Guide to Developing a Robust D2C Blog Content Strategy

Deepak Ness
September 12, 2022

We all want to build a blog that's engaging, informative, keeps the readers coming back for more, and drives sales after all.

But what does it really take to develop a robust D2C blog content strategy?

In this guide, I'll cover the key components of a successful D2C blog content strategy. From researching and organising to creating content and distributing — I’ve got you covered.

Let’s get started…

Why should you have a blog content strategy for your D2C brand?

hims (intentionally not capitalised) is a men’s personal care DTC brand that generates 1.1 million organic traffic every month.

Caption: Screenshot of SEMrush showing the organic search traffic of “hims”

And it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars every month to bring that much traffic via paid ads in this saturated market of men’s care.

If you do not have a proper blog strategy for your D2C brand, then you’re missing out on tons of organic traffic. Apart from getting tons of users coming to your site, there are other benefits too:

1. Control over the narrative

Who controls the media, controls the minds of the public. – Noam Chomsky

Having a powerful blog gives you the advantage of controlling how your products get portrayed in the minds of your potential customers. When you’re playing at a higher level, it becomes significant to have complete control over how your brand and products get perceived.

For example, let’s say you have a brand that sells perfumes and a customer finds the price of perfumes to be crazy expensive and he/she searches for some explanation about this. When you have a blog, you can have a post explaining why the price is high and how your perfumes are better than all the others in the market.

2. Drive more sales

Whether the potential customers are in the top or middle of the sales funnel, strategically planned blog posts do an outstanding job of converting casual website visitors into loyal customers.

As hims blog receives 1 million monthly visitors, even if they can only convert 0.5% of visitors into customers, they will have 5000 extra sales (apart from other channels) each month.

3. Establish brand awareness

Let’s take a quick example of an online D2C gift store…

Keywords like “gift ideas for girlfriend” and “gift ideas for boyfriend” get hundreds of thousands of searches every month from people who are seeking ideas to gift their loved ones. Now, if you’re able to capture top positions in the SERP for these long-tail keywords, you won’t just be driving sales from there, but also making people aware of your gift store brand.

Usually, people coming to your website are not there to make a transaction, they are just there for the information. But… whether they buy something or not, they do recognise the brand if they see it again somewhere.

Creating the blog content strategy for D2C brands

Enough theory, now, let’s take a look at some actionable steps to creating a powerful D2C blog:

1. Researching and planning

Spend the most of your time and effort researching and making proper plans for the blog so that you don’t have to come back to it and rethink everything, again.

You have to research and plan about what keywords to target, what to publish, and when to publish.

Let’s understand in detail:

a) Keyword research

Do not make the mistake of targeting just the commercial and transactional keywords. I recommend following the 80/20 rule here – 80% transactional and commercial keywords (shoppable keywords) and 20% informational and educational keywords.

Research and find the following types of keywords, mainly:

  • Listicle keywords (e.g., top 10 hair dryers under $200)
  • Comparison keywords (e.g., Panasonic vs. Revlon hair dryer)
  • Review keywords (e.g., Revlon 1875W hair dryer review)
  • Informational keywords (e.g., how hair dryers work)
  • Educational keywords (e.g., how to use curling iron)

You can use a spreadsheet to categorise and better organise all the keywords that you find. It can look something like this:

For researching keywords, you can use tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, Answer the Public, etc. And don’t forget to research your competitors to find some profitable keywords.

b) Types of content

When you’re doing everything at scale, even a simple change in the workflow that even slightly speeds up the process is a big deal. And planning post formats from earlier for different types of posts is a huge help.

And the same can be done for comparison, review, and informational posts as well.

2. Making an organisational system

Having a content calendar or any other type of organization system for blog posts makes the process of content creation and tracking easier and more efficient. And there are several project management tools that you can use to organise your blogs, some are:

  • Notion
  • Google Sheets
  • Trello
  • Airtable
  • Asana, etc.

I prefer to use Notion as it’s free and easy to use. And my simple organization dashboard in Notion looks like this:

It gives me a bird's-eye view of what’s coming and what’s already been done. I try to keep it simple, but you can add some more fields like word count, assigned to, etc.

If you prefer, you can use Google Sheets as well because it has better collaboration features and can easily handle tens of thousands of rows. And there are numerous free templates available for that, such as this one.

