 linking root domains.
Overall, Proflowers pulls in a whopping 42% of organic traffic to their blog and content posts. This is huge, and quite surprising given the size of Proflowers already.
Top-of-funnel content marketing is a great fit for Proflowers since virtually everyone will need to buy flowers for their special someone at some point in the next year.
It’s a form of content marketing and branding combined, which works well in the B2C mass-market.
Ecommerce or Sass? Yes. Both.
We have to call out Venngage, because they are content marketing.
Virtually the entirety of the site is content that is easily consumable, linkable, and solves some question. More SaaS and ecommerce companies can learn from their model.
One content marketing piece that stands out the most is their What is a Marketing Plan post. It’s chock-full of visuals, includes templates for the user, and has brought in 85 linking root domains to the site.
Venngage pulls in a full 55% of organic traffic from their blog posts, and more than half of their traffic value.
Let’s just say Venngage may be the gold standard for high growth, transactional (ecommerce) sites.
Beardbrand has fully committed to the power of the blog. So much so that their blog posts account for a full 69% of their organic traffic! These numbers are huge.
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<img class="size-full wp-image-312511 aligncenter b-lazy pcimg" src="data:;base64,” sizes=”(max-width: 1685px) 100vw, 1685px” alt=”urban beardsman” width=”1685″ height=”1098″ data-srcset=”https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/beardbrand-urban-beardsman.png 1685w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/beardbrand-urban-beardsman-480×313.png 480w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/beardbrand-urban-beardsman-680×443.png 680w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/beardbrand-urban-beardsman-768×500.png 768w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/beardbrand-urban-beardsman-1024×667.png 1024w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/beardbrand-urban-beardsman-1600×1043.png 1600w” data-src=”https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/beardbrand-urban-beardsman.png” />
Their #1 blog post – How to Grow a THICK BEARD – brings in a whopping 16,000 visits a month.
<img class="size-full wp-image-312513 aligncenter b-lazy pcimg" src="data:;base64,” sizes=”(max-width: 1263px) 100vw, 1263px” alt=”beardbrand-thick” width=”1263″ height=”960″ data-srcset=”https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/beard-brand-thick-beard.png 1263w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/beard-brand-thick-beard-480×365.png 480w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/beard-brand-thick-beard-680×517.png 680w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/beard-brand-thick-beard-768×584.png 768w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/beard-brand-thick-beard-1024×778.png 1024w” data-src=”https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/beard-brand-thick-beard.png” />
What I really appreciate about Beardbrand is that the majority of their posts are about beards.
This laser-like focus means that they are forced to get creative and talk about beards in 100 different ways.
5. Bespoke Post
Bespoke Post is a monthly box for men that caters to their hipster side. While they aren’t doing anything groundbreaking, they’re earning close to 100,000 organic visits a month according to Ahrefs.
Their #3 overall page, How to Tailor Your Own Clothes, is a straightforward, helpful blog post that delivers over 2,000+ organic visits a month.
<img class="size-full wp-image-312517 aligncenter b-lazy pcimg" src="data:;base64,” sizes=”(max-width: 1630px) 100vw, 1630px” alt=”tailor clothes” width=”1630″ height=”1069″ data-srcset=”https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bespoke-post.png 1630w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bespoke-post-480×315.png 480w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bespoke-post-680×446.png 680w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bespoke-post-768×504.png 768w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bespoke-post-1024×672.png 1024w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bespoke-post-1600×1049.png 1600w” data-src=”https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bespoke-post.png” />
This post stands out with its 21 how-to images for tailoring your own clothes. It fits into the overall Bespoke Post DIY ethos as well.
<img class="size-full wp-image-312515 aligncenter b-lazy pcimg" src="data:;base64,” sizes=”(max-width: 1232px) 100vw, 1232px” alt=”bespoke steps” width=”1232″ height=”961″ data-srcset=”https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bespoke-detail.png 1232w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bespoke-detail-480×374.png 480w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bespoke-detail-680×530.png 680w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bespoke-detail-768×599.png 768w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bespoke-detail-1024×799.png 1024w” data-src=”https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bespoke-detail.png” />
Their overall blog content strategy is to be helpful, informative, and approachable. Most posts are how-to DIY posts or informational posts to help make a decision.
