What Makes Good Ecommerce Content?

January 10, 2014


#EcomChat for Monday 13th January 2014 was on the topic of “What Makes Good Ecommerce Content?” – thanks to @aattias for the suggestion.

As ever, there were 3 conversation starter questions, and anyone was welcome to chip in live on Twitter using the #EcomChat hashtag.

The 3 questions were:

  1. How do you know what content customers will like?
  2. How do you measure the impact of content?
  3. Who do you think makes brilliant content (and why)?

And here is the summary (thanks to the great @JackSaville1 for the writeup):

Q1) How do you know which content customers will like?

@LordManley:  It is not about knowing what your customer wants, it is about understanding their intent from their language and their behaviour. #ecomchat Matching user INTENT with your content is what converts.

@AndrewGirdwood: I think this is a tough one. Even if you know what customers like doesn’t mean you know which content will work well.

@JamesGurd: I quite like keyword research for question based searches e.g “how do I…” – content for info seekers #EcomChat

@Magique83: Content needs to serve a purpose to the customer in the same way UX design intends to get them to their goal as fast as possible #ecomchat

@aattias: Lots of different ways to ask too. Site surveys, workshops, usability studies or even the humble phone #ecomchat

@mcmillanstu: #ecomchat competitor analysis, see where they get traction

@aattias: a1: Simple answer is ask ’em. Too few companies get real insight by speaking to their actual customers #ecomchat

  • ‏@emmabonar: @aattias Speaking to them is great, but a simple exit poll can be really helpful too #EcomChat
  • @JamesGurd: @emmabonar Yep polls and surveys really useful + use persistent survey feedback for insight e.g Qualaroo #EcomChat
  • ‏@emmabonar: @JamesGurd I’ve not come across that, have you used it? #EcomChat
  • ‏@AlWightman: @emmabonar @JamesGurd I find Qualaroo very useful especially for contextual type surveying e.g. did you find this page useful? #ecomchat
  • ‏@JamesGurd: @emmabonar Yep have used qual data from persistent survey – check each month for hot topics and then respond – great for site FAQ #EcomChat
  • ‏@emmabonar: @JamesGurd Sounds useful, thanks!
  • ‏@JamesGurd: @AlWightman @emmabonar Do you use other tools like Kampyle or is Qualaroo the go to survey tool for you? #EcomChat
  • ‏@AlWightman: @JamesGurd @emmabonar have used Kampyle, Foresee when the client is paying!! and SurveyMonkey – lots out there though #ecomchat
  • ‏@emmabonar : @AlWightman @JamesGurd  LOL! I used Foresee when I had a big budget, really useful, couldn’t believe how much info people gave #EcomChat

@DanielJAustin: Don’t ask. That doesn’t position you as a thought leader. Insight from customer services is a good one. #ecomchat

@lakey: @JamesGurd A1: Use Google Trends and make a bet on rising searches. See ‘evergreen content’ tips here: https://bit.ly/L1DRyv  #EcomChat

  • ‏@JamesGurd: @lakey Yep i like the idea of learning from evergreen content and looking at ways to expand/re-purpose #EcomChat

@SEONorth: I’d say good content for ecommerce is hugely dependant on being close to the customers and their culture. Being one of them helps. #EcomChat

  • @JamesGurd: @SEONorth That’s a good point – social/community managers are well placed to understand this (if they’re doing it well!) #EcomChat

‏@dkoblintz: To be honest, if you don’t know what your customers actually want, you’ve got bigger problems than content #EcomChat

@panda_doodle: #ecomchat A1, depends if its site wide, product related or person of interest, think the question is too broad to fit a catch all answer

@aattias: Take guidance from past history. If you’ve made something that’s had a lot of likes/shares, is there more mileage to exploit? #ecomchat

‏@mcstot: If you’re actually interested in what you sell (big if) then created content that would appeal to you. #EcomChat

@dkoblintz: Your staff are probably your biggest customers (and if not, why?). They see more of your site than most – ask them for feedback #EcomChat

@Magique83: Many ecom companies focus their content too much on selling. You need to entertain, inform and educate too #ecomchat

@Magique83: Many ecom companies focus their content too much on selling. You need to entertain, inform and educate too #ecomchat

  • @KevinWaugh: @Magique83 “Inform and Educate” is key, when a customer can purchase without seeking answers from you or elsewhere is a huge win. #ecomchat
  • ‏@GingerWarriorX: @KevinWaugh @Magique83 and *then* the holy grail, SEO traffic increases, as you are answering questions no-one else is… #ecomchat

@Magique83: Many ecom companies focus their content too much on selling. You need to entertain, inform and educate too #ecomchat

Q2) How do you measure the impact of content?