3. Creating content

Now, the most important section of this guide – creating content.

Always keep in mind that as a direct-to-consumer brand, you’re creating content for your consumers. And to create better content for them, you need to understand how and what they search.

And your goal should be to create content that drives sales, helps in brand awareness, as well as educates customers about how the product is better.

I divide the whole D2C blog content into 2 parts — listicles and guides (all the 5 types of keywords mentioned above, get covered in these). Let’s take a look:

a) Create tons of listicles

In the context of D2C, listicles or list articles have the highest commercial intent, and you must take advantage of it to drive traffic and sales.

For example, it’s a very high chance that someone looking to buy headphones would google something like “best headphones under $100”. And that’s your best chance to directly plug in your products.

In fact, according to SEMrush, listicles get 80% more traffic than any other format of articles. And not just the traffic, list posts also attract tons of backlinks and get shared too.

Some examples of these listicle posts would be:

  • Top 10 laptops under $1000
  • 5 ways to get discounts while buying a laptop
  • Top 5 laptops for students
  • 5 reasons why you should get a Linux laptop, etc.

You get the idea, right?

Lastly, to win this D2C blog content game, make listicles your best friend. And as these listicles are going to follow a fixed pattern, you can take the help of advanced techniques like programmatic SEO to save time and effort.

b) Create guides and educational posts

While guides and educational posts don’t directly help you drive sales, they help educate your users about the different possible uses of your products and how it is different from other competing products.

These types of posts are generally long-form in nature and serve a greater purpose.

For example, say, you’re starting a new brand of men’s perfume that is not harmful to one's skin. Now, you can create guides and educational posts like:

  • Men’s guide to applying and wearing perfume like a pro
  • How perfumes are damaging your skin
  • How XYZ perfumes are manufactured to be 100% toxin-free, etc.

These kinds of blog posts let you control the narrative and give you a chance to explain why one should care about this newly launched product.

4. Distribution strategy

If you’re doing nothing after hitting publish, your posts cannot reach their full potential. In fact, in a way, the real game starts after you hit publish.

Yes, if your content is terrific and your website is powerful, Google is definitely going to drive some crazy organic traffic in the long run. But after publishing, you should not just sit around and wait for the content to be ranked, right?

Here’s what you should do…

a) Identify all the distribution channels

First, identify all the different kinds of distribution channels where you can effectively distribute your content to the right audience. The channels could be:

  • Social media
  • Groups and forums
  • Video platforms
  • Podcast invites
  • Guest blog posts, etc.

Make an individual list of all the platforms and types of content you can create.

b) Repurpose blog content

Repurposing blog posts is an excellent content distribution strategy for your D2C brand. It helps you reach more people through different channels.

A simple blog post can be repurposed or remixed into the following types of content:

  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • PDFs
  • eBooks
  • Emails
  • Slideshows

I have seen people making at least one Twitter thread from their recently published blog posts. Not to mention, repurposing is a repetitive task that doesn’t take as much effort as creating blog posts.

Apart from these, you also have the option of paid distribution channels like ads and sponsorships.

5. On-site optimisations

Here are some on-site optimisations that play an important role in your content strategy:

a) Aggressive internal linking

I believe in the fact that internal links are almost as important as backlinks, if not more. Adding internal links strategically makes navigation easier and also helps pass the link authority to all pages

For a D2C blog, I would suggest doing only these 2 things for internal linking:

  • Link individual products to wherever they are mentioned in blog posts, and
  • Aggressively interlink blog posts with other blog posts

b) Add optimised images

Generally, more than 50% of the size of a webpage is taken by the images on the page. They are crucial for the loading speed of your pages, and you should optimise them before uploading.

Fortunately, it’s an easy job:

  • Resize: Resize all the images to the maximum width your website shows, and
  • Compress: Losslessly compress them before uploading them to your server

With just that, you will be able to reduce their size by more than 50%.

Mistakes to avoid

Some of the common mistakes that D2C brands make are:

  • Not building an email list: Email is one of the main owned audiences you can create, offer freebies and collect users’ emails from day one.
  • Copying bigger brands: Bigger brands like Amazon have a different content strategy, avoid copying them and experiment with what works best for your business.

Final words

A robust blog strategy helps you bring traffic and aware people to your brand.

Aim to create content that is useful to your potential customers, and that’s the only way to win this D2C blog content game.

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