Webinar recap: Unboxing your content
June 22, 2012 Leave a Comment
Wednesday’s webinar on content for connected commerce included a bevy of great examples and tips — if you didn’t catch it live, you can view the replay and download the associated whitepaper.
A key takeaway from the session: The importance of thinking “outside the box” when it comes to content. Specifically:
Find new ways to present content for every stage of the customer lifecycle. It’s easy for merchants to rely on tried-and-true content strategies; for example, by now most merchants include customer reviews and multiple images on the product page and have launched social outposts for connecting with brand followers using targeted discount offers and lifestyle-related posts. But to ensure content is relevant for shoppers at every stage of their engagement with the brand, and to create an immersive content experience that spans devices and channels, it’s helpful to think outside the box. For each phase of the customer lifecycle, consider which medium is best for the message:
- Product content. Most typically associated with the eCommerce product page, product content provides all the details about the merchandise itself. It can take many forms, such as how-to videos, care instructions and color swatches.
- Value-added content. At one remove from the core product content, value-added content inspires shoppers to make purchases by demonstrating how the brand and the products serve their needs. Buying guides, fashion look books, tips, how-tos and even customer service content such as store locators and return policies and guarantees all fit in this category.
- Social content. Social content resides in that fluid boundary where brand-issued material such as blog entries and Facebook posts mixes with user-generated input such as customer reviews and comments. It’s a rich medium for engaging shoppers, generating conversation about the brand, and receiving feedback.
The content matrix below shows each stage of the customer lifecycle along the left-hand side, and then the three classifications of content in columns to the right. To optimize your content, consider new ways to fill in slots on the grid.
For example, material related to getting customer service help seems to fit most readily in the “value-added content” bucket – but MarketLive merchant Gaiam has gone above and beyond by providing customer-service-related product content, in the form of detailed specs that might otherwise trigger a question to the call center. In addition, Gaiam has created social customer service content using its Q and A feature, which allows staff and customers to respond to questions about products posted by shoppers.
Use manufacturer content as a starting point. Questions during the Q and A period of the webinar focused on how to use manufacturer content most effectively, given that search engine algorithms favor original material. Ideally, every merchants would create wholly original content for every product; but in the real world of limited resources, using manufacturer content is often a necessity. The key is to “unbox” the content, repurposing it for your target audience and integrating it fully — not just cutting and pasting. For example, MarketLive merchant Title Nine features a skort by manufacturer Mountain Hardwear on its site — but rather than simply reposting the manufacturer’s bulleted list of features, such as “Wide low-profile waistband for comfort,” Title Nine translates for its audience of fitness-conscious women. The product name is “Do-It-All SWB”, or Skirt With Benefits, and the description cites the skort’s “Wide, yoga-inspired waistband”.
MarketLive merchant Sport Chalet has made the most of robust manufacturer content by building immersive environments around the “Shop by Brand” concept. Not only does the eCommerce site feature a section full of brand content such as videos and fit guides, but the content is carried over into email campaigns and specialized landing pages, as in this example from Brooks. The email compels recipients to click on to the landing page, whose look and feel match the original message and whose content gives shoppers key information about what makes the Pure Project product line unique. The eCommerce Web site section dedicated to Brooks Pure Project features detailed technical information and videos.
How are you unboxing new content opportunities for your business?