  • ‏@lakey Beyond the obvious £££, there’s all the brand metrics to consider. Reach, positioning, awareness, etc. And SEO!
  • ‏@lakey Also, vanity metrics like page impressions tend to be less revealing than comments on posts and in tweets.
  • @aattias: @JamesGurd By the volume of desirable outcomes stemming from that content, e.g. sales for ecom, leads for b2b etc 
  • @JamesGurd: @aattias I think a focus on desirable outcomes is ideal – need to define those outcomes by understanding how content contributes #EcomChat
  • ‏@aattias: @JamesGurd Yeah, gets tricky very quickly doesn’t it esp in multichannel setup for say complex b2b products. #ecomchat
  • @AmpersandHQ: @aattias@JamesGurd Have an improvement plan. Track content changes & measure impact. Revisit. Little by little, data won’t lie. #EcomChat

@JamesGurd: a2) Measurement should be more than £ – look at impact on driving return visits, so content converting new to return visitor. #EcomChat

@emmabonar: @JamesGurd Sure, define what your KPIs are (leads/conversions/return visits etc) and measure #EcomChat

@JamesGurd: a2) And look at impact on organic search – how does content support keyword penetration/impressions/visits #EcomChat

@buyapowa: Interesting that the biggest publication in the UK is Tesco’s magazine. Retailers do content better than publishers do retail. #EcomChat

‏@AndrewGirdwood: I like using Stumble to measure content. Pay for some traffic and see how many extra stumbles you earned through good content. #EcomChat

@AlWightman: A2) Once tools are in place important to use segmentation tools to drill down not just by visit but cross visit and cross device #EcomChat

@webber_karen: #EcomChat A2: You need to measure against objectives set as part of a strategy. Measurement needs to form part of planning.

@KevinWaugh: #Ecomchat A2: organic traffic, exit rate in analytics (did the content help them or not)

@mcmillanstu: how do you measure share of mind? I’d like us to be the first people that come to mind when you think of good footwear retailing #EcomChat

@mcmillanstu: how do you measure share of mind? I’d like us to be the first people that come to mind when you think of good footwear retailing #EcomChat

Q3) Who do you think makes brilliant content? (and what makes it brilliant?)

@JamesGurd: 10 mins left peeps so let’s move to q3) Who do you think makes brilliant content (and why)? #EcomChat

@JamesGurd: a3) For me has to be (obvious example) Redbull – understand their audience, build content around key lifestyles with ambassadors #EcomChat

‏@KevinWaugh: #ecomchat A3: From design and content, @CrateandBarrel really uses content to help create an experience

@DanielJAustin: AO are good. Their fans post videos about washing machines. It’s a washing machine!! #ecomchat

‏@GingerWarriorX: Lifestyle keeps cropping up- to understand how your brand fits in with ppls lives? Make it relevant via content, rather than sales #ecomchat

@aattias: Think this is apt for Q3: The other C word: what makes great content marketing great https://bit.ly/1m2P4tw  #ecomchat

@AndrewGirdwood: I suspect Valve are the masters of content marketing. It’s their business more so than, say, Redbull. #EcomChat

‏@AndrewGirdwood: There’s a great battle among bakers to showcase impressive cake designs on Facebook. Awesome stuff. #EcomChat

@JamesGurd: a3) #EcomChat J Peterman for product copy – take a peek – wonderful copywriting https://www.jpeterman.com/Womens-Caftans/Istanbul-Caftan …

‏@AndrewGirdwood: Who makes the best content? Fans. Why? They give a crap and know the audiences better than anyone else. This is a challenge. #EcomChat

‏@Magique83: A3) Shout out to @MJLawson1 & team at https://AO.com  for their fairly new content venture – https://blog.ao.com/  #ecomchat


And with that, the hour was up. Thanks again to @JackSaville1 for the writeup, and to all of the contributors.

Join us at 1pm UK time on Monday and do share this post either on Twitter or via email with anyone you think would be interested.

Dan & James.

p.s. If you’re wondering “what is this all about?” there is an about page to explain everything.

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