If you have talked to your digital marketing agency recently, read the latest from Google, or perused your favorite marketing blog, you have likely come across arguments in favor of better customer experience. If you have watched a webinar about digital transformation or trends in online commerce, chances are there was mention of the importance of customer experience to remain relevant and build loyalty amongst your customers.
What these fantastic resources and experts may have told you is that you need to create a personalized and compelling experience for each and every buyer or shopper. Sounds great, right?
The Dirty Little Secret
What they likely didn’t reveal is the dirty little secret about Customer Experience.
What these revered sources won’t tell you is that this effort will fail—that it is literally impossible—without the development of more and more (and even more!) high-quality content.
What type of content, you ask?
We would argue that product content should be at the top of your list. According to a study by Shotfarm, a vast majority of shoppers consider product descriptions to be very important (63%) or important (30%) to their decision-making process during the buying journey. Best practices outlined by content26 suggest that a product description length between 350 and 400 is justified to address the main features and benefits of a product. Some products, such as consumer electronics may need as many as 600 words to sufficiently communicate product features and benefits. To complement these product descriptions, you should provide imagery, romance messaging, and user-generated content in the form of reviews.
In addition, Google just recently doubled the length of the meta description tags that their algorithms consider to 320 characters. To get the most from your SEO efforts, you will need more—and better—content.
More and more—and more—content
This need for content—to better serve your customers, promote your brand, and satisfy SEO requirements—may be part of the reason that word counts on HTML pages has increased by more than 25% in recent years.
Not only will you need to provide great information for each of your products, but also your content will begin to proliferate. As you multiply product variations, attributes, and product relationships, you will need to create an ever-increasing amount of content. Add to that the adaptations needed for new markets, channels, and languages and you will observe an exponential explosion of content requirements.
You are probably starting to get the idea. How can you possibly track and manage all of this product content? And, is this really necessary?
Fueling the Engine of Customer Experience
As your organization discusses the resources and tools necessary to provide that great experience your customers are seeking, consider this: there is no point in investing in personalization and experience software if you’re still going to provide every customer the same experience as every other customer.
Just as your vehicle needs fuel to power its engine, your marketing organization needs to develop product content to fuel your customer experience and personalization efforts. Regardless of how many state-of-the-art tools you implement, they—and you!—can’t do the job without the fuel for the engine that is product content. By building this solid foundation of content, you can easily reuse and repurpose the information you create to build a personalized experience for every shopper.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver
Several times in these pages, we have discussed the notion, and the necessity, of having a Content Creation Factory within your product marketing organization. As your customers and prospects engage with you and your product information in more diverse ways and on more devices, your challenge is to keep up with relevant content across different media.
We know that consistently churning out content is hard. Companies have tools, calendars and teams—all devoted to the practice of curating, developing, and distributing content. Many hire contractors and agencies to help them generate an increasing amount of content.
What, indeed, is it all for?
First, we are not suggesting that more content is always the best way to go. Instead, providing high-quality, relevant content that is available to your customers where and when they need should be the ultimate goal. The Content Marketing Institute has emphasized that content that serves the customer first is the most popular and useful. This includes product information on your website, FAQs to answer questions in a customer forum, and trend and style content in email newsletters—content that allows customers and prospects to engage with your brand and better utilize your products. Forrester Research has reinforced this, indicating that content needs to be valuable in the customer’s eyes—reliable content that addresses their unique needs.
What does customer-focused product information look like?
Our belief is that useful customer-focused content is:
Getting Started with your Content Creation Factory
The first step to constructing your content creation Factory is to assess where you are now. Take a look at our previous blog that outlines how to start this assessment process and ascertain where you have gaps, rework, and waste in your current process. Come back soon for more information in these pages regarding how to continue building on this momentum to create the content that your customers are seeking.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager
Tags: Content Creation Factory
Valentine’s Day—what a great day to celebrate! I mean, really, who doesn’t want to celebrate love and our loved ones! We, at inRiver hope you had a fantastic Valentine’s Day!
What do you think of, when you think about love? Is it always the romantic kind? Or do you sometimes daydream about that really special pair of shoes, your dog, or—as in my case—coffee?
It is true for most people that we want to be loved just as much as we love to love! And for companies, we want our customers to love our products and, by extension, love us.
We want our customers to be happy and return and buy from us again. Sure, we may give this emotion elaborate, practical names—customer advocacy, customer loyalty, lifetime value of a customer. But in the end, it really all comes down to love.
However, we also know that love is a two-way street. Sure, we may have learned this the hard way—nothing hurts worse than that pang of unrequited love. And our companies may have experienced the hurt—across the entire enterprise—when we launched a product that our customers rejected.
But today, life is different. You have a product that is perfect. You have worked hard to perfect it, to meet your customers’ every need in your defined space. Now, to show your customers some love, you have to make sure that they can find your product, that they are aware of your product, that your product will make their lives complete.
In fact, you have to become a little bit obsessive!
Face it—coming up with the perfect product for your customer required something of an obsession. Every facet, every detail had to be flawless. You—and your customers—would accept nothing less.
So now, as you get ready to go to market, don’t dare drop that obsession with perfection. Stick with it and give your customers all the love that they deserve. Provide them with the perfect product story—enriched with romance copy, hero imagery, and accurate specifications—so that they will know just how much you care.
Why settle for love when you can be customer-obsessed?
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Manager, inRiver