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9 Ecommerce Content Examples To Inspire Your Marketing Campaigns

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9 Ecommerce Content Examples To Inspire Your Marketing Campaigns


Content marketing is tough to get right, but once you do, the results can be incredible – especially for ecommerce brands.

More traffic from Google? Check.

More leads? Check.

More trust built with prospects? Double-check.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as blogging randomly about topics you pull out of a hat.

With a strategy in place including research on who you’re targeting, what keywords to use, which topics to cover, and how often/where to post content, you’ll differentiate yourself from the run-of-the-mill brands posting forgettable blogs no one cares about.

(Spoiler: Most of the brands posting content on the internet fall into this camp, as 90.63% of all web pages get no traffic from Google, according to one Ahrefs study.)

Instead, your web presence will be memorable, and more importantly, needed in your space.

To inspire you about exactly what great ecommerce content marketing looks like, let’s explore nine examples from a wide array of industries.

1. Studio McGee

Looking for an ecommerce content marketing example that manages to combine product links with written content in a non-salesy, totally helpful way?

Look to Studio McGee, an interior design brand that also sells its own line of home goods.

Screenshot from Studio Mcgee, January 2022

On their blog, they focus on helping you create beautiful rooms in your own home, with inspiration from their designs and products.

Studio Mcgee table lampsScreenshot from Studio Mcgee, January 2022

It’s a tough balancing act, but Studio McGee manages it with aplomb.

The product links don’t scream at you, they gently nudge – and the beautiful product photography certainly doesn’t hurt.

2. BarkBox

Every pup’s favorite subscription box brand also has a great content marketing strategy.

Check out their content hub, Bark Post, for news on fresh and trending products, upcoming boxes, and keyword-focused, fun blogs that bring dog lovers straight to their virtual doorstep.

9 Ecommerce Content Examples To Inspire Your Marketing CampaignsScreenshot from BarkBox, January 2022

3. Lush

Lush, a cruelty-free, vegan beauty brand, is a great example of a retailer doing ecommerce content marketing right in various formats.

In particular, their video channel is full of targeted, engaging content, from whimsical animated shorts to “how it’s made” videos on their most popular products.

With millions of views on most of them, Lush obviously has their video strategy nailed.

Lush cosmetic youtube channelLush Cosmetics North America YouTube channel, January 2022

4. Almanac

Are you familiar with the annual magazine, The Old Farmer’s Almanac?

It’s the longest-running publication in North America, starting from the original version that circulated in 1792.

Today’s publishers also sell cookbooks, calendars, gardening guides, and more.

9 Ecommerce Content Examples To Inspire Your Marketing CampaignsScreenshot from Almanac, January 2022

Well, this practical staple also has an online presence, Almanac.com, complete with a full roster of content on gardening, weather, food, astronomy, and the yearly calendar.

In particular, their Growing Guides are impressive and exhaustive, giving you all the info you need on growing just about anything under the sun.

Almanac growing guidesScreenshot from Almanac, January 2022

The content here offers a doorway to their extensive library of books and guides for purchase.

5. Patagonia

For ecommerce content marketing that’s more story-focused, look no further than Patagonia, a retailer specializing in all things outdoors.

Patagonia landing page headerScreenshot from Patagonia, January 2022

On their blog, you might expect to find articles about how to gear up and get into nature and outdoor sports, but instead, you’ll find thoughtful pieces on conservation, nature, and the culture surrounding outdoor adventuring.

Nature focused stories on Patagonia siteScreenshot from Patagonia, January 2022

Patagonia knows its earth-conscious, nature-loving audience well, and its content reflects that.

6. Artifact Uprising

The folks at Artifact Uprising are print design and photography experts selling photo books and other printable, commemorative gifts, and their content marketing reflects that expertise perfectly.

Artifact Uprising websiteScreenshot from Artifact Uprising, January 2022

Their content taps into the art of creatively capturing memories, which fits their audience to a T.

7. Grammarly

If you write at all within your work or school life, you may rely on the Grammarly app to help your text stay clean and clear of errors.

You can also count on the Grammarly blog for comprehensive writing advice, how-to’s, and grammar tips.

Grammarly article on oxymoronsScreenshot from Grammarly, January 2022

Just like its writing tool, Grammarly’s content is all about helping you write your best.

