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Content for eCommerce is where it’s at. Having an efficient content strategy for eCommerce is an indispensable requirement for marketing departments in Corporate America. We talked to Emilly Jordan, VP Marketing, Willow Innovations and to Wilson Calil, Director of Inbound Marketing, Primary Arms to gain an understanding of how their companies position content for eCommerce.

The shift to e-commerce will drive more than 70% of sales growth across food and beverage categories through 2022, according to Boston Consulting Group. The same consultancy adds that E-Commerce channel advertising (advertising that is integrated within an online marketplace like Amazon, Target, Walmart) grew by 38.8% to US $17.37 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow by 29.8% to US $22.54 billion in 2021. With this rush to convert users into buyers, it is no wonder that strategies for efficient content for e-commerce have become crucial. It’s all about converting online audiences on third-party marketplaces or on companies’ own e-commerce sites.  We asked two executives in the Portada network of brand marketers to share insights and recommendations.

Perfect Marriage: SEO and Content

Confent for eCommerce
VP of Marketing, Willow Innovations, Inc.

SEO and Content are a perfect marriage, says Emily Jordan, VP of Marketing at  Willow Innovations, Inc. a FemTech company that markets wearable breast pumps.

“Whatever content you are putting out there you want to make sure that you are optimizing it for search and especially for Amazon. So we definitely use similar content across our DTC channel and Amazon and then look at what content resonates in the upper funnel vs. lower funnel and then adjust our search accordingly.”

“Whatever content you are putting out there you want to make sure that you are optimizing it for search and especially for Amazon.

Content for eCommerce is the material that is created to attract potential customers and can include eCommerce content includes tutorials, social media, user-made posts, product descriptions, and blog posts.

 

Content for Ecommerce: Direct vs. Third Party

Wilson Calil
Wilson Calil, Director Inbound Marketing, Primary Arms

But what content should be pushed more? The content that drives traffic to a company’s own eCommerce site or the one that directs users to a third party-marketplace? “Due to the lack of inventory in the whole industry, Amazon hasn’t been a priority lately since we’re driving much more sales through our own eCommerce, ” explains Wilson Calil – Director of Inbound Marketing at Primary Arms. Primary Arms was founded to provide firearms enthusiasts, professional shooters, servicemen and women the highest quality optics at affordable prices.

“The idea is to optimize our profitability”, says Callil. “To make our Amazon Ads more efficient, we have just started using a new AI system called Sellics to reduce ACoS (Advertising Costs of Sales). We are increasing the budget on campaign keywords that are lower ACoS and reducing it where we have higher ACoS. The AI system is helping us find the best bid combination. We also started investing more in demo videos.”

We are increasing the budget on campaign keywords that are lower ACoS and reducing it where we have higher ACoS. The AI system is helping us find the best bid combination. We also started investing more in demo videos.

Content for Ecommerce: Top vs. Bottom of Funnel

Creating an efficient content strategy for E-Commerce is an indispensable requirement for marketing departments in Corporate America. Willow Innovation’s Jordan notes that “content is king on Amazon. You have to be very distinctive about the top of the funnel for someone who is just learning about your category vs. bottom-funnel for someone who is ready to convert.”
“Unlike for example companies in the confectionery or chewing gum sector,  who are more in the impulse category, we have an extremely long purchase cycle, moms are looking for a breast pump for a very long time. They do a ton of research and we need to understand what the key pieces of content are for them to include them in the brand positioning and put it before her at the right time.”

Moms are looking for a breast pump for a very long time. They do a ton of research and we need to understand what the key pieces of content are for them to include them in the brand positioning and put it before her at the right time.

 

According to data presented by Finaria, global search advertising revenues, the largest segment of the digital ads industry, rose by 6.7% year-over-year to US $152.6bn in 2020. The trend is set to continue in 2021, with the entire market reaching US $171.6bn value, US $19bn more than a year ago.

The year 2020 was a challenging year for the entire digital advertising industry, with even the largest players like Google witnessing significant revenue drops amid the COVID-19 crisis.

However, as millions of consumers shifted from brick-and-mortar stores to webshops, the entire market bounced back by the end of the year showing strong growth across all regions.

Mobile Search Ad Revenues to Jump by 16% YoY to US $86B

Thousands of companies, especially the big ones, have been hit hard by supply chain disruptions and customer challenges caused by the pandemic. To cope, many of them stopped their digital ad campaigns and reduced search advertising bids in the first half of 2020. As a result, cost per acquisition (CPA) and cost per click (CPC) were down across verticals and markets.

The shutdown in the travel industry, which spent most of its advertising budget on search ads before the COVID-19, caused another major hit.

Global Search Ad

Global Search Ad

In 2019, brands and media buyers spent US $142.9bn on search engine advertising worldwide, more than social media, video, and banner ads combined, revealed Statista Digital Market Outlook. In 2020, this figure jumped by almost US $10bn, despite the sharp fall in ad spending in the first two quarters of the year.

Brands and media buyers spent US $142.9bn on search advertising worldwide, more than social media, video, and banner ads combined.

