Content that works for online retailers

Content that works. A seeming simple concept but on a number of occasions recently, we’ve heard stories of leading ad agencies, and big retail brands asking themselves what exactly content means.

Easy to make, hard to make pay

Creating content is easy. But creating content that works, and that will pay in terms of leading directly to sales, is less so.

There are two ways of looking at content. Firstly, and most commonly, content is tackled at brand or campaign level. Creating video and stills that build a lifestyle orientated appeal and promote the softer brand values that the retailer wants their customer to understand.

Why it doesn’t convert

This type of content doesn’t link to sales because it will be lifestyle rather than product focused, so it can never link effectively to a big enough product range that will appeal to the wide variations in customer segments.

The huge gulf between the glossy-high production values of ‘content’ and the basic images and video provided for the product experience (that online shoppers are expected to click to afterwards) undoes the value of the high-end experience; there is no through the line consistency and this disrupts the impact of the content.

The content that does convert

The second type of content is focused on the product level experience, which is always the poor relation in terms of budget and strategic input.

Why is this the case? Aren’t shoppers coming online to primarily buy products?

If retailers want sales success from their content budgets, then they should invest it in product content first – and give the customer what they want, a better online product experience, that will translate to more sales. Even better, at this level you can measure the impact of content to get real ROI figures.

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