In many cases, it’s also keyword-focused to bring in those people searching Google for writing answers.

8. Book Of The Month

Book of the Month is a book subscription service that features five curated new reads for users to choose from each month.

Their content marketing is, of course, centered on reading and choosing just the right book.

For example, check out this custom flowchart that helps you pick out your next read based on various either/or scenarios, and lead you to their monthly selections:

Book of the Month: flowchartScreenshot from Book of the Month, January 2022

9. Food52

A hub for food, recipes, home, the kitchen, and eating, Food52 also sells home goods, kitchen supplies, furniture, pantry staples, and anything else you might need for your next dinner party or weeknight cooking shenanigans.

The Food52 section focuses on food (duh), and topics are as broad as that word entails.

The content runs the gamut from complete guides on cooking with certain spices to news about the latest products to hit Trader Joe’s.

Food52 websiteScreenshot from Food52, January 2022

The site is sprawling, but the content is great no matter where you turn.

Cracking The Code In Ecommerce Content Marketing

What do all of these examples show us?

Ecommerce content marketing needs just a few elements to work:

  • Great writing that’s engaging and interesting to read (or listen to).
  • Deep knowledge of your audience and what they need/want from your content.
  • Clear, focused topics.
  • Smart use of SEO to bring in those prospects who have yet to hear of your brand.
  • Strategic (and usually subtle) tie-ins to products, if relevant.
  • Strong CTAs to encourage your audience to act on trust built as they consumed your content.

And, finally, all of these things should be spelled out in clear terms within a brand content marketing strategy.

It’s the overall map to getting results from content, and should never be underestimated or ignored.

Now, the question is, are you going to invest in strategic content marketing for your ecommerce brand?

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Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To Try

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Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To Try

Much of the web is ephemeral.

Web pages exist until they don’t. The content on them exists until it’s updated – and then it’s gone.

Unless you go digging in an archive.

Archiving the web is important for cultural and anthropological research. It’s also helpful for business reasons, like competitive analysis. It can even help document or monitor political processes.

Your particular reason for seeking archived content might determine which service works best.

The Wayback Machine is the most commonly known archive.

Screenshot, https://archive.org/web/, January 2023.

The Internet Archive is a nonprofit organization, and the Wayback Machine is the web version of its archive, containing an absolutely massive amount of data.

You can request that it save a webpage in its current state, as well as make use of tools, like an API.

As huge as the Wayback Machine archive is, it’s likely not 100% complete. If you’re having trouble finding something specific or wondering if there are alternatives with more features, these alternatives might help.

I won’t be going over paid SaaS subscriptions, as I don’t consider a paid service a true alternative to a free one provided by a nonprofit.

Let’s go!

1. The Memento Project

Memento is an exceptional alternative to the Wayback Machine because it aggregates several different sources, including the Wayback Machine itself.

On the website, you can access archives from several sources by using the Time Travel tool.

Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To TryScreenshot, http://timetravel.mementoweb.org/, January 2023.

This is the first distinction that makes Memento so cool, and it includes some of the other archives on this list, too. That means it’s a customizable experience and likely one of the most complete.

Memento’s other distinct feature is the Chrome extension that allows you to select the date on which you’d like to view your current page. This brings the tool to where you’re browsing instead of making you put a URL into a form.

You can also create a snapshot of a page and generate a link to it that won’t break. This is particularly useful for citation.

If you’re concerned a page might disappear, or the content might get updated, but you want to use the information, creating one of these links ensures that people will be able to see your original source.

2. Archive.today

Archive.today is another “snapshot” tool. It allows you to save a link to a page as it currently exists.

Following the link will send users to an unalterable version of the page.

Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To TryScreenshot, https://archive.ph/, January 2023.

It also features some relatively advanced search queries you can perform on domains and URLs to find snapshots that have been saved with the tool.

This tool also features a Chrome extension as well as an Android app.

Searches on Memento can include results from Archive.today.

3. WebCite

WebCite has powerful applications for authors, journalists, academics, and publishers.

It offers a variety of ways to build and present the archived pages and the URLs.

Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To TryScreenshot, rhttps://webcitation.org/, January 2023.

Unfortunately, at the time of publishing, it doesn’t appear to be taking new requests. But you can still access already archived pages. When and if it starts accepting requests again, it’s a very useful tool for that.