Statistics show the global search advertising revenues are expected to jump by 12.4% in 2021. The increasing trend is set to continue in the next few years, with search ad revenues reaching US $211.4bn by 2025.

Mobile search engine advertising revenues are forecast to jump by 16% and hit US $86bn this year. By 2025, this segment of the search advertising market is expected to hit a US $120.2bn value.

Ad spending in the desktop search advertising segment is forecast to witness modest growth in the next few years, with the figure rising from US $85.5bn in 2021 to US $91.1bn in 2025.

Search Engine Advertising: The United States to Generate 40% of Global  Revenues

Analyzed by geography, the United States represents the world’s leading search advertising market, expected to hit US $67.74bn value in 2021, or almost 40% of total spending this year. Statistics show the US search ad revenues jumped by nearly 20% amid the COVID-19 crisis. By 2025, the entire market is expected to hit US $82.2bn value.

As the second-largest market globally, search ad spending in China is expected to grow by 11.3% YoY to US $37.4bn in 2020. The United Kingdom follows with a 14% year-over-year growth and US $12.3bn in ad spending.

Japan and Germany ranked as the fourth and fifth-largest markets globally, with US $6.7bn and US $5.1bn in search ad revenues, respectively.

Statistics show the combined ad spending in the five largest markets is expected to jump by 22% YoY and hit US $157.2bn value by 2025.

Even bilingual Hispanics sometimes search in Spanish, while Spanish-language searchers may need localized landing pages. Search and multicultural experts explain best practices for SEM.

PHOTO: Jenny Downing
PHOTO: Jenny Downing

With the growth in the number of bilingual and English-dominant Hispanics in the United States, search marketing cannot simply be a matter of translation. Even someone who is very comfortable in English may switch to Spanish for some searches, according to Gonzalo del Fa, president of GroupM Multicultural.

“Even though digital overall has been growing extremely fast against Hispanics, I still feel search is not there yet and … the biggest barrier is language,” he says.

More evidence for the importance of getting the language question right: A recent survey by One Hour Translation found that more than 75 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a website written in their native language.

Lior Libman, One Hour Translation
Lior Libman, One Hour Translation

The most common mistake marketers make, according to Lior Libman, president of One Hour Translation, is assuming that a simple translation is enough. He says marketers often think, “If a campaign is working in English, I’ll hire a translator, and it’s good to go.” Especially in search, where a tiny difference in wording can result in huge changes in clicks, copy should be fine-tuned and tested by local, native speakers.

The translators need to understand the objective of each keyword, as well, according to del Fa. He points out that there can be many more keywords in Spanish that can express a single product or idea. “Think about ‘furniture,'” he says. “In Spanish, we have five ways of saying it. Often, with search campaigns, the client comes in with 50 keywords, and when we put it into Spanish, it becomes 120.”

Doug Platts iCrossing
Doug Platts, iCrossing

Localization involves more than translation, as Doug Platts, iCrossing’s head of SEO, points out. He says that translators should not only be local to the campaign, they should also “be on top of what the trends in that culture are.”

Nuance becomes even more important when marketing products that have more emotion attached to them, such as insurance, finance or healthcare. “I don’t want to make a mistake in those cases,” del Fa says.

But it’s even more complicated! Many Hispanics switch between English and Spanish when searching. In a July, 2014, blog post, Lisa Gevelber, Google’s vice president of Americas marketing, pointed to a Google consumer survey that found that the majority of U.S. Hispanic mobile users typically search in English or a mix of English and Spanish. At the same time, the number of Google searches that included common Spanish-language question words had nearly doubled since 2011.

Del Fa says that 65 percent of Hispanics know how to search for something in English; if they don’t find what they’re looking for, they switch to Spanish.

Landing the deal

Finessing the language doesn’t stop with the search campaign: How marketers handle landing pages is equally important. According to research by GroupM, the majority of consumers who consider themselves bilingual can operate at work in English but are more comfortable speaking Spanish in their personal lives – including while using search.

In the best of all possible searches, someone who searched for a Spanish keyword would get results leading to pages that were in Spanish and appropriate for his or her region. In the real world, every site can’t offer all its pages in English and Spanish. At iCrossing, the advice is to build some core landing pages at the product or service level.

Another good practice, according to del Fa, is to deliver search results in the language in which the landing page is written. “If results are in Spanish, but clicking on one takes them to a website that is not in-language, it will throw the person off,” he says.

If it’s not possible to create a landing page in Spanish, he advises that it’s better to return English-language search results for an in-Spanish search. “If the results are in English, I know the page will be in English, so it’s not an issue,” he says.

In global campaigns, Spanish-language landing pages need to be localized, as well as the search campaigns themselves, Platts advises. Using hreflang tags to denote the correct regional URL in search results ensures that searchers find what they need. “We don’t like to create a Spanish page and that will cover everybody,” Platts says. He also notes that paid search paid is an excellent way to test whether a larger digital campaign should be launched in English or Spanish, before a brand invests larger assets.

Gonzalo del Fa
Gonzalo del Fa, GroupM

Finally, search marketers need to remember that language is a tactic, not a strategy, del Fa says. “Let’s put a strategy together. Then, when we are down the road planning the tactics, then language will kick in.”

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