As purchasing shifts toward online, product content reigns supreme in influencing buying decisions. In fact, research by Forrestershows that consumers place credible product information as the top reason for purchasing from a particular website. But to influence purchases, it’s important that product content be persuasive i.e. align with customer expectations while showcasing the product’s competitive strengths. That’s where insight-driven content comes into play.
Insight-driven content is more than just a buzzword. It’s producing content by thinking from the customers’ perspective and having the answers to questions like “what product attributes matter most to customers”, “how do they use my product?”, “what other brands are they considering?”, “what’s lacking in the products they currently use?”, “what features they can or can’t do without?”, and so on.
Empowered by these insights, marketers can produce content that’s more likely to resonate with target audiences. Here’s how:
1. Identifying product features and benefits to highlight
Emphasizing the product features helps shoppers to quickly see what’s on offer. This is highly effective in converting shoppers into customers, as long as they see those features as valuable. Having adequate customer insight and knowledge of what sets your product apart from the competition can help in identifying which product features you need to focus on. Similarly, knowing consumers’ motivations behind their purchases can help marketers frame more compelling benefit statements.
2. Writing informative descriptions
Useful and accurate information is at the heart of any good product description. While brand marketers have deep product knowledge, they often fall short when it comes to speaking in the consumer’s voice. This often results in jargon-heavy, boring product descriptions that do little to spark shoppers’ interest. An integrated view into your consumers’ environment, the product, and the competitors’ positioning can help marketers create brand stories that connect with their audience.
3. Using contextually relevant images and videos
Given the fact that 90% of the information that comes to the brain is visual, images and videos can go a long way in enticing shoppers to make a purchase. However, customers are more likely to respond to visuals that are contextual or demonstrative in nature.
Think of how television brands advertise their products. Rather than showcase just a plain TV, you’re more likely to find it set in a living room with a group of friends or family enjoying a sports match or TV show. Gaining insight into what’s important to customers’ environment—what they think, do and feel about a product or product category—can provide ideas for more appealing and informative product images.
4. Finding keywords with low competition
To get customers to consider your brand, being discoverable in online searches is key. But ranking for popular keywords means competing with the big dogs, which can be time-consuming and expensive. Finding low-competition keywords that are also high in volume can help bring you to your customers’ notice without breaking a sweat. How? The trick is to look closely at the way consumers speak about products in the same category. By drawing insights from relevant customer conversations, such as product reviews, interviews and social media posts, marketers can find low-competition phrases to include in their product information for a better SERP ranking.
5. Staying updated with the latest trends
Being aware of the latest trends in a product category can help marketers describe products in a way that better aligns with what consumers want. Let’s say “semi-gloss” is the latest fad in interior wall paints. For an interior paint brand manufacturer, not knowing this trend could be detrimental to product sales. Even if it sells such a product, but leaves out the fact that it’s “semi-gloss paint”, that could lead to consumers not buying. Market insights can help you keep up with the trends and update your content accordingly.
6. Crafting targeted marketing messages
To achieve greater campaign effectiveness, it is important that marketing messages strike a chord with the target audience. This requires having the knowledge about who your target audience is, their motivations for using your products, and how they shop. From offering relevant product recommendations to following up on a customer who has exited after adding to cart/wish list, a combination of product and category-level insights on their demographics, behavioral patterns and other key parameters will lead marketers to plug in more persuasive communication.
In order to win the online merchandising game, it’s imperative for firms to leverage consumer and competitor insights to deliver product content that understands, engages and addresses customers’ needs.
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