Its most powerful feature for authors and publishers is the ability to upload a manuscript directly to the website.

The tool will scan every link in an uploaded manuscript and automatically create archives of each of the pages linked to as they currently exist. This saves a lot of time if you’ve used a lot of website citations.

If you’ve created content that you want people to be able to create snapshots of, then you can add a specific WebCite link to your page that users can click on. This embeds archive functionality into your page, saving users time if they decide to use your work as a citation.

4. GitHub

GitHub is a development and collaboration platform that also prioritizes public projects and open-source code.

It documents and archives open-source code and programs, and is searchable by other archives such as the Wayback Machine.

Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To TryScreenshot, https://github.com/explore, January 2023.

But, if you’re looking for something related to code or software development, it might be easier to go straight to GitHub instead of using another archive service.

While it does have paid business plans, GitHub is free for the average user. It even offers 15GB of storage and some computing power in its cloud developer environment for free for your personal use.

5. Country-Specific Web Archives

Several countries run their own web archives.

These can be particularly helpful alternatives to the Wayback Machine if you’re looking for a website highly relevant to a specific location, or the culture of a country.

More focused archives might have more complete information if you’re having trouble finding it elsewhere, although again, I want to mention that the first alternative in this list, Memento, pulls from several different country-specific archives.

I should also note that many archives specific to a country, region, educational institution, or individual library are partnered with Archive-it, a service provider built by The Internet Archive (makers of the Wayback Machine).

They curate specific collections based on relevance, but all Archive-it partners leverage the same source: The Internet Archive.

These are a few of the country-specific web archives:

Conclusion

When you’re looking for alternatives to the Wayback Machine, you might not realize that a great many of them, in part or in whole, are powered by the same archive.

But there are other services out there you can use. Some have more helpful features, depending on what your goals are.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of alternative tools, but it’s most of the easily accessible tools for the average user.

Others require monthly payments, and some are free to academic and legal institutions, but not to individual users.

I chose to focus on the best of the tools that you could go and use right now with no fuss.

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Indirect Marketing: Definition, Types, & Examples

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Indirect Marketing: Definition, Types, & Examples

Indirect marketing is marketing where you’re not trying to explicitly sell a product or service.

Instead, it focuses on activities that generate brand awareness, build relationships with potential customers, and nurture them to eventually buy from you.

Indirect marketing relies on the assumption that potential customers will not purchase your product or service immediately, but over time. 

And if we look at our buying behavior, that’s probably true. For example, if we need a new pair of headphones, we’ll probably first do some online research, browse forums, ask our friends, and get familiar with available brands and models—all before buying.

In contrast, direct marketing is marketing where you’re explicitly trying to get potential customers to buy right now. Channels include cold email, direct mail, and ads.

Types of indirect marketing

Here are some types of indirect marketing:

1. Public relations (PR)

PR is the practice of positively influencing a brand’s perception by managing communications with the media and the general public.

Common tactics include being newsworthy, responding to media inquiries (e.g., HARO), creating press releases, building relationships with journalists, and creating PR stunts. 

For example, Ahrefs was featured on TechCrunch in 2022.

Ahrefs is featured in a TechCrunch article

This was possible because we had:

  1. A newsworthy event (“we’re making a search engine”).
  2. Relationships with the right people (all thanks to the hard work of my colleague, Daria Samokish).

2. Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is the practice of optimizing your website and its pages to rank higher in search engines like Google. You’d want to make sure your important pages appear on Google for relevant keywords. For example, if someone is searching for your brand, your website should appear:

Google search results for keyword "ahrefs"

But nobody will search for your brand if they do not know it exists. So beyond optimizing your homepage, you should also target keywords your customers are searching for.

At Ahrefs, we create content targeting problems our potential customers have. For example, 14,000 people per month search for “link building” in the U.S.  

14,000 people per month search for “link building” in the U.S.

This is a problem our toolset helps with, so we created a piece of content targeting that topic.

Ahrefs' link building guide

Whenever someone is searching for that keyword on Google, they’ll discover our content and, in the process, our product and brand. 

Repeat this ad infinitum and you’ll expose hundreds, if not thousands, of people to your brand (in our case, an estimated 3.4 million).

Estimated amount of search traffic Ahrefs receives every month, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Recommended reading: SEO: The Complete Guide for Beginners 

3. Social media

Creating valuable content that persuades people to follow you on social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok is a great way to generate brand awareness and build relationships with your audience.

