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by Michael P. Hill December 28, 2016

Creating a quality content marketing plan for your Shopify store may seem like a daunting challenge, but it’s actually easy to do if you funnel your passion for your products into your content brainstorming.

Don’t curb your enthusiasm

When creating content such as blog articles and social media posts, it’s vital to ensure your authentic passion for your products shines through in every content piece you develop:

  • Channel your enthusiasm into content by sharing your knowledge of your products and, in a broader sense, your industry. This is a great way to frame yourself as an authority in your industry and build trust with potential customers.
  • Share how your products affect customers’ lives and solve problems. Testimonials and real life examples are a great way to make your products more relatable and let shoppers see how they can fit into their own lives.
  • Explore the wide breadth of your products and their uses to find new content topics.
  • Consider how your products and shopping experience work together to create a brand. This is a great source for not only the mood and tone of your content, but it’s a great way to find ancillary content ideas.

 

What’s the payoff?

Content generation is a great strategy for many reasons:

  • Since content will, by default, relate closely to your products and services as well as the broader industry you operate within, content generation can be a great way to send search engines signals about your site’s content and help boost your rankings.
  • Useful content is a great way to answer shoppers’ questions about a particular product or product line — and therefore paint you and your store as an authority in the area, making it easier for shoppers to trust you and, ultimately, make a purchase.
  • Content is also an ideal way to keep your social media channels active and encourage interactivity. Not only can you post links to content as it’s published, but you can encourage conversation by asking questions.
  • Most of the content you create is also capable having a multiple “lives.” This means it can be repurposed down the road, perhaps with some slight reframing or a new question or angle. With social media stream algorithms becoming more fine-tuned, reposting can be key to ensuring more eyeballs are exposed to your content and social interactions.

Plan ahead: Create an editorial calendar

One great base strategy for building a content plan is to create an editorial calendar.

Not only will an editorial calendar be helpful in making sure content is written and posted, it’s also a great way to focus and align your content with your business goals:

  • Decide on how many content pieces you want to publish each week or month. Then, make sure you have the resources in place to meet these goals.
  • Consider selecting themes for each month or quarter of the year. Keep a strategic eye on tying these themes into your sales cycles.
  • Specifically, focus your content scheduling on holidays, events and key shopping seasons and ensure that similar topics are adequately spaced out throughout the year or scheduled for the time period that will have the most impact.

Once you have a content plan in place, consider who will create the content:

 

  • Of course, the most obvious author for content is probably yourself — as a store owner you’re likely the person with the most knowledge and passion for the topic.
  • However, there may be members of your team that are just as knowledgeable and passionate who can be recruited to generate content.
  • Also consider reaching out to your broader community, including customers, suppliers and partners, who can offer a unique perspective for your content pieces.
  • It’s also possible to outsource your content to freelance writers, though this idea often means that the passion, knowledge and voice of your brand might be missing or harder to find in the content you create.

 

Once you’ve created a calendar, it’s time to generate specific content ideas. Start by brainstorming without editing, just to get as many ideas flowing as possible. But then review this list and get it down to a reasonable length;the ideas that make the short list should be carefully considered based on the calendar you’ve created.

Ideas to get you started

Here are some of our favorite content pieces that are also fairly easy to produce, regardless of your particular product or industry:

 

  • Themed posts based on the time of the year or an upcoming holiday
  • “Listicles” that illustrate practical or creative ways to use your products
  • Narratives about your company and its backstory
  • Top product picks for a specific problem that customers may face
  • Staff, vendor or customer profiles and case studies
  • Email interviews with staff, vendors or customers — send a list of questions and use the answers almost verbatim
  • “Do it yourself” solutions, that relate to your products and industry
  • Recipes, crafts or projects that use your products
  • A list of ideas for the use of a specific product or product line
  • Q&A or FAQ-style posts about a specific product or product line
  • Comparison or buying guides for your products, product line or industry

 

Keep in mind that your content doesn’t need to always directly relate to your products:

Instead, think about your products as part of an ecosystem or lifestyle and look for content ideas throughout the industry or closely related subject areas.

If you sell yoga gear, for example, you could create content touching on any aspect of wellness, ranging from the abstract (e.g. “How to bridge the mind-body gap”) to the very concrete (e.g. “Tips to keep your mat clean”).

Michael P. Hill
Michael P. Hill

Michael P. Hill is a Shopify, Shopify theme, content marketing, digital marketing and product management expert based in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelphill or connect on LinkedIn.

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