Introduction: Creating Your Content Marketing Plan
Hey there, and welcome back. This is Ezra Firestone from SmartMarketer.com, here on behalf of Shopify Ecommerce University. Now, let's get this party started. First thing I want to say is thank you so much. You know, taking the time to go through this course is going to help you grow your business, and I appreciate you spending some time with me. It's, you know, the most value asset that you have as a business owner is your time, and I appreciate that you're spending some of it with me, and spending some of it with Shopify Ecommerce University. And I just want you to know that we will deliver for you, and that the content in this course will grow your business.
So, you know, I don't just talk about this stuff. I run stores myself. You can see, these are a couple of screenshots from some of my stores. You can see my conversion rates are very high. And I'm recognized as an ecommerce conversion expert, and an ecommerce business expert. So I just want you to know that I do this stuff. I'm not just talking about it. I'm out there actually doing it, and that's how I know what works.
Now, another thing that we should talk about is that most people are focused on tactics. Most business owners and ecommerce business owners that come into contact with me... because I get the opportunity to relate with thousands and thousands of ecommerce business owners each year. And the common thread that I see is that people are looking for tactics. They want to know the next little thing that is going to work. But tactics without a strategy is a recipe for failure. Strategy, plus the right mindset, plus tactics, equals success. And that's what we're going to go through in this course. I'm going to give you a strategy that works, that is proven on my stores, and my clients' stores, and my students' stores. I'm going to teach you the right mindset that you need, and the tactics that you need to succeed.
So this is my plan for you. This is the plan that is going to build your business. And it's content creation optimization, right? So we create this content, we optimize it, and then we syndicate it, and then we market it. So creation, optimization, syndication, and marketing. And you can leverage this content, and the marketing, and the principles herein, for every part of your store. Not just the content that you're creating, but for your product pages, and your category pages, and your checkout experience, and every part of your ecommerce business, you can leverage the principles that you're going to learn in this course.
Now, another thing that I should mention is that it's really about timing. If you take a look at my skin care company as an example, we're a pro-age cosmetic line. So in America, men are valued for production. In most Western societies, actually, men are valued for production. And what that means is that as we get older, as we make more money, we get more social power. And women are traditionally valued for youth and beauty. So as they get older, they get less social power. This isn't a viewpoint that I subscribe to, but it is the way that society treats women. And right now, in America, the biggest part of our population is the Baby Boomer generation, and more than half of them are women. And all of these women are collectively having the experience of their bodies aging on the outside faster than they are on the inside, and society treating them differently as a result of it, and they don't like it. And all of the feedback that they're getting is that aging is bad, it's wrong, anti-age, anti-wrinkle. That, like, this experience that they're having is a very bad thing.
And so we created a cosmetic line... a business partner of mine... my very close friend and business partner, we had these types of conversations, and we thought, you know, we should create a business out of this. Because we had messaging that was resonating with a community of people, which is how you end up having a very effective business, which I'll talk to you about in just a second. But the point is that we created a business called Boom by Cindy Joseph, and it's the world's first pro-age cosmetics line. So the cosmetics are celebrating you as you are, not covering you up. And it was the right time, because there was a group of people having this experience, and we were talking to them about it, and we still are, and having a conversation with them about this experience that no one else is having. So the business took off very quickly because it was the right time for that message, for that product, for that business.
And it's the right time for ecommerce, and specifically the right time for ecommerce content marketing, which I'll talk about in just a second. But 8% of total retail sales are done online right now. 8% total retail sales in the United States of America and Canada are done online. When I started, it was 4%. So it's double in the last seven years. And it's going to double again in the next seven years, because the growth rate is 15% year over year. So right now is the time to be building physical product ecommerce businesses. People are opting technology. They're no longer afraid to use their credit cards online.
And other countries are catching on. China just had their equivalent of Valentine's Day, and they did $3 billion in gross merchandise volume. Two websites, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon and the Chinese equivalent of Ebay, on that single day, did $3 billion in gross merchandise volume. And just to give you an example, our largest day, our largest online retail day, is Black Friday, and we did $1 billion. So they tripled. They did three times the amount of volume that we did in our biggest retail day on their biggest retail day, and only 2% of their population shops online right now, as opposed to 8% of ours.
So where we are in the life cycle of ecommerce is we're at the very beginning. Ecommerce is a baby. If the internet is in its infancy, ecommerce is a baby. And, you know, the type of businesses that we're building, businesses that are more than just listing products for sale. Businesses that are talking to people about experiences they're having. And this process that you're learning in this video series about how to create more than just a business that's a few products for sale. How to build a business that relates to a group of people about an experience that they're having, and adds more value to the world and their lives than just selling them products.
So collective experiences are a very important part of business, because the way that you market and sell things to people is around experiences that they're having. People who are on a football team together. People who are into yoga. People who are having the experience of aging, or whatever it might be. So I just wanted to kind of give you that introduction to what we're going to talk about in this course. In the next video, we'll be going into some ecommerce. But this has been Ezra Firestone from SmartMarketer.com for Shopify Ecommerce University, and I'll meet you in the next video.