For example, our Twitter account has 128,000 followers, and we regularly share SEO and marketing tips with our audience:

Indirect marketing: pros and cons

Should you invest in indirect marketing? Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros

Here are the advantages of indirect marketing.

1. Indirect marketing builds demand and awareness

Why is it important to build brand awareness and demand? 

Simple: There are only so many people who are ready to buy right now. Most of your potential customers are still unaware they have a problem, unaware of solutions, or unaware of your particular product or service. 

So if you’re using direct marketing, you’re only focusing on a small pool of people. Not only that, but you could actually just be reaching out to people who are already primed to buy in the first place.

Eventually, you’ll still need a way to open up a pool of potential customers. And you can do that with indirect marketing tactics. 

2. Indirect marketing is less intrusive and non-pushy

Prospects purposely seek out content that helps them solve problems. Not only that, but indirect marketing tactics also rarely involve reaching out to people. 

Cons

Here are some downsides to indirect marketing.

1. Indirect marketing takes time

You can’t build a brand overnight. Neither can you amass 100,000 followers in one day. Relationships with journalists take time to build. And ranking on Google takes time too.

Results for a poll on how long SEO takes

Recognizing that customers need time to buy also means recognizing that nurturing the relationship takes time.

2. Indirect marketing is less trackable

Life gets in everyone’s way. You must have had the experience of researching for something to buy, only for you to give it up for a few years before suddenly returning to purchase it. Your customers are the same too. 

As a result, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly which indirect marketing tactic contributed to the success. But it doesn’t mean that indirect marketing doesn’t work, just that it’s not attributable. 

Direct marketing: pros and cons

Should you invest in direct marketing? Here are the pros and cons.

Pros

What are some advantages of direct marketing?

1. Direct marketing is measurable

Direct marketing tactics are usually trackable—how many opens, how many clicks, how many conversions, and so on. You can see these metrics on ad platforms and email marketing software.

2. Direct marketing is fast

Since it’s intended to elicit a response or purchase, direct marketing tactics can have an immediate impact on a business’s bottom line. 

Cons

Direct marketing is not all sunshine and roses. There are some downsides.

1. Direct marketing is intrusive

Direct marketing tactics like cold email and ads are generally seen as interruptive. That is because the prospect did not request them and yet is still served a sales message.

An unwanted ad from Emirates on the Twitter timeline

2. Direct marketing has a smaller reach

As mentioned earlier, there are only so many people who are ready and willing to buy. Direct marketing merely converts these people, but it cannot generate purchases among people who don’t even know you exist. 

3. Direct marketing can be blocked

CAN-SPAM, GDPR, ad-blockers—they exist to prevent unwanted sales messages from reaching consumers.

Examples of successful indirect marketing

Looking for successful examples of how companies have used indirect marketing? Here are three to be inspired by.

1. Ahrefs – Blog

The main marketing type we use is SEO-driven content marketing. It can be summarized into one sentence:

We create and maintain high-quality, search-focused content about topics with business potential, search traffic potential, and ranking potential.

To break it down:

  1. We research topics our customers are searching for on Google.
  2. We filter them by checking their business potential—how easy it will be to pitch our product while tackling these keywords.
  3. We prioritize by analyzing their ranking potential—how viable it is for us to rank in the top three with our available resources.
  4. We create content targeting those topics.
  5. We update or rewrite them if they don’t rank or are out of date.

This strategy means customers are always discovering us whenever they’re searching for solutions to their problems on Google. 

Ahrefs customers mentioning that they found out about our product from Google

Our strategy is simple. No fancy tactics or the latest hot trend. But this deliberate simplicity makes the strategy easy to follow and is the driving force behind our eight-figure annual recurring revenue (ARR).

Learn how to replicate our strategy in the guide below.

Recommended reading: How to Create an SEO Content Strategy (Follow the Ahrefs’ Framework) 

2. Wendy’s – Twitter

Wendy’s is a fast-food restaurant chain. Yet, you might not be able to tell from its tweets:

If you’re out of the loop, Wendy’s basically revolutionized how brands can use social media and communicate with their customers. Rather than post boring bureaucratic tweets in “corporatese,” it decided to do a 180° by sharing memes, roasting rival companies, and posting in a sassy tone. And it rarely has a call to action to visit a Wendy’s restaurant.

But this indirect marketing works for it. In a highly competitive fast-food scene, this social media strategy puts its brand top of mind. 

Not only do its tweets gain attention on the network itself, but it also spreads virally across other channels. Memes, anime parodies, and YouTube videos—the list goes on. 

Since 2012, Wendy’s has overtaken Burger King to become the #3 U.S. fast-food chain.

3. Slidebean – YouTube

Slidebean is a pitch deck design platform for startups and small businesses. It has >400,000 subscribers on YouTube. Many of its videos aren’t about pitch decks or pitch deck design; instead, they’re about startups, marketing, and business.

This is deliberate. It initially started out with topics related to its product. But it found that it exhausted those topics in a short amount of time. So it decided to move up the marketing funnel into broader topics.

Since we had found a “YouTube formula,” we decided to apply it to other kinds of content, and one of them was this idea of exploring failed companies. The first one was WeWork, which was just the right bridge between a startup-focused company and a widely known brand. At this stage, the series was called “Startup Forensics.”

However, there were only so many tech startups to explore, so we quickly opened that up to “Company Forensics” to broaden our horizons.

Jose Cayasso

This allowed Slidebean to get as many eyeballs as possible on YouTube, which puts its brand top of mind. The company hit $1.5 million in revenue with 3,000 customers in 2022. 

Final thoughts

The best companies use both indirect and direct marketing. They don’t discriminate between strategies. If you want to improve your business, you should use both. 

Any questions? Hit me up on Twitter



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What Businesses Need To Know

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What Businesses Need To Know

Google has announced that Google Optimize and Optimize 360 will no longer be available after September 30. All experiments will continue to run until that date.

Google launched Optimize over five years ago to help businesses test and improve their user experiences.

Many companies have widely used the tool to optimize their website, landing pages, and other online properties.

While the discontinuation of Google Optimize and Optimize 360 may disappoint, Google says it’s committed to providing a new solution in GA4.

Users are encouraged to download their data before it becomes unavailable at the end of September.

Google Optimize will go down in marketing history as a short-lived but beloved tool. Businesses that rely on it for their experimentation needs will have to find a new solution.

The History Of Google Optimize

Avid users of Google Optimize may be interested in this story from Krista Seiden, a former employee on the team since its early days.

In a 20-part Twitter thread, Seiden recounts her time on the Google Optimize team and describes how the tool came to be.

She says the idea for Google Optimize came after finding that content experiments in Google Analytics couldn’t scale to her team’s needs.

That’s when they decided to build their own server-side A/B testing solution, which eventually became Google Optimize.

Seiden stayed on the Optimize core team until she left Google in early 2019.

During her time on the team, she made dozens of educational videos and how-to’s for Google Optimize and consulted on many of its features.

Seiden’s story, worth reading in full, shows that Google Optimize was not only a valuable tool but also had a passionate team behind it.

When Google Optimize ends its service on September 30, it will leave a significant gap in the market for affordable and beginner-friendly A/B testing options.

According to Seiden, Google plans to expand A/B testing capabilities in GA4. However, it’s unlikely that the features will be available by September 30.

Lastly, she adds that Google is working on integrating with other A/B testing partners, which means that businesses who are using a third-party tool may be able to transfer their testing data to GA4.

Comment From Search Engine Journal’s Director Of Marketing

Heather Campbell, Search Engine Journal’s Director of Marketing, gives her take on the sunsetting of Google Optimize and what it means for others in the field:

I’m not surprised this day has come. It was only a matter of time before Optimize / 360 would no longer function since Google is sunsetting Universal Analytics in July.

Google is investing in GA4 and wants you to do the same.

It’s still frustrating when Google moves our marketing cheese, but don’t lose hope. This could be your opportunity to find a platform better suited to your needs.

What does this mean for now?

It would be best if you started researching alternatives. And there’s plenty out there. The first place to start, though, is with GA4.

Hopefully, you’ve already started implementing GA4, as that’s where the next iteration of Optimize will live. And if you haven’t, you should probably stop reading this and get started.

Make sure you pull down any data from past campaigns. You can still run campaigns thru September 30, but if you rely on testing and personalization (like any good marketer does), you may need a backup.


Source: Google

Featured Image: Aa Amie/Shutterstock



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