Their blog, The Post, accounts for 16% of their monthly organic traffic.
6. Boll & Branch
While Boll & Branch sticks with the standard blog post strategy for the most part, a few informational posts attack high volume informational posts and knock it out of the park.
<img class="size-full wp-image-312519 aligncenter b-lazy pcimg" src="data:;base64,” sizes=”(max-width: 1415px) 100vw, 1415px” alt=”boll branch thread count” width=”1415″ height=”1073″ data-srcset=”https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/boll-branch-thread.png 1415w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/boll-branch-thread-480×364.png 480w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/boll-branch-thread-680×516.png 680w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/boll-branch-thread-768×582.png 768w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/boll-branch-thread-1024×777.png 1024w” data-src=”https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/boll-branch-thread.png” />
Some posts, such as the What is Thread Count? post uses custom illustrations to add on an extra delight for visitors.
Overall, they include a mix of informative content as well as brand-centric content, pretty inline with the typical ecommerce brand with an eye toward traffic.
Their blog content accounts for a full 20% of organic traffic, according to Ahrefs.
7. Northern Brewer
When your ecommerce shop is selling something that requires a lot of work – like eight sweaty hours of home brewing – there’s a strong opportunity for educational content.
Northern Brewer has done just that with a fully featured Learn to Brew knowledge base.
<img class="size-full wp-image-312521 aligncenter b-lazy pcimg" src="data:;base64,” sizes=”(max-width: 1355px) 100vw, 1355px” alt=”archive northern brewer” width=”1355″ height=”1049″ data-srcset=”https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/northern-brewer-archive.png 1355w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/northern-brewer-archive-480×372.png 480w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/northern-brewer-archive-680×526.png 680w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/northern-brewer-archive-768×595.png 768w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/northern-brewer-archive-1024×793.png 1024w” data-src=”https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/northern-brewer-archive.png” />
While their How to Make Beer post is nothing extraordinary, it drives more than 6,000 visits a month in organic traffic.
It’s a great guide for beginners and tightly integrates with their product store, sending internal links directly to product pages – a win/win for users and Northern Brewer.
<img class="size-full wp-image-312525 aligncenter b-lazy pcimg" src="data:;base64,” sizes=”(max-width: 1323px) 100vw, 1323px” alt=”northern brewer how to” width=”1323″ height=”1050″ data-srcset=”https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/northern-how-to-make-beer.png 1323w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/northern-how-to-make-beer-480×381.png 480w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/northern-how-to-make-beer-680×540.png 680w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/northern-how-to-make-beer-768×610.png 768w, https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/northern-how-to-make-beer-1024×813.png 1024w” data-src=”https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/northern-how-to-make-beer.png” />
One innovate page is their priming sugar calculator – a simple web calculator that has nevertheless earned the site 82 linking root domains.
Their combined blog content and pages account for approximately 12% of organic traffic.
The Overall Content Strategy for Ecommerce Sites
Ecommerce site owners will have to constantly find the balance between focusing on their product pages and driving top-of-funnel traffic that will convert.
The thing to keep in mind when designing your content marketing campaign is how it integrates with your product, brand, and audience.
A high-fashion retailer is not going to want to create a silly cartoonish infographic to get a few links. That retailer will be much better off leveraging their branding and coveted status to get some mentions via a high-quality commercial video campaign.
Conversely, a complex B2B software company is solving an acute pain for its prospects that takes a ton of research.
Furthermore, the traffic that visits your site should serve you in some way.
Top-of-funnel and middle-of-funnel traffic is generally not ready to purchase, but they can be retargeted, converted via email, or at least be exposed to your brand for the first time.
Ecommerce sites across the board seem to be missing out on a lot of organic traffic. Too many of them focus solely on paid advertising and their own brand.
There’s a lot of opportunities for smart ecommerce brands to do content